Quebec’s Municipal Elections

October 30, 2009

The 2009 municipal election campaign in Quebec has not been dull and if the action was at the “rendez-vous”, this situation has caused another problem.
Indeed, the disillusionment with several candidates and the many scandals raise the question: who to vote for?
It is well known in political science that we never vote for a candidate and his promises, but rather against others and their faults.
As an exemple, in the provincial election in Quebec (March 26, 2007), voters chose to vote for Jean Charest because they feared that the customs of the PQ candidate André Boisclair was not acceptable for a head of state. In a sense, it is the elimination of a candidate who obtained the victory of another. Several political experts think that if Bernard Landry has been head of the Parti Quebecois in the 2007 elections, he would have won because voters did not vote for Jean Charest, but against Andre Boiclair.
The same situation was experienced in the United States during the last presidential campaign in November 2008. Several voters have chosen to support Barack Obama in order not to elect John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palain, both considered too unpredictable. The choice was not easy for many Americans and to elect a black politician was close to sacrilege … If McCain had another more experienced running mate, he would probably have gained the vote.
Citizens of several Quebec municipalities are currently facing this kind of question: which candidate should you choose? And what if, all the running candidates disappoint us?
Not voting is not an option as this would ultimately abandon our right as citizens.
Should you go by our emotions or by our good judgment?
If we take the case of Montreal, it is obvious that the best candidate, according to a logical evaluation is Gérald Tremblay who has experience and who claims to have begun to correct abuses and financial fraud. By cons, emotionally, because he failed to do so completely during his last two terms as mayor, one might be tempted to offer a chance for a new candidate who has little experience but who shows great honesty is like a Richard Bergeron. Unfortunately, the citizens of Montreal are not lucky to have a candidate as have those of Quebec City with their Régis Labeaume. But as the saying goes: “We must make do with what we have in our kitchen.”
The choice belongs to all citizens but it is essential for everyone to vote. Thus, democracy will have spoken and we might get, as a group, the best choice. Happy voting!
Bernard Bujold
Lien site Élections Québec
Picture 1: City Hall in Québec city;
Picture 2: Richard Bergeron, Mayor candidate in Montréal.

Municipal Politics and the Journalists

October 30, 2009

Municipal politics in Quebec has never been very popular with the population and sometimes the mayors and their teams are even re-elected without opposition.
This does not mean that municipal politics is irrelevant and that there is no advantage to being a municipal politician. One may also note that conflicts of interest and abuses of power occur often in municipal rather than provincial or federal precisely because of the lack control mechanism and the opportunities for personal gain.
The mayoral campaign in 2009 is not different from those of previous years. The population shows little interest and only the candidates are really enthusiastic and motivated as they are hoping to get a little local fame.
Precisely because of this situation it becomes important for media to be interested in the sector of public administration and to scrutinize the actions of elected officials or those who wish to become one.
The investigative work conducted by journalist Fabrice de Pierrebourg and the website Rue Frontenac deserves the praise and public recognition. Politicians involved in this investigation have denied any impropriety and it is only after all other media became interested in the case, in the traces of Rue Frontenac, that wrongdoers have reacted and resigned.
In conclusion, the site Rue Frontenac demonstrated that it has become a must information source in Quebec and Montreal in particular.
Congratulations and long life to this team!
Bernard Bujold
Lien reportage Fabrice de Pierrebourg – Rue Frontenac
Lien reportage Régis Labeaume – La Presse
Lien reportage Jean-René Dufort – Le Soleil
Lien blogue Patrick Lagacé – La Presse
Photo 1: Montréal City Hall and Rue Frontenac’s logo;
Photo 2: Jean-René Dufort and Québec’s Mayor Régis Labeaume.

The popularity of large woman

October 30, 2009

More and more fashion magazines publish reports highlighting women of high weight at the expense of sizes small. Is the beauty of women is now defined in terms of its curves and its large size?
According to many, including Miss X, editor of, this is a fashion trend and the popularity of curves have often been recurrent since the past 40 years, but each time, for a short period of time only. Thin women have always remained and still remain, the ultimate criterion of feminine beauty and health.
What to make of this current popularity of women with curves? We must remember the message that women must be comfortable in her skin and be especially healthy.
The interview published in the Glamour magazine with the large size model Lizzie Miller (September 2009) clearly highlights the health aspect. The model weighs 180 pounds and is 5 feet 11 inches but she is athletic, eats very balanced and her doctor considers her in excellent health.
Where it is necessary to correct the situation and there is ugliness is if a person is obese or too thin because of poor diet. If the large size or thinness are a natural result, there is every reason to admire these people.
Personally I like to watch as much a round woman as a thin one. I always said that beauty is not to be explained, but to be look at.
The most beautiful woman I had the chance to meet in my life was not thin but her eyes, her energy and smile shone a thousand fire. I still remember the air kiss that we exchanged. She was to me, and she still is, the most beautiful woman in the world! Her name: Cecilia Bartoli …
Bernard Bujold
Lien reportage Lizzie Miller – Glamour
Lien Fashion week of Montréal
Photo 1: Models from Glamour;
Photo 2: Model Lizzie Miller (Glamour);
Photo 3: Cecilia Bartoli

Barack Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize 2009

October 11, 2009

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 to Barack Obama is proof that the President of the United States managed to reach the whole world in his mission as a statesman.
Barack Obama is the best demonstration that a single man with his ideas and determination can change the world.
Some say he has still done nothing, if not to attract attention and create hope for a better and fairer society. That is precisely what must accomplish real leaders, whether religious, economic or political? Inspire and persuade others to act and perform. Barack Obama is a huge source of inspiration as there is currently no other comparable on the planet.
For this reason, the decision of the Selection Committee of the Nobel Prize for Peace is quite appropriate and visionary. The sages at the Nobel realized the importance of Barack Obama and they wanted to encourage him to continue. congratulate the President of the United States for the honor granted to him. We also recently offered him a mention in the gallery The Best 2009.
Bernard Bujold – editor 
Link to the official Website of Nobel Prizel
Link Les Meilleurs 2009 –
Link to the White House in Washington
Link to the story of The New York Times

Picture 1: Barack Obama in his White House’s Office

Picture 2: Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy

Picutre 3: Barack Obama (Picture by Peter Souza)


The future of Media… from Pierre Péladeau to Conrad Black

October 11, 2009

Montreal has contributed to the creation of several media tycoons.
Among them, everyone knows Pierre Péladeau, the founder of the Journal de Montreal and the Quebecor empire. There is also Conrad Black who grew up in the city and launched his empire from the small weekly The Sherbrooke Record.
I was lucky to know these two magnates.
My relationship with Conrad Black was that of an admirer and when I met him (three or four times) it was as a guest at his book launch. In the case of Pierre Péladeau, I have known him intimately since I was his personal assistant from 1991 until his death in December 1997. (See biography on page
If there is a common point that emerges in the behavior of these two individuals (Black and Péladeau) is their deep passion for paper journals. Conrad Black is in fact a journalist at heart and he had built his newspaper empire largely to be able to publish his opinions across the world. He likes to share ideas …
Pierre Péladeau was less international but he had a very keen sense of the news. He saw it, however, always at the local level while Black is international. Their empire was also the image of their founder. When Pierre Péladeau was at the helm of Quebecor, he ensured that the Journal de Montreal was primarily bringing local news to Montrealers and he has always kept out from major international debates.
Peladeau , who died in 1997, loved newspapers and he leafed them continuously. One of his hobbies was to count the ads in a newspaper and compare to another and check if advertisers buy ads in his own newspapers. He had also made check each day by the editor of the Journal de Montreal, death notices in the newspaper La Presse. If a death was not in his journal, he wanted to know why …
To the opposite, Conrad Black is very much a wordly person and one of his greatest achievement in life was his membershi at the House of Lords in London …
I am very sad today to see that the media of these two major builders are in turmoil.
The National Post, the creation of Conrad Black, is under the protection of the law of bankruptcy because of Canwest and Le Journal de Montreal, the creation of Pierre Péladeau, is experiencing a labor lockout.
What is the future?
I do not think we will never know a comeback of these newspapers, as they existed during the 1990s. The times changed and people up too. We must accept this situation.
Pierre Péladeau died and his empire Quebecor went from paper to Internet. Le Journal de Montreal is not the newspaper of the future! For his part, Conrad Black has been sent to prison and when it will come back, it will be to write his memoirs and other books on history. He will never create a major newspaper like The National Post.
But as Pierre Péladeau repeated: “You lose a deal, you get a deal! “Some media will disappear but others will replace them. It has always been the case in the past and it will be the same in the future. Nobody and nothing is ever irreplaceable!
Bernard Bujold
Biography of Pierre Péladeau and Quebecor 

Picture 1: Pierre Péladeau and Conrad Black

Picture 2: Conrad Black in Chicago

Picture 3: Pierre Péladeau in front of his pool in Ste-Adèle (Québec)

The visit of Dalaï Lama in Montreal – A deception!

October 5, 2009

I’ve never had any prejudice against any religious leaders of the world even if I am personally more of an atheist. Characters like the Pope or the Dalai Lama have always inspired me a certain respect and I had planned to photograph the religious leader of Tibet during his visit to Montreal. Unfortunately, the organizers did not want to give me a media accreditation …
I was very frustrated by this refusal because I was in contact with officials in Montreal for several months and they always told me that everything was wonderful. The conference of the Dalai Lama would be a great event and they were very happy that I was interested in them.
I was most surprised, a few days before the Dalai Lama’s visit to Montreal, when the press officer in charge contacted me to tell me that my request for accreditation was denied. The reason: They lacked space in the Bell Center…
I was very upset and I felt cheated especially since I opened the page of the magazine to organizers in recent months and they’d closed their door after the publication of many articles, by me about them, and when their event became really interesting.
My first reaction was to check with my fellow journalists whether they had been accepted. Well no! None of my entourage has been accredited. Some have not even received an acknowledgement note to their application.
I searched a little more on Internet and started to trace many negative news articles from several journalists who criticize the Dalai Lama. One article was particularly aggressive and signed by Richard Martineau. (See link on the web site Pictures Page
I even read that the Dalai Lama said that he is considering the Internet technology as a threat to world peace… May be this is the reason why the microphones did not work properly during the first 10 minutes of the conference. At one point, the Dalaï Lama was so upset that he almost left his chair on the stage!
I had no prejudice before but now I have to question the actions of people around the Dalai Lama. If individuals who preach compassion may act as cavalier as they did towards me, well I’d rather stick away as I have nothing to share with them.
The local organizers offered me a free ticket to watch the speeches of the Dalai Lama among the crowd. A technique taken from McDonald’s Restaurant who offer a free meal to customer when they are unhappy with the service. That does not excuse the selection of certain media and the elimination of several at their press conference. I call that “Media Manipulation”. The press secretary even said to me that with this kindness from them (the free ticket), I should be very happy, to show compassion and write a favorable article!
Unfortunately the “free ticket” did nothing to calme my anger, nor to excuse the actions of arbitrary control of media. They criticized China for stifling the press during the Olympics. How should we describe the elimination of several journalists from the press conference of the Dalai Lama?
My presence in the crowd had not either enhanced the image of the Dalai Lama in my opinion. He is ultimately a poor orator when compared to Barack Obama or even Ingrid Betancourt. The Bell Center crowd was faithful to his Holiness, but we could see in some people present a certain coldness. Conclusion, I will not become a Buddhist monk by tomorrow morning …
If a positive consequence could be found to this whole story it is the discovery, in my case, of the talented translator monk Mathieu Ricard, a learned man, brilliant, polyglot and who has an outstanding personality. He will go far in the future of the Buddhist’s organization.
Bernard Bujold 
Link Pictures of the Dalaï Lama – 
Photo 1: The Dalaï Lama;
Photo 2: The Dalaï Lama at Bell Cehter in Montreal;
Photo 3: Bernard Bujold at the Dalaï Lama’s conference

Guilty or not – Roman Polanski

October 5, 2009

Roman Polanski’s story is very similar to the one of Guy Cloutier. We have in one side a filmmaker of great talent and in the other side one of the greatest impresarios of Quebec.
When Guy Cloutier pleaded guilty to charges of sex with a minor and that he had accepted a prison sentence, I was saddened because, even if I disagree with his actions towards Nathalie Simard, I consider him as one of the builders of the cultural industry in Quebec. He has an incomparable talent to discover and manage artists and the only one who is better and who has done more than Guy is René Angélil.
But the Justice chose to punish Guy Cloutier and to lose his talent as promoter. Does the situation should be different with Roman Polanski, one of the greatest filmmakers of our time?
The answer is obvious! He must be punished for his crime, especially since he had drugged and raped his victim, 30 years ago. received several emails regarding the crimes of Vincent Lacroix and Earl Jones. We experienced the same situation with Guy Cloutier and we received many comments. None of the emails asked for leniency and all of them suggested prison. Even some of them wanted to stone the guilty on the public place…
I hope that you will be consistent with your previous comments and that no one will write to me to suggest that Justice should be more lenient towards Roman Polanski …
Bernard Bujold 
Link Roman Polanski Los Angeles Times
Link Roman Polanski The New York Times