Thursday, February 22, 2007

Welcome to Herouxville

There is a small town in rural Quebec with a population of 1300, called Herouxville.

Last month Herouxville has issued a set of standards so newcomers understand "the social life and habits and customs" of life in their new town. The statement says that,

"a woman can drive a car, vote, sign cheques, dance, decide for herself, dress as she sees fit...walk alone in public places, study, have a job"

They explain that townsfolk listen to music, drink alcohol and decorate Christmas trees and "if you come to my place we would send the kids to swim together in the pool."

Slightly more provocatively they continue,

"We consider that killing women in public beatings or burning them alive are not part of our standards of life."

Or maybe not.

Mayor Claude Dupont said the standards are "saying out loud what some people are thinking quietly but don't have the balls to say."
What 'some people are thinking' probably relates to anger that the good name of human rights is being tarnished by ever increasingly bizarre judgements like this and this.

Other Canadian towns are thinking of similar moves. St. Roch de Mekinac, Grandes Piles, Trois Rives, Lac aux Sables and St. Adelphe, also rural communities with few or no immigrants, are considering following Herouxville's lead and convening council meetings to discuss the issues.

"There are things that must change," said Mayor Lucien Mongrain of Trois Rives, population 487. Perhaps Herouxville's rules went too far, Mongrain said - "There were things in there that didn't need to be there" - but the issue is not one reserved for the Mauricie region of Quebec. "These are debates that are coming up all over the world."

Canada has one of the highest levels of immigration per capita and admitted 250,000 new arrivals last year.

This from local blogger, Hogtown Front,

Editorials in The Toronto Star and Globe and Mail didn't even bother to address the issues Herouxville raised, opting instead to paint the town’s folk as ignorant backwater "rubes." What is also not unexpected is how out of touch these newspapers are with majority opinion. The Globe op-ed piece was surprised to report that the vast majority of letters and emails the town has received supported the town's actions.