* Log Cabin Chronicles Ricky Blue's column Anglos can beat QC language cops by signing right names

Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 08.10.06


Anglos can beat QC language cops by signing right names

The people of Beaconsfield, Quebec, are a law-abiding lot. We are not a municipality rampant with radicals. We like to have everything regulated.

We need a permit to cut down a tree. And we like it that way. So it would take quite a heavy-handed law to offend our residents. But such a law is the Quebec sign law.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest has said that it's the law and so it has to be respected.

The subtext we all know is this: I know that it is a law that only a zealot or a bureaucrat could still believe in, but I am not courageous enough to touch it.

Beaconsfielders were recently gouged by the City of Montreal after being betrayed shamelessly by the Quebec Liberal Party, which has not encouraged good will. And now we are expected to pay thousands more tax dollars because the arm of the Quebec state that was created to diminish our language says we must change all our street signs.

But how about taking a page right out of the book of the Commission de la toponymie de Quebec - the state organization that has renamed so much of Quebec after nationalist heroes? We could also rename our streets with symbolism and pride.

Beaconsfield is always portrayed by the French press as a bastion of anglophone resistance. We should embrace this stereotype. After all, acceptance is the first step toward healing.

We can be a visible minority only if we remain visible. Perhaps we could treat this latest episode not as another humiliation but as a unique opportunity. We could rename our streets after people Quebec nationalists don't like.

Why, may you ask? Well just to bug them, of course.

A good start would be to rename Elm Avenue, Boulevard Dorchester. Woodland Avenue could be changed to Promenade Parti Egalité, with side streets Rue Neil Cameron, Rue Gordon Atkinson, Rue Robert Libman, and Rue Richard Holden. We could have a Place Howard Galganov and a Promenade Allan Singer. And how about a Rouelle Eric Lindros? And Rue Howard Stern?

We could proudly show our federalist colours with a Chemin Pierre Trudeau and a Cour Jean Chrétien.

And we must have an Allee Lincoln.

Abe? No, Clifford.

Can you not envision Beaconsfield Boulevard becoming the magnificent South American sounding: "Avenue de la Constitution 1981"? With a cul de sac running off it called Rue Meech?

And let's not forget Rue Referendum 1980 and Rue Referendum 1995. Hey, we won them! We could also have fun with Place des Blokes, and Carrée Tête Carrée.

Beaconsfield would become the capital of Anglo Quebec culture; a culture which is usually ignored by the City of Montreal, and a culture which the Quebec government spends millions of tax dollars each year to render invisible.

We could celebrate our music and literature. Shouldn't there be a Boulevard April Wine? A Crescent Mahogany Rush? A Rouelle Sam Roberts? And a Rue Mordecai Richler, a Rue Leonard Cohen, a Rue Irving Layton, and a Rue William Shatner?

And the piece de resistance would be to rename our City Lane, about which so much fuss has been made. We should call it "Chemin John Charest."

Imagine, this would undo ten years of kissing up to the nationalists while taking for granted all of us who mistakenly voted for him because we thought he might bring back justice and fairness to Quebec.