Friday, February 5, 2010

Chantal Hebert's "Quebec Bashing"

I just finished watching this week's At Issue panel, and I don't know if I can take much more of this. After witnessing Chantal's tirade against Jim Prentice; openly accusing him of "Quebec bashing" and repeatedly calling it an attack against all Quebecers, it is insane! Jim Prentice was specifically addressing a specific policy that Charest passed into legislation that is bad economic policy. He is making consumers pay large fines if their vehicles do not meet lofty standards, benchmarks that the large majority of cars for sale in the market don't have.

Chantal did not once in her entire rant mention Prentice saying that the people of Quebec might be agitated at having to drive out of province to buy cars in order to avoid the penalty, or why it was bad policy. She didn't mention that Quebec's automotive dealers should be furious that such a substantial proportion of their inventory does not meet new regulations. In fact she never really discussed the legislation.  Instead Chantal said that Prentice's statement was a direct attack against the people of Quebec for "wanting to do too much for the environment." Andrew Coyne tried to play Devil's Advocate, but you could tell that he was holding back what he really wanted to say.

I fail to see how saying something negative about a policy that will punish consumers for lofty targets and threatens to devastate Quebec auto sales constitutes an attack against each and every individual Quebecer. If penalties are applied to the large majority of existing inventories, sellers will suffer, buyers will suffer, and the economy will suffer. And for what? To feel good about polar bears? By the way, there are plenty of polar bears. Chantal, do you think Quebecers are going to feel warm and fuzzy about paying large fines for buying a new vehicle? What happens if automotive sales collapse, but boom in Ontario? Are we going to see Charest impose tariffs on out of Province cars? Ontario will love that.

Now would be a good time for Maxime Bernier to say something about Jean Charest's new policies. Chantal, I don’t doubt that you took what Prentice said personally as a shot against you, but it was a shot taken at a bad economic policy that will punish sellers and buyers. Wake up and give your head a shake. Granted, I also remember Chantal during the 2008 campaign proclaiming that the conservatives had been completely decimated in Quebec. How many seats did they win? Yeah Chantal, as the Beastie Boys used to always say; “your crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear”


  1. Yep, I think Hebert has finally lost it. She is normally pretty astute but she is watching a two year old sticking pencils up his nose and tries to make sense of it by blaming the adults in the room. What she forgets is the two year old actually runs the household.

  2. Besides the misuse of the word decimated (it means (one out of ten taken out as the Romans took one out of ten soldiers) by Chantal, she forgets that there are a lot of small car owners and clunker owners in Quebec as compared to other provinces, so Charest doesn't deserve any big points for encouraging Quebeckers not to buy big cars.

  3. Hebert also said CBC was necessary for the unity of Canada (mainly Quebec). Usually, I think she's fairly objective but she's very defensive about Quebec, particularly left-wing Quebec.

  4. Ice:

    Your post is pretty well point on, you seem to capture the idea that what Hebert says isn't as important as what she doesn't say.
    As a general statement, these rants she goes on from time to time reflect the attitude of the those that subscribe to the "two solitudes" theory. Iggy has this misconception firmly intrenched in his mind by the way.
    From their POV, anything Quebec does the ROC should follow orders and mirror their legislative agenda, be it the environment, daycare, or language.
    It comes from decades of having a rep by pop system that made sure Quebec had just enough seats to sway the election results. Any threat to that formula, is seen as bashing by the intellegensia of Quebec.
    So again, it wasn't what Chantal said that was significant, it was her avoidance (and apparently Coynes discretion) that stopped the discussion short of pointing to the silverback in the corner.

  5. I normally don't mind the woman's point of view, but this is just stupid...

  6. This is exactly why the government has to step up to the plate and ask for a debate on global warming and it's got to be done before provincial premiers can do any further harm.

  7. Hey you "must be right!" Haha a thought so nice Mansbridge said so twice when talking about bloggers and then about FOX News. The funny part is that they were talking about Danny Billions snub to the sacred health care cow. We are right! Too Funny.
    I think Andrew did the right thing to set Chantal straight. The Oil Sands get a long finger wag from the Environment Minister and it would have been completely ignored by the lame stream if it had not been for the Charest snipe. Our guys are smarter than the best of them can fathom and I like it that way.

  8. She's using the tactic of bashing any and everything the Conservatives do or say.

    This is the new normal we can expect from the Toronto media.

    The total abandonment of journalistic principles and the descent into the becoming a Confederacy of Liars is something they learned from the same people they get all their ideas from, the US Media and Democratic party.

  9. Agree Anon, Chantel seemed to lose it last night.
    Red face and all!
    It's ok for Charest to attack the Government of Canada on the world stage at Copenhagen,
    and then do it again in Canada, with PMSH standing right beside him.
    And anyone is Quebec that attacks anything Albertan is given a round of applause.

    But boy, don't anyone EVER criticize anything's an attack on all Quebecers!!!!
    You're causing a unity problem!!
    You're giving the separatists ammo!

    Chantel got it back in the eye though, when she was ranting about this govt attacking Ontario tax policy,
    'invest anywhere but Ontario',
    Coyne pointed out that the McGuinty govt in the end said the feds were right.

    And the Harper govt is right here too.
    It is folly for one province to go it alone on an international file.
    Quebec just made themselves less competitive in their own country.