Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I See Montreal... Really?

My city has just spearheaded a citizen's campaign called I See Montreal/Je Vois Montreal to get people's opinions of how great the city once was and to find ways to make it so once again.  All they really need to do is ask people who grew up through the 1960s and the 1970s and they'll understand.

Some of these suggestions will require intervention at the provincial level - which probably won't happen any time soon.

1. Lessen the language restrictions.  Since 1977 and the draconian Bill 101 that limits the expression of English, people and businesses of all stripes have been leaving in droves.  More recently, companies have stopped selling their products in Quebec rather than go to the expense of making French versions of their packaging and/or web sites.

2. Make Montreal officially bilingual.  This city is supposed to be the economic engine of the province of Quebec, but it can't be that if everyone is forced to conduct business in French.  Not to mention we're also a tourist city, and people won't visit if they can't get served in the language in which they feel most comfortable.  Police, transport workers, hospital staff, and others who are foremost in dealing with the public should be able to speak both languages.

3. Revamp the taxation process and redistribution of funds.  Quebec is the highest-taxed jurisdiction in Canada and yet that revenue seems to go nowhere.  The provincial capital region gets most of the perks and successive governments have wasted time and money on frivolities while Montreal's infrastructure is crumbling.

4. Restructure the medical system.  Too large a percentage of the population doesn't have a family doctor and wait times for specialists are excessive.  Enrollments for medical schools are limited, and many graduates are forced to spend a year out of their home region.  The CLSC system was designed to take the load off hospital ERs but their services are not available 24/7, and they should be.

Just my two cents.

1 comment:

  1. I was reading about it today in LaPresse+. So many great ideas. I really hope they go ahead and make Mtl better.