It's a classic Canadian story, with some of the good and some of the bad that makes us who we are. And a lot of snow which does the same thing.
And it could have been an uplifting tale about battling and conquering the elements in the Great White North.
But instead it turned into a horror show, where more than a week later they're still trying to figure out how this could happen.
And to make matters worse, some in the Con media are using what happened as an excuse to bash Quebec and Quebecers again.
And all because Andrew Potter, a former Postmedia editor, resigned as the head of McGill University's Institute for the Study of Canada.
After writing an article for McLeans, claiming outrageously that the snowstorm debacle had exposed Quebec's social malaise.
The fiasco is being portrayed as a political scandal, marked by administrative laziness, weak leadership, and a failure of communication. And while the episode certainly contains plenty of that, what is far more worrisome is the way it reveals the essential malaise eating away at the foundations of Quebec society.
Compared to the rest of the country, Quebec is an almost pathologically alienated and low-trust society, deficient in many of the most basic forms of social capital that other Canadians take for granted.
At some point, charm and uniqueness betrays itself as serious dysfunction—and the famous joie de vivre starts to look like nihilism.
Which of course is absolute nonsense, and made Potter sound like some 19th Century British colonialist spouting forth about some pygmy tribe or other...
But at least Bwana Potter recognized he had gone overboard, and resigned.
And I actually feel sorry for him, because I believe he wrote what he did out of ignorance rather than malice. Which isn't surprising since he had only lived in the province for seven months, before delivering his sweeping judgement.Because I can't figure out Facebook, here's my resignation statement: pic.twitter.com/kbevPAyYuz— Andrew Potter (@jandrewpotter) March 23, 2017
And I agree with La Presse’s Patrick Lagacé that it was probably just an unfortunate "brain fart."
But I have no time for some of his Postmedia friends like Andrew Coyne, who was quick to mount his soap box, and proceed to blow hot air out of every orifice...
And in his self appointed role as Guardian of the Values of Con Canada, even went after Justin Trudeau's adviser Gerald Butts like some kind of nutty inquisitor...
Where do you think people would have got the idea that the PMO had contacted McGill? https://t.co/g6HGI3iGM5— Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) March 23, 2017
Trying to hound him into admitting that the PMO might have pressured McGill into issuing this statement:
No doubt because when you work for Postmedia, that gets you EXTRA brownie points...
Or at least increases your chances of not being fired.
And then there was the ghastly Margaret "Marie Antoinette" Wente, the serial plagiarist and over the hill click bait specialist.
Who suggested that by violating Potter's "academic freedom" Quebecers had gone tribal.
In a disgraceful show of spinelessness, McGill University, one of the most respected institutions in the country, effectively forced out a man who upset Quebec’s political class because he wrote an opinion piece about the snowstorm that they didn’t like. It would be absurd, if it weren’t so awful.
Which like almost everything Wente writes or steals, was both offensive and complete bullshit.
For as a Montrealer, and a McGill graduate, and somebody who knows Quebec better than any of those Con hacks, and lives with a member of the French "tribe," this is how I see this story:
Potter wasn't fired, or forced out by the political class, or the illuminati, or whatever. And the story has nothing to do with academic freedom.
He resigned because he realized his article was a shoddy caricature, riddled with factual errors, and an absolute joke. A cringingly embarrassing chapter in the Tale of the Two Solitudes.
And he also realized too late, that what he might get away with as a Postmedia columnist, he couldn't get away with as the head of McGill University's Institute for the Study of Canada.
For if he did get away with it, the institute would be seen as a farce, and McGill's time honoured but not uncontested place in Quebec, could be seriously damaged.
So Potter should consider himself lucky that he still has a teaching job at that university. And will hopefully take advantage of the opportunity to learn a little more about the history and the culture of the French nation in Canada he now lives in.
As for his shabby buddies in the Con media, I can only hope that they can cool their jets, before they stir up more anti-Quebec feeling, as they have so many times before.
Because while Quebecers are of course not perfect, they don't need any lessons from English Canada. None whatsoever.
And in a country that's starting to reek of bigotry and xenophobia, we need more hatred like we need a hole in the head.
Or a hole in the hull...
But I must admit I would like to see all those old Con hacks replaced by a new generation that better understands this country. And has more respect for the people who live in it.
You know, in his classic song Mon Pays, Quebec's unofficial national anthem, the singer and composer Gilles Vigneault wrote this:
"Mon pays, ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver" ("My country is not a country, it's winter")
And all I can say is thank goodness it's Spring.
So everyone can get a grip on themselves.
And remember that those who don't understand their own country.
Are sooner or later condemned to destroy it....