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Links

(Slowly Under Construction, I’ll add things as I find time)

A good number of these links can be of personal interest, of interest to those learning French, or of interest to educators who are looking for resources to supplement their own materials.

In addition to the “LINKs” below, if you are looking for additional resources, Make sure to check out the “INDEX” page for a list of all posts to date

1.  Television Stations, Networks & TV NEWS

2.  Radio Stations

3.  Newspapers

4.  Blogs

5.  Other News sites

6.  Government & Organizations

7.  French Language & Learning

8.  Video / Audio clips (General)

9.  Others – General

10.  Others – Not necessarily related to Québec or Canada


1.  Television Stations, Networks & TV NEWS

NOTE:  Not all stations/networds have a news component.   Radio-Canada & TVA (and their news network spin-offs, RDI LCNare the two main ones for news (with Radio-Canada having Canada’s overall widest-reaching and most wide-range French-language TV News).

Of all these stations, I watch RDI the most.  I also watch Radio-Canada much more than TVA (with only a few exceptions, if find that much of TVA is simply too populist, and too “local” for me).  

I would watch LCN more if they provided more national coverage, but I find it difficult to shake the feeling that they come across as a “small town station” which only concentrates on local coverage, but with a few good & very popular prime-time shows (it feels like their take on things is that nothing exists outside Montréal or beyond populist Québec politics). Their 24-hour news channel, LCN, has a number of opinion-maker hosts who I like to watch from time to time, otherwise it too falls in the “very very local” category in my book.

Likewise, I would watch more Télé-Québec if it were not so darned narrow (I get the impression that Télé-Québec’s viewpoint is that nothing exists outside of Québec or beyond a certain political range) – although I find a number of their programs intriguing, and I will tune in from time-to-time.

If I had to pick a “favourite” station, I would say it is UNIS.  UNIS is still a young/new station on the TV landscape.  Unfortunately, it still has a rather limited line-up of programming which still needs a lot of work and development.  However, considering they are operating with a small budget, and they only had less than a year to bring themselves to air, I think they’ve done an excellent job.   I am a huge fan of the idea, and UNIS has the potential to morph into something much bigger, much more powerful, with a potentially influential national voice — But it might take several years for UNIS to get to that point.

Radio-Canadahttp://ici.radio-canada.ca/

  • Canada’s French language public broadcaster (radio & television).  Contains news, videos & audio of past programs, as well as live streams.   The French equivalent of CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).  Broadcast Canada-wide.
  • High quality & in-depth television programming.
  • This is the station I grew up watching, so I have a soft-spot for it.
  • Because this is our national public broadcaster, they have to remain politically neutral.  The vast majority of the time, they do a very good job remaining neutral (their on-air hosts and staff are not allowed to publicly express personal political views, and they have to maintain a high degree of neutrality).
    • That being said, there are some programs which definitely do have a political slant — but they have been singled out and designed as such, and everyone is aware of this when they chose to watch these programs (Tout le monde en parle on TV, and La Soirée est encore jeune on the Radio are two of them).  But on they whole, Radio-Canada does a good job in balancing things out.  Despite Radio-Canada’s political & ideological neutrality, there are still times when things can… well… how should I put it… “fall off the tracks” (and it can sometimes be not so funny (??) when it does).  Click HERE for a link to blog post I once wrote which gives a series of examples.

RDI — http://ici.radio-canada.ca/rdi/

  • Radio-Canada’s 24-hour news channel.  Contains re-broadcast and live feeds.  Broadcast Canada-wide.

TVA — http://tva.canoe.ca/

  • Québec’s largest private entertainment and news broadcaster, owned by Québecor.  Contains re-broadcast and live feeds.
  • Much more populist in its programming with respect to shows and news (an exaggerated example of what I mean:  a burst fire-hydrant flooding a street, or a celebrity’s or politician’s verbal faux-pas may be TVA’s biggest evening headline news story, whereas the evening headline news story on Radio-Canada may be about a major international or national event of importance).   Thus, I would not place TVA in the same “quality” category as Radio-Canada.  People are aware of this, but none the less people tune into TVA for its entertainment value.  Because of this, TVA earns the bulk of Québec’s overall viewership ratings – perhaps ahead of Radio-Canada by 1/4 to 1/3.
  • In this context, it is important to understand that when people criticize Radio-Canada’s programming, and not that of TVA, they do so because they hold Radio-Canada to a higher standard (opinion-makers and the public in Québec are much more critical of Radio-Canada’s need for impartiality than they are of TVA — it’s a never-ending discussion, but a constructive one nonetheless, precisely because it is one which demarcates Radio-Canada from TVA with respect to how they both play very different roles in Québec society).
  • Where there is public criticism of TVA, it comes from the “appearance” of a conflict of interest, in the sense that it is perceived that TVA does not want to report negative news about their boss, Pierre Karl Péladeau (PKP, the owner of Québecor), for fear that he will seek future retribution against his reporters if they leave egg on his face.   PKP is the face of the sovereignist Parti Québécois.  The longer PKP holds this political roll, the longer the list becomes of political gaffs he makes which are reported in other media networks, but not in TVA.  Interesting, isn’t it?

LCN — http://tvanouvelles.ca/

  • TVA’s 24-hour news channel.  TVA does not have a dedicated website for LCN, but it incorporates many video feeds from LCN reports into its news site (above).  You can also watch a re-broadcast of the 6pm news by clicking on “Revoir le TVA Nouvelles” at centre-right.  Much like TVA’s main channel, LCN is more populist and local in its news reporting (heavily Montréal-centric, and more apt to report trivial news).  Regardless, it has higher viewer ratings than RDI.

UNIS — http://unis.ca/

  • Canada’s pan-Canadian Francophone channel with a focus on programming of interest to Francophones outside Québec – but it is broadcast from coast-to-coast-to-coast (as a category “A” station, it believe it is part of the basic cable package in all homes across Canada).  It is based on Toronto (Ontario), but it essentially reflects Canada’s pan-Canadian Francophonie with one voice (rather than having many different voices, such as an Acadian voice, or Prairien voice, Québécois voice or Ontarois voice, etc.).   Their site contains re-broadcast feeds.  (It forms one company with TV5 Canada Québec).   It’s owned by a consortium of Canadian public broadcasters;  Radio-Canada (Federal), Télé-Québec (Québec), TFO (Ontario).

TFO — http://www3.tfo.org/

  • Ontario’s French public broadcaster (based in Toronto), and the largest French broadcaster outside of Québec (and in all of the Western Hemisphere).   It is heavy on education and children’s programs.  However it does have interview and societal-interest programming with an emphasis on subjects of interest to Franco-Ontariens.   Adults may be interested in online re-broadcast feeds of the interview program “Carte de visite” hosted by Gisèle Quinneville.

TV5 Canada Québec — http://tv5.ca/

  • This is the Canadian owned & operated “affiliate” of TV5 Monde.   Our version of TV5 is based in Montréal (whereas TV5 Monde is based in Paris).  TV5 Canada Québec provides Canada with international programming from Francophone countries around the world.  Its goal is to ensure Canada’s population has a sense of belonging and exposure to a greater international Francophonie.   It is owned by a consortium of Canadian public broadcasters;  Radio-Canada (Federal), Télé-Québec (Québec), TFO (Ontario).

Télé-Québec — http://www.telequebec.tv/

  • Québec’s provincially owned public broadcaster.  Does not have news, however does have a few interview programs, of which it’s most popular is the opinionated Les Francs tireurs.  Many of its programs are available through regularly updated online re-broadcasts.

Argent — http://argent.canoe.ca/

  • 24 hour business & finance channel.  Owned by Québecor.  Includes video re-broadcasts of specifics stories, and a live “audio” feed of on-air broadcasts.

V télé — http://vtele.ca/

  • Province-wide broadcaster.   It has a morning wake-up news & commentary program, but no dedicated news services.  Produces its own variety programs, but also broadcasts dubbed programs of many popular anglophone programs.

Canal D — http://www.canald.com/

  •  Documentary Channel.   Certain documentaries & programs are re-broadcast online.

Historia — http://www.historiatv.com/

  • A channel with history-related programming.  Certain documentaries & programs are re-broadcast online.

Le Téléjournal (the major daily TV evening newscasts from Radio-Canada with re-streaming) :

2.  Radio Stations

I listen to a LOT of talk radio, so I consider myself fairly well informed with respect to Québec’s talk-radio scene.

As far as music radio stations, I’m much more an NRJ kind of guy.

A website with all of Québec’s major radio stations, with streaming at a click of a button:  http://mapetiteradio.com/

  • The above website has a map of the major cities.  After clicking on the city you will see the logos for all the “major” radio stations within that city.  Click on the logo of your choice and the station will automatically begin to live stream.

Radio Première (Radio-Canada):  http://ici.radio-canada.ca/premiere

  • TALK RADIO:  Here you’ll find Radio-Canada’s online live (and rebroadcast streaming) website for the radio component of the public broadcasting network.  High quality & indepth programming.  It is broadcast in all communities across Canada (I grew up listening to Radio-Canada in Western Canada, and it has been a big part of my life).  Major programs are broadcast nation-wide, with local studios across Canada offering local morning programming & local news (in all major Canadian cities).   Their website can sometimes be a little complicated to navigate, but they have a vast archive of past programs (perhaps one of the largest in North America – after all, if you’re looking for something someone said, say, 7 years ago, you can still find an audio recording of it archived on their site).  Some of their their programs are offered in podcast format (iTunes & other platforms).
  • The Nature of their programming is much more serious than other stations in Canada.  It would be the French equivalent of CBC in English Canada, of the BBC in the UK, of ABC in Australia, or of a much larger, much better resourced/organized and beefed up version of NPR in the USA.  100% of Radio-Canada’s budget (both television & radio) comes from a combination of the federal government, production revenue and advertisement revenue (it has no fundraising drives like those of PBS in the US).
  • On the political spectrum, hosts (mostly) refrain from taking overt political stances (they’re not allowed to take political stances on publicly funded radio).
    • That being said, there are some programs which definitely do have a political slant — but they have been singled out and designed as such, and everyone is aware of this when they chose to watch these programs (Tout le monde en parle on TV, and La Soirée est encore jeune on the Radio are two of them).  But on they whole, Radio-Canada does a good job in balancing things out.  Despite Radio-Canada’s political & ideological neutrality, there are still times when things can… well… how should I put it… “fall off the tracks” (and it can sometimes be not so funny (??) when it does).  Click HERE for a link to blog post I once wrote which gives a series of examples.

98.5 FM Montréal:  http://www.985fm.ca/

  • TALK RADIO:  Private talk radio in Montréal.  Populist.  Owned by COGECO.  Live & rebroadcast streaming.  Most popular private talk radio station in Montréal.   They have an excellent website & APPs for streaming live & recorded programs.  Although many of the their radio show guests are politicians from various ends of the spectrum, they all tend to have “self-neutralized” when they made the transition from politician to radio-host.  Thus, in the end, the station has made itself into a centrist station, with some programming a bit to the left, or a bit to the right, depending on the host.   Even though the station has radio hosts who have been militants in all camps in a former life, you would not know it when listening to them on air.   That’s a commendable feat (and, thus this radio station is respected and trusted by a large segment of Montréal’s public).

RADIO X,  Québec City:  http://quebec.radiox.com/accueil

  • TALK RADIO:  Private talk radio in Québec City.  Populist.  Owned by RCN.  Live streams available online, and all shows are archived for re-streaming for one week after recording.   This is one of the three most popular (most listened to)  radio stations in Québec City and all of Eastern Québec (from Trois-Rivières Eastward). It often bounces back and forth between the most and second most listened-to station. They have an excellent website & APPs for streaming live & recorded programs.
  • Generally the station is Federalist, its hosts are Federalist (for the most part), and it falls to the centre-right on the political spectrum.
  • Although I would not affiliate the station with any one political party’s politics, I would say that many of the views conveyed in their programming would most closely reflect those of “Red Tories”, or “Blue Liberals”, and often times “Conservatives” (depending on the issue).  Overall, the station’s programming line-up is perhaps much more reflective of the former federal PC party (a red-blue-blue mix, but without the former PC’s green mix), or perhaps the former provincial ADQ party (a dark blue-light blue mix / or a mix of Right-of-Centre + Right-Right).  These tend to be views which very much reflect how Eastern Québec tends to vote.
  • Regardless of the above, believe me when I say that Radio X’s programming is critical of all parties (I give credit when credit is due).  Much of its critique is reserved for those in power provincially (regardless of what party that is), and also of those on the left.  But its hosts are also are very clear when they agree with an element of any given party’s platform.
  • Despite the fact that I do not get the impression that the station is blue-blue-blue Conservative (there is a noticeable shade of red which does show itself on air), they don’t have a habit of picking on the Conservatives.  There is undoubtedly a degree of overlap with the Conservatives, perhaps more so than with other parties.  But there is also a degree of overlap with the provincial Liberals, CAQ, and a certain degree of overlap with the Federal Liberals.
  • It’s a piece-meal station on the right.  I say this because the various programs pick and choose different elements of various party platforms when deciding what to criticize, and what to praise — and they do this for all parties.
  • I will say this, with the exception of the PQ’s position on condifying “interculturalism accommodations” (the Charter of Values), Radio-X reserves its fiercest criticisms for the Parti Québécois, the NDP, the Bloc Québécois, Québec Solidaire, and leftist / leftist sovereignist politics in general (and this also includes the leftest elements within the Federal & Provincial Liberals, to the exclusion of these same party’s more rightist elements).
  • The last thing I will say on the subject of Radio X is that newspaper columnists in Montréal at Le Journal de Montréal and Le Devoir (perhaps 70% to 90%), certain talk show hosts on Télé-Québec and Radio-Canada (such as “La soirée est encore jeune” ), and the Montréal-based union & left-political stream seem to have a real-life hate-on for Radio X.  Each side is constantly throwing sharp jabs at each other (not friendly ones either).  It can become a real gong-show at times.   If you want a “shocking story” involving insults hurled between Radio-Canada Radio-X, check out the following post:  Even the media can have a bad day, week… or year (#211).
    • The on-air insults and jabs coming from Montréal tend to label Radio X as the Conservative, right-wing extremist, ready-to-destroy-Québec-socialism, union busting, anti-Québec, anti-patriotic, anti-nationalist “Radio Poubelle” (Garbage Radio).  And the jabs from Radio-X thrown to the on/off-air groups in Montréal go along the lines that they’re wine-sipping, caviar eating, union worshiping, spend-a-big-buck-at-everyone’s-expense, anarchist, debt-loving, always demonstrating “gau-gauches” (Left wing extremists).   
    • It actually makes for great entertainment.   It’s also interesting to watch how it polarizes Québec City’s population against Montréal and (sometimes vice-versa).  I find it intriguing how each city’s population also backs their own respective media — almost as if their respective media were hockey teams!  Scoooooore!!! (Like I said,  Radio X is one of the most listened to radio station in Québec City, and at the other end of the rink is (and political scale) are Montréal’s politically opinionated shows like Radio-Canada’s “Tout le monde en parle”, Télé-Québec’s “Bazzo.tv” &”Deux gars en or”, and Radio-Canada’s “La soirée est encore jeune”).
    • And then there’s me… sometimes I’m surprised when I listen to it all, sometimes I burst out laughing at all the ruckus, and sometimes I just shake my head.   I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again;  Québec can certainly be chaulked up to being a tale of two provinces… but because of history and, well… history… it’s all one province with a heck of a lot of political diversity along geographic lines.   But hey, I like Radio-X, its hosts, and its programs — they definitely are a crew you feel you could have a beer with — and then when you drive back to Montréal, you can head straight to the Plateau and have a nice glass of wine with the Bobos and Gau-gauches for a “refined” change of scenery (hey… I’m a guy who likes to take it all in! 😉 ).
    • [ *** Here’s a little anecdote for you… … Before Christmas, I told someone I know in Montréal that I listen to Radio X in Québec City.  His response: “That station is crap!  So you’re one of ’em Conservative nuts!”  Two weeks later I told someone in Québec City that I watch Bazzo.tv and Tout le monde en parle and like to hang out in Montréal’s Le Plateau.  Her response:  “So you’re a Montréal Carré Rouge! (extreme Leftist, bordering on Marxism)”.  She then asked if I “protest with the students!!”  Man!  I just can’t win (Sigh).  But at least I knew them and they were joking… well… kind of (???) ].

FM 93, Québec City:  http://www.fm93.com/

  • TALK RADIO:  Private talk radio in Québec City.  Populist.  Owned by COGECO.  Live & rebroadcast streaming.  Second most popular private talk radio station in Québec City.
  • They have an excellent website & APPs for streaming live & recorded programs.  This is the sister station of 98.5 FM in Montréal (mentioned further above).
  • Just like Radio-9 has adapted its programming to Montréal’s audience & political landscape (different from that of its cousin station, Radio-X in Québec City), so too has FM93 adapted its programming to a Québec City audience – again very different from its sister station’s audience in Montréal (to whom 98.5FM caters).   FM93’s programming is much more politically direct than 98.5FM in Montréal.  I would definitely say that, based on the backgrounds of their radio-host line up, 98,5FM is much more overtly Federalist and Right-of-Centre in its programming than 98.5FM in Montréal (which remains much more nuanced).  98.5FM also has one of the most Conservative radio hosts on the air in Québec (Éric Duhaime), however, most of the other radio hosts are more in line with former ADQ ideologies or Blue Liberal / former federal PC ideologies.

NRJ, Montréal:  http://montreal.radionrj.ca/index.aspx

  • MUSIC:   Contempory music.  Live feeds & countdown.  Popular with younger people (top-hit oriented).

RadioEGO – http://radioego.com

  • RadioEGO could be the equivalent of a “Québec Radio YouTube”.
  • Excellent for improving your oral listening skills and accent.
  • It is a website which accepts and collates submissions of short radio segments and interviews from around Québec’s world of radio – be it mainstream professional radio stations, or amateur web-based “radio” stations.   The segments are made available for everyone to listen to.
  • See the blog post I wrote about RadioEGO (and how to use it):  RadioEGO – Québec’s audio equivalent of a “Radio segment YouTube” (#267)

CKOI, Montréal:  http://www.ckoi.com/

  • MUSIC:   Contempory music.  Live feeds & countdown.

Rythme FM,  Montréal:  http://www.rythmefm.com/montreal/

  • MUSIC:   Contempory music.  Live feeds & countdown.

ROUGE FM,  Montréal:  http://www.rougefm.ca/

  • MUSIC:   Contempory music.  Live feeds & countdown.  Lighter listening.

RADIO CHNC, Gaspésie:  http://www.radiochnc.com/

  • Very wide mix of French music.

RÉSEAU RADIOPHONIQUE FRANCSASKOIS, Saskatchewan:  http://www.cfrg.ca/

  • French variety radio station serving Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Ponteix & Gravelbourg

RADIO TAÏGA: Northwest Territorities:  http://radiotaiga.com/

  • Local French radio station serving Yellowknife.

CINN FM:  Hearst, Ontario:  http://cinnfm.com/

  • Private Franco-Ontarian station serving communities along the norther highway 11.

CKNG FM: Kapuskasing, Ontario:  http://www.ckgn.ca/

  • Private Franco-Ontarian station serving Northern Francophone communities.

CHOQ FM:  Toronto, Ontario:  http://choqfm.ca/

  • Private hit & variety music station serving the Greater Toronto Area.

Envol FM:  Winnipeg, Manitoba:  http://www.envol91.mb.ca/

  • Private community radio station serving Southeast Manitoba in French.

CKRP FM:  Falher / Rivière-la-Paix, Alberta:  http://www.ckrp.ca/

  • Private community radio station serving Alberta’s NW Francophone region.

ACADIE, New Brunswick (A few notable stations):

3.  Newspapers

All of the following newspapers are FRENCH language newspapers, with the sole exception of The Gazette (which is an English language newspaper).

I don’t read newspapers as often as I used to (I primarily get my news from many sources online).  But of the papers listed below, my preference is for La Presse, as well as the opinion-columns from the Journal de Québec.  With that said, Le Devoir often has “thought-provoking” columns (but often I find it just leaves me more entrenched in my own views, particularly when I do not agree with some of Le Devoir’s columns – since I find that they tend to omit many facts from the other side of the coin, so as to beef up their own arguments).  The Gazette, from a Francophone’s perspective, offers an “outsiders, but-not-quite-an-outsider’s” perspective on things in Québec (considering it is an English newspaper in Québec, for Québeckers/Québecois).

La Presse – http://www.lapresse.ca/

  • Montréal’s (& Québec’s) largest newspaper (in several categories).   It was a “very thick” newspaper (perhaps the thickest in Canada) but now it’s going digital.  A while back, it was not only the most read newspaper in Québec (it still may be), but possibly in all of Canada (at least it sat at the top of the pile in 2012).

If you’re trying to understand where it falls on the spectrum, I would say it has more in common with the following papers than the Sun Papers (in terms of how it reports the news, its viewpoints, its reporting style, and general outlook on how the wold works, both locally, nationally and internationally):

The Globe & Mail, the Edmonton Journal, the Calgary Herald, the Chronicle Herald of Halifax, the Winnipeg Free Press, the Toronto Star, Vancouver’s The Province, etc., the StarPhoenix of Saskatoon, or the Ottawa Citizen.

Note:  Although the style, feel and nature of La Presse is similar to the papers listed above, it is not affiliated with them.

La Presse is owned by Power Corporation, a company associated with the Desmarais family (who owns Power Corp).  They are a family which is very federalist & they are staunch Liberal supporters.  It has also been stated in various public debating arenas that the Demarais family will never have a sovereignist occupy an editor’s seat at their newspaper.

This sort of political demarcation becomes interesting as you read the descriptions of the papers below.

Le Journal de Montréal – http://www.journaldemontreal.com/

  • This is owned by Québecor media, which is owned by Pierre Karl Péladeau (PKP).  The English-language Canadian equivalents would be the “Sun Newspapers” – in the sense that the format and subjects covered are quite populist.  In fact, until recently, the Sun Newspapers across were also owned by Québecor (they were sold in 2014 and are no longer affiliated with Québecor).
  • I’m going to tread into murkey and “delicate” waters with the following thoughts on Québecor’s newspapers.  As your aware, PKP is basically the face of the sovereignist Parti Québécois.  If you look at his newspaper empire, the vast majority of its columnists are stacked in favour of PKP’s political camp.   With that being said, I do not believe that PKP calls the shots on what they write and how they write it.  He doesn’t have to.  By nature of who the columnists are, a message “friendly” to PKP’s cause comes out by default with every daily edition.
  • There are “some” federalist columnists in Le Journal de Montréal, but they are certainly far from the majority (Lise Ravary would be among the most well-known and notable ones).
  • On the news front (not the columnist front), Le Journal reports the news like any other tabloid-format newspaper.   However, people often buy Le Journal de Montréal as much to read its columnists, as they do to read the news (people in Québec follow their columnists much much more than in English Canada — and perhaps more than anywhere else in North America.   I wrote a post on this topic a while ago:  Click here – Québec’s network of Opinion Makers.  
  • In the same vein, the longer PKP is a politician, the more critical people are being of Québecor’s media platforms, because there is an “impression” floating out there that Québecor’s media (both TVA and the newspapers) are less apt to report negative political news about PKP.  The assumption is we see less negative news about PKP in Québecor media because reporters know full-well that PKP will one day he will return, and he could seek retribution (he has been known to isolate people in the past who have been critical of him, such as the celebrity comedian Louis Morissette).    But if you can suck this up, and just take it with a sigh, the news in Le Journal de Montréal is “ok”.

The Gazette (English) – http://montrealgazette.com/

  • This is actually a very interesting newspaper from a socio-cultural perspective.  It is a daily English language newspaper which has been serving Québec’s English language population since the 1700’s (it’s one of the oldest newspapers in North America).
  • I don’t regularly read the Gazette, but I occasionally seek out its columns or articles if I want a different perspective on things (one not from a Francophone point of view).  It’s not an “outsider” newspaper in Québec, because Québec Anglophones are just as Québécois as the rest, but they approach things with a different point of view – which is why it has the ability to help “round out” overall views – almost as if reporting from the sidelines as opposed from inside the heat of the action.   Anyway, it’s worth checking out (it’s a very well written, professional and important newspaper).

Le Devoir – http://www.ledevoir.com/

  • Oh boy… Le Devoir.  I’ll just keep this one short.  Le Devoir labels itself, publicly, as a newspaper which appeals to sovereignists and/or to the left (probably further left than just left-of-centre).  It’s columnists, their columns, and the news it “chooses” to report, and how it is reported is certainly conveyed in this direction (although that doesn’t mean you will see an overt “Nous vaincrons” cry in every headline.
  • It’s a great source of information to help round out your views, to get different perspectives, and to stay informed on how the sovereignty movement continues to keep its own flame publicly alive – despite a huge drop in “overt” support.   They are a very professional newspaper – just slanted (very slanted).  But hey… like I said earlier, La Presse could also come across as slanted also.   So I guess everyone is allowed to play the issues any way they want.  Just be aware of it – that’s all.
  • When the flames of sovereignty are not being stoked by federal-provincial clashes (which happens once in a while), Le Devoir tends to come across more as a “nationalist” newspaper rather than an outright “sovereignist” newspaper (but it always will be a “sovereignist” newspaper, even if it does not necessarily have the drum stick in hand).

Le Journal de Québec – http://www.journaldequebec.com/

  • Serving the Québec City region, this is the “sister-newspaper” of Le Journal de Montréal.   Despite both being owned by Québecor, there are definite differences between Le Journal de Montréal  and Le Journal de Québec.
  • Never forget that Québecor is a corporation which has to make money.  Therefore, regardless of the political allegiances of its boss, it still has to cater to its market, or it will go bankrupt.    Because the Québec City region and Eastern Québec regions tend to vote quite differently than Western Québec and Montréal, Le Journal de Québec has to cater to that market.
  • The columnists in Le Journal de Québec are not stacked nearly as much in the sovereignist camp (notable, well-known Federalists, and right-of-centre columnists, such as Dominic Maurais and Jérôme Landry write for Le Journal de Québec).  Le Journal de Québec also tends to feature more columnists who are right-of-centre than Le Journal de Montréal (such as Denis Gravel and Éric Duhaime), regardless if they are Federalist or Sovereignist.
  • As far as news reporting, it’s of course centred on Québec City, but I haven’t really noticed a bias in the way they report their news.

Le Droit – http://www.lapresse.ca/le-droit/

  • This is Ottawa-Gatineau’s French language daily.   When I used to live in Gatineau, I read this paper on a regular basis.
  • It was owned by the same company as La Presse in Montréal before being sold to the federalist former cabinet minister, Martin Cauchon.  It basically falls into the same category of newspaper as La Presse.   It is Ontario’s largest daily French newspaper, and also serves as the defacto daily newspaper for the Outaouais region of Québec (despite being primarily a Franco-Ontarian newspaper, and one serving the National Capital Region of Canada).

Le Soleil de Québec – http://www.lapresse.ca/le-soleil/

  • Québec City’s second most read newspaper.  Like Le Droit, it is also owned by Martin Cauchon and Groupe Capitales Médias inc, and it’s approach, reporting style and views are like those of La Presse and Le Droit.

L’Express de Toronto – http://www.lexpress.to/

  • Toronto’s main French language newspaper.

L’Express d’Ottawa – http://www.expressottawa.ca/

  • Ottawa’s 2nd most read French language newspaper.

Acadie Nouvelle – https://www.acadienouvelle.com/

  • Daily & major French-language newspaper in New Brunswick.

La Liberté – http://la-liberte.mb.ca/le-journal

  • Manitoba’s French language newspaper.

Le Franco – http://www.lefranco.ab.ca/

  • Alberta’s French language newspaper (was one of the first newspapers I ever read on a regular basis, along with the Edmonton Journal).

4.  Blogs

Le Huffington Post Québec – http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/

  • When the Huffington Post moved into Canada, they created several versions of it.  There is a national Canadian version, as well as different regional Canadian version.   I often skim “the Huff”.
  • The Québec version (the link above) is divided into three columns.   The column on the left features opinion pieces, the column in the middle features headline news from many different news companies, and the column on the right features articles on the arts & entertainment.
  • Unlike the Alberta, BC or Ontario versions, the Québec version of the Huff is much further to the left (and most of the featured columnists would likely be supporters of the NDP, but more likely of the Parti Québécois, and / or Bloc Québécois — and are quite hostile to other parties or other ideologies).  It’s something to be aware of if you’re left scratching your head wondering why there seems to be such a big “gulf” between the different versions of the Huff Post.  I suppose it comes down to editorial management staff.
  • Regardless, I skim the Québec Huff almost daily, since they are often the quickest (and earliest) in the day to pick up on reporting the more “controversial” issues (regardless if I agree or not with much of their reporting or columnists).

#ONFR:  http://www5.tfo.org/onfr/

  • A TFO blog geared towards Franco-Ontariens on political, linguistic, economic and social matters of the province (sometimes controversial).    Sometimes covers controversial matters. 

La Clique du Plateau:  http://www.cliqueduplateau.com/

  • A blog which takes issue with what they perceive as a leftist minority’s highjacking of Québec’s key institutions (particularly the media & certain political realms).  I’m not sure that I totally agree with all of their points, but they do have points which could be valid.  Regardless, it makes for interesting reading.  These are some of the most complex, deeply rooted issues in Québec, and it makes for interesting & thought-provoking reading.  But be prepared to take things with a grain of salt (they’re on a rant, and sometimes quite an emotional one — and look out when emotion meets politics!).
  • What I find intriguing about the blog is that it the author (aaaaaaachhhooooooooPhilippe!! excuse me I sneezed) is seemingly not connected to the media world, is just a normal guy who sees through all the B.S. that the media world puts out there, and simply finds aspects of Québec’s media to be disgratiously hilarious — enough so that it warrants writing a blog.

Life in Québec:  http://www.lifeinquebec.com/

  • A news-style blog for Anglophones living in Québec City

Joanne Marcotte:  https://jomarcotte.wordpress.com/

  • Political blog.  (I’d place her politics somewhere on the same scale where the Alberta PCs, and perhaps the Saskatchewan party sits – but not quite as far right as where the Ontario PC’s were in the 2014 election — which was interestingly further to the right than the Alberta PC’s or Saskatchewan party).  Federalist and quite popular in Québec City & Eastern Québec.  She does not go down as well in Montréal or parts of Western Québec (much more left leaning with an overt sovereignist element to the region).   That about sums up the “Tale of Two Provinces” which comprises the one province of Québec!!  (It’s never black & white in Québec politics).

Multicultural Meanderings:  https://multiculturalmeanderings.wordpress.com/

  • A very interesting, professional and thought-provoking blog which offers invaluable insight into Canada’s “multicultural meanderings”.
  • The author is one of Canada’s foremost experts on multiculturalism, and his blog is presented as a short points-format commentary of news and events occurring in Canada which have to do with multiculturalism.

Le Petit Gamin:  http://www.petitpetitgamin.com/

  • A comical round-up of just news and events going on in Québec.  If the John Steward show came in an internet version, in French, and in Québec, then this would be it.   (It’s quite similar to the English-language Shanghaiist which I’ve followed for many years).

Québec Meme:  http://quebecmeme.net/

  • Regular Québec-related jokes which are circulating on Facebook.  Usually in very informal French.   Lots of cartoons and descriptive pics.  Funny as hell.

Parlons Politique:  http://parlonspolitique.net/

  • A well-thought out, lucid and practical view of politics.  I like!

Antagonist.net:  http://antagoniste.net

  • This is a French language blog with hundreds and hundreds of posts which comments on everything happening in Québec… especially politics, but in many other societal spheres as well.  It is written by “David”.Although many (most?) of its posts are right of centre and Federalist, many of its posts could also be considered centre (and sometimes even difficult to place).   There posts which also make observations which even sovereignists would concede make sense.In this light, there could be a little bit of something and food for thought for everyone (Left, Centre, Right, Federalist, Sovereignist).

http://www.samuelsamson.org/

  • The author of this blog leads the Mouvement francméricain.  This is an organization which seeks to unify and re-establish links between various Francophone societies across North America.  Focus is on historical, cultural, economic, political and social “Francamerican” ties which bind.

5.  Other News sites

BBC Afrique:  http://bbc.co.uk/afrique

  • Africa holds the future of the French Language.  By 2050, there will be 1 billion (yup! 1,000,000,000) people who speak French in Francophone countries (up from around 250,000,000 today).   The vast majority of that growth will be in Francophone Africa – countries with some of the highest population growth rates in the world.  You can keep up with news from that part of the world on BBC Africa’s website above.

L’Orient le Jour:  http://lorientlejour.com

  • Lebanon’s daily French newspaper.  This is a good way to keep up with the very complex situation in the NW part of the Middle-East.

Le Figaro:  http://www.lefigaro.fr/

  • One of France’s main newspapers.  You may recall I took them to task in a little spat in the post entitled;  No Way! Le Figaro

Le Monde:  http://www.lemonde.fr/

  • One of France’s main newspapers.

France 24:  http://www.france24.com/fr/

  • One of France’s 24-hour news stations.  Available in English and French.

Le Huffington Post France:  http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/?country=FR

CJAD 800 News Montréal (English):  http://www.cjad.com/

  • An English-language Montréal news talk radio stations.  You can stream it online.

6.  Government & Organizations

Main government websites:  

Ontario 400:  http://ontario400.ca/en/

With over 610,000 people in Ontario who speak French at home (2011 census data), Ontario’s Francophone population is over 2 to 3 times larger than Acadia’s, and the most important outside Québec.  French was the first language spoken in Ontario, Samuel de Champlain founded permanent settlements in Ontario (not far from Toronto) in 1615 (an area which still speak French today), and for most of its history, from the beginning, Québec and Ontario were one political entity (the split came much much later, and politically speaking, the split is still a very “recent split”).

French is as native to Ontario and as long-lasting in Ontario as its earliest roots in Québec and Acadia.  Ontario Francophone numbers are much larger than Acadia’s.  Thus it remains a mystery to me (for reasons I’m still trying to figure out) why Anglophones, Francophones elsewhere in Canada, or people outside Canada do not talk about more about Franco-Ontarians or refer to them more when speaking or writing about French language or culture in Canada (a possible topic for future posts).

2015 is the year which celebrates 400 years of continuous living in French in Ontario.  The year-long celebrations have a wonderful website (above) which gives much more information about Franco-Ontarians and French Ontario than most other websites out there.

7.  French Language and / or Learning French

OffQc – http://offqc.com/

  • WOW! WOW! WOW!  If you want to stray a bit from International French, and learn a bit of “our” style of French, this is the site for you!  Felix, the site’s creator, has done an amazing job with creating the internet’s most comprehensive website for learning and exploring Québec, Montréal, and Canadian French in general.  Felix:  Hats off to you buddy !! (take a bow!)
  • Felix has put together two “Québécois French” learning books, compiled from his many years of blogging on the subject.
    • “C’est What?”, with 75 mini-lessons, can be purchased via Offqc by clicking HERE
    • “Say it in French”, an e-book with 125 sentences exercises in translating to Québécois French can be purchased by clicking HERE.
  • ADDENDUM 2015-05-20:  Felix at Offqc managed once again to pull it off.   He just released a new book of 1000 phrases of examples of Québec French.    I’ve studied other languages, and I can tell you that one of the best ways to do it is through sample sentences.   That’s how infants, children, and even adults best learn languages (even their native language):  experiencing vocabulary “in context”.   That’s really the best way to do it!!   This is ground-breaking territory — I don’t think there’s anything else like this out there on the market.  Check out his new book — it’s going for an amazing price.   You can view samples of it here:  http://offqc.com/2015/05/20/1000-quebecois-french-1000-examples-of-use-945/

RadioEGO – http://radioego.com

  • RadioEGO could be the equivalent of a “Québec Radio YouTube”.
  • Excellent for improving your oral listening skills and accent.
  • It is a website which accepts and collates submissions of short radio segments and interviews from around Québec’s world of radio – be it mainstream professional radio stations, or amateur web-based “radio” stations.   The segments are made available for everyone to listen to.
  • See the blog post I wrote about RadioEGO (and how to use it):  RadioEGO – Québec’s audio equivalent of a “Radio segment YouTube” (#267)

French.About:  http://french.about.com

  • One of the better websites for learning tips on International & France French.  Everything is for free.

La Parlure:  http://www.laparlure.com/terme/

  • An online French dictionary which depends on the contributions of the public.   In this manner, you can find many of the “local” or “regional” French words and expressions you cannot find in a dictionary.  It covers French from all parts of the world (Europe, North America, Africa, etc.).   You’ll find street talk, joual, verlan, and many other types of French words within it – complete with definitions, explanations, examples, and origins.

Intersol Inc. :  https://intersolinc.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/canadian-and-standard-french/

  • A California-based translation company which wrote a very good, well-researched article on the Canadian French, with emphasis on Québec and Acadian French.
  • Related article in which you can “hear” examples of the origin of our French, things which they also touch upon in their post:  https://quebeccultureblog.com/2014/11/23/tv5-97/ 

Ontario 400:  http://ontario400.ca/en/

  • See summary in the preceding section.  Ontario’s French-speaking population is two to three time larger than Acadia’s and is as old as Québec’s and Acadia’s.   The summary provided in the preceding section (a bit further above) is worth a read.

8.  Video / Online TV programs / Audio clips (General)

TFO’s YouTube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3VDNIdK9_iIZ6TqG9tZSGA

  • You can watch previously aired society-based TV programs (Carte de visite – Saison 3#ONfrTFO 24.7 BRBR).  TFO is Ontario’s French language public broadcaster based in Toronto.  I’ve read a number of times that it could also be North America’s largest education-oriented television station.    The above few programs (archived on YouTube) often relate to Ontario’s Francophone culture more than Québec — but there also can be many overlaps (especially regarding Ontario personalities who are also well-known in Québec).   This is a great station for breaking down the Québec-Ontario, and Francophone-Francophone Two Solitudes (which are sometimes as great as the Anglophone-Francophone Two Solitudes).  Broadcast across Canada & Québec, but based out TFO’s studios in Toronto.

Couleurs locales:  http://unis.ca/couleurs-locales

  • A news/current events magazine on national issues, and often how they fall into Canada’s greater pan-Canadian Francophonie.  One of my preferred programs on UNIS.ca television station (broadcast across Canada & Québec, but based out UNIS studios in Toronto).

Bazzo.tv :  http://bazzotv.telequebec.tv/emissions.aspx

  • A political & societal talk-show on Télé-Québec.  Hosted by Marie-France Bazzo.  The episodes are available to be streamed online for free.   
  • This is one of the most divisive shows on Québec television (which is why I’m including it in the links).   It is die-hard left, completely anti-Conservative, and anti-Federalist.   Her regular panel of “friends of the program” is made up of the likes of the Sovereignist editor of Le Devoir newpaper (discussed above), as well as a very well known former Parti Québécois politician, and other hard-line self-declared sovereignists and/or far-left social movement advocates.
  • I find the show fascinating to watch, because even if I do not agree with many things they discuss, I know they are playing to half of a galvanized public.  It’s intriguing to know there is a segment of the population lapping it up, while at the same time there is another segment of the population puking their guts out with each episode’s airing.  Those are harsh words, but this is one show which does not hold back on harsh words for others who they feel do not fit their ideologies.   It’s definitely worth checking out.
  • What I find disconcerting about the show is that you get the sense Bazzo and her invited friends gang up on the person or the topics being discussed, yet if Bazzo does 1-on-1 interviews (such as on her former Radio-Canada radio program before leaving Rad-Can in April 2015), she maintains a high level of professionalism and integrity, even if there is zero degree of agreement between her and her guest.   The above link has examples of what I mean regarding the pack-mentality.   But click HERE for a link is a Radio-Canada interview of her 1-on-1 style (even in this latter radio interview, in which she calls out French comedian Sophie Aram for imitating a Québec accent in France, I still did not agree with Bazzo, but I commend her for her professionalism – a style of professionalism I wish she would bring to her television program, rather than the rat-pack interview style it embodies).

Les Franc-tireurs:  http://lesfrancstireurs.telequebec.tv/episodes.aspx

  • This is another link for a Télé-Québec program – one which I also watch and which I like.   It is one of Télé-Québec’s most popular programs.  The episodes are available to be streamed online for free.
  • However, it too has aspects I’m really on the fence about.   It is a hard-question interview show.  I truly cannot think of any other interview show, anywhere in North America, quite like it.  The closest equivalent I can think of would be “Hard Talk”, on the BBC from the United Kingdom (with finger-in-your-face questioning ‘n all).
  • The show has two interviewers, with both often interviewing the guest at the same times.  Richard Martineau, I believe (based on this 2006 Tout le monde en parle statement, and 2013 Bazzo.tv freak-out session heated debate is a “soft-sovereignist”.   But I greatly respect him because he is able to keep it bottled, and he simply dishes out the tough machine-gun style questions to get to the bottom of the affair.  The other host, Benoit Dutrizac, seems to have a more difficult time controlling his political bias and emotions (he has strong political ideologies, perhaps similar to Martineau’s, but I’m not sure he adheres to any one party, if that makes any sense).    Anyway, it makes for interesting dynamics (I suppose that’s the entertainment factor of the show).
  • Why I like this program is because even if I don’t agree with the hosts’ approach (and in this case, it’s mostly Dutrizac’s approach I don’t agree with, since he seems to point his finger in the name of an ideology rather than a fact-finding mission), you’re left wondering how the guest in the hot seat is going to react.  It’s quite riveting – especially considering the guests are mostly well-known and/or controversial figures — and they usually are left squeaming (I know… that’s not nice either… but it’s sure entertaining!).

La Semaine Verte:  http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/La-semaine-verte/2014-2015/extra

  • This is an intriguing television show on Radio-Canada.  You can watch the episodes online.  As the climate changes and the world’s population increases, the need for sustainable, yet higher-yielding & more productive agricultural practices will increase.   That includes using new technologies in agriculture, better practices, new ideas, or sometimes simply going back to nature.  Once a week Radio-Canada airs a one show on this topic, and delivers it in short, documentary-style segments.   (For those of you in Western Canada, it is sort of like The Prairie Farm Report meets The Nature of Things).   Fascinating stuff… It’s really too bad there’s nothing else quite like it in English Canada (and I’m not sure there’s anything else like it in North America).

Science & Vie:  http://www.science-et-vie.com/

  • This is a magazine from France.  It’s very similar to Popular Mechanics, but I think it’s much better.   It is available on all magazine racks in Québec, and also in most major cities across Canada (I started buying it as a teenager way back when on Whyte Ave. in Edmonton).
  • Their website has free articles… check it out!

9.  Others – General

Three Hundred Eight .com:  http://www.threehundredeight.com/

  • One of Canada’s most respected and followed political polling websites.   The author of the site collates political poll results form various polling companies, averages them out, and ends up with very interesting results.   The results are interesting enough that Canada’s major news networks and media companies regularly cite these results before any other polling company results.   Very interesting!!  Have a look (it is regularly updated).

How to tell if you’re from Québec:  http://www.zompist.com/quebec.html

7 things which prove you’re from Québec (in French):  http://quebecmeme.net/ihkSg

35 of Québec’s greatest films:  http://www.lactualite.com/multimedia/video-multimedia/35-grands-films-quebecois

  • Published in l’Actualité (sort of Canada’s French equivalent of McLean’s).   The article dates from 2011, but just think of it as “The Greatest Films up until 2011).  😉

MONTREAL CITY WEBBLOG (English):  http://w5.montreal.com/mtlweblog/

  • Kind of an independent “news” blog about what’s going on in Montréal, right now (updated a few times each day).

FAGSTEIN (English):  http://blog.fagstein.com/

  • An independent blog which reports on Québec’s & Canada’s media world (more from a numbers or watch-dog point of view).

An article/debate regarding unilingual 3rd language signage in English Canada:  New Richmond, BC, contemplating options for enacting English only, or English/Chinese signs only in the wake of many residents feeling excluded because many of the signs are only in Chinese.   Interesting debate (echos of yesteryear in Québec… and what many Francophones in Québec were feeling in the past).

An interesting article from La Presse which talks about the two different radio-media styles which exist between Québec City & Montréal:  CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE

  • Quote:  «À Montréal, on fait de la radio parlée; à Québec, de la radio d’opinions. On aime les débats. C’est une grosse différence, insiste Gilles Parent, animateur du retour au FM93. À Québec, tu ne peux pas entrer en ondes si tu ne donnes pas ton opinion, mais ça donne aussi des animateurs de 30 ans qui font la morale au monde.»
  • My take:  Perhaps Parent is right… but there are a lot of people in Québec City who also agree with the “morals” being announced by their city, to their city.   That, in my humble opinion, is the biggest difference between Montréal and Québec City (and perhaps between Western and Eastern Québec).   It’s just that many personalities in Montréal (at papers like Le Devoir, columnists in Le Journal de Montréal, certain talk shows hosts on Télé-Québec & Radio-Canada, or politicized union heads) don’t want to admit that they don’t necessarily have the monopoly on opinions or that they don’t necessarily speak for much of Québec as a whole (ouch!) 😉 .

The problem of low rates of foreign Francophones immigration to English Canada:  Despite that my blog speaks with great optimism and highlights many achievements regarding French outside of Québec, there are still somber realities which much be faced in Canada.  One is a question of Francophone immigration levels outside Québec.  It is not “the” solution, but one of several important measures which requires actions.   Here is a passionate plea from the outgoing president of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA).  It’s quite moving, and struck an emotional chord with me (Merci Mme. Kenny.  Vous avez fait preuve d’une énorme intégrité en prononçant ce discours).

Explanation of the meaning behind Canada’s Francophone Flags 

pvns2cd.fr.flg1

Videos which have gone viral in Québec over the course of the lifetime of this blog.  Hilarious!:

10.  Others – Not necessarily related to Québec, Canada, or French

Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organization:  http://www.cfmo.org/

Maamuitaau:  http://www.cbc.ca/maamuitaau/

  • An aboriginal current events or documentary magazine, produced by the CBC.  Filmed and narrated in Cree, but with English subtitles.   The topics are sometimes very interesting, and cover things which Canada’s Southern or Non-Aboriginal populations may not see
  • Example:  a village in Northern Québec was separated by a river, with Inuit (known as Eskimo in the US) living on the North bank, and Cree living on the South bank.  The village used to mix and operate as one village, until a Cree woman was murdered by an Inuit man.  At that point, both the Cree and Inuit stopped talking, and the village essentially became split into two.  Fights erupted, people were afraid to leave their homes, and it became a self-segregated community frought with tension.   Stores, facilities and services even became segregated along these ethic lines – simply because people on both sides did not “want” to mix… not owing to a lack of effort on the part of the government.   Fascinating.
  • Check this CBC program out for other intriguing programs.   It gives us a perspective and window into an aspect of our country many of us may not otherwise see.

Correr Es Mi Destino – http://correresmidestino.com/

  • A blogger whose posts always just seem to resonate with me.  Lots of parallels in what she writes and things I have experienced myself (or how I view things).
  • An immigrant from France, now a Canadian citizen, who now lives in Ottawa, who used to live in China, whose love life has (and does) involve a Chinese national (now a Canadian citizen), and who travels everywhere in the world.   A pretty cool cat!
  • She also has very interesting insights regarding Canada, Ontario, Ottawa, Québec, and the world.
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