Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Good riddance

Pauline Marois is leaving politics. Although she undoubtedly has her admirers among PQ hardliners, I have nothing but contempt for the woman. I am happy to see her go.

Among her accomplishments highlighted yesterday were the creation of the province's low-cost daycare system, the constitutional amendment replacing religious school boards with linguistic ones and the drafting of youth-protection legislation.

I will always remember Marois as the person who kicked the English out of our local elementary school when she handed control of the school over to the new French school board. Until then, the school was one of the pioneers of French immersion education in Canada, operating as a completely bilingual school with a student population that was 60% English and 40% French.

Imagine that! A bilingual school! In Quebec! I’m not making this up. Of course, Marois wasted no time putting that to a quick end once she had a constitutional amendment in hand permitting segregated schools.

As to Marois’ other "accomplishments," she, more accurately, created a high-cost, low-price daycare system. Having lived through the system, I have never understood why advocates for institutional daycare in other parts of the country have lionized the Quebec model. For example, we were forced to enrol our daughter full time to secure a place even though we only needed care for three days a week. Is it any wonder that costs have spiralled out of control?

And finally, her youth protection legislation apparently did not obviate the need for forceful advocates to speak out against continuing injustice. One casualty along the way was youth court Judge Andrée Ruffo, who was removed from the court "for repeatedly speaking out on the inadequacies of the youth protection system."