The virtuous enjoy their day

Caroline Novalinga and her cousin, Alasie Sivuarapik, bask in the attention of a receptive audience Sept. 18, when they performed at Villeray Park in northeast Montreal. (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)

Here are some Villeray residents who supported the development of an Inuit patient hostel in their neighbourhood. (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)

Your humble content provider — still on holiday in Montreal — had this stuff ready to post this past Saturday night but decided to let his employer get the first crack at publishing it.

I’m sharing this with you now because, well, it was a wonderful day that at least partially restored my jaundiced view of human nature.

In my line of work, you take mendacity, hypocrisy, greed and bigotry for granted. That’s what you expect to find in people and that’s usually what you get.

But on Sept. 18, 2010, I also learned to remember there’s a side of human nature that strives for the good and seeks to understand that which is virtuous. The people of Villeray who I met that day reminded me of this and for that I’m thankful.

In the video below, you will hear excerpts of remarks from Andrés Fontecilla, a member of the committee that some Villeray residents formed to support the idea of a locating an Inuit patient home in their district.

Fontecilla happens to be a member of the Québec solidaire political party, which is a coalition comprising members of the Quebec NDP, the Communist Party of Canada, the International Socialists, various other anti-capitalist groups and a big feminist coalition led by Françoise David.

It’s unlikely, for reasons I don’t wish to go into right now, that I could ever cast a vote for such a party. But I respect the position that Québec solidaire took on the Villeray Inuit patient home issue, expressed in this press release of Sept. 9.

Except for Papineau MP Justin Trudeau and a few others, elected officials from Montreal’s two largest municipal parties, Vision Montreal and Projet Montreal, did not denounce the malignant racism that inspired those who opposed the relocation of the Nunavik House patient home to Villeray. But Québec solidaire stood shoulder to shoulder with the Inuit.

Blaise Rémillard, the interim spokesperson for the Québec solidaire in the Laurier-Dorion riding, posted a comment on my employer’s website pointing out that Fontecilla was not speaking on behalf of Québec solidaire that afternoon, but on behalf of Solidarités Villeray. Merci, Blaise, j’ai noté votre clarification.

By the way, the throat song that Caroline and Alasie perform in this video is very close to a piece that I first heard in the early 1980s, sung by the renowned Cape Dorset throat singers Timagiak Petalaussie and Haunak Mikigak. I digitized the clip below from a much-treasured vinyl LP that CBC North issued in 1986:

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