No Dogs or Anglophones

Thanks for the Memories....

For over four years I've written this blog in an effort to fulfill an inner desire to share some of my thoughts and experiences with you.

From a tiny following, the blog has blossomed, giving a small voice to a not so insignificant segment of Quebec Anglo society that the mainstream media doesn't seem to address. It has been, to say the least, entirely rewarding and I've kept going far beyond where I first thought I'd go solely because of the readership.

But all things come to an end.

With the election of the Liberals and the prospect of the PQ dim for the short and immediate term, there is less of an impetus for me to continue.

Can we as Anglos and Ethnics claim victory over sovereigntist forces?

Perhaps yes, but the real problem was never sovereignty, but rather the treatment of Anglos and Ethnics by all  Quebec governments.
It is sad to see that we continue to be viewed as interlopers, a people to be controlled not appreciated, an alien nation within the legitimate body politic of French Quebec.

Too harsh?
Nope, I don't think so. I continue to believe that if Quebec chooses to remain in Canada, it is simply an economic decision, the alternative of an independent and truly French Quebec a dream too costly and unrealistic for a generation whose real values include Facebook and Nintendo.

I remain convinced that if Quebec had the wealth of Alberta's oil sands, this province would have overwhelmingly voted for independence years ago.
It's really just about the money and when Quebecers finally realized how much money Canada lavishes upon them, the independence movement withered.

Such is the reality of our Quebec society, locked into a loveless marriage of convenience, forever unhappy and unfulfilled but financially comfortable, a difficult trade off to make.

As for myself, I look forward to the summer, sipping margaritas by the backyard pool, leaving the bitching and moaning to others, God knows, I've done my share.

To those who have been faithful readers and contributors I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your interest, friendship and lively conversation.

I would never have come this far without you.

and so I fade to black....

I'll leave the comments section open for a while and the blog itself open for research purposes.

Thank you all once again.....

Read More

Posted on 1 July 2014 | 5:23 am

Justin Trudeau

Happy birthday, Wilfrid Laurier!

Honour him by reading one of his finest speeches.

Read More

Posted on 20 November 2014 | 7:13 pm

Ezra Levant

Free Speech Tour!

I’m going on tour with my friend Brian Lilley! We’re calling it our, because it’s going to be 100% straight talk — conservative news and views on everything from current events and politics, to the state of the media today. If you’re in Red Deer this Friday, November 28th, please come say hello. For […]

Read More

Posted on 22 November 2014 | 7:07 pm

Scott's DiaTribes

Blog interview with Howard Rabb – LPC nomination contestant, Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

Another in my series of blog interviews I’ve done with LPC candidates, nomination candidates – today I am pleased to have done an interview with Howard Rabb, one of the Liberal nomination contestants in the riding of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas. That nomination meeting is coming up in a couple of days (Nov 25 I believe) so I thank Howard for taking the time away from preparing for that to answer these questions!


For those who haven’t visited your website yet, can you tell our readers why you’ve decided to run for the nomination?

I have been unhappy with the direction our country has been heading in for the past [...]

Read More

Posted on 23 November 2014 | 1:25 pm

Dawg's Blog


Canada—my country—one of only three votes against an anti-Nazi resolution at the United Nations. You can as of this writing find this information in two places: the Russian media and the United Nations website. The Canadian media? Nichts zu sehen...

Read More

Posted on 22 November 2014 | 9:04 pm

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

Model S Tesla Car in Regina

Last month James took me for a spin in an electric Rav 4. This week it was the sporty and futuristic Model S by independent car company Tesla.

Read More

Posted on 21 November 2014 | 8:02 pm

Erich the Green

Let's learn to work together like Canadians

Can you imagine the sitting leader of a political party writing a book endorsed by prime ministers from two other parties? I didn’t, until I picked up Elizabeth May’s latest work, “Who We Are: Reflections on My Life andCanada” and turned it over to find that both Progressive Conservative Joe Clark’s (the first PM whose election I recall) and Liberal Paul Martin’s (the first PM whose candidate I ran against) glowing recommendations on the back.
Last week I introduced some of May’s fascinating background in politics, environment, and government, from the unlikely start of a semi-employed waitress. But most of her new book documents the current ills of our democratic system and suggests remedies. Learn more from Maclean’s Best Orator of 2014 when she visits Barrie’s Southshore Centre this Saturday at 7 PM (tickets at In the meantime, I share some of those insights here.
Perhaps our greatest weakness is short memories, letting us believe politics was always as dysfunctional as now. Yet Canadian politics used to be more inclusive and respectful, as recently as the late 1980s when May worked for a cabinet minister and interacted regularly in committee with MPs on both sides of the House.
Let the colour of this room be a subtle political hint.
Back then, queries in Question Period were answered by the actual minister for the file, and the answer had something to do with the question, instead of being a scripted attack on the opposition with no regard to what was asked, delivered by an MP with little connection to the relevant ministry.
Under majority governments like Brian Mulroney’s, opposition leaders were consulted on major legislation, to see if consensus could be reached; opposition MPs attended international conferences. Nowadays, the government introduces legislation its own MPs or even ministers haven’t seen, and bars opposition MPs from important multinational negotiations.
In the good old days, the PM served at the pleasure of the MPs, persuading backbenchers to vote for legislation on its merits. Nowadays, MPs are told how to vote on each motion, saving them the trouble of having to read or think about the actual text.
How did this change? One major switch, which seemed a good idea at the time, was shifting approval of candidates from local riding associations to the party leader. With the leader able to authorize or withhold each MP’s candidacy, they risk losing their job if they don’t follow in lockstep. So toe the line they do, on all sides of the House. A private member’s bill by Conservative MP Michael Chong, which has Liberal and Green support, would reverse this mistake.
Another change is committee work, where MPs from all parties meet behind the scenes to revise pending legislation. In recent years, this process has been poisoned by seekers of partisan advantage, with committees now reduced to rubber-stamping legislation instead of improving it. To get around this problem, May has joined or even helped found a number of issue-based all-party caucuses whose unofficial status allows MPs to put partisanship aside and interact based on science, evidence, and public need, then bring those ideas back to their own parties. May sits on the executive of 5 such caucuses, addressing the issues of women, climate, oceans, population/development and HIV/AIDS.
A true Canadian value is putting aside differences to work together. May continues to prove it can be done, as the Right Honourables Paul Martin and Joe Clark affirm.

Published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner as "Political parties can sometimes work together"
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation.

Read More

Posted on 21 November 2014 | 9:15 pm

Five Feet of Fury

I’ll be back Monday morning…

Although you may find me on Facebook. Until then, here’s this week’s black and white “Indian head” test pattern: PS: Thanks to everyone who’s been shopping through my and links and banners. When you do that, you help support this blog!

Read More

Posted on 22 November 2014 | 7:34 am

A Blog By James Curran

Happy Birthday Madiba

Nelson, the world needs more of you. We miss you kind sir. Happy Birthday!

Read More

Posted on 18 July 2014 | 12:29 am


Why Does Stephen Harper, His Government And Every Single Member of The Conservative Party Of Canada INSIST ON STEALING Billions From Canada's Veterans??

Read More

Posted on 20 November 2014 | 10:07 am

Mark Steyn

A Se'nnight of Steyn, November 17-23

In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Mark

Read More

Posted on 23 November 2014 | 9:00 am

Huffington Post

Why Canada's Charity System Needs To Consider 'Disbenefits'

Previously, I wrote a post about how the leading charity law case, Income Tax Special Commissioners v. Pemsel, requires Scottish charities to conform with English common law. I compared this with Canada's exclusion of Quebec civil law, and its concept of 'bienfaisance,' in determining the meaning of charity in Canada.

Being in Scotland this week when the news is dominated by the transition in leadership of the Scottish Nationalist Party convinces me that the Scots are keen to obtain independence from Great Britain. They increasingly resent the extent to which English tax law dictates the funding realities of Scottish charities.

The issues are not simply national pride or politics. The Scottish legal definition of charity contains a concept superior to the English common law definition which Canada would do well to follow. Canada Revenue Agency, the Canadian courts and policy experts such as The Pemsel Case Foundation should unchain Canadian charity law from the 1891 Pemsel case which does not consider "disbenefit".

The charity test set out in Scotland's Charities Act in 2005 adds a negative concept to the "public benefit" test. The courts must consider and balance whether any "disbenefit incurred or likely to be incurred by the public" outweighs the public benefit to be provided by the charity.

The importance of considering disbenefit is obvious when one puts the public benefit of religion in counterbalance with the evils of ostracizing family members through shunning. Disbenefit provides a legal pathway to exclude charities which promote and romanticize extremist jihad from a charity law regime which recognizes and empowers Islam.

Our world is increasingly polarized and inclined to passionately proclaim only the black and white. When deciding what level of public benefit is required to be accorded charity status, it is important to introduce a dispassionate examination of the grey.

The practice of evaluating disbenefit would also provide an alternative to the political activities audits currently being carried out by Canada Revenue Agency. Rather than the Director-General of CRA's Charity Directorate considering the political leanings of charities selected for audits, she could instead initiate a review of disbenefit.

It is legitimate to weigh the alleged disbenefits of loss of jobs and tax revenues against the benefits of protecting our environment, even when the issue is as contentious as the oil sands. Canada would have a much better public policy discussion of the issues if we weighed benefits against disbenefits in an adult, even if not dispassionate, conversation. This makes more sense than CRA launching a witch hunt based upon assumptions made about a charity's political leanings.

Subsequent to the passage of Scotland's Charities Act, the concept of disbenefit has entered the jurisprudence of charity law in England. However, that is not common law in the tradition of Pemsel because the English courts are now considering a specific modern English statutory definition of charity, rather than the meaning in common law.

If the definition of charity can be improved by examining Scotland's law, certainly there is merit in looking to the civil law of Quebec for concepts that could enhance the meaning of charity in Canada. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that Canada is a bijural country, the Supreme Court of Canada has excluded that possibility by holding: "specific statutory definitions of charity in provincial legislation and decisions dealing with that definition do not dictate the meaning of charity under the Income Tax Act."

The Supreme Court of Canada has moved away from the common law tradition of enabling courts to evolve new charitable purposes by analogy to previously recognized purposes. Instead, any change that is more than incremental has to be legislated by Parliament.

Consequently, it is no longer adequate for Canada to limit the development of the meaning of charity to the common law evolving in the Pemsel tradition. Parliament must liberate the charitable sector from these limitations and also enhance our law by adopting the concept of disbenefit from Scotland. It should also enrich Canada's concept of charity by respecting Quebec's civil law concept of bienfaisance.


Read More

Posted on 23 November 2014 | 11:22 pm

Fight the Power

The System

ISIL executes 2 youth in Kirkuk market

As originally posted on: Al-Shorfa
November 21, 2014

Gunmen from the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) on Friday (November 21st) publicly executed two young men for allegedly co-operating with Iraqi security forces, AFP reported.

The killings were carried out in the middle of the crowded main market in the Zab area of Kirkuk province.

ISIL, which also controls areas of neighbouring Syria, has committed widespread atrocities in both countries, including hundreds of executions.

Read More

Posted on 23 November 2014 | 12:12 pm

Andrew Coyne

Andrew Coyne: Are great leaders a thing of the past? Maybe it’s just that our world got larger

My own pet explanation for the seeming smallness of today’s leaders is inverse-Norma Desmond: the problem is the pictures got big

Read More

Posted on 21 November 2014 | 11:06 pm

Blazing Cat Fur

Gov. Cuomo gets fact-checked by meteorologists after criticism of the NWS’s Buffalo snow forecast

It seems that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found the real culprit behind the devastating snowstorms that hit the Buffalo area last week — the National Weather Service. WGRZ Ch. 2 reports: During a press conference Saturday afternoon Governor Cuomo had some criticism for the National Weather Service and its forecast of the storm. Cuomo […]

Read More

Posted on 23 November 2014 | 10:00 pm

Driving The Porcelain Bus

No One To Blame For Rob Ford But The Media And Ignorance

This article in the Toronto Star points to the voters as those solely to blame for Rob Ford being elected.

I disagree. The voters are partially to blame, but there were other major factors.

1) The Media
The Media is very much to blame for the election of Rob Ford. During the election campaign they, pretty much as a whole, focused much more on the celebrity of Rob Ford than on the policies of the candidates. This influenced the many voters who are more easily swayed by name recognition and celebrity than policies.

Also, the Media is largely to blame for discouraging people from voting, by convincing many that it is pointless to vote as it will change nothing. Remember, the vast majority of media is or is owned by large corporations. So, it is in their best interests for the most part to support Conservative ideology. It is known that the most avid voters are conservative supporters. So, by convincing those who disagree with and are disappointed by government policies and trends that it is a waste of time to vote, they are removing votes against the parties/people that support the conservative/corporate agenda/ideologies.

2) Ignorance
A large part of Conservative ideology is the celebration of ignorance over knowledge and reason. Just look at the popularity of the Tea Party in the USA, especially a couple of years ago, during the time of the last Toronto municipal election. Those people in Toronto who embraced this celebration of ignorance over knowledge and reason at the time of the election were/are at the core of Ford Nation. The popularity and sensationalizing of this ideology convinced many more to jump on the bandwagon of celebrating ignorance.

And now, with all that, there is the issue of trying to reason with those who have chosen to abandon reason.

It is easier to fool someone that to convince them that they have been fooled.

We have our work cut out for us. And it is made especially hard for individuals to fight against the Media for the attention of people, especially for those people who currently won't be reasoned with.

Read More

Posted on 24 November 2013 | 2:58 pm

BigCityLib Strikes Back

Ezra's Grovelling Apology

...can be found here.  The "I was wrong" bit comes at the end (about the 14 minute mark).  Ezra has also pulled the explicit Muslim-bashing from his "Canada: Love It Or Leave It" site (from the cache too, if you are trying to find it there). Finally, SNN has also pulled down the original segment and replaced it  with Ezra's Mea Culpa.  The original T.O. Sun column, however, remains.

Some background on this story can be found here, and  here.

Update:  This person was good enough to screen cap the original/updated Love It Or Leave It page:

Read More

Posted on 13 November 2014 | 7:54 am

Just Right

Preston Manning - a traitor to his former conservative self

It would be interesting to know what has caused Preston's about face on conservative principles he so clearly championed as Reform leader. Advocating the use of weasel words to dupe the public into accepting a carbon tax does not sound like the Preston Manning I once voted for. Though we have to acknowledge that he has been spouting the sustainability mantra for several years.

Something happened to bring about his apparently new-found enthusiasms for more taxes, bigger government and Orwellian propaganda. It can't be evidence for the threat of man-made global warming - that has become nothing but weaker over the past two decades. Though since it figures in his push for a disguised carbon tax he's using it exactly as eco and far-left radicals do - as a tool to sell the public on an agenda they wouldn't otherwise support.

So what is it that motivates Preston's uncharacteristic, anti-conservative new stance? Why has he turned traitor to his former principles? "Green" seems to figure strongly. Maybe we should follow the money. Where does the Manning Centre get its green? Maybe it's from Big Green - eg. gigabuck foreign foundations like Tides, Rockefeller, Hewlett, etc.
[Update: Ezra notes that Manning is a member of the Pembina Institute Advisory Council. You can't get much more progressive and radically environmental than Pembina which has links to Tides and the Suzuki Foundation. See also.]

Whatever it is, it's sad.

Sign Ezra's petition.

Read More

Posted on 22 November 2014 | 4:19 pm

Government Procurement Failure: BC Ministry of Education Case Study

Apologies for the lack of posts. I’ve been in business mode – both helping a number of organizations I’m proud of and working on my own business. For those interested in a frightening tale of inept procurement, poor judgement and downright dirty tactics when it comes to software procurement and government, there is a wonderfully […]

Read More

Posted on 6 June 2014 | 1:46 am

Bold Colours

(UPDATED): CNN anchor Carol Costello in shameful display of callous bias, Palin-hate

You know how you can tell when the liberal media is so liberal they don’t even know how liberal they are? When liberal news anchors at a major national news network report with utter contempt for a politician, in a manner in which they believe everyone in the room agrees with them. Enter CNN’s Carol […]

Read More

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 6:25 pm

Accidental Deliberations

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

 - Lynn Stuart Parramore writes about our increasingly traumatic social and political culture, along with the response which can help to overcome it:
A 2012 study of hospital patients in Atlanta’s inner-city communities showed that rates of post-traumatic stress are now on par with those of veterans returning from war zones. At least 1 out of 3 surveyed said they had experienced stress responses like flashbacks, persistent fear, a sense of alienation, and aggressive behavior. All across the country, in Detroit, New Orleans, and in what historian Louis Ferleger describes as economic “dead zones” — places where people have simply given up and sunk into “involuntary idleness” — the pain is written on slumped bodies and faces that have become masks of despair.

We are starting to break down.

When our alarm systems are set off too often, they start to malfunction, and we can end up in a state of hyper-vigilance, unable to properly assess the threats. It’s easy for the powerful to manipulate this tense condition and present an array of bogeymen to distract our attention, from immigrants to the unemployed, so that we focus our energy on the wrong enemy.
Unfortunately, the cycle doesn’t end with you: trauma comes with a very high rate of interest. The children of traumatized people carry the legacy of pain forward in their brains and bodies, becoming more vulnerable to disease, mental breakdown, addiction, and violence. Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, an expert on trauma, emphasizes that it’s not just personal. Trauma occupies a space much bigger than our individual neurons: it’s political. If your parents lost their jobs, their home or their sense of security in the wake of the financial crisis, you will carry those wounds with you, even if conditions improve. Budget cuts to education and the social safety net produce trauma. Falling income produces trauma. Job insecurity produces trauma.
When I do something as simple as nurture a friend in need, or let myself be drawn in by an artistic creation, or meet the eyes of a stranger with kindness, or plant a living tree, I’m intervening in the trauma and rewriting its trajectory — perhaps only a paragraph, but many paragraphs can make a page, and many pages, a volume.

The etymology of the word “trauma” is associated with the Greek word “wound.” To be human is to be wounded, and the ability to cope with our wounds is the essence of life’s journey. Without wounds, we can’t know our own strength and competence, and we can’t develop empathy for our fellow creatures. Moving from the static place of trauma to something fluid and transformative is the key. The trauma doesn’t go away, but it’s possible to bring it along in a way that helps us witness each other, hear each other, and help each other.
- And Monica Pohlmann interviews Armine Yalnizyan about the need to move past self-defeating policies:
Pohlmann: What keeps you up at night?

Yalnizyan: The way we are transforming our views about immigration in Canada. In the coming decades, nation states will be competing to attract people, not just capital. Population aging is occurring in all advanced industrialized nations. Without newcomers, the Canadian labour force would start to shrink in the next year or two. An unsettling trend has emerged in Canada. Public policy now favours a rise in temporary foreign workers over permanent economic immigrants. When companies say they face a skills shortage, all too often the solution is bringing in a foreign worker temporarily for what is often not a temporary shortage. These workers are tied to their employer, and can get deported if they complain about anything.

In such a workplace environment, it’s hard for any worker to ask for anything better. People are constantly looking over their shoulder, wondering, “Will they find a cheaper me?” It’s a recipe for growing friction between “us” and “them.”

The problem arises from a common view that low wages and low taxes are “good for business.” What may be good for an individual business is a dead-end path for society and the economy as a whole. Wages and taxes are never low enough for businesses. Their job is to maximize profits. But the continuous drive to lower wages and taxes erodes the economic heft of a country. The message to workers is “expect less,” even when companies grow and profits rise. The idea that labour is simply a cost, rather than the essential building block of performance, is destructive nonsense.

Middle-class jobs are being cut, replaced by more low-paid and some higher-paid work. Wages aren’t keeping up with costs for most people, and savings rates are falling. A rising proportion of Canadian households don’t have enough funds to last a month should they lose their pay cheques. We pay tribute to a large and resilient middle class as the mark of a flourishing economy around the world, but our own middle class is being squeezed in every way, ironically in the name of economic growth.
- In a similar vein, Robert Reich reminds us where jobs and economic development come from - and that funneling ever more wealth to the privileged few does nothing to help:

- Alison examines the "rejectionist" model of politics which has done plenty to eliminate the belief that it's possible to accomplish anything positive through our elected governments. And Jim Day discusses Stephen Lewis' sharp - but entirely justified - criticism of Canada's social breakdown.

- Finally, Carol Linnitt examines the Burnaby Mountain pipeline protest as an all-too-clear example of petro-politics taking precedence over all else.

Read More

Posted on 23 November 2014 | 11:09 am

What Do I Know Grit

Happy Birthday Madiba

Nelson, the world needs more of you. We miss you kind sir. Happy Birthday!

Read More

Posted on 18 July 2014 | 12:29 am

Small Dead Animals

Oh, Shiny Pony!

�@punditsguide Oh dear, the #LPC nom mtg in Laval-les-Îles descended into yelling and threats by the looks of it. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//";...

Read More

Posted on 24 November 2014 | 12:08 am

Le blog politique de Claude Dupras

Les batailles de ponts au Québec

Décidément, le Québec a des problèmes de ponts. À Montréal, la bataille rangée est à propos du pont Champlain et à Québec c’est le vieux Pont de Québec qui envenime le débat. Les deux sont des structures importantes puisqu’elles traversent le fleuve Saint-Laurent.

Le pont Champlain est fédéral et il doit être démoli et remplacé par un nouveau. Pour ce faire le gouvernement conservateur du Canada, toujours près de ses sous, propose qu’il soit construit avec la méthode PPP, par laquelle une entreprise privée fera le design définitif du projet, le construira, l’entretiendra pendant des dizaines d’années, paiera tous les coûts, les frais et les dépenses et imposera un péage pour se dédommager, avec profit. De son côté, le gouvernement ne paiera que les dépenses de concept et de mise en place du projet pour la tenue de soumissions publiques. Les payeurs de taxes canadiens seront épargnés mais les utilisateurs du pont paieront. C’est ce qui fait débat.
Pressé par la mauvaise condition du pont actuel, le gouvernement fédéral a mis de côté la formule d’un concours international pour le choix des designers du nouveau pont et il a choisi l’architecte danois, Poule Ove Jenssen, de réputation mondiale, pour en faire le concept. Ce dernier a présenté sa maquette en fin juin 2014 et les Montréalais ont découvert un pont élégant et élancé. Pour traverser la voie maritime du Saint Laurent, une structure à haubans consistant en un haut pylône double d’où de nombreux câbles obliques rehausseront les tabliers pour assurer le passage des bateaux. Le reste du pont ressemblera à l’existant avec ses tabliers quasi-parallèles au niveau de l’eau et assis sur 70 piliers dont les fondations seront creusées dans le sol du fleuve. Parmi les commentaires qui m’ont été faits par des amis et autres sur ce projet, plusieurs se sont montrés quelque peu désappointés car ils ne trouvent rien de spectaculaire dans le design accepté.
Malgré que ce projet soit connu depuis plus de quatre mois, le débat principal des Québécois a porté sur son nom et non sur son design. Mais cela peut changer car l’architecte français Roger Taillibert qui a dessiné le Stade Olympique, le vélodrome, les piscines olympiques des JO de 1976 à Montréal, vient de proposer un concept différent. Il suggère un pont à haubans multiples sur toute la longueur du pont à partir de huit pylônes gigantesques inclinés, un peu comme des mats de grands voiliers (peut être voit-il ceux de Champlain). Son concept ressemble quelque peu au viaduc de Millau mais en beaucoup moins spectaculaire puisque ce dernier traverse la profonde vallée du Tarn et est construit en courbe avec son pylône central de la hauteur de la tour Eiffel.
Le pont Taillibert serait entièrement métallique et les huit pylônes ancrés dans le sol du fleuve. Taillibert prétend que son pont coûtera moins cher (1,7 milliards $ au lieu de 4) et sa réalisation sera faite en 40 mois, beaucoup plus vite. La maquette qu’il a présentée est remarquable et plusieurs Montréalais jugent cette proposition plus spectaculaire que celle de Jenssen et plus réaliste pour un climat comme le nôtre puisqu’il est tout d’acier comme le pont Jacques Cartier et le pont Victoria, qui sont toujours là et solides.
Il me semble que le gouvernement conservateur devrait examiner le projet Taillibert et, s’il le trouve conforme, le soumettre en soumissions avec celui de Jenssen. Que les réalisateurs-constructeurs des groupes PPP, nous présentent la meilleure option avec son prix et son temps d’exécution, car tous ces critères sont importants dans ce projet. Moins cher coûtera le pont, plus bas sera le péage. C’est donc crucial que les politiciens y portent toute leur attention.  
Du côté du pont de Québec, la situation est tout autre. L’histoire de sa réalisation marqua les annales canadiennes. Il a une structure remarquable. Il fut construit, avec une aide initiale du gouvernement fédéral, par une compagnie privée. De construction métallique rivetée, il est composé de deux porte-à-faux gigantesques de 178 mètres chacun qui retiennent une travée centrale importante. Le pont s’écroula deux fois durant sa construction, tuant 90 de ses travailleurs et en blessant un très grand nombre. Finalement, les travaux furent complétés au coût total de 25 millions $ et le premier train le traversa en 1917. On le considérait alors une des merveilles du monde. De là,  les Québécois aiment à dire, en parlant d’une construction nouvelle, qu’elle est « plus solide que le pont de Québec ».
Plus tard, on démantela une des deux voies ferrées pour élargir la voie carrossable. Finalement, trois voies furent réalisées. C’est un pont important à Québec qui, jumelé avec le pont Pierre-Laporte, construit en 1970, permet une circulation libre et rapide pour entrer et sortir de la région de la ville de Québec. De son ouverture jusqu’à avril 1942, un péage était imposé à chaque véhicule le traversant. Avec ces revenus, ses propriétaires sont « entrés dans leur argent ».
En 1993, le gouvernement du Canada, devenu propriétaire du pont, l’a cédé avec divers terrains d’emprise de chemin de fer situés dans tout le pays à la compagnie d’état des chemins de fers, le Canadien National (CN), pour la somme nominale de 1 $. En retour, la compagnie s’est engagée à faire une restauration complète du pont. Mais en 1995, le gouvernement fédéral a privatisé le CN et a renégocié une nouvelle entente tripartite, valable pour dix ans. Mais, au terme de cette entente, en 2005, seulement 40% du pont avait été nettoyé de sa rouille et repeint à neuf. Le CN a alors refusé d’investir toute somme supplémentaire dans la rénovation du pont et les travaux furent interrompus. Face à cette situation de blocage et malgré d’intenses négociations, le gouvernement du Canada a résolu d’intenter une poursuite légale contre le CN en 2007, pour l’obliger à terminer la remise en état du pont de Québec. L’affaire est encore devant les tribunaux.
Le Pont de Québec a été désigné « lieu historique national du Canada ». Les sociétés d’ingénieurs canadiens et américains le nommèrent « monument historique international ». Il est donc partie de notre héritage et un bien à conserver. C’est une structure imposante, fort impressionnante qui, même avec sa couleur brune rouillée, a belle apparence.
Aujourd’hui, sa structure n’offre aucun danger et le maire de Québec parle du besoin de le repeindre pour des raisons esthétiques. Le problème est que le CN refuse de dépenser 200 millions $ (son estimation) pour faire ce travail de peinture à moins que la facture soit payée par les gouvernements. Sinon, il propose de remettre le pont à celui des gouvernements qui voudra bien l’accepter.  
Jamais cette compagnie privée n’entreprendra ce travail sans la résolution de sa mésentente avec le fédéral. C’est pourtant facile à comprendre. Au lieu d’insulter les dirigeants du CN pour se faire des manchettes dans les journaux, le maire LaBeaume devrait cogner à la bonne porte.  
Il y a une autre solution : le péage. Que l’un des gouvernements accepte de devenir propriétaire du pont et qu’il impose un péage pour défrayer ses frais d’opération et d’entretien annuel. À ce moment-là, les Montréalais et les citadins de Québec débâteront du même sujet : pour ou contre le péage sur leur pont.

Claude Dupras 

Note particulière : Les bagues d’acier remise aux nouveaux ingénieurs canadiens lors de l’assermentation des « Sept Gardiens », doivent être portées sur l’auriculaire de la main de travail des ingénieurs professionnels et sont destinées à rappeler aux ingénieurs leurs responsabilités sociales de respecter l’éthique de leur profession. L’anneau est au départ en fer rugueux et c’est avec le temps qu’il se fait polir par le travail, recevant l’expérience qui vient avec l’âge. On a toujours dit aux jeunes ingénieurs que ces bagues avaient été forgées des morceaux d’acier effondrés du pont de Québec. C’est faux. Diplômé en 1955 de Polytechnique, j’avais alors cru en l’origine prétendue. J’ai toujours cette bague à mon auriculaire depuis ce jour et je ne l’ai jamais enlevée.

Read More

Posted on 21 November 2014 | 8:47 am

Mind of Dan

Gavin Schmidt: The emergent patterns of climate change

Read More

Posted on 4 May 2014 | 8:18 pm

Warren Kinsella

Eight reasons children of the Seventies should all be dead

This is brilliant. It made me laugh so hard, I fell off my Earth Shoes, knocked over a stack of eight track tapes, and wrecked my Farrah Fawcett poster collection. Brilliant.

Read More

Posted on 21 November 2014 | 9:19 am