Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sans dix pourcent

Sometimes you have to wonder if some people ever think about turning on the other 95%...

Check out Guy Bertrand's (only previously known to me as Leon Mugesera's lawyer) latest thoughts in this article on the Gazette website.

Like a petulant child, he is now turning against anything and everything that could be blamed for his dream of an independent Quebec going a bit sour. One of the latest victims:

Saku Koivu!

Bertrand, a flamboyant Quebec City lawyer and hockey fan, was critical of the Finnish-born Koivu's failure "to respect the right of Quebecers to be served in French."

In an apparent need to prove himself a total ignoramus (and lead us all to question why he's quoted in the newspapers at all), he goes on to say:
He has been playing for 12 years (for the Canadiens). He is married to a francophone. It demonstrates contempt for our language. It is not respectful."

Of course we all know, as does Kevin Dougherty of the Gazette, that Koivu's wife is not francophone at all, she of course is Finnish.

My main issue is not that this ne'er-do-well is speaking out, that I don't care about. It's that political parties in our province take this sort of thing semi-seriously. The leader of the PQ did not dismiss the ideas outright, apparently quite open to forcing adult hockey players to learn French.

Do Bertrand and Marois realise that hockey players play hockey. That's the way they entertain people. Saku Koivu is not paid 5 million odd dollars a year to entertain through his interviews and his introductions. Neither is Chris Higgins or Andrei Markov. He is not robbing Guy Bertrand of his right to be served in his own language. He is serving Bertrand (should he choose to watch) in virtual silence for 60 minutes every other night.

I'll stop here. If I were to meet M. Bertrand, I would suggest he go down to the local bookshop, pick up a Finnish-French dictionary and translate his petty accusations into Finnish. He could then recite his pleas without seeming such a hypocrite and a bully.

Maybe Saku doesn't have the right to be addressed in his native Finnish, but he has certainly deserves the courtesy after all the positive things he has done for the city of Montreal.


  1. Jesus Christ. Sometimes i am fucking embaraased to live in this province

  2. Someone should tell Bertrand that there are only 4 French-Canadian players on the team, and all 4 of them suck.

    The decline of the French Nation perfectly illustrated by their own hockey team. And as i said in a previous comment, none of the leagues good Quebecers want anything to do with this province or the twats that run it.

  3. I should interject here. I do obviously still think that Guy Bertrand's comments were way over the top.

    However, I hope Quebec doesn't change all the way (as he so obviously fears) to another English province of Canada). Quebec is definitely unique, I think it's part the different cultures and part the energy that comes out of them coming up against each other. That being said, I think it's Montreal where that happens best (M. Bertrand's most feared city).

    I also think sometimes that Saku could have done himself a big favour by learning some remedial French (a la Savage - sorry Brian). But I don't think he ought to have because of anyone's rights being violated. Just to have made his own life easier really. On the other hand, I respect that he already learned one extra language (and speaks it perfectly), and think why do people complain when they can't really even speak 2 languages.

    By the way, Koivu is not far off from being the longest serving captain in team history. There was an article about it in the French press yesterday.

  4. This utter jackass has been running through the hockey news for a while now - he's the same asshole that spoke out for the "no" side in the 1995 referendum and has recently changed his tune. Ask me he just get it over with and move to Herouxville where racism and anti-anything not pur laine Quebecois are the norm.

    Check out his opinions re: a Quebec team at the world hockey championships - where Team Quebec would play against Team Canada in a preliminary, and is Quebec wins, then they would get to have their pick of Team Canada's players:


    Typical separatist logic - we want all Quebec all the time, and nothing to do with Canada - unless Canada has something better, in which case we want that too.

  5. That's the nail on the head Topham. Quebec is very unique, due mainly to the many different nationalities that coexist here. Thats why tourists like it, thats why we like it. Too much of one ethnicity, language, religion and we would lose what makes this place a pretty cool place to live in.
    As for Koivu, learning the standard interview responses in french might not be the hardest thing to do. However, when it comes down to it, I would rather he practice his skils, watch some game-tape, or mentor the younger players than bone up on a 3rd language.

  6. Actually Saku, as every Finn, has studied also Swedish since 3rd grade as we too have bilangual country :)

  7. Thanks Anon,

    I'm sure most readers (like myself) never realised that. So Saku, including the French he knows a little of has knowledge of 4 languages and is perfectly fluent in at least 2.

    Did I mention he's the best playoff/knock-out game centre in the league...