Dion thinks Monctonians are ignorant

You won’t read this in the Paul Wells’ Stephane Dion Love-In Blog.

All politicians need to ensure that they are not overly offensive in their public statements (or the statements of their spouses). It’s not a good idea to offend specific groups of people for no real reason.

This, of course, is a lesson that Stephane Dion has yet to learn. The following is a passage from a Montreal Gazette article called “Stephane Dion, Unmasked” last week:

Soon, though, Dion and Krieber’s [his wife] Paris adventure was over and the couple had a comedown: both got jobs as teaching assistants at the Universite de Moncton in New Brunswick. “It was our reality check,” Krieber recalled. On his website, Dion called Moncton “a shock” – students who didn’t know Marx from Max Weber, or who thought Machiavelli was Scottish. After one semester, the couple moved to Montreal.

And the inevitable defender of ‘Moncton’ in a letter to the editor called “Don’t Insult Moncton”:

If Stephane Dion’s objective is federalism and a united Canada he should lose the arrogant and pseudo-intellectual comments about the level of erudition in Moncton. I’m not even from there and I was offended by it.

There are far greater virtues than the intellect. How come those who can afford higher education in foreign countries are exactly the same people who get to decide how important knowing Marx from Machiavelli is? It is pretentious, bombastic nonsense to think that is more important than knowing how to fish. That said, rest assured there are people in New Brunswick and probably even Moncton who are far smarter than Dion and his bourgeois wife.

Personally, I think she owes New Brunswick an apology. You lost huge points with the left-leaning Liberals there, at least with this one. As one political veteran told me when I was a card-carrying Liberal and working campaigns: “Win them one at a time.” The inverse is also true: “Lose them one at a time.”

Annie Boucher
Montreal

Now, Ms. Boucher has a point. There are about 250,000 Acadians (more or less) in New Brunswick and other slew in the other Maritime provinces. A drive by smear of the Acadians in this way – particularly when the level of university educated Acadians has rocketed in the past 30 years, is not an overly good political strategy.

Maybe that’s Dion’s ultimate strategy. Piss off all French speaking Canadians.

That comment was on his web site? Doesn’t he have a Web site editor? Don’t these things set off red flags for a guy who wants to be PM?

Being a guy of statistics, I was curious, as are you:

Moncton: % of Francophone population with a university degree (17%)
Montreal: % of population with a university degree (17.7%)

Moncton: % of Francophone population with some post secondary education (57%)
Montreal: % of population with a university degree (55.6%)

Oh gosh! Those stupid Moncton Francophones are at least as educated as Montrealers. Fie, for shame!

Maybe Dion should move to Moncton to hang around some educated people for a change.

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0 Responses to Dion thinks Monctonians are ignorant

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nobody comes off well there, take a look at the writer’s comments, the one who is ‘offended’ for Moncton:

    “That said, rest assured there are people in New Brunswick and probably even Moncton who are far smarter than Dion and his bourgeois wife”

    and

    “It is pretentious, bombastic nonsense to think that is more important than knowing how to fish”

    Gee, so Monctonians just know how to fish? There are ‘probably’ people in Moncton who are smarter? Wow, high praise from Caesar! Fishing in MOncton no less!

    Keep in mind that whenever people are offended FOR people from some other place, who probably haven’t even set foot there, you are talking about propaganda. Montreal newspapers regularly chide maritimers, how often have you heard “those maritimers are so bookish”

    In politics, which is his area of expertise, it IS beneficial to know Marx from Weber, and of course they taught quite some time ago.

    Not only that, there’s universities and then there are universities and just because people have a degree doesn’t mean anything about the standard of education one has-that has to do with professors and departments, and boy have I had some doozies.

    Keep in mind also that that fount of inspiration for the Moncton literary festival the great Northrop Frye has NOTHING but lousy things to state about Moncton and utterly despised it. I can’t remember the exact words, but they were far worse than these quotes.

    I’m no liberal and think this guy is the worst choice for PM, but all the guy said was that he didn’t jive with Moncton. It is a put down, but anybody surprised by the put downs from Quebec intellectuals doesn’t even deserve to be offended.

    Even at this blog let’s not forget that oft touted phrase about ex New Brunswickers as ‘the best and brightest’, as well as the theme about getting business from other areas because NBers just can’t cut it internationally, and the praise for hiring staff ‘from away’.

    Go look at Alec Bruce’s blog about Moncton’s latest ‘economic development report’, apparantly Monctonians are so stupid that the DIRECTOR of the Cancer Research Centre doesn’t even know how to go about hiring a patent lawyer, and the tech guys at the Regional Hospital don’t even know how to dial out to call technology firms! Not only that, the city’s ‘best and brightest’ had to hire a company from Texas to come in and state the obvious. Maybe the real story should be: just how right is Dion in his appraisal?:)

    He was at least smart enough to take all those things down from his website.

  2. Jonathan says:

    I believe the quote is out of context. They were talking about the shock coming from Phd Student to Professor.