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:
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.