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Needed: Soothers for Quebec

Some things are sure bets: death, taxes, the cost of filling your car going up right before a long weekend.

And French Canadians pouting.

The latest tear-towel issue to emanate from Quebec involves last week's Heritage Classic N.H.L. game played in Calgary.  For those who missed it, the event was spectacular.  The weather, while cold, was workable.  The crowd was buzzing (and buzzed).  Of course, it helps that the good guys prevailed on the ice.

But not all was acceptable to our Eastern friends.  Not only did they suffer a Montreal Canadiens loss to the Flames, they also were forced to endure the unholiest of sins: The O Canada anthem in - gasp! - English.

As is typical, this outrage was of such magnitude that the Canadiens filed an official complaint with the league.

I'm sure the N.H.L., currently dealing with such insignificant issues as the trade deadline, a rash of injured players due to 'head-shots', and franchises bleeding money, were more than happy to finally deal with a 'real' issue.

Donald Beauchamp, vice-president of communications for the Canadiens, wanted a few French words mixed in.  You know, to be fair - to represent the bilingual status of our country.  Like Quebec does with it's public signage.

Whoops! - my mistake.  It's illegal to have English signs for public services in that province.  Never mind.

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Let's be real, here.  The game was in Calgary.  That's in Alberta, a province where French is the fourth - fourth!- most-spoken language.  Why should any consideration be given to a language that so few people speak?

To preempt the pouting?

I hate to get all geographical here, but this isn't Quebec.  This is Alberta, and we don't like to be told what to do on the best of days.  We especially do not tolerate having a foreign language shoved down our throats.

If Francophones such as Mr. Beauchamp have a problem with that, they are more than welcome to shut the hell up and stay home.

Pardon my french.


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