Thursday, April 10, 2014

Montreal's Distinct Status

Quebec Premier-Elect Philippe Couillard is an avowed federalist and, as he mentioned in one of the campaign debates, one who appreciates the benefits of knowing several languages. He seems to understand that the current language restrictions in the Province hamper business and are often flouted in Montreal.

As the economic engine of the Province, it has often been suggested that the city of Montreal have special status to allow for more business and investment. Not quiet the city-state some would have, but an easing of the restrictions. Let's call it distinct, yes that's it, we're a distinct society. Hmmm ... that sounds familiar.

I figure if we're mapping out a special status for Montreal let's go big. Aside from unshackling businesses from the draconian language laws, we should also declare Montreal a pothole-free zone. This would entail the provincial government pumping real money into the permanent reparation of thousands of car-damaging potholes - not just a little asphalt tucked into them that crumbles out before you can say there goes my alignment.   Of course if a snow-free zone can be wangled we won't have to worry about potholes, but I kind of doubt that's going to fly.

I suspect the logic behind having the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto was that's the only way the local fans will ever get to see the Stanley Cup! 
The Distinct Society of Montreal (that's got a nice ring to it) will be declared an affordable education zone. With four universities - two English and two French - and several community colleges the city is already chockers with students. These institutions of higher learning attract students from around the the world to develop their minds and ... well ... have a whole bunch of fun. The students contribute greatly to the vibrancy that envelopes Montreal during those months when tourism is slow. The provincial government will subsidize tuition to 80% for qualified students (students must still meet academic standards so the universities do not become mere degree mills).

The Hockey Hall of Fame should be relocated to Montreal. With 24 Stanley Cups (fingers crossed for this year) to their credit the Montreal Canadiens and their fans deserve the hall. I suspect the logic behind having the hall in Toronto was that's the only way the local fans will ever get to see the Stanley Cup!  

I'm sure the powers that be will consider all these suggestions when determining what, if any, special status should be applied to the city of Montreal.

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