Legault wants to launch the Quebec version of Amazon

Amazon Quebec would better serve “nationalist” clients, according to Quebec’s Premier.

Premier François Legault and Minister of Economy and Innovation Pierre Fitzgibbon brought up the idea of creating “Amazon Quebec” – an online shopping website like Amazon that would feature only Quebecois merchandise to better serve “nationalist” clients.

Hours before a meeting with Amazon Canada on Nov. 20, Legault told reporters from Presse Canadienne the lack of Quebec products on the amazon platform is a “big concern.” Legault added that he wants to be assured Amazon Canada will not just sell American products to Quebecers.

The idea of an Amazon Quebec isn’t new – Canadian entrepreneur Alexandre Taillefer, who later became the campaign director for the Quebec Liberal Party in 2018, first introduced the idea in 2017, but it never developed.

Fitzgibbon said that he was a fan of the Amazon platform and that a new Quebec version could help the province’s retailers. “We have customers who are nationalists, who like to buy Québécois, so perhaps it’s time we started to look closely at having such a structure,” he told the Presse Canadienne.

Fitzgibbon suggested that the Quebec government could invest in the platform to help it be sustainable, and that the platform could include a homegrown delivery system, so merchandise can be delivered quickly.

Earlier this month, Amazon announced plans to open its first fulfillment centre in Quebec, which will be a warehouse in Lachine and will create 300 full-time jobs in the area. Legault said his priority was to reassure Quebec suppliers that Amazon will not only sell American merchandise to Quebecers.

The opening of the new warehouse has sparked debate, both concerning the working conditions of Amazon factories, and that the online company could undermine local Quebec retail shops.

Stephano Carbonaro, a finance student at the John Molson School of Business, said that while the new jobs will be beneficial, “it’s increasing people buying online items, so you’re not purchasing items locally, so there are pros and cons in this situation,” he said.

A Quebec Amazon could help mitigate the issue of local retail stores losing business to foreign websites.

Angelica Rameau, a journalism student at Concordia said she thought a Quebec Amazon could be positive for the province. “I guess that it could help, if the population wants to know that their products are actually from here,” said Rameau. She would like to actively support local shops when she is shopping online.


Graphic by Victoria Blair


Colour Commentary: Winning is a universal language

It seems like we have this conversation every couple of months, and I’m sick and tired of it. But since seeing the signs some people decided to put up all around the streets surrounding the Bell Centre, I’ve been really pissed off.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there are a bunch of signs hung up on lampposts in the design of a Habs jersey that read “Minimum 10 Québécois.” The signs were paid for and authorized by Stefan Allinger of La Fondation Équipe-Québec.

Really? We’re doing this again?

Before I rant on this subject, let’s think about this logistically for a second. Including goalies, there are 38 active players in the NHL that are born in Quebec, two of which play for the Canadiens. Some of these players have played most of their careers with the same team; Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Huberdeau and Kristopher Letang. Yes, the Canadiens had the chance to draft two of those players, but they didn’t, and 29 other teams passed on them as well.

Traditionally the Canadiens have always had a French-speaking coach; this has apparently turned into a prerequisite for the job as they need to be able to address the French media in the city. Even with that reasoning, I don’t understand the need for it.

The Montreal Canadiens are the only team in the world that limit themselves to hiring a coach and general manager from a single region of the – one that isn’t the most highly populated. Now some people are calling for a minimum amount of Quebec-born players.

In 2013, Gareth Bale, who could have been argued as one of the top footballers on the face of the planet at that time, signed with Real Madrid in Spain. He did not speak a lick of Spanish, so what did the club do? They hired a translator for him to answer questions because they have millions of dollars at their disposal.

There are countless other examples of teams signing foreign coaches and players. It’s okay with fans because they are proven winners. Winning is a universal language that everyone understands.

I couldn’t care less where a coach or player is from – if they bring a team success, they’re good enough for mine. Let’s stop this debate right now, because frankly I’m not alone in being absolutely sick of it.


Revolutionary ideas and artistic protests, all in one cube

Printemps CUBEcois banner installation here to present the history of the Maple

We all experienced the social movement now known as the Maple Spring differently. Some of us participated actively to the countless demonstrations, others protested the movement, some simply read about it in daily newspapers and other media. Do you remember the myriad of banners, signs and even the iconic red cube (a three-dimensional representation of the red square) that roamed Montreal during the spring and summer of 2012?

Well, the exhibit Printemps CUBEcois gives you the chance to revisit those souvenirs of past protests, for better or for worse, with an installation created from iconic banners.

The exhibit, created by Montreal artist and archivist David Wingington, is co-presented by the Concordia Student Union (CSU) and the Artéfacts d’un Printemps québécois Archive.

Visit the impressive installation situated in the EV building atrium. Photo by Frédéric T. Muckle

The installation is described by the artist as a “retelling… of the 2012 student-led oppositional movement,” Wingington said in a statement describing the banner installation. “It is an attempt at self-representation which is key to building upon a movement’s own oppositional cultural heritage.”

Wingington also discards the idea of remembrance that the project could suggest to the audience. “It is a non-nostalgic activation of an archive that seeks to nurture the oppositional consciousness that was tenacious in 2012, in preparation for future struggles,” he said. “The cube’s interior represents a safer-space within which activists can meet and speak freely, to seek collective strength that may lead to future acts dissent and resistance.”

Still, one cannot help but go back in time for just a moment by looking at this unconventional arrangement of artistic protest signs. The cube-shaped canvas is also significant in how it reaches into our collective social imagination. With such a controversial and moving subject, the public is bound to develop their own interpretation of the exhibit. Nobody who was present in Montreal or anywhere else in Quebec can deny the importance of the Maple Spring. Today, remembering this short and socially active period in time can create sentiments of resentment for some, and profound nostalgic effervescence for others.

 For such a short exhibit to experience (most of you will probably simply pass by it whilst rushing to class this week), it can have a surprisingly strong effect on the person who will stop a second to really look at it. It is probably what determines relevant art forms from a simple artistic essay; it humbly but effectively makes you think, remember and feel.

 The banner installation is displayed at the Concordia EV building atrium until Oct. 18. Wingington will be present from Oct. 14 to Oct. 17. For more information about the Printemps CUBEcois exhibit, visit Archives: Imagerie d’un Printemps Érable’s facebook page.

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