Fear and Loathing South of the 40: 2014 in Review

stanstead border crossing. photo nancy berman. Stanstead border crossing. Looking into the USA. Photo Nancy Berman.

Here we are again folks, about to close the door on 2014 and looking down the barrel of a brand new year. I wanted to do a little ‘best of’, or ‘top 10’ or something like that. Keep it cute and quaint, but you know what there was so much last year I don’t even know where to start. Stick with me, this is going to be a little ‘all over the place’, but we will get through it together.

Most Ignorant: Madame Caron

quebec values charter

quebec values charter

One of the most memorable stories I read last year had to be the Pineault-Caron secular charter testimony. It was just priceless. I cannot remember reading anything more ignorant in all the time I’ve been reading the news, and that’s saying something. Let me set the stage. This was at the height PQ Religious witch hunt. They are having hearings on what the Quebec population think of the proposed Secular Charter of Values. Here is the quote from Caron, “I remained really marked by this. I got back on the bus and said, ‘Could this be? Praying on all fours on a carpet?” Where was Madame Caron when she saw this debauchery? In a Mosque in Morocco! Yes the place where Muslim people go to pray! The sheer stupidity of this video (which went viral btw) had people’s jaws dropping open all over the world. Thanks for showing the whole world what an accepting, inviting place Quebec is Madame Caron, thank you very much.

Most Missed: Robin Williams

Robin Williams.

Robin Williams.

There was a long list of people who passed away last year, including: Tommy Ramone, Mickey Roone, Casey Kasem (who knows where this guy’s remains ended up), Shirley Temple, Philip Seymor Hoffman, Lauren Becall and Marion Barry (the original Rob Ford, get back to him later), Joan Rivers (Can We Talk) Maya Angelou, a true Canadian gentleman Jim Flaherty and a Montreal Canadian’s legend Jean Beliveau. But I think of all the people that passed away the one who touched me the most was Robin Williams. It was a very strange kind of Elvis thing, meaning I can still remember first hearing that he had died, I just couldn’t believe it. Why the death of certain people have such a profound effect on us, who knows. My thoughts go out to you if you lost someone you loved last year.

Most Keeping Shit Real: Rob Ford

rob ford meme
Let’s face it, Rob Ford rocked 2014 like it was nobody’s business. The booze guzzling, crack smoking, wise cracking, trash talking, former Mayor of Toronto was the best thing to happen to that city since… well since ever! The only thing that even remotely slowed Ford down was cancer and even that ain’t stopped him. Ford has vowed to run for mayor again in 2018 and this guy can’t wait. Thank you Mr. Ford for keeping shit real in 2014.

Most Terrifying Election: 41st General Quebec Election

Claude Blanchet and Pauline Marois

Claude Blanchet and Pauline Marois

Yes Yes, I have not forgotten that we had an election here in the Belle Province. April 7th, Quebec held its 41st general election, otherwise known as the demise of Madame Pauline Marois’s political career. Although it turned out to be a slam dunk for Philippe Couillard’s Liberals, it sure didn’t look that way going into the election. I remember watching the debate when Couillard said “Bilingualism isn’t a threat. Knowledge of English is indispensable.” and thinking to myself, he’s just lost the election. But then, my friends, came the old PKP Crazy Train! Oh yes good people, Pierre Karl Peladeau does not fuck around. He told the Quebecers exactly what he and the Parti Quebecois stood for and what the plan was. Love him or hate him, he walks the walk.

Most Uncivil: Cocothon Easter Egg Hunt

There was civil war in Syria, there was the crisis in the Ukraine, there was Ebola in Africa, while in Laval, Que. there was the Easter Egg Hunt of Horror! More than 10 000 people showed up for the annual Cocothon Easter Egg Hunt at Laval’s Nature Centre last year. About 7000 too many. The event was supposed to begin at noon but some parents who had been waiting since 9:30 a.m. in the morning disassembled a fence and the hunt was off. Children were pushed over, parents snatched Easter Eggs out of children’s baskets to give to their own children, while other parents demanded a refund for the $3 entrance fee. Way to show your children how things are done. Here is an idea, next year take the $3 entrence fee, put it in an egg and give it to your kid at home. Or just shove it up your ass. Sheesh, who does this shit?

Mo’ Money

Bus on strike. Photo Rachel Levine.

Bus on strike. Photo Rachel Levine.

The Quebec Government cut spending on everything from 7 dollar-a-day daycare (will now be on a sliding scale, there goes that extra lunch rich people), to city workers’ pensions (which resulted in an attack on city hall like the city had never seen before). It wasn’t all bad news; Mayor Coderre and the city of Montreal unveiled a new action plan to help the homeless, upping its annual expenditure on homelessness by $1 million, to $2.4 million annually. Most important of all, we will keep P.K. Subban, who is making $72 million (ya I said million) over the next 8 years.

Is there anyone else out there embarrassed by this, I mean as a human being?

Most Weird: Tie between Luka Magnotta and Squirrel for Lunch



Numero Uno crazy nut bag Luka Magnotta was found guilty of murdering Jun Lin, after a trial that took way too long. Verdun decided to end prohibition (only 81 years after the rest of the free world) and the Quebec Government allowed a select number of restaurants to serve ‘wild game’ which includes (you guessed it) squirrel.

Most Obvious: Charbonneau Commission

backhoe in st catherine w. Photo Rachel Levine

backhoe in st catherine w. Photo Rachel Levine

As I said at the beginning, there was sooooo much more (such as Lac-Mégantic, or the deaths of soldiers Patrice Vincent and Nathan Cirillo — the nation’s hearts are with the families affected). I could write for two days and still not get to all of it. But one last note: miracle of miracles, the Charbonneau Commission wrapped up. Yes my fellow Quebecers, after two and a half years, 189 witnesses and millions upon millions of dollars, the Charbonneau Commission let us all know that there is corruption in Quebec’s construction business. No Shit?

Ken wishes you all a happy new year. Wish him the same at [email protected]

About Ken Gaucher

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