CBC's Daybreak first introduced the idea of a Montreal Charter of Values several weeks ago, and then we asked you for submissions: ideas that would unite all Montrealers.
Now we've compiled a list of your responses sent to us via Twitter, Facebook, email and texts.
Some of your suggestions conjure up images of the perfect Montreal we dream of, while others reflect the sometimes chaotic, always interesting Montreal of our real lives.
'I vote that the charter be written in Franglais — the way many of us speak' - Kate Marien, Daybreak listener
Some of your ideas are sarcastic and some are heartfelt. Some involve poutine and others include our own version of “mobility rights.” (In the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms they refer to the ability to move in and out of the country, or between provinces. Our mobility rights refer to the way we drive, walk, and take the bus.)
All of them are rules to live by. Maybe.
And one last thing. Daybreak listener Kate Marien had a suggestion about the language for our charter.
“Instead of drafting the charter in one language and then translating it to the other,” Marien wrote, “I vote that the charter be written in Franglais — the way many of us speak. This would highlight the fact that we are proud of our bilingualism, and would have the added advantage of saving the cost of translation.”
Génial. We think that’s an excellente idée.
Daybreak’s Montreal Charter of Values:
- To build bridges and foster a sense of community among Montrealers, greet strangers we cross paths with throughout the day with a simple good day, bonjour or hello. (At first the reaction may be a little standoffish; however, over time this would be powerful. Imagine sitting across from a stranger on the metro, maybe even a tourist, and exchanging a simple good morning.)
- Hold the door open for all and don't forget to say thank you or merci.
- Call 311 (or whatever the number is) when you see a pothole large enough to swallow your car. (They do answer and they do fill the hole.)
- Accommodate all in whatever language you are able to converse in.
- Don't be shy to rise up when you see a disservice.
- The right to turn right at red lights.
- The right to jaywalk on Ste-Catherine Street
- The right to an honest, hard working, public service (this means you City Hall).
- The right to have our streets cleared of snow in a reasonable time frame (24 hours).
- Freedom of disagreement with Brendan Kelly's taste.
- Freedom of being arrogant about our clear superiority in producing the most talented artists and craftspeople in the country without too much gloating;
- Poutine. (Yes, just poutine.)
- The right to drive slowly in the left lane.
- The right to pass slow traffic on the right, even when they could easily pass on the left.
- The right to ignore traffic signs and lane markings if they are talking on a hand-held cell phone.
- The right to ignore "No Stopping" zones for important things... like parking.
- Montreal drivers have the right to cut into line-ups.
- The right to honk at drivers who stop for yellow lights.
- The right not to move to the back of the bus.
- The right not to remove large backpacks or put down large bags on public transit.
- The right to enter enter elevators and subway cars before the people inside finish exiting.