Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Au revoir mes amis! Helllloooo!

Je vous quitte.

Il s'agit du dénouement d'une histoire déjà bien longue. La fin d'un projet né lorsque nos trois enfants approchaient la fin de leurs études.

(patience... please read on)

Je dis à qui veut bien l'entendre que le meilleur endroit sur la terre, en ce moment, c'est le Canada. Au Canada, le meilleur endroit en termes de qualité de vie, tous comptes faits, c'est Montréal. Pourtant, pour un anglophone, le Québec, et Montréal, posent des défis importants. À bien des égards nous, les Québécois de langue maternelle anglaise, sommes des citoyens de deuxième classe peu importe les efforts mis pour nous immiscer dans la culture francophone. Nous sommes minoritaires, et d'une certaine façon c'est souvent le sort de la minorité. Pour être honnête, entre le choix d'une société où la majorité des citoyens est défavorisée, et où la minorité est défavorisée, mieux vaut, sur le plan purement mathématique, que ce soit la minorité.

Cela étant dit, nous préférons vivre dans un endroit où cette question de préférer une tranche de la société au dépend d'une autre, ne se pose pas.

Nous avons donc encouragé nos trois enfants à quitter le Québec avant de débuter leurs carrières.

Le résultat pour nous, c'est que nous sommes maintenant seuls ici sur le plan de notre famille immédiate. Il devenait donc indispensable de suivre nos enfants avant que nos petits enfants ne viennent au monde.

C'est donc avec un certain regret, mais avec beaucoup d'espoir pour l'avenir, que nous quittons aujourd'hui la Belle Province. C'est un 'au revoir' plutôt qu'un adieu, car une de mes soeurs et la plupart de nos amis demeurent ici.

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Shot from the saddle on the 401
Hello Ontari-ari-ari-oh!

I have no clue how many of you visited Expo67. The province of Ontario had a pavilion touting the joys of Ontario with a nice short film with a really catchy tune that went, in part "... Ontari-ari-ari-oh..."

Susan and I are really excited now. All our stuff is in a truck somewhere, and we are on the highway at last. I'll come back and post a photo of the border crossing (Ed.:done!). Such a powerful moment.

The boring ole' 401 has never held such momentous significance.

There is a huge lot we will miss, but there is so very, very, very much in store.

So stay tuned and watch this space, because you are all going to share the adventure.

Buckle up!

19 comments:

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    1. Thanks Karen. I thought of you as I rode past Kingston. My base layer was the long sleeve T-shirt Bob made with that picture he took of the four of us at the camp site in Bellefonte PA he titled 'Bloggers in the Sticks' (You, Steve Williams, Bob, and I).

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  2. Cool! You're on the road. How long before you can move into your new place?

    BTW, did not go to the '67 Expo.

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    1. We get the keys today. We are refinishing the hardwood floors and are hoping to move in on April 8.

      The ride was uneventful except for a clueless driver oblivious to my turn signal who insisted on passing me on the right like it was the normal thing to do.

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  3. I thought your comments in French were much more interesting. The issue of minority status has never been more pressing in the US in the lives of people who live here now. As obnoxious as it may be, to be a minority in Canada is never going to be as threatening as being one in the US. I wish Americans were as self confident as Canadians. If we elect Sanders we may catch up to Trudeau.

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    1. Michael I confess that US politics is beyond me. I just can't fathom the whole gun loving, evangelical, anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti equal access to health care republican stance. It just seems almost completely un-christian to me, yet it's all largely in the name of Jesus. One if the huge differences between Canadian and US politics and culture is that no one here, and I mean no one, and certainly no politician, has ever uttered the phrase 'God bless Canada'. I understand the belief that a Christian God might bless certain, perhaps most humans, maybe even animals, but countries? Lines on a map? It just seems so dumb, yet all those otherwise smart people feel compelled to declare 'God bless America'. I think that it must really piss off the good Lord. If I were God at the very least I'd be shaking my head in dismay.

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    2. David: I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment, but to pick a nit, Harper did try the "God bless Canada" phrase a few times, but not consistently. Perhaps his polling suggested it wasn't going over as well as it does in the US.

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    3. https://vespacanada.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/1967.jpg

      You may find more people in Ontario that share your past than you think...

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    4. David, I think I did read that he uttered that phrase. I have no doubt that it contributed to cementing his fate. It's just so un-Canadian.

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    5. Peter, where oh where did you get that Expo 67 aerial photo?

      I know that we are not the only expats here. We will ferret them out :)

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  4. Very interesting statement on Quebec, David. I guess the favouritism you describe somehow goes with the French heritage...? Still, I am in love with Montreal. Best of luck in Ontariarioh!

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    1. Sonja the history of English and French in Quebec and the resulting relationship between the dominant cultures has deep, deep roots, and is closely tied to the relationship between France and England in the 18th, 17th, and 16th centuries. The reality is that nothing really too terrible happened, though there was a rebellion with substantial loss of life in 1837, and prior to that there were battles in the 1760's that resulted in the British taking over as the colonial power here. British society dominated the key roles in business and finance here well into the 20th century with French-speaking Quebec residents being relegated to a somewhat less important role. The tables began turning on that situation beginning in the 1960's, and by the late 1970's the game had essentially reversed. Much of the English economic elite left for Toronto resulting in Toronto's boom, and Montreal's decline, which only reverted to growth in the early part of this century. That in a nutshell, with much generalization, is the history of Montreal and its people. Notice that there is no mention of the native peoples whose fates were (and still are) deplorable, having suffered in more or less equal measures under French, British, and Canadian dominion.

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  5. I was 14 when the school bused us to Expo67. A year or 2 before that the farm next to us was purchased by Montrealers J G Castel (law professor) and his American wife.

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    1. Ed, Jean-Gabriel Castel is a big deal in Canadian legal circles. He taught law at McGill, and York, and literally wrote the book on private international law.

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    2. I know. I went to school with his son Christopher.

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  6. Happy to say I did attend Expo '67, saw the Ontario Pavilion, and heard the song. Bill Davis did a fine speech in the film and I still remember the song. I believe this was one of the first multi-media presentations, although Ontario was not the only pavilion to be experimenting with the art form.

    I had seen an informational film at my engineering school and desperately wanted to see the real thing. A lot of design work went into the Expo. I managed to get a work term at CBC Engineering HQ, had an Expo passport, and spent quite a few visits very pleasurably there and around Montreal.

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    1. Ed it wouldn't surprise me one bit if we rubbed shoulders back then.

      When I was packing up papers the other day I came across my Dad's Expo passport with the stamps of all the pavillions we visited. I still have mine squirelled away among the family papers too. Expo 67 was an amazing thing, bristelling with bright hope for the future.

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  7. Woohoo, moving day has arrived and you are on to a new adventure.

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    1. I actually commuted to a meeting downtown today. I have to say that streetcar tracks freak me out just a bit. But I kept the rubber down :)

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The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.