Unilingual George LeBlanc Would Be a Lousy Mayor of Moncton, Vote for the Other Guy

I'm not to happy about the mayoral choices coming up here in the Moncton municipal elections. George Leblanc, despite his name, is a unilingual anglophone, son of two anglophones. Based on the English version of a pamphlet left in my mail box today (the French version is incomprehensible), he wants to cut spending on public transit and give tax credits to downtown business. Cut spending on public transit, in Moncton, what the...?

He also wants to make Moncton a "World-Calibre" city. Moncton has a population of 64,128 people in a Census Metropolitain Area of 126,000 people (that is less than Sudbury, Ontario). This is the sort of delusion of grandeur that should be eliminated from council. Moncton is a small city in a small province in a low population area of Canada. Spend accordingly.

He actually put this in his pamphlet/vision statement:
Establish a committee comprised of members of council and leading citizens to study and report to the mayor and council within four months on recommendations on our taxation levels, spending be the City and determining whether tax cuts are achievable, given our current commitments - all with the goal of determining a fair and appropriate tax level for our citizens.
Give him credit for having the balls to actually promise to raise taxes! Even if he wants to later blame the "leading citizens".
Other anoyances:
-He wants to attract immigrants, but doesn't say how. That is his whole multiculturalism policy: I want to attract immigrants, using targets. If you have nothing to say, don't say it.
-He wants more red tape, including the requirement for submitting transportation plans when requesting a zoning change. Am I the only one who read Jane Jacobs? Transportation engineers are clueless, pass it on.
-He also wants increased visiblity for Moncton's expensive cops. I agree Moncton has a low crime rate, but perhaps the RCMP should be fighting crime instead of socialising with seniors at Tim Hortens, eh.
It is not all bad, of course. He does have a university degree in Business administration, from the University of New Brunswick (1978). He promises to review and enhance City of Moncton signage. Assuming he doesn't write the new signs that would be a good thing (lane info in Moncton, such as mandatory left turns, are often only painted on the pavement, which is not so good in winter). He also wants to place a greater emphasis on outdoor activity, that works for me.
But all and all, Moncton can do better. Not much better, mind you, but better.
Update: 2008-05-08, 15:20. Post amended to reflect that it does say in his pamphlet that his degrees are from UNB.


Brian Cormier said...

Good morning. As a member of George LeBlanc’s campaign team, I would like to correct some of the blatant errors in this commentary.

1) It is true that Mr. LeBlanc’s first language is English, however he is learning French and is improving every day. He is 100% committed to bilingualism and knows it’s important for the Mayor of Moncton to speak French. Although he is not yet considered bilingual, he can certainly carry on conversations and understands it very well.

2) He is not the son of two anglophones. His father was a francophone and was fluently bilingual. Because his mother is anglophone, the language spoken at home was English. (Even if he WERE the son of two anglophones, is there something wrong with that?)

3) The French version of the pamphlet was translated and proofread professionally by certified translators, many of whom received training at the Université de Moncton. In fact, the campaign has received many compliments on the quality of French on their website and printed material.

4) Mr. LeBlanc at no time says anywhere that he will cut spending on public transit.

5) At no time does he state that he will raise taxes. This is your interpretation of a “fair and appropriate”. This could also very well mean that taxes will be decreased. To state that he has promised to raise taxes is 100% erroneous.

6) His brochure clearly states that his two university degrees were received from the University of New Brunswick.

As for some of the other comments, those are your opinion and it’s your blog, so you’re welcome to them. However, I wanted to correct some of the misinformation in your post. Thank you for posting these corrections.

I wish Mr. Michaud the best of luck on Monday. Moncton is lucky to have two great candidates running for council.

Altavistagoogle said...

In response to Brian Cormier:
"He can certainly carry on conversations [in French] and understands it [French] very well."

That is absolutly FALSE. He can NOT carry on a conversation in French.

His dad spoke French, but not to his own son? How does that not make his father an anglophone? And no, there is nothing wrong with being the son of anglophones, unless you use your French last name to pretend your French is rusty instead of never learned.

Example of incomprehensible French on the pamphlet: "Je m'assurerai que continuent (sic) d'avoir lieu les meilleurs spectacles, confortant (sic) ainsi la position de Moncton en tant que lieu de concert (sic) extérieur privilégié dans l'Est du Canada."(sic)
One of many examples. Certified or not, your translators suck.

"Public transportation programs are reviewed to ensure more effective usage". Sounds like cuting transit spending to me, especially when you want to "implement weekly senior days to provide free transportation".

I did miss the UNB part, my appologies, post amended accordingly.

Thanks for you comments.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the ignorance. You completely misinterpreted the information in the pamphlet and you seem very bias against anglophones. The very term francophone refers to a person's native tongue being French. If George's dad was born French, then he is francophone. I think George should be given credit for learning French. It is a very difficult language to master and he is trying to improve his proficiency. This is all we can ask for. Is the other candidate better just because he is French and can speak it fluently? It seems to me that we want a candidate that will work to improve Moncton and to bring as much prosperity to our city as possible. We also want someone who is dedicated to the citizens. I can tell you that he is.

Studying public transit to ensure that it works more efficiently, no way implies that he will be cutting this area of the budget. It just means that he wants to ensure that we get the best service for tax dollars paid.

George no where stated that taxes would be raised. He worded his statement carefully so that the citizens would not think that he is promissing tax cuts. He wants the best for Moncton. George was an excellent councilor and worked for the citizens.

George would not promise something that he could not deliver and this is why he said that he would look at the various departments carefully. We all want tax cuts, but is it possible? What other services would have to be cut?

I have never heard of Pierre and what has he done in the past for our city that would give him the necessary experience to become mayor. George has experience and he knows how City Hall operates.

You seem to be misinformed and I don't feel that it is right to provide misinformation to the public. You are entitled to your opinions; however, why would you publicly berate a candidate, when they don't have a chance to respond.

I wish both candidates luck.

Brian Cormier said...

The French "errors" you point out in that paragraph are non-existent. The French is absolutely perfect. Show it to anyone who actually knows how to spell and you will see that.

Look, obviously you have a one-way agenda and I respect that - even though I don't agree with it. It's just sad that you have chosen to present complete falsehoods as "facts".

With that said, I wish you and your candidate the best of luck on Monday. I will no longer be commenting on this blog no matter what you say, so go for it.


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