March 2017 Editorial: The times, they are a-changin’

March 2017 Editorial: The times, they are a-changin’

LiQM_Mar2017_CoverThis editorial first appeared in the March 2017 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.

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 The times, they are a-changin’

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

And that’s all we hope to ever have to say about the new world order sadly imposed upon us all by the shocking election and subsequent actions of … well, again, let us say no more.

Even in the dark Dickensian world, there shone the occasional flickering light of defiant faith in the goodness of humankind. We here at Life in Québec Magazine remain steadfast in our belief that today’s world, despite appearances, is as bright with promise as ever.

Why? As Dickens knew well, adversity has a way of bringing out the worst in some, perhaps, but the best in others. In this edition of Life in Québec Magazine, our scribe Peter Black captures how most people reacted to the now sadly infamous Québec City mosque slayings, by relaying the unifying words of cabinet minister Jean-Yves Duclos, who posted on Twitter shortly after the event: J’annule toutes mes activités prévues demain et je rentre à Québec. Je devais être de retour à la Chambre des Communes mais je serai dans ma ville, à vos côtés. Soyons forts et unis face à la peur.

Let us stay strong and united in the face of fear.

Not long ago, it seemed inconceivable that we in Québec would have to face any such fear, but such are the Dickensian times in which we now seem to be living.

Values

Peter’s profile of Duclos reveals a man devoted to community and family, to values that we all need to keep in mind at a time when the cliché that all news is bad news seems all too real and all too close to home.

At a time when desperate people are risking life and limb to creep across farmers’ fields in the dead of night in hopes of finding safety and sanctuary on Canadian soil, we need to remind ourselves that we are all part of the same community, of the same family of human beings.LiQ_Sub_Dec2015

This same belief in human values can be seen in the push for reasonable accessibility rights for people with reduced mobility, a noble yet ostensibly daunting battle now being waged at all levels of government.

Meanwhile, the very subsistence of communities and families in Québec’s far North is threatened by astronomical food prices, the sad subject of this edition’s cover story, simply because these communities and families live where they live.

Then again, this could all be fake news, which is rampant, if we’re to believe the Kremlin and … He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Writer Katrine Deniset takes a look at that thorny topic elsewhere in this edition of the magazine, which is otherwise certifiably devoid of “alternative facts.”

Truth be told, we’re all just bystanders to most of what is unfolding in the world today, good or bad, light or dark. In our own little corner of the globe, we’re privileged to be able to enjoy and read about lighter topics such as literature, rock ’n’ roll, recreational running and roller derby.

If those activities are your preferred way of creating light in the darkness, so be it. Let’s just try to never be the ones who extinguish the flicker of hope of those living under the weight of the worst of times.

Less weight

Which awkwardly brings us to the far less weighty topic of what else is new about this edition of Life in Québec Magazine. For starters, you may have noticed that we’ve moved from a bilingual to an English-only format. We’ve done this only after much consideration and after some encouragement from an unlikely source: our francophone readers.
As an ambitious magazine of modest means, Life in Québec has always strived to live up to both its name and its roots by publishing bilingual feature stories of broad interest to English- and French-speaking readers alike, as well as columns and other content in English only.

Some of our many French-speaking readers have encouraged us in recent months to go English-only, for three key reasons: French-language publications in Québec already exist aplenty, the vast majority of our readers are perfectly comfortable reading English no matter what their first language, and, for the less fluent, it’s simply fun or instructive to read about Québec issues and interests in English.

Another change you might notice is that this edition of Life in Québec Magazine is by far the biggest (and therefore weightiest!) to date, due in no small part to the rising interest among advertisers, which we take as a sign that we’re on the right track.

Also, in our ongoing effort to provide new and ever-varied content to our growing readership, we’ve introduced a new column titled “Sartorially Yours,” which will provide useful style-related tips and tricks.

We hope you continue to enjoy Life in Québec Magazine, and that your time with us will always be the best of times.
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