Response from Bob Sirois to Mr. Andrew Podnieks and the IIHF

There is no anti-French bias (your October 20th article)

MONTREAL, Nov. 3 /CNW Telbec/ -

    Mr. Podnieks and the IIHF,

    The problem I have in dealing with your analysis of my book, Le Québec
    mis en échec, is that you haven't even read it. You make assumptions
    about almost everything in the book and you critique your own impressions
    of what you think is in it, but your views and insinuations show nothing
    but contempt for the intelligence of the entire Canadian population.

    You ask the question, "Where's the proof of racism here?"  Well, in the
    278 pages of my book, I did not once mention the word "racism". You also
    write that my biggest accusation is that "the NHL is not admitting as
    many French-Canadians as players from other provinces". I'm sorry to say
    that again I did not write this. You write that my "biggest statistical
    error is to consider NHLers in terms of ratio to the entire population of
    the country". Obviously you haven't read a single page of the book,
    because I did not use this ratio. So let's stop playing around. Here's
    what I said and wrote in my book: "... the NHL is the league of English
    Canadians; when it comes to equal talent, most of the teams in the NHL
    will take an English-Canadian hockey player over players from any other
    country, including hockey players from the US".

    You also suggest in your article that we should "consider ratio in terms
    of hockey players across the country", i.e. Canada. I did exactly that,
    but in terms of all North American hockey players, because the NHL is
    also American. I did not include this ratio in my book because the book
    focusses on Quebec. But now that you say - and the rest of Canada also
    believes - that ratio in terms of hockey players is the only way to prove
    there is no favoritism, how are you going to explain to American hockey
    fans and to young American hockey players that although for the last 10
    years the number of young hockey players in the US (400,000+) has been
    almost the same as in Canada (400,000+), this year, just like in all
    previous years, the NHL has almost 200 more Canadian hockey players than
    American hockey players?

    What are you going to say about this to the younger generation of
    American hockey players and to American hockey fans? Certainly not the
    same things you mention in your article regarding the 'style of play of
    Quebeckers'. On the other hand, maybe American hockey players are not
    Canadian enough for you. If you'd read my book, you'd know that I'm half
    Quebecker and half French-American - my father was born in Saint David,
    Maine, in 1927. I'm the only member of the Sirois family living in the
    province of Quebec. All of my uncles, aunts and cousins, as well as my
    brother and nieces, are Americans and live in the States. So what are you
    going to call me this time? A French-American separatist?

    Bob Sirois


For further information: For further information: Roxane Lalonde, Promotion manager, Les Éditions de l'Homme (Quebecor Media), (514) 523-7993, ext. 3265

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