Bouchard-Taylor and the spectre of Elvis Gratton

I’ll have something a little more comprehensive on the main site tomorrow afternoon, but I thought I’d jot down just a few initial impressions about the Bouchard-Taylor report and its 37 recommendations:

1) It got barely more than a mention in the report, but I hope the brief semantic discussion about what to call old-stock Quebecers (or “Québécois d’origine canadienne-française,” as it were) doesn’t get as much as attention from the usual suspects as it did when bits of the report started leaking. That said, I do love the fact it’s allowed me to put an Elvis Gratton video at the top of this post.

2) Referring to the reasonable accommodations hubbub as a “crisis of perception” was a courageous move. Richard Martineau’s predictable hysterics proves this.

3) The recommendation to change the Québec Charter to “prohibit public incitement to discrimination” strikes me as pointless given the criminal provisions already in place.

4) The focus on economic integration was particularly welcome. The widespread reluctance to recognize foreign professional degrees and the obscenely high unemployment rates among some immigrant communities are two issues that desperately need to be addressed.

5) A government-commissioned white paper on secularism? No thanks. And certainly not because I’m opposed to the separation of church and state-I’m all for it. No, it’s because the provincial government needs an academic white paper on secularism like Montreal needs another Olympic Stadium.

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