Passerelle

The resistance has begun...

So last week, the Liberal-controlled provincial government rammed through Bill 115, née Bill 103, which sets rules whereby students in English-language private schools not otherwise eligible for public English education can acquire such a privilege.

And if you believe Pauline Marois, Pierre Curzi and others with similar mindsets, the French language and Quebec society are one step closer to extinction thanks to the evil anglophone invader.

Yeah.

And yet, the public outrage about this law isn’t what they expected. In fact, many politicians and pundits are downright shocked that there hasn’t been some sort of mass uprising about Bill 115.

As an anglophone, I’ll admit that I’m hard-wired to be against whatever the leader of the Parti Québécois is for when it comes to language policy. It’s instinctual more than it is reflective.

But I agree with them that this is a bad law and creates a system where the rich have more rights than the poor.

Where we disagree is our alternatives. The PQ would rather deny rights to more people than have the rich be able to buy it. I think we need to look at whether denying English education does more harm than good to the future of Quebec.

The numbers

I don’t have statistics on how many students want to enter English private school in order to get around ineligibility, but the impression I get is that it isn’t many people. On Tout le monde en parle on Sunday, culture minister Christine St-Pierre gave a figure of 4,000 students out of a total of 1 million. That sounds about right.

Anglophones from anglophone families for the most part already have access to English public education, so when we talk about this issue we’re looking at those students whose parents were educated in French (in other words, francophones) or those from outside Canada, both anglophones and allophones who would prefer English education to French. I’ll deal with those groups below.

Francophones: Though I suppose there are some people out there whose parents were educated in French but whose mother tongue is English, let’s assume that for the most part this consists of francophones whose parents believe that sending their child to an English school will give them a better grasp of North America’s dominant language than the English classes they would get in a French school.

This is, quite simply, an embarrassing failure of Quebec’s francophone education system. The teaching of the English language in French schools is apparently so bad that francophone parents would rather have their children go to English schools whose paperwork is in English, whose students are English-speaking and whose French classes rarely seem to go beyond the rules of basic grammar (I’m assuming it hasn’t changed much from my high school days in the mid-90s). Rather than obsess about loopholes, imagine if politicians asked themselves how they could make Quebec’s French-language schools better so no one would want to spend thousands of dollars “buying a right”.

Unfortunately, having a serious discussion about the quality of education doesn’t score cheap political points as easily as screaming in the National Assembly about whether the Québécois nation is a “grand peuple” or a “petit peuple.”

Anglophone immigrants: Anecdotally, the group I keep hearing about at the centre of access to education debates are immigrants from the United States. These people speak English, but for some reason (most likely work-related) they have decided to immigrate to Quebec and contribute to our economy.

Under the French language charter, these anglophone immigrants are forced to send their children – even teenagers more than halfway through high school – to a French-language public school. There, the students can’t understand their teachers, their classmates or anything else. How this could be useful as a means of education, when there’s an alternative that is specifically designed for them, is beyond me.

So these parents face one of three options: Send their children to private school at great expense, have them educated outside Quebec (even to the point of driving every day to a border town in Ontario) or give up and move out of the province. I fail to see how any of these options benefits the French language.

Allophone immigrants: Because of Quebec’s declining birth rate, the number of allophones is increasing in Quebec, particularly in Montreal. Pierre Curzi would have us believe that the vast majority of immigrant allophones become anglophones, but according to the latest census figures, the number of allophones choosing French as their second language has surpassed those who chose English. Note that this includes all allophones, regardless of how long they have been here. For recent immigrants, it’s closer to 75% French and 25% English.

For those allophones who are fluent in neither English nor French, it’s hard to argue against French being the best choice for the dominant language of education. Despite the doomsayers of the PQ, Quebec is still predominantly French, and it’s easier to be a unilingual francophone than a unilingual anglophone, though it’s best to be bilingual.

For those with some fluency in either language, it makes sense to continue one’s education in that language for the same reason as I point out for anglophone immigrants.

Won’t someone please think of the children?

I find it interesting in this debate that nobody seems to give a rat’s ass about what’s best for the children who are being educated. The PQ talks about the future of the French language, implying that this common good is more important than any other consideration when it comes to choosing what school a child can go to.

The other side of the debate isn’t better. The English school boards, represented by the Quebec English School Boards Association (though particularly the English Montreal and Lester B. Pearson boards), talk about their need for increased enrolment, how much they’re suffering because fewer anglophone children are entering their schools. I suppose it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a bureaucracy is primarily concerned with self-preservation (name me a bureaucracy that isn’t), but I can’t criticize the PQ’s stance on this issue without pointing out the equally self-absorbed mirror image.

The children are mere pawns in this game of tug-of-war, numbers to be tabulated on a political scoresheet. That’s probably the saddest part about this whole debate.

A chart of language statistics from Pierre Curzi's study on the French language in Montreal

Grand peuple

Curzi and other sovereignist hardliners like to throw out the statistic that the island of Montreal has fewer than 50% francophones for the first time.

The statistic is valid, having come from the 2006 census. But it’s also misleading. It gives the impression that 51% of Montrealers don’t speak French, which is not the case. The statistic refers to mother tongue, and those break down as 49% French, 25% English and the rest some other language. Of those anglophones, the majority are bilingual, and the majority of allophones become francophones within a generation or two.

In fact, using a chart from Curzi’s own report on the so-called anglicization of Montreal (PDF), it’s clear that the proportions have remained pretty stable over the decade studied, with the only difference in the increased number of Quebecers whose first language is neither English nor French. And even then, the spoken language figures remain about constant. Quebec isn’t turning English; the statistics in fact show a slight downward trend in the proportion of native English speakers.

Not that I’m worried that the English language is going to disappear from Quebec.

This isn’t to say that Curzi is wrong in everything he writes. His 85-page document has 106 references and includes a lot of statistics, but also a lot of one-sided analysis of those statistics that assumes its conclusion and then tries to prove it.

I could get into a long argument about these statistics, with each side throwing out a bunch of percentages to prove that the French language is in freefall or that it’s stable or even growing, but this blog post is already a week in the making and I’m getting tired of wading through contradictory statistics. (Besides, I don’t want to start sounding like the National Post.) Both the French and English language are healthy in Quebec, but the declining birth rate of both combined with 50,000 immigrants a year means the number of those speaking a third language – particularly on the island of Montreal – is rising.

Throw all the statistics at me you want, it’ll be pretty hard to convince me that a language spoken by five million people representing 80% of the population, and with 220 million speakers worldwide (and growing), is in serious danger of extinction.

UPDATE (Feb. 10, 2011): The Gazette’s Don Macpherson also uses Curzi’s statistics against him.

So what do we do?

I don’t pretend to have a magical solution that ensures the French language will be here for the next 10,000 years. I think globalization pressures will eventually cause the world’s population to gravitate toward its most popular languages, whether it’s English, French, Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin. The business world communicates in English. Given a few hundred years, the world could end up being mostly English-speaking. And I doubt there’s much that can be done to stop that.

For the medium term, it might help to focus on some of the causes of decreasing Frenchification than obsessing about raw numbers. Is Montreal becoming less French because of increased immigration? Probably. Are immigrants being too drawn to English? Maybe. Are francophones becoming richer and moving to off-island suburbs in far greater numbers than anglophones and allophones? It seems that way. Do zombies on the island of Montreal prefer eating francophone brains? Absolutely.

Between the carrot and the stick, let’s look at the carrot side. I know of very few Quebec anglophones who wouldn’t want to speak and write better in French, myself included. So maybe there are ways to help them.

Some suggestions:

  • Make all French language courses free. There is a program to educate immigrants to improve their French, and the government offers financial aid for French language courses, but there are still fees. Work on eliminating them and having completely free language courses for anyone who wants to learn or improve their French.
  • Improve education of the French language in both English and French schools. The English side has already improved drastically since I was in elementary school 20 years ago. French immersion is being introduced at a younger age and more forcefully, getting young children to pick up their second language when it’s easiest for them. A majority of anglophones are bilingual. But this can still be improved. More students should be put into immersion programs, for one.
  • Start giving a crap about what happens in the rest of Canada. As unalarmed as I am about the state of the French language in Quebec, it’s pretty clear how poor a state it’s in elsewhere. While bilingualism rates in English Canada are stable or even improving slightly, they’re dropping among younger Canadians, which is a bad sign. French immersion outside Quebec and the Maritimes was in the single digits in 2000. And in New Brunswick, Canada’s only officially bilingual province, well … see for yourself. If language hard-liners in Quebec took half the energy they do maintaining French here and spent it negotiating or promoting improvements to French language education in other provinces, we might see some real movement.
  • Focus on taking down cultural barriers instead of putting them up. Quebec has an impressively healthy culture considering its size. Canadian producers in film, music and television look to Quebec with envy. But few anglophones take advantage of it. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how to fix it, but bringing the two solitudes together culturally will go a long way toward integrating anglophones into Quebec society.
  • Put people in schools based on language, not heritage. If we establish that English schools are better for anglophone students and French schools are better for francophone and allophone students, how about sending people to schools based on competence rather than where their parents were educated? Putting a student in an English school with a strong French immersion program shouldn’t impede their learning of the French language. If it is, that needs to be fixed.

What not to do:

  • Don’t restrict unsubsidized private schools. The PQ wants to expand the French language charter to include unsubsidized English private schools, which is kind of scary when you think about it. I’m imagining black-market schools that teach forbidden subjects in an illegal language, the kind of stuff you’d find in a science fiction novel. Fully private schools, whether they’re English language schools, religious schools or other, exist outside the public system and shouldn’t be interfered with unless they’re doing something illegal. Yes, this means that the rich will have better access to education than the poor, but that’s life. Unless you’re planning to make university education free, outlaw private tutors and start restricting access to bookstores, rich people are always going to have it better than poor people.
  • Don’t extend language laws to CEGEPs and universities. It’s really hard to believe that someone who has gone through French elementary and high school will lose their ability to speak the language because they went to an English CEGEP. Besides, many people choose CEGEPs and universities based on the programs they offer, not the language they teach in. Restricting access would limit educational opportunities for francophones.

I’m not an expert. Half the arguments in this post might be bogus. But this whole issue just annoys me so much that I have to get this off my chest.

If you want more objective analysis, I’d suggest watching some reports from the Téléjournal last week about language in Montreal. You might even learn something.

There. Now that I’ve solved Quebec’s language debate, let’s move on to something else.

188 thoughts on “Passerelle

  1. Olivier

    I’ll go straight to the what to do / not do:

    Agree on both don’t, but not for the same reasons: it simply is a “voie de garage” (don’t know the english version of that one, sorry). It’s a lot of trouble for an uncertain effect.

    On the “what to do”:

    – Your last point sounds similar to what Mulcair proposed, if I’m not mistaken. This probably was the right way to do it, but the PLQ is in disarray right now and they sounded more eager to get into a fistfight with the PQ over “rights are rights are rights” than anything else. I’ll say this: Saint-Pierre is pretty darn good, too bad she didn’t have a good law to pass.

    – Your points about taking down cultural barriers and caring about what happens in the rest of Canada are nice and, I believe, completely irrelevant to the current debate. Relevant to the future of Québec as a society, it’s place in Canada? certainly. But the debate is: who gets a publicly funded education in english in Québec. The PQ is trying to steer it toward: “Who gets and english education in Québec?” and it’s a brain-dead approach. Had the PLQ seen that, they could’ve calibrated their law to give the talented Saint-Pierre some ammos on that front.

    – Better french education in english and french schools? Yup.

    – Free french immersion? It’s a scandal, an absolute shame it isn’t.

    But you are missing the elephant in the room: better english education in french schools and better handling of integration of non-francophones in french schools; the latter point is pretty heavily worked on, but parents still don’t trust the french school’s abilities to correctly teach english to their childs.

    Hell of a blogpost, tough. Nice work. I suspect there will be a healthy debate around here soon :)

    Reply
    1. Neumontréal

      I found Saint-Pierre to be visibly disdainful of hearing anything except what she was proposing and spouting quite a lot of sophistry during the commission hearings. I wasn’t impressed by her at all.

      Reply
      1. Neumontréal

        Also, we can thank the Charest government for cutting into incentives for learning French. I’m thinking specifically of the foreign/out of province tuition-fee waiver for people majoring in French. And longer work permits for people moving en région. And of course Francicization courses are woefully underfunded. And the OQLF has been burying reports when they demonstrate the result of all this.

        The picture adds up to a subtle attack on French on all fronts by this government, crowned by the Loi 115, which will probably create all sorts of multinational-funded private foundations to “sponsor” students through their passerelle years, creating new markets for predominantely-English media and products and politics eternally after.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          I’m thinking specifically of the foreign/out of province tuition-fee waiver for people majoring in French.

          My biggest issue with that is people from France who want to study in Quebec pay a lower fee than people from Ontario. Give them a discount, sure, but have them pay at least the national average. (And is there any evidence this increases the number of French speakers in Quebec over the long term?)

          The picture adds up to a subtle attack on French on all fronts by this government, crowned by the Loi 115, which will probably create all sorts of multinational-funded private foundations to “sponsor” students through their passerelle years, creating new markets for predominantely-English media and products and politics eternally after.

          Who would fund such a thing? It’s not like there’s some anglo cabal out there willing to throw away millions of dollars making sure there are a few more English speakers out there.

          Reply
          1. Neumontréal

            It’s not a “cabal” or a “conspiracy” but very simple-to-understand self-interest Think of why CTV, for example, might spend a bit of money to expand its potential market.

            Reply
          2. Kevin

            CTV already has a huge French-speaking audience.
            Or am I the only who had co-workers coming in every Thursday morning last year to talk about what they saw on ‘lust’.

            Reply
      2. Fagstein Post author

        I found Saint-Pierre to be visibly disdainful of hearing anything except what she was proposing and spouting quite a lot of sophistry during the commission hearings. I wasn’t impressed by her at all.

        Replace “Saint-Pierre” by “Curzi” in this comment and I don’t think its truth value changes.

        Reply
  2. wkh

    The fact you identify yourself as an anglophone in a post where you insist that French is basically not in danger and any efforts to preserve it is obnoxious is just… blistering irony or sarcasm, not sure which? ;-) I mean I don’t mean to use personal friendship privilege to pick on you but… OMG my jaw literally dropped when I saw that.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      you insist that French is basically not in danger and any efforts to preserve it is obnoxious

      I don’t think that French is in danger. Maybe being an anglophone makes me a poor analyst of the situation and automatically invalidates my point of view, but it’s how I see the situation.

      And I’m not arguing that any efforts to preserve the French language are obnoxious. In fact, I suggest some of my own. My issue is that I think they would be more successful if they encouraged people to speak French than if they prevented people from speaking other languages or punished them for it.

      Reply
      1. wkh

        Steve, how did a guy with a last name like Faguy end up being an Anglophone? Why don’t you enlighten us and then tell us how there’s no danger in sending French kids to English school.

        In other news, I have precisely zero sympathy for immigrants who are all “OMG WE HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL IN FRENCH?!” Immigration is a multi year process. Usually about 2-3. If you can’t bother during that time to prepare your children to attend school in the majority language of where you’ll be moving you have way bigger parenting problems than new rules in your chosen, I repeat CHOSEN, homeland. If you want your kids to go to school in English, Ontario is straight west and NB straight east. It’s ridiculous the way they take advantage of QC’s easier immigration process and then bitch and moan “omg we have to go to school in French?!” Yes, you do, and you knew that when you signed up. And honestly, it’s not in QC’s best interest to allow its immigrants to go to English school.

        Frankly, the kids will learn French a whole lot faster if they get tossed in than they do in those “welcoming” classes (see the abysmal failure of ESL in the US for an example.

        That said, I’ll agree with you on one big important fact. If English schools taught French properly, and if French schools taught French AND English properly, this would be way less of a debate. Add in the outdated and flat out counterproductive policies limiting exposure to other languages in the early years (which is when it’s best to teach them) and the system needs an entire overhaul. But you’ll never hear me sympathizing with people who CHOSE to come to Quebec who then whine they should be able to live here as if it’s Ontario. And I’m not surprised it’s USians crying the most (like that stupid mother driving her kids to Ontario every day, nice way to make sure they never fit in with Quebec society by limiting their exposure to French) because around the world we have this attitude like we should be able to take the US with us when we move and live in little US enclaves. Strangely when Muslims do this they’re terrorists, USians are just exercising human rights.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Steve, how did a guy with a last name like Faguy end up being an Anglophone?

          Admittedly, my being an anglophone descendant of francophones kind of puts a hole in my argument. But it wasn’t my idea. And as someone whose parents were educated in English, nothing in this law would make me or my descendants more or less French.

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        2. Neumontréal

          I’m an anglophone immigrant and an anglo de souche and I came to Montréal because it was French. Not because some corporation forced me. I wanted to learn & go to school in French.

          But hardly anyone speaks to me in French here. Supposedly I have the choice to use of one of Canada’s official languages or Québec’s official language, but this never manifests itself in reality when my choice is against the trend or whatever’s more efficient for everyone else. So I have a hard time believing French isn’t threatened. Mine certainly is.

          Thus the idea that we should somehow let the children of Americans into public-subsidized English school here is a bit annoying. Do we really want to have Montréal full of a bunch of Americans who think they can just buy their way into getting whatever they want, no matter where they are? I don’t!

          How about they send their kids to French school and thus give their kids the gift of learning another language? I would have appreciated it if my parents had done that. What a marvellous idea, and they can still talk to their kids in English at home, and of course nobody will let them not speak English outside of school anyway. Why is it assumed that we have to create a sterilized, homogeneous, as American-as-possible environment for these people?

          If a corporation wants to attract workers to Montréal who are anti-French, they can pay their employees enough to send the children to private english school. Companies do this sort of thing.

          You say “language not heritage” and then you put this up: “As an anglophone, I’ll admit that I’m hard-wired to be against whatever the leader of the Parti Québécois is for when it comes to language policy. It’s instinctual more than it is reflective.”

          Well, I disprove that rule, I am a card-carrying bloquiste since this summer.

          Reply
          1. Omi-san

            My wife is also an anglophone immigrant and she wants to speak french. It’s not easy between Québecois who automatically switch to english when they hear her accent and the local anglophones who constantly bitch and whine about Québecois.

            Reply
    2. Tim

      Je suis un fier Québécois de trois générations, et oui, je suis anglophone.

      Comment se fait-il que le fait que mes grand-parents ont parlé l’anglais m’excluerait du droit de participer dans ce débat? (Sinon me faire exclure, me faire refuser mes propos du revers de la main comme étant «ironique» ou «sarcastique».)

      Pourquoi, parce que mes grand-parents ont parlé l’anglais, aurais-je plus de droits qu’un autre Québécois?

      Reply
  3. Edgy555

    Well, as an American who’s lived here for five years (and can’t wait to get the hell out), I think you can propose all the sensible solutions you want. At the end of the day, Quebec will remain as stuck up its own ass as it ever has been — with its limping economy, its failing medicare system and its crumbling streets. Whatever it is that motivates the francophone electorate here, it is certainly not a spirit of generosity, fairness and equality. Far from it, it seems, to me, to be arrogance pure and simple. So, speak French all you want, be unfailingly polite to the rudest civil servant, go cap-in-hand to Charest and beg for whatever crumbs he might throw your way but please don’t think that anything here will ever, ever change.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Quebec will remain as stuck up its own ass as it ever has been — with its limping economy, its failing medicare system and its crumbling streets.

      I won’t argue that the economy, health care and infrastructure are top-notch, but are any of them really far worse in Quebec than elsewhere in Canada? I don’t see how the government’s French language policy can be blamed for faults in these systems.

      Reply
      1. Edgy555

        Well, Fagstein, I’ll defer to you on the infrastructure issues. The fact is that I have only lived in Quebec in Canada. If you say Toronto is just as bad, I’ll believe you. My point is that it seems quite clear judging by any measure — unemployment, mean salary, economic growth — Quebec is a laggard. I am not alone in suggesting that this is due, in part, to a fairly draconian language policy that discourages investment in this province. Even if I wanted to open a business here, I’d have to fill out forms in French, communicate in French with the government, etc.? For what purpose?

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          My point is that it seems quite clear judging by any measure — unemployment, mean salary, economic growth — Quebec is a laggard.

          According to Statistics Canada, the Quebec unemployment rate is 7.7%. That puts it fifth-lowest (or sixth-highest) among the provinces. Ontario and all the Atlantic provinces have higher unemployment rates, and the Prairies and B.C. are lower.

          As far as median salary, Quebec is ahead of the Atlantic provinces but behind all provinces west of here.

          Economic growth is a bit hard to quantify because it changes a lot, but you can see some charts here.

          Do these statistics that mean Quebec is a laggard? I’ll leave it to you to judge, but I remain unconvinced.

          Reply
        2. Edgy555

          Are you Fagstein or Mr. Fagstein? ;-) I say laggard because, well…

          http://www.iedm.org/uploaded/pdf/mai2007_en.pdf

          …I’m not sure comparing economic performance in the midst of the largest recession this century is the best policy, but, here:

          http://www.dailycommercialnews.com/nw/21321/en

          …given that the industries being hammered this time around are the ones that are based in, say, Toronto or New York, it seems like Quebec looks better in comparison — although still behind, the RBC report states.

          It doesn’t matter. My point and I’m sorry that my initial post was so hastily composed (you hit a nerve, Fagstein) was that things in Quebec won’t change. In fact, my purpose in stating “I’m American” was not a big brother-esque “let me show you how it’s done” statement. It was because Mr. Fagstein referenced Americans in his post and I thought I’d offer an opinion from an outsider (and by outsider I mean one not brought up in this culture and therefore with no stake in its outcome. It’s not like I don’t have a place to go back to as debased as many of you seem to think that place is.)

          So, with that let me try to better express what I’m trying to say…

          1) The point of departure for my post was Mr. Fagstein’s very sensible — in my opinion — solutions to the language of schooling issue. Unfortunately, the language issue will never be resolved because, well, it just won’t. Francophones don’t care about you; I’m sorry, they don’t. No matter how reasonable the arguments, no matter how sincere the efforts of anglophones and others, at the end of the day reason will not prevail in Quebec. They don’t care about your civil rights and they don’t care about what is best for this province. Take a look at statistics on anglo poverty in this province — you know what? Quebec doesn’t even track it based on language (funny, since they do everything else.) Gotta keep the big Westmount boogey-man alive, huh?

          2) This offends me not because I wish to see French die out in Quebec but because it has ramifications on everything else. Firstly, in Montreal especially, it has the effect of obliterating a rich cultural heritage. I am actually offended when I drive through NDG and see little white pieces of tape over anglo street designations and my being offended is not about the arrogance of an English-speaking person it’s because it is a concerted effort to ignore/change/obliterate a heritage which the majority in this province finds distasteful or inconvenient. Look at the way this province calculates and manipulates everything — second and third-generation Italians who speak English 85% of the time are allophones, really?

          3) As far as I have observed, these cultural issues trump nearly everything. I work in finance and, like it or not, New York and Toronto are the continent’s financial capitals. You know how difficult it is to recruit finance people to come live and work here? You try explaining to an American that they will have to send their children to schools that operate in French and in fact, even if they themselves don’t speak French, they will have to communicate with the school in French. I won’t even get into the taxes. Net result: it doesn’t take much to conclude that your business shouldn’t be located here. Following on that, I can’t blame them because I would never raise kids here not only because of the school issue but because, day after day, they are told by this society in all sorts of different ways that they won’t belong because of the language they speak. Even if you want your kids to be bilingual, Quebec’s fascism (yes, fascism) forces your hand.

          4) My reference to other things “wrong” in Quebec is simply that, to my mind, these issues always get ignored because everyone is always fighting about language here. Medical system not functioning? Let’s start a language row! Crumbling streets? Well, you must be complaining because you want to see French die out in North America! Maclean’s says Quebec is corrupt? Quebec-bashing! French-hater! It’s tiresome, I’m sorry that you don’t see it, but it’s dysfunctional in the extreme. Further, I’m sorry that you’re so offended that an American would point that out. I am not saying that America is better, I’m saying that these are the issues I see from the perspective of being an outsider not invested in the cultural roots of this place — I’m just a guy passing through.

          So, there you go, take it for what it’s worth: one man’s opinion but let me say that in my experience, it’s shared by quite a number of immigrants. I know Nigerians who though their French is perfect, refuse to speak a word of it to any francophone they meet because of the frustration that they feel in this place. Let me say here that I actually love Montreal, I’ve just become a realist in terms of Quebec. This is not even about French-Canadian language or culture, this is about the realities of Quebec. You want to be offended by what I’m saying? That’s fine and it fits perfectly with everything I think about this place: things will never change and criticism is not welcome especially from a non-francophone outsider. I don’t want to make it America (I don’t think America is perfect by any stretch of the imagination.) I would like to see a Quebec that is French, inclusive and open — that’s not Quebec today and, I’m pretty confident in saying it will never be Quebec. So, I will leave you all to your knee-jerk anti-Americanism because, well, if there ever were a sentiment less trite…

          Mr. Fagstein, you run an excellent blog and I enjoy reading it, keep up the good work.

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            Francophones don’t care about you; I’m sorry, they don’t.

            I tried to be careful in my post not to lump all francophones together. If they all thought like PQ hard-liners, we’d have a PQ government and would have long ago separated from Canada. There are francophones who are sympathetic to the anglo side of the language issue and want more parental choice with less government interference.

            I also don’t think it’s helpful to paint people like Curzi as unreasonable. I question his research, and disagree with some of his conclusions, but I don’t think he’s evil, and would probably even enjoy having a beer with him one of these days. Besides some of the crazies like the RRQ and Jeunes patriotes, most sovereignists are smart, reasonable people who think it just makes sense for Quebec and Canada to be two separate countries, one French and one English.

            Reply
          2. Edgy555

            Well, Fagstein, I am not insensitive to your criticism (lumping francophones together) and, by way of explaining myself, I will say that 1) as I mentioned before I am talking about the electorate in Quebec (which is overwhelmingly francophone) and 2) I will relate that, explaining this to a friend (and I know people will jump all over me for this) I said that people in Texas seem to elect politicians who profess to be anti-gay. Does that mean that all Texans are anti-gay? No. Can I call Texas an anti-gay place. Hmmm. I’m being hyperbolic to prove a point but, please, even you must realize that there is a kind of myopia amongst francophones when it comes to the needs of the anglophone community in Quebec.

            Reply
    2. Maria Gatti

      Leave. I’d be glad to see the back of you. You don’t even have a healthcare system, “crumbling” or not. You are one of the richest countries in the world and many, many millions of your citizens have no access whatsoever to healthcare.

      And I’ve seen plenty of crumbling streets in the US. Fuck you.

      Reply
      1. Edgy555

        Friendly as all the other Quebeckies I’ve met, Maria. Not to sidetrack the debate, but while I would acknowledge that the U.S. has more than its share of problems regarding access to healthcare, the U.S. does have what could be argued is the best healthcare system for those who have access to it which includes me. Now, I am not saying this is adequate by any means and we must do better. However, a “universal” system such as Quebec’s wherein 1/3 don’t have access to front-line care (no G.P.) and where the province denies new doctors licenses to practice in Montreal, basically encouraging them to leave the province, is a failure no matter how you cut it. Add to that the fact that Quebec, hampered by its economy (look up the number of people who don’t pay taxes here), looks the other way as more and more doctors opt out of the public system and I’m sure you’ll agree that this is not a strategy for success.

        My desire was not to insult anyone here but I see very little utility in deciding not to face Quebec’s problems head-on rather than deciding it’s Quebec-bashing.

        As for your wish, I’ll be gone soon enough, don’t worry, and I’ll take my tax money with me.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          However, a “universal” system such as Quebec’s wherein 1/3 don’t have access to front-line care (no G.P.) and where the province denies new doctors licenses to practice in Montreal, basically encouraging them to leave the province, is a failure no matter how you cut it.

          These are obviously problems, as is the lack of doctors in the regions, but I would hardly argue that the answer is to abandon universal health care and switch to a system similar to the U.S.

          Reply
          1. Maria Gatti

            Actually, I’ve been involved in several movements and campaigns over the years concerned with improving access to healthcare. One thing I was involved with for several years is advocacy for injured workers and those seeking compensation and better treatment for industrial disease. Another is access to better nutrition in poor neighbourhoods – we have some interesting projects underway right here in Villeray/Petite Patrie.

            I doubt very much that Edgy has as strong a commitment to fighting for universal health coverage in his country; a glaring injustice in such a wealthy and powerful country. I’d be pleased to hear that I was wrong about that. Won’t take him to task for his USian spelling, but in that sense his English needs work too if he really wanted to live here… ;-)

            I’m certainly not an unfriendly person, but someone from the most powerful imperialist country in the world who expects us to be cap in hand to him and proffers all manner of insults about le pays d’accueil has proven himself worthy of disdain. I’m well aware of the many serious problems here, but I doubt he’d like my take on the solution to them. They certainly don’t involve grovelling to overlords. They do involve fighting for transparency and ethics.

            Steve, I do have one minor quibble with your imagery. A wide range of associations, parties and trade unions were involved in the Coalition against law 103 – Almost none of these are as extremist as RRQ or want there to be not only “tout en français” (I agree with that part) but also “et en français seulement”. RRQ takes a particularly narrow outlook on what constitutes Québec society. I guess Curzi gets in the door because his mum is francophone, but I doubt they think Amir Khadir, Maria Mourani or Maka Kotto are “real” QuébécoisEs.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              The photos are just things I’ve seen over the past week since the bill was passed. I’m not equating the PQ with the RRQ, though I wonder if this isn’t evidence of a slippery slope when you try to engineer a society to weed out (language) impurities.

              Reply
        2. Jim

          I want to apologize to you for the gratuitous “fuck you” insult that was made by a confused individual in this forum – (who as I see it) you would be better off ignoring anyway. I have had very few occasions to agree with her extreme left of center views and I urge you in fact to stay in this wonderful city.

          You are as much a Montrealer as anyone.

          Reply
    3. wkh

      Wow. People like you are why I got my citizenship and rarely out myself as USian anymore. Why DID you come here anyway? I’m impressed, I didn’t even read your post before I talked about USians who think they should be able to take a piece of the US with them and live as USians worldwide. Thanks for giving a perfect example and also reminding me why I never want to go back. I love how you write this crap then bitch at Maria for not being friendly, typical US asshole I’m glad to leave behind.

      Reply
      1. Edgy555

        Well, you’re misjudging me and you should probably view my response in light of Maria’s charming diatribe. However, if what you’re saying is that you’re embarrassed to be American then you’re probably right, we wouldn’t see eye-to-eye because what I realize is that America has a long way to go in learning from, and a lot to teach the world as a result of its own history. So, just as I think there are quiet a few things the U.S. could learn from Canada, I also think the reverse is also true.

        Reply
  4. Maria Gatti

    Steve, other than that colonialist USian who thinks everyone on the planet should do his bidding, I have several friends from that country who moved here because they wanted no part of that society. And sent their kids to French schools. It should come as no surprise that the kids speak English as well – real English, not Merkin, as the parents are the type who listen to CBC. Why on earth should someone from the US, the UK or any other English-speaking country have the right to send their kids to English schools? That creates two classes of immigrants.

    Hope Edgy has already packed his bags. Although he might have second thoughts if he needs healthcare, crumbling or not…

    We fight for better healthcare, but they simply don’t have such a system, which is nothing but a crime.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Why on earth should someone from the US, the UK or any other English-speaking country have the right to send their kids to English schools? That creates two classes of immigrants.

      To be clear, it wouldn’t be based on country of origin, but on the child’s mother tongue. If that creates two classes of immigrants, it’s those who speak English better than French, and those who don’t.

      Reply
      1. wkh

        Why should they get to go to English school? Arabic speaking kids don’t get to go to Arabic school. If they don’t go to French school, they’re not going to integrate into QC society. School is the easiest way to ensure they do. Honestly, I think parents who want to send their kids to English school are neglectful. It’s not hard to learn English, very good English, anywhere in the world, particularly if one of your parents already is a native English speaker. It’s total anglocentrism where we expect the world to bow to our English speaking desires. No other linguistic group in the world operates this way when moving abroad. It’s embarrassing.

        Reply
        1. Josh

          The only way that argument makes sense is in cases where people move to countries where English schools do not exist, or if in deciding where to move, people just throw a dart at a world map and go. They don’t – things like language are considerations. And when people do a little research and discover that Canada is officially bilingual, that French immersion is available all over the country, and that there are English schools in Quebec, it might lead them to logically conclude that *of course* English schooling is available to those who want it in Quebec. Why wouldn’t it be? Denying part of the population a government service in that way would be grossly discriminatory, after all.

          No, Arabic-speaking immigrants don’t get to send their kids to Arabic school because it’s not an expectation that when you move to Canada, there will be an Arabic school there. But that’s a totally different situation.

          The fact is that having a public service that exists and is only available to people that had the *right* parents or grandparents is disgusting discrimination.

          Reply
          1. JMcD

            This is why Québec needs to be its own country. Otherwise, it will always be just another part of Canada and held to a bilingualism imposed on it by a Charter of Rights and Freedoms it never wanted in the first place.

            A minimal amount of research makes it loud and clear to any immigrant, English-speaking or not, that foreigners do not have access to the English school system in Québec, which only exists for the true Québec anglophone minority, not people from the US, UK, Australia, etc.

            If you moved to any other country, it would be the same.

            Reply
  5. Marc

    The English school boards […], talk about their need for increased enrolment, how much they’re suffering because fewer anglophone children are entering their schools.

    Fact of the matter is that an ever-increasing number of “de souche” anglos are choosing the French system. Believe me, there are no shortage of said anglo youngsters who graduate from high school knowing 10 words of French. That screams volumes about the EMSB and LBPSB.

    Start giving a crap about what happens in the rest of Canada. As unalarmed as I am about the state of the French language in Quebec, it’s pretty clear how poor a state it’s in elsewhere.

    Anglo Quebecers may care about the state of French in the ROC on “national unity” grounds, but the reality is that the ROC doesn’t give two shits about the state of French out there. So starting to give a crap about what happens in the ROC is a lost cause.

    Don’t extend language laws to CEGEPs and universities.

    Why not? They’re mostly taxpayer-funded, too.

    Restricting access would limit educational opportunities for francophones.

    It’s a limit most francophones don’t care about.

    Reply
  6. Manuel

    Well, I grew up in the States, and I can guarantee you that no French-speaking immigrants have the right to state-subsidized french-language schools. There are some bilingual-integration programs for recent immigrants, but no public school boards in a language other than English.

    And yes, it is so typically imperialist for Americans to come here and be outraged that they might actually have to learn another language. Most Americans don’t even see Canada as a country, and Québec, if they even know it exists, must be some kind of folkloric village.

    So I don’t feel sorry for my ex-compatriotes that feel put out because they haven’t quite succeeded in completely colonizing the planet to the extent that they feel right…and I don’t think you should either.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Well, I grew up in the States, and I can guarantee you that no French-speaking immigrants have the right to state-subsidized french-language schools

      Okay, but the United States doesn’t have French as an official language. In fact, the United States doesn’t have any official language nationally.

      And yes, it is so typically imperialist for Americans to come here and be outraged that they might actually have to learn another language.

      Perhaps, but that’s not what I’m arguing. I’m suggesting it might be better for anglophone immigrants to enter a school system specifically designed to teach anglophone students how to speak French without causing their other studies to suffer.

      Reply
          1. Michael

            I think you might be able to say that English is an official language of Quebec. All laws passed by the National Assembly are in both english and french. The court system operates in both languages. One can speak in the National Assembly in English (although this is rarely done). I can go on with many other examples.

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            Who cares about what Canada has? The constitution says that language is solely a provincial jurisdiction, so there is no legal basis to state that Québec is not exclusively french, no matter how many languages the federal government purports to handle.
            (Well, actually, I am wrong. Québec has more than 2 official languages; in addition to french, there are all the native languages who are just as protected as french is by law 101).

            Reply
  7. Pierre Phaneuf

    I find language education in Québec to be rather appalling in general. I remember a precise moment, in 5th grade, where I gave up on French as a sensible language (when I noticed our textbook was *mostly* exceptions), and have been rather antagonistic about learning French at school after that (I didn’t know any other languages, either, call it teenage angst?), and yet, somehow, I have better written French than the average Québecois?! I’m not sure why, maybe my hatred of French led me into a “know thy enemy” attitude? In any case, I find the French side of the building rules notice in the elevator at my apartment to be, well… garbage.

    And what’s most infuriating is that the English classes managed to be even worse. I would have to credit Jean-Luc Picard (from Star Trek TNG) ahead of most of my English class teachers. Most francophones in Québec can pass all of their required English courses, and somehow still not be able to do much at all in English. That said, my anglo spies tell me it’s pretty much the same with French in anglo schools (although most of my anglo friends are originally from either Ontario, Newfoundland or B.C.).

    In many European countries, nobody bats an eyelash at a bilingual person (except maybe in most of France, but they’re a bit special). My Danish friend speak English perfectly, and seems to have some decent German (although I can’t really judge that well!). My Portuguese girlfriend speaks no less than four languages (Portuguese, French, Spanish, English), and can limp around in at least one more (Italian). And I tend to think that if Basque and Catalan can survive (and fairly well, from my visits to Barcelona and Pamplona, I don’t know that Occitan, ), we’d really have to botch things up rather seriously if French was to be “lost” here. Freakin’ *Basque*! They’re not even a million speaking it! And it’s *growing*!

    Disclosure: I’m francophone, born and grew up mostly around St-Hyacinthe, and lived for a year in France.

    Reply
  8. Johnny

    Firstly, let me say that I’ve been reading your site for some time now. And after a few months of not checking it out I’ve recently rediscovered it. I’m just a random guy from the rest of Canada and it is always interesting to read what is going on in Quebec….particularly the user comments that come from all sides. Thanks for the site. :)

    With that out of the way, I wanted to make a few comments about education in Quebec. Not always, but generally the rules make perfect sense. Canada has 2 official languages and it makes sense that since French is the official language majority in Quebec that rules need to be set out as to who can attend school in the official language minority. It is actually quite similar to the rules for who can attend a French public school in the rest of the country. But like you, what I dont get is the requirement for children of anglophone immigrants to send their kids to French public schools. Bridging schools are very nice, but i see how traumatic it can be for a child who is already being educated in English to be thrust into a language they don’t understand….especially when there is likely a perfectly good English school within a few miles of them.*

    And this is where receiving French education in the rest of the country differs from getting English education in Quebec. Francophone immigrants to Vancouver, Halifax and where ever else are eligible and do send their kids to public French schools. I have to wonder if it is more about trying to increase the numbers of students in French schools rather than ‘will someone please think of the children’, but I feel this is something that education in Quebec should consider.

    Another thing that has always struck me is the numbers of Quebec francophone parents who want their children educated in English. I base that both on random conversations I’ve had while in Quebec and on polls I’ve read. And when I say ‘educated in English’, I specifically mean to learn the language. But rather than opening up the English schools to all who want to attend I see a good middle ground of looking towards the French immersion programmes in the rest of the country. I was actually surprised that public school English-immersion programmes don’t seem to exist in Quebec. English is already taught to the early grades so why not start immersion classes starting in the middle or even high school grades for those who want it? Just some random thoughts, but it does seem to me that this is a reasonable way to keep the most people happy. Those who want English education get it AND keeps immigrants and Francophones from looking to English schools.

    *that of course brings up the issue of parental responsibility and the need to ‘look stuff up’ before moving to another country.

    Reply
    1. Guillaume

      There are many, many english immersion programs in French schools, although they are often restricted to those with good grades. I learned most of my English that way, while living in a 99,5% francophone Montreal suburb (Repentigny). It was only a year of immersion, in 6th grade, but that was enough. I honestly don’t get those who complain that French schools can’t teach good English. They can; me, my sister and a lot of my friends are proof of that.

      On the point of Bill 115, I don’t get why we don’t simply adopt the notwithstanding clause to re-establish the unanimously adopted bill 104. I feel like it had good balance: on one hand, it forbid “buying” the right to subsidised English schools, while on the other, it allowed the franco/allophones who really, really cared to enlist into non-subsidized English schools. I feel that Bill 115 is too permissive, and the PQ position to be a bit too much across-the-board.

      All this debate really has at its origin a really, really bad call by the Supreme Court, IMHO.

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        I don’t get why we don’t simply adopt the notwithstanding clause to re-establish the unanimously adopted bill 104. I feel like it had good balance …

        That’s the problem. There’s a danger that Quebecers might consider this an appropriate compromise and will keep their pitchforks at home when it’s time to begin the revolution.

        All this debate really has at its origin a really, really bad call by the Supreme Court, IMHO.

        You can’t fault the Supreme Court too much here. They’re bound to interpret Canadian law, which clearly conflicts with Quebec when it comes to rights and language education. The fact that Bill 104 is unconstitutional but Bill 115 might be, that’s kind of a head-scratcher though.

        Reply
  9. Youthink

    Politicians are not philosophers, they are salesmen. They are not interested in doing the right or honorable thing. They are interested in passing laws that get them re-elected. They are salesmen for ideas that they hope will be popular. What they should do is irrelevant. Your thoughtful notions are correct. Oppression is the wrong way to go. I have faith that the population will eventually realize this.

    Reply
  10. Kevin

    I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: the status of English-language education in French school boards is near-criminal.
    My Francophone friends who are parents are flabbergasted when I tell them my kids spend their entire school day in French (except for lunch and after-school programs). 100%! In an English school. Until Grade 4.

    At French schools, kids get 30 to 60 minutes a week in English, and they get detention if they speak English in the playground.

    As for going to French schools outside of Quebec: forget it, you’re not allowed. Just like in Quebec, you need blood rights to attend a French school, even if English parents want their kids to learn better French. Talk about respecting the wishes of the public…

    As for French on the island of Montreal, I will not be surprised if the next PQ convention debates preventing francophones who live on the island from selling their homes to anglophones and allophones.

    Reply
    1. NDGer

      Where do kids get detention if they speak English in the schoolyard? My kids go to French school and I haven’t heard of this happening at their schools.

      For French school in Ontario, I think you can get your kids in if their French is good enough, but it makes sense that they don’t want to let in a bunch of kids who only speak French at school or it will be like an immersion school where it’s French in the classroom and everyone speaks English in the schoolyard.

      Reply
  11. ladyjaye

    Steve, I agree with you that access to CEGEPs and universities should not be restricted by the mother tongue of the potential students. I grew up in a bilingual home (but have always spoke French with my parents, even with my anglo dad), went to elementary and high schools in French and studied at John Abbott in English… not because I wanted to improve my written English, but simply because it was by far the closest CEGEP to my home (I lived in Ile Perrot back then). Had I been forced to go to a French CEGEP, I would have had to go to Valleyfield, any francophone school in Montreal or elsewhere in the province (keep in mind that Gérald-Godin College did not exist back then).

    Reply
  12. Becks

    I believe, rightly or wrongly..is that a real word btw? that the only people who will be ill-served by the new law and suufer are the Francophones….they are the ones who will ultimately be reduced to a language-ghetto of 7 million in a sea of multi-linguals.

    Reply
    1. JMcD

      A sea of multi-linguals where? Ontario? The States? What planet do you live on. Even with the language restriction, French-speaking Quebecer and allophone immigrants who go to French school are by far the most multilingual people on this entire continent.

      Reply
  13. Goaltender Interference

    Thanks Fagstein for some pretty sensible thoughts on the subject. You DO know what you are talking about a great deal more than most of the people you referenced.

    We should all be extremely wary of arguments of:
    – self-interested groups like the school board associations, who have an interest in having more students (higher budgets)
    – Pierre Curzi,whose party has an interest in making people worry about the state of the French language (since when has “the Island of Montreal” been a useful statistical unit for analyzing demographics? Ever since excluding the off-island suburbs has been helpful for Curzi’s rhetoric)
    – the myriad of “pundits” and tiny groups who are interested in getting attention rather than informing people about a very complicated subject.

    This is a boring debate about a law that tries to reconcile an incredibly narrow and poorly-drafted section of the Charter of Rights with a tiny section of Bill 101 that affects either dozens or low hundreds of students per year. That some people want to stir people up over it shows either their own self-interest or lack of political maturity.

    It would be great if Quebec had a real and mature debate over socio-linguistic and educational planning. Experience in Europe and in the southern United States over linguistic integration would be very useful. There would of course be plenty of biggoted people and self-interested groups that would want to dominate the discussion, but the discussion should still be had.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      This is a boring debate about a law that tries to reconcile an incredibly narrow and poorly-drafted section of the Charter of Rights with a tiny section of Bill 101 that affects either dozens or low hundreds of students per year. That some people want to stir people up over it shows either their own self-interest or lack of political maturity.

      I think you’re minimizing the conflict here. There’s a very clear, very fundamental discord between the Canadian charter that says Canada is a bilingual country and the Quebec French language charter that says Quebec is French-only and must protect its Frenchness. It’s one that, sadly, probably won’t be solved unless Quebec separates and non-Quebec francophones get thrown under the bus as Canada becomes English-only.

      Reply
      1. Goaltender Interference

        Actually, the part in the Charter about being a bilingual country only applies to the Federal Government. The Quebec government is perfectly free to make French Quebec’s official language (with some small exceptions not worth mentioning here).

        Bill 103 is all about this obscure section of the Charter of Rights:

        “23. (1) Citizens of Canada… who have received their primary school instruction in Canada in English or French and reside in a province where the language in which they received that instruction is the language of the English or French linguistic minority population of the province, have the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in that language in that province.”

        Since section 23 doesn’t distinguish between private schools and public schools, the Supreme Court had no choice but to say that the old Bill 104 violated this section.

        Since section 1 of the Charter of Rights allows governments to set “reasonable limits” on Charter rights, the Quebec government introduced Bill 103 as a set of what it believes are reasonable limits (and I’m pretty sure the courts will also agree, based on what they have said before).

        The PQ wants to make it impossible for immigrants to go to English private schools, so that section 23 never applies to them in the first place. Most lawyers think that would violate section 15 of the Charter:

        “15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination…”

        As it would discriminate between immigrants and non-immigrants. The PQ would therefore use the Notwithstanding Clause to override section 15:

        “33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.”

        But as you can read, the Notwithstanding clause can’t be used to override section 23, which is why the Liberals can’t protect Bill 103 against a court challenge.

        In summary, it’s not really a fundamental debate about key rights, but some technicalities of poorly-drafted sections of the Charter of Rights. Boiling it down to “buying rights” or “killing anglo schools” almost entirely misses what this issue is about.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Actually, the part in the Charter about being a bilingual country only applies to the Federal Government.

          This is more of a legal distinction than anything else. The fact that Canada considers itself bilingual while Quebec considers itself unilingual francophone is still a conflict in the practical sense.

          Reply
          1. Marc

            How about the fact that Canada considers itself bilingual while 8 provinces consider themselves unilingual English? No one seems to to care about that.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              How about the fact that Canada considers itself bilingual while 8 provinces consider themselves unilingual English? No one seems to to care about that.

              I do.

              Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            This is more of a legal distinction than anything else. The fact that Canada considers itself bilingual while Quebec considers itself unilingual francophone is still a conflict in the practical sense.

            That’s just because, deep down, the english believe that bilingualism is for the french only.
            And you are angry reading this because, deep down, you know it’s true (not necessarly for you personally, but it is for most english people).

            Reply
        2. Jean Naimard

          The PQ wants to make it impossible for immigrants to go to English private schools, so that section 23 never applies to them in the first place. Most lawyers think that would violate section 15 of the Charter:
          "15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination…"

          And how would forcing immigrants to go to french schools violate the equality of individuals?
          Saying otherwise would mean that english schools could be construed as being “better” than french schools, and you can imagine that such a thing would never be allowed to happen…

          Reply
          1. Kaved

            Gawd, why do you have such an inferiority complex? “deep down, you really think bilingualism is for the French only?” Who brainwashed you? Seriously, you’re worse than the Catholic church telling Galileo that nope, those aren’t moons orbiting Jupiter.

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            Gawd, why do you have such an inferiority complex? "deep down, you really think bilingualism is for the French only?" Who brainwashed you? Seriously, you’re worse than the Catholic church telling Galileo that nope, those aren’t moons orbiting Jupiter.

            Now that was an artful dodge!!! Please answer the question: why would anybody want to send their kids to an english school in Québec?
            There is no valid reason for that whatsoever.

            Reply
  14. Julian

    I have to agree with your proposal for better French education for immigrants. Now, what I’m going to say is anecdotal, and statistically insignificant (as a separatist anglophone living east of St. Laurent), but I think it’s still important.

    It’s a major complaint of mine, having moved here thinking that with my French immersion background and experience speaking French in Europe, I’d have no problem building up my language skills and integrating with society within a year. It’s been three, and I’m still on the fringes, though at least I can conduct all my interaction with the government in French, and read the paper every day. My francophone friends address me in English, and I can’t get a job where French is the dominant language.

    Still, I mention it because I see a steady stream of people who move here, for all the reasons Quebec is a great place to live, thinking that they will be able to learn French and integrate with society. But there are a lot of subtle obstacles to that, not the least the sometimes-well-intentioned, sometimes-insulting tendency for francophones to respond to poor or accented French with English, but more importantly what you address in your post: for all the talk about protecting the language, there are a lack of initiatives, especially to get English-speaking immigrants (not necessarily anglophones) into the French workforce, which is all the more important when you look at the people who are attracted by the videogame industry or other IT pursuits.

    Myself and many others I have known who have come and gone have worked various jobs thinking we’d learn something from the French courses provided (when the company even bothers to provide that service, despite the tax breaks and obvious long-term benefit), but these courses are far more trivial even than what I learned in school in another province. (Honestly, finding a language exchange partner through craigslist has so far been the only effective technique I’ve found to actually learn anything — but can you imagine the Quebec government funding English-French language exchange?)

    There are (mostly) free courses, for those lucky enough to have the right schedule to take them. (And probably great courses for those who can afford them.) However, the subsidized courses are so poorly publicized that out of dozens of students I’ve met, word-of-mouth was the sole means by which anyone had been informed of these courses. Even now, if you google, for example, Centre St. Louis, the first result is an unofficial page some McGill student put up to handle the utter elusiveness of any such service. The message is clear throughout: don’t bother to come here if you don’t already know French well. Even when, in practice, there are good intentions, it’s hard not to feel alienated.

    I don’t care if I have to file my articles of incorporation in French, I just want a way to learn how to do that without having to go on welfare, and I know I’m not alone in this situation.

    Reply
    1. Neumontréal

      I’m (or was?) in the same boat, more or less.

      Advice from personal experience: your francophone friends won’t ever speak to you in French. You need to find new ones. Also, aim for finding a francophone-visible minority girlfriend (or bf, or whatever).

      Reply
    2. Heather

      I agree with you Julian. I lived in Quebec City for one year and then later in Montreal (Rosemont) for three years. I love speaking French, but in the beginning, it was very hard to “convince” the francophones to speak to me in French. I did find it quite patronizing. Eventaully, my skills surpassed many peoples’ English skills and I spoke French most of the time, as I’m sure you do now, or will do soon. Good for you for persevering!

      Reply
  15. wkh

    I should add I think the Italian community is a very interesting study on this.

    When Bill 101 came in, WOW they were pissed. They wanted their kids going to school in English damnitt! Boy were they ever pissed!

    Today Montreal has the largest community of Italian ex-patriates who still speak Italian. We have the largest campaigns for the “ex-pat” seat in Italy’s parliament. Moreover, by and large, the only thing it changed was not only did they continue to learn English as well as Italian, they became fluent in French as well. And it didn’t hurt any of them to do so. Today they’re the most assimilated and easily employable.

    If you let the immigrants go to English school just because one parent speaks English and don’t hold them to the same standards as everyone else a) it will become unconstitutional to dictate where ANY immigrant or citizen sends their kids except mother tongue and b) they won’t learn French. If you make them go to French school, they’ll still learn English. They’ll learn it just fine, just like the Italians did. But if you send them to English school, even French immersion, they’re just going to be super bilingual Toronto residents by and large.

    And I’m always bewildered why it’s anglophones who have the right to send their kids to English school always bitching the loudest about this. Sympathy? Feeling outnumbered? And why is this tired story constantly dragged out? How about a new one: Immigrants who are perfectly happy to send their kids to French school and maybe would even if they didn’t have to. Better yet, ENGLISH speaking immigrants who got over themselves and happily packed their kids off to French school! Now there’s something new… Or is it?

    Reply
    1. Edgy555

      Well, having a Montreal Italian as a significant other, I can tell you that — judging by the conversations I’ve overheard — very few would use the world “assimilated.” In fact, what I usually hear are complaints about separatists. Actually, here’s a joke told at an Italian wedding I attended two weeks ago: “Let me tell you about the history of Montreal: the Italians built it, the Greeks fed it, the Jews dressed it and the separatists &@#% it.” Maybe not so funny, but don’t mistake the fact that Italian-Montrealers can speak French and English equally well as any sort of indication that the dominant opinion in that community is that Quebec is on the right track.

      Furthermore, I disagree with your central argument. The Italian community still sends their children in overwhelming numbers to English schools which is probably a better argument against Quebec’s dumb school laws than for them.

      Reply
      1. Maria Gatti

        Like Pierre Curzi, I’m partly of Italian origin, and I know several Québécois of Italian origin who do not share the reactionary outlook described above. Moreover, a significant minority of Italians assimilated into the francophone community – I know several.

        In decades past, we had a cultural association, Québec-Italie, devoted to building links between the two Romance-speaking cultures, but also quite frankly countering the influence of a reactionary élite which had every interest in keeping Québécois of Italian origin isolated from and hostile to their francophone neighbours in Northeastern Montréal (and vice-versa!)

        One positive outcome here is that a FAR greater number of people of Italian origin, and other language origins, have maintained knowledge of their ancestral tongue even into the third generation, as compared to their compatriots in Toronto or other anglophone Canadian cities, to say nothing of the Italian communities in the US, France or Argentina (who soon speak ONLY English, French or Spanish). I have an Italo-French friend from Lyon who doesn’t speak a word of Italian, though Lyon is not far from Piemont. Her parents spoke to her only in French.

        Some cultural communities including many Latin-American ones have readily adopted French as their second language.

        By the way, yes Curzi is an interesting guy in “real life”; nothing like the fanatics of the RRQ, who are the francophone indépendantiste equivalent of angryphone blowhards like Galganov. He’s a Villeray native, Steve. I know him vaguely from defence of cultural worker stuff. He was co-chair of the Canadian Committee for Cultural Diversity.

        I disagree that Montreal Island is not an important benchmark for the health of the French language: cultural creation comes from urban centres, not suburbs.

        By the way, I agree with some comments here that francophones themselves share a lot of the blame: the ingrained habit of addressing anyone who has an “accent” (whether anglo or other) in English is extremely detrimental to their integration into Québec society. I remember an older francophone persisting in addressing a Vietnamese shop owner in English, thinking she was “Chinese”; the lady spoke very good French and had no knowledge of English.

        Indeed, though I don’t agree with everying Steve says – especially about letting US or British immigrants attend English schools – this is an exceptionally well-researched and argued blog post, and one of the reasons so many of us like this blog!

        Reply
      2. Jean Naimard

        As I said, the english have managed to drive the italians apart from the french, even though they are very culturally close to each others.

        I always viewed italians as ennemies until I became intimate with (northern) italian officials who were posted in Montréal for several years; they themselves could not fathom why the “wops” would not assimilate into the french — they initially dismissed it as southern stupidity, but then when I explained them that it was the english who basically strong-armed them into becoming english. Being close to those italians led me realize how we have the same values and the same outlook on life.

        Lastly, italians “overwhelmingly” send their kids to english schools for the same reason dogs lick their own balls: because they can, thanks to “Québec’s dumb school laws”.

        Reply
    2. AlexH

      Never make the mistake of confusing the ability to speak a language to actually being assimilated.

      What Bill 22, 101, 103, etc have done over the years has been to force people pretty much at gunpoint to learn french and to “live french”. Except for people who are of french decent (those who came to Quebec from francophone parts of the world), it is very rare to see a group actually “assimilate” into the community. Rather, they speak french when they have to, and they speak their native and natural language when they don’t – or they speak english.

      In the end, it’s a question of rights. Did the immigrants come to Canada, or only to Quebec? Learning only the minority language of Canada (french) is a significant limiting factor for their children, who will be limited to working and living in Quebec because they don’t speak and cannot work in the language of the country’s majority. It would be like moving to the UK and only learning Welsh.

      IMHO, Quebec should be pushing fully bilingual schools, ones that teach the students completely English and French, with the emphasis on French, with French as the dominant language during the day. There is no reason to deny students a full education, unless the intention is to make them less educated, less well read, and more likely locked into living in a french society in Quebec.

      The funny part is all of this backfires on the separatists, who are only now starting to catch onto the concept that many of the allophone (forced french) people aren’t ever going to support a separate Quebec. The next edition of the Neverendum will likely come out something like 60%-40% against, mostly because in the last 20 years the mix has changed so much. Forcing people to do anything doesn’t make them very supportive of your causes.

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        In the end, it’s a question of rights. Did the immigrants come to Canada, or only to Quebec? Learning only the minority language of Canada (french) is a significant limiting factor for their children, who will be limited to working and living in Quebec because they don’t speak and cannot work in the language of the country’s majority. It would be like moving to the UK and only learning Welsh.

        Québec is french, so when people move here, they should live in french.
        And anyone who moves in Wales and only learns welsh will eventually learn english if his professional prospects will be improved by it. Just like here.

        Reply
  16. Jean Naimard

    There are rights, and there are privileges.
    Access to education is undeniably a right, and that right is even more prevalent in Québec than elsewhere in Canada, given the low university tuition fees.

    Then there is english education, which is highly problematic, because immigrants have been flocking to it en masse, since they clearly saw that the french were second-class citizens, they did not want their kids to be second-class citizens. This had the added benefit to minorize the french even more, a policy that has been aggressively been pursued by the english invaders for the last quarter millenium.

    Until, of course, we closed english schools to immigrants and effectively made it a privilege.

    A privilege for those whose parents went to english school.

    Privileges, unlike rights, can be denied. And so, law 101 denied access to english schools to immigrants, which is the whole point of the law. And it works because you see immigrants speaking perfectly food french.

    It also denies access to the french people, which is a subtler point of the law. It directly targets those french who are so colonized by the english that they believe that french is bad; you will see plenty of those people in Canadian National (”I do not know any french canadian competent enough to be a director!”) and in the army, because they see first hand over there that the promotions go to the english. Those kind of colonized french people deserve no respect whatsoever, they are nothing but tools of the english. It’s a good thing that the law denies those access to english school. We don’t need pseudo french in Québec, if they want to be english, all they need to do is move to Ontario.

    The only reason why the english would decry that the french have no access to english schools is because it prevents them from assimilating yet more french people, as it has been ruthlessly been done elsewhere in Canada.

    * * *

    Now, why would anyone want to send his kids to english school in Québec?

    There cannot be any logical reason.

    Or do those people believe that french schools are less good than english schools?

    * * *

    Of course, the real solution is to simply abolish english schools. No nore squabbling over schooling; everyone to the same french schools.

    And it has been done before.

    Remember? 98 years ago, Ontario simply closed french schools. And nobody gave a shit back then. Nobody lifted a finger.

    We should do the same, right now (well, okay, when the PQ gets back in power because the liberals have to cater to their captive electoral clientele, the english). And nobody will give a shit nor lift a finger.
    * * *
    Okay. Now let’s tackle some of the comments here. Let ‘s start by the article:

    Won’t someone please think of the children?
    I find it interesting in this debate that nobody seems to give a rat’s ass about what’s best for the children who are being educated. The PQ talks about the future of the French language, implying that this common good is more important than any other consideration when it comes to choosing what school a child can go to.

    Oh, but we **DO** think of the children. We are a french society, and french societies educate their kids in french, to insure that their future will be in french. We have nothing of that multiculturalism crap, which is just a ploy to make the immigrants believe that we are just an ethnic minority like they are instead of the FOUNDERS OF CANADA as an european country. If the future of a child is so important that he has to be educated in english, well, just move to Ontario. And no, we don’t need the contribution of people who would do such a thing.

    Not that I’m worried that the English language is going to disappear from Quebec.

    You are not worried because you don’t need to care about that. You are absolutely secure in your knowledge that english will always be safely entrenched in North America.

    Throw all the statistics at me you want, it’ll be pretty hard to convince me that a language spoken by five million people representing 80% of the population, and with 220 million speakers worldwide (and growing), is in serious danger of extinction.

    It is. In North America, the pressures of the english are continuous. Witness that big hoopla about access to english schools.

    Given a few hundred years, the world could end up being mostly English-speaking. And I doubt there’s much that can be done to stop that.

    Oh, but the steps are already been taken. The collapse of the US economy is a small step, but a giant leap towards the increasing irrelevence of english in the face of the emerging asian economies.

    Between the carrot and the stick, let’s look at the carrot side. I know of very few Quebec anglophones who wouldn’t want to speak and write better in French, myself included. So maybe there are ways to help them.

    Some suggestions:

    Practice, practice, practice. Stop watching the racist channel 12 news, stop listening to CJAD. Tune in to french media. Ditch the Gazoo and read french papers. French magazines.
    Get a french girl/boyfriend. Free french lessons on the pillow!
    Don’t give a shit about Canada and the USA.

    * * *
    Now to the comments themselves. The culprits will recognize themselves.

    Je suis un fier Québécois de trois générations, et oui, je suis anglophone.
    Comment se fait-il que le fait que mes grand-parents ont parlé l’anglais m’excluerait du droit de participer dans ce débat? (Sinon me faire exclure, me faire refuser mes propos du revers de la main comme étant «ironique» ou «sarcastique».)

    Pourquoi, parce que mes grand-parents ont parlé l’anglais, aurais-je plus de droits qu’un autre Québécois?

    Mais mon cher Tim, vous devez avoir plus de droits parce que vous êtes anglais, c’est bien connu qu’au Canada, les anglais sont plus égaux que les français!

    Well, as an American who’s lived here for five years (and can’t wait to get the hell out),

    Well, what are you waiting for? It’s a free country here, you are free to leave if you don’t like it.

    Even if I wanted to open a business here, I’d have to fill out forms in French, communicate in French with the government, etc.? For what purpose?

    Hey, Sherlock, if I want to open a business in the USA (or Ontario), I have to fill out form in english, communicate in english with the government, etc? For what purpose?

    1) The point of departure for my post was Mr. Fagstein’s very sensible — in my opinion — solutions to the language of schooling issue. Unfortunately, the language issue will never be resolved because, well, it just won’t.

    Darn right, it won’t be solved like you’d like. WE’LL NEVER BECOME ENGLISH, no matter how hard you wish it to be.

    Francophones don’t care about you; I’m sorry, they don’t.

    We care about you as much as you care about us. And why should we?

    No matter how reasonable the arguments, no matter how sincere the efforts of anglophones and others, at the end of the day reason will not prevail in Quebec.

    What “reason”? That we should become english?

    They don’t care about your civil rights

    What civil rights? Nobody is denied access to education. Nobody is denied freedom of speech. Nobody is deprived of fully participating in our society.

    and they don’t care about what is best for this province.

    So, basically, you are saying that Québec should become english? Or that only the english know how to run things? Or that we are not competent to run our own society?

    3) As far as I have observed, these cultural issues trump nearly everything. I work in finance and, like it or not, New York and Toronto are the continent’s financial capitals. You know how difficult it is to recruit finance people to come live and work here? You try explaining to an American that they will have to send their children to schools that operate in French and in fact, even if they themselves don’t speak French, they will have to communicate with the school in French.

    Boo, hoo, hoo. We’ll hire locals who are just as competent. Yes, we are just as competent.

    Friendly as all the other Quebeckies I’ve met, Maria.

    Now that’s something to read, Maria is surely the least radical person on this blog!!!

    Not to sidetrack the debate, but while I would acknowledge that the U.S. has more than its share of problems regarding access to healthcare, the U.S. does have what could be argued is the best healthcare system for those who have access to it which includes me.

    Well, if not everyone has equal access to that “best system”, it’s not the best system at all. Period. End of discussion (and if you don’t believe me, there are no canadian politicians that speak about scrapping our system and going to an US-style system, not even in the furthest fringe of the right-wing wackos, because they know very well that it’s a political suicide. But I disgress).

    I guess Curzi gets in the door because his mum is francophone, but I doubt they think Amir Khadir, Maria Mourani or Maka Kotto are "real" QuébécoisEs.

    See what I mean about Maria being the last radical person?
    How can you say we don’t consider Amir Khadir, Maria Mourani or Matta Kotto “real” québécois? Because they are not born here? Because (some) are not white?

     
    I find language education in Québec to be rather appalling in general. I remember a precise moment, in 5th grade, where I gave up on French as a sensible language (when I noticed our textbook was *mostly* exceptions), and have been rather antagonistic about learning French at school after that (I didn’t know any other languages, either, call it teenage angst?), and yet, somehow, I have better written French than the average Québecois?! I’m not sure why, maybe my hatred of French led me into a "know thy enemy" attitude? In any case, I find the French side of the building rules notice in the elevator at my apartment to be, well… garbage.

    The fact that we allow such human garbage to exist is a glowing testimony to our high tolerance.

    And this is where receiving French education in the rest of the country differs from getting English education in Quebec. Francophone immigrants to Vancouver, Halifax and where ever else are eligible and do send their kids to public French schools.

    Yes, because by doing so, they do not endanger the perenniality of the english language in Canada.

    At French schools, kids get 30 to 60 minutes a week in English, and they get detention if they speak English in the playground.

    This is oxdung, even though I wish it was true, but I am not enough of a sonovabitch to really want it.

    I believe, rightly or wrongly..is that a real word btw? that the only people who will be ill-served by the new law and suufer are the Francophones….they are the ones who will ultimately be reduced to a language-ghetto of 7 million in a sea of multi-linguals.

    The “sea” you speak about is pretty much unilingual english. As usual, clueless as a bat.

    […]Quebec separates and non-Quebec francophones get thrown under the bus as Canada becomes English-only.

    Well, though bloody noogies. They have made their bed (backstabbing us, and opposing our sovereignty), so they have to sleep in it. If they really want to stay french and avoid the canadian ethnic cleansing, well, they just need to move here. Otherwise, they are a lost cause.

     
    I should add I think the Italian community is a very interesting study on this.

    Yes, indeed, the italians are quite a case.

    When Bill 101 came in, WOW they were pissed. They wanted their kids going to school in English damnitt! Boy were they ever pissed!

    Bill 101? Go back a decade to Bill 63!!!
    The italians in Montréal are a testament on how the english can really screw-up things. If there is a people that’s culturally closer to the french than the italians are, I’d like to hear about it!
    Yet, the english have accomplished the tour de force of making french and italians ennemies!!!
    50 years ago, when italians wanted to get out of Italy, Canada told them that they had to speak english in Canada. Period. And they came here, and they saw that fhe french were second-class citizens. Of course, the english carefullty avoided telling them that the french were there before them, that they had founded Canada as an european country and that the french were more numerous in Québec. No, they just silently said “well, look at that. If your kids will become french, they’ll be the white niggers of America, whereas if they become english, they’ll be the bosses. It’s no wonder they wanted their kids to become english, because being french seriously limited your opportunities. All this is a carefully calculated ploy to minorize the french under immigration that is deliberately made hostile to french. And that’s the reason why the english hate law 101 so much, because it totally defanged their most potent weapon against the french: immigrants that become english in Québec.
    Okay, that’s it. Now I eagerly await your flack. Please call now 1-888-JEAN-NAIMARD, operators are standing by! If you post within the next 20 minutes, we’ll thow in an extra pack of flames FOR FREE!!!

    Reply
    1. Maria Gatti

      Jean, I was speaking strictly of Le Réseau de Résistance québécoise, and other “blueshirts” or “nationaleux” (extreme nationalists, often with an “ethnic” outlook on who makes up the nation), le pendant des “angryphones” chez les fédéralistes anglophones. I have read outlooks denying the “Québécitude” of Osvaldo Nuñez and other Québécois not of old-stock francophone descent in vigile.net and other websites, though there are also more inclusive perspectives.

      Steve can’t ditch the Gazette – he works there. But yes Steve, up the French reading and listening. The reading should also include Le Monde and Le Monde diplomatique, and other august media from the Old World, and literature from France, Belgium, Switzerland and francophone African countries and the Caribbean, as well as Québécois, Acadian and other Franco-Canadian writers. You are much younger than I am, and there is no reason you can’t become fluent in French, and other languages. If I were your age, I’d add a major world language that is not Western, such as one of the Chinese languages (and written Chinese) or Arabic.

      Alex, Cinéma Beaubien is not “unilingual French” but specialises in screening both Québécois films and films from France and other French-speaking countries, as well as world cinema with French subtitles. I really avoid Hollywood movies, and most “best-seller” novels, but there are many cultural creations in English that have nothing to do with such corporate products. And not all hail from the US or the UK.

      Pierre, I can’t stand that no-nothing populism, whether of francophone, anglophone or any other varieties. I’ve seen its Berlusconian impact when back in Italy of late. And it amuses me to be seen as part of an “élite”, when I’m a freelancer hovering on the poverty line, just because I have a fairly worthless university education, am interested in culture and speak several languages. “Incendies” is noteworthy; a Québécois film centred on the lives of Levantine Québecois here and in the old country, and a film of interest for people in many cultures.

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        Jean, I was speaking strictly of Le Réseau de Résistance québécoise, and other "blueshirts" or "nationaleux" (extreme nationalists, often with an "ethnic" outlook on who makes up the nation), le pendant des "angryphones" chez les fédéralistes anglophones.

        Are you left-wing or right wing? I surmise that you consider yourself of a leftish-wingish orientation, right?
        So why do you speak like any right-wing american for whom all muslims are terrorists???

        Reply
    2. Kevin

      Jean, you know the saying that those who don’t study the past are doomed to repeat it?
      You’ve managed to take that saying and turn it on its head.

      Seriously, do you think what happened in Ontario in 1912 has any relevance today? When you look at Quebec of the past 30 years, does it share any resemblance to the pre-automobile culture?

      It does not, but you can’t see it. You’re like a child who has been bullied and dreams of the day he will get power and be able to crush his enemies.

      Except here’s the thing: the French have all the power in Quebec. Francophones rule this province. And yet you keep acting like a scared little child.

      Forget grace under pressure, people like you are unable to exhibit grace while in control. It would be laughable if it were not so pathetic.

      One last thing: how many years do you have to spend commenting online on various blogs before you begin to realize that anglophones from Quebec are not the same as English-speakers in the rest of the continent? We are not. Believe me, growing up as a minority in a sea of French it was utterly bizarre to spend several years outside this province being called Frenchie (or being told that I spoke very good English for a francophone).

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        Seriously, do you think what happened in Ontario in 1912 has any relevance today?

        It has plenty of relevance as proof that the english actively seek out to eliminate us as a nation.
        But it has no relevance for those who wish their unglorious past would go away and disappear.
        Our motto is not «Je me souviens» for nothing (no matter what twisted and lopsided meaning it can be spun to have — as many people will no doubt rushing to)

        When you look at Quebec of the past 30 years, does it share any resemblance to the pre-automobile culture?

        When you bake crumpets, do you put baking soda or baking powder in the dough? What’s the relevance?

        It does not, but you can’t see it. You’re like a child who has been bullied and dreams of the day he will get power and be able to crush his enemies.

        Here we go again: “the french are not mature enough to run their country, only the english know how to do that, yadda, yadda, yadda”.

        Except here’s the thing: the French have all the power in Quebec. Francophones rule this province. And yet you keep acting like a scared little child.

        Oxdung. We have all the power we want, for as long as it doesn’t go against the english’s whishes. Then the supreme court gavel falls down heavily.

        Forget grace under pressure, people like you are unable to exhibit grace while in control. It would be laughable if it were not so pathetic.

        It looks pathetic to you because deep down in your english head, you just are culturally unable to put yourself to the level of any other culture, especially one that you are dominating.

        One last thing: how many years do you have to spend commenting online on various blogs before you begin to realize that anglophones from Quebec are not the same as English-speakers in the rest of the continent?

        This is funny; for me, the english from Québec are those who will not give you service in french when you visit their stores, they are the ones bitching about their human rights being negated by law 101, they are the ones who want immigrants to go to english school so they can continue to minorize the french.
        They are just the same. They just put a thin veeneer of respectability by attempting to speak french.

        We are not. Believe me, growing up as a minority in a sea of French it was utterly bizarre to spend several years outside this province being called Frenchie (or being told that I spoke very good English for a francophone).

        Well, you are french or english?

        Reply
  17. Messaline

    Historically, until the 1960s French Canadians (as then known) found it wise to restrict their involvement in worldly things and devote themselves to Catholicism. At that point the gears shifted and the Québécois have since found it sensible to restrict their involvement in worldly things and devote themselves to keeping French sacrosanct.

    In Quebec it’s considered better to study in French and fail than to study in English and succeed. In fact many are not given the choice.

    I suspect the time will come when another shift in zeitgeist changes this too. But we may not live to see it.

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      Historically, until the 1960s French Canadians (as then known) found it wise to restrict their involvement in worldly things and devote themselves to Catholicism.

      Er, no. We were ***FORCED*** to be scatholics because the scatholic church was given full control of the education system through the 1867 constitution, enabling those parasites to thoroughly brainwash us and follow their brain-dead precepts. This was a reward from the english to thank the scatholic church for not approving the 1837 Patriotes rebellion (the rebellion decimated our civil intelligentsia, leaving only clerics as significant intellectuals). In addition, the total control of the french by the scatholic church immensely suited the incompetent family compact that ran Canada at the time as devout scatholics would consider making money a one way ticket to hell, so the french did not indulge in business ventures and that left the field totally clear for the english who could control the Economy unhindered by the frogs.
      This is the main reason why we hate and despise the scatholic church so much, and when we swear, it’s almost exclusively with liturgic terms: the institution that is responsible for our enslavement deserves no praise at all.

      At that point the gears shifted and the Québécois have since found it sensible to restrict their involvement in worldly things and devote themselves to keeping French sacrosanct.

      Er, no (again). Back in the 1970’s, the PQ’s slogan was «Pour un Québec ouvert sur le monde» ( “For a Québec open to the world”); one of the reasons why we need out sovereignty is to be able to run our own foreign policy without any interference from the anglo-saxon hangups Canada holds.
      Another proof of our openness is law 101, which has all sorts of very sharp teeth to insure that immigrants do not become english. If we want the immigrants to become french, this means that we are welcoming them here and we are glad they come to live here. If we were as bigoted and narrow-minded as the canadian media wants to make us look like, we certainly would not accept so many immigrants, no?
      (And ask any immigrant who lived here and elsewhere in Canada who is the most open-minded people, and unless they already have the usual anglo-saxon anti-frog mindset, they’ll overwhelmingly say the french are far more open than the english.

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        If we were as bigoted and narrow-minded as the canadian media wants to make us look like, we certainly would not accept so many immigrants, no?

        Since immigration is a federal issue, Quebec doesn’t exactly have much choice in the matter, does it?

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          Since immigration is a federal issue, Quebec doesn’t exactly have much choice in the matter, does it?

          Well, as it happens, we **DO** have a little bit of say in the process, but indeed, those who speak french face a steeper hill than those who would me much more susceptible of becoming english.

          Reply
  18. Kaved

    Julian brings up a good point: that too many francophones are bigoted against les autres. I know francophones who can no longer work in French in Mtl because they went to English university, and if they are lucky enough to get an interview for a job are told that since they are now English they no longer understand Quebec.

    This attitude is mind boggling but it is true, and reflects how a diehard core of idiots hold too much sway over this province.

    French is not going to die; English culture isn’t the monolithic beast the SSJB thinks it is; but if mote francopho

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      Julian brings up a good point: that too many francophones are bigoted against les autres. I know francophones who can no longer work in French in Mtl because they went to English university, and if they are lucky enough to get an interview for a job are told that since they are now English they no longer understand Quebec.

      More oxdung. No company is stupid enough to refuse competent personnel for such a stupidly retarded reason.

      This attitude is mind boggling but it is true, and reflects how a diehard core of idiots hold too much sway over this province.

      I think that if one wants to look at such a diehard idjit one does not have to look further than Kaved…

      Reply
      1. Kaved

        It’s the truth, even if you are not willing to admit it.

        And to use your own words against you: businesses are run by people. Plenty of managers and HR people out there are that stupid, Jean.

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          It’s the truth, even if you are not willing to admit it.
          And to use your own words against you: businesses are run by people. Plenty of managers and HR people out there are that stupid, Jean.

          So? And how is this any way the faulf of loi 101??? The law doesn’t prohibit anyone from being stupid.

          Reply
          1. Kaved

            Dodge dodge dodge. The law is a reflection of the anti-English bigotry that you and yours espouse.
            Stop thinking that French Quebecers are holier than thou. Past grievances against your ancestors are no reason to perpetrate injustices against others now that you have power.
            Can’t recognize that? Then you’re no better than Mugabe.

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            Dodge dodge dodge. The law is a reflection of the anti-English bigotry that you and yours espouse.

            Self-defence in the face of 250 years of attempted assimilation is **NOT** bigotry. Maybe in your rhodesian homeland ghetto of what? Pointe-Claire? Kirkland? Baie d’Urfé?, but certainly not here in Montréal (and Québec, for that matter).

            Stop thinking that French Quebecers are holier than thou. Past grievances against your ancestors are no reason to perpetrate injustices against others now that you have power. Can’t recognize that? Then you’re no better than Mugabe.

            As I said again, self-defence is not bigotry. We shall not stop until every attempt of cracking the foundations of our very survival embodied in all the loi 101 provisions that ensure that immigrants **DO NOT BECOME ENGLISH** are absolutely secure and safe.
            And who are you? I suppose that, by your name, you are an immigrant who is pissed-off at having to become french, because you have been led to believe by canadian media that french is less cool than english? Or just because you perceive that since english is purportedly the “international language of business”, by being forced to become french, you will be less “businessy”???

            Reply
          3. Kaved

            As I said again, self-defence is not bigotry. We shall not stop until every attempt of cracking the foundations of our very survival embodied in all the loi 101 provisions that ensure that immigrants **DO NOT BECOME ENGLISH** are absolutely secure and safe.
            And who are you? I suppose that, by your name, you are an immigrant who is pissed-off at having to become french, because you have been led to believe by canadian media that french is less cool than english? Or just because you perceive that since english is purportedly the “international language of business”, by being forced to become french, you will be less “businessy”???

            I am a mutt, of multiple ethnic backgrounds (including France if I go back to the mid-1800s). One parent came here, and on the other side I go back several generations. I consider myself a Montrealer first, and a hyphenated-Canadian second.
            I’d be pissed off if I were forced to become French. I’d be pissed off if I were forced to become English too.
            You’re so hung up on ancient history and this now false English-French dichotomy that you cannot accept the multicultural country Canada has become.

            Look out west, where you’ve got the largest populations of Chinese and Indians outside of China and India. You think anyone is trying to assimilate them? No — because assimilation has been abandoned by the Canadian society and government. Integration — maintaining your roots and grafting them onto Canadian ideals — works. It can work in Quebec too if people like yourself grow up and realize the world has changed since the 50s.

            As for English being ‘purportedly’ the international language of business — it is the world’s second language, and companies in Quebec are very capable of working in English when they go around the world. (aaaaand for what it’s worth, those Quebec engineers at SNC-Lavalin who speak French? They can’t understand the French spoken by their clients in Northern Africa. SNC has to get their immigrant staff who speak ‘parisian’ French as a second or third language to interpret between the two groups because the slang is so different. Come to think of it, that would explain why my ex-girlfriend never spoke her native tongue when we visited Paris. But I digress.)

            By no means does it exclude people using other languages, but when three people from Italy, France and Germany get together, they’le likely going to talk English.

            Reply
          4. Jean Naimard

            I’d be pissed off if I were forced to become French. I’d be pissed off if I were forced to become English too.

            So, what are you doing here?

            You’re so hung up on ancient history and this now false English-French dichotomy that you cannot accept the multicultural country Canada has become.

            Multiculturalism is just oxdung to make the french look like any other bunch of recent immigrants. It’s also something that is not french at all; we assimilate others, just like americans do. This is what happens in France, and this is what happens here (thanks to law 101).
            This is a fundamental difference between the french and english, and you are better getting used to it because it’s not going to change.

            As for English being ‘purportedly’ the international language of business — it is the world’s second language, and companies in Quebec are very capable of working in English when they go around the world. (aaaaand for what it’s worth, those Quebec engineers at SNC-Lavalin who speak French? They can’t understand the French spoken by their clients in Northern Africa. 

            Well, engineers are… engineers. I have managed plenty during my career and they are a strange bunch of people, totally impervious to human interactions…

            Reply
  19. Kaved

    But if more francophones don’t start accepting and welcoming people who don’t speak perfect joual, we will always have these pointless battles.

    Reply
  20. Hugo P.L.

    Je trouve votre analyse très intéressante et j’appuie plusieurs points que vous avancez. Je pense que le français sera toujours en ”danger” en Amérique du Nord, même si les plus récentes statistiques ne vont pas dans ce sens. Les politiciens, anglophones francophones fédéralistes souverainistes Ottawa Québec et même sur une planète près-de-chez-vous, ont toujours les même réflexes, soit de s’emparer de ”faits” et de les analyser sous un angle partisan, parfois simpliste… ce qui contribue j’en suis certain au cynisme populaire… mais ça, c’est une autre histoire.

    Vous avez raison lorsque vous dites que l’anglais est mal enseigné à l’école secondaire francophone, tout comme au cégep. J’ai étudié dans l’Outaouais, une région très bilingue, avant de venir m’établir à Montréal. Après mon cégep au Vieux, j’ai pris la direction de Concordia en journalisme pour une raison très simple: je voulais pas seulement parler ou baragouiner l’anglais, mais le comprendre, tout comme comprendre la culture canadienne anglophone. La première réalité qui m’a surpris est l’indifférence de mes collègues face à la culture québécoise. Indifférence, ou inintérêt… Je ne sais pas. Mais alors que les Québécois francophones s’intéressent à la culturelle anglophone (américaine ou montréalaise), les anglophones ont peine à savoir qui est l’acteur Pierre Curzi avant que celui-ci agite les bras dans l’actualité politique.

    Les ”deux solitudes” seront toujours présentes, c’est certain. L’abolir tiendrait de la science fiction aussi, c’est comme demander aux Français de parler Anglais comme les British et aux Anglais de parler Français comme les Parisiens… ou aux Belges de s’entendre.

    Dans tout ce débat sans fin, j’arrive seulement à penser qu’il faudrait que les Québécois francophones puissent avoir accès à des cours d’anglais d’immersion aussi, mais avant tout, avoir accès à des cours de français de qualité (ce qui n’est pas le cas présentement dans plusieurs établissements scolaires, pour divers raisons). Ensuite, les Québécois anglophones devraient avoir accès pas seulement à des cours de grammaires, mais bien embrasser la culture du Québec et lire, si possible, des romans de Réjean Ducharme et non seulement les chroniques sportives de Réjean Tremblay (comme le disait cette semaine David Johnston de The Gazette).

    Parler une langue (un anglophone qui parle français) n’aide pas à préserver ou rendre plus vivante une culture. Il faut comprendre les codes culturels pour contribuer à sa vitalité. Je l’ai appris avec mon passage à Concordia. Je ne pourrais pas parler anglais et écrire en anglais si je ne m’intéresse pas aux codes culturels des anglophones de Montréal.

    Une société bilingue, où l’anglais et le français sont à égalité, n’aiderait pas la vitalité de notre langue française. C’est dommage qu’il faut adopter des lois au Québec pour préserver notre langue, mais c’est notre réalité démographique et géographique.

    La loi St-Pierre, est-elle bonne ou non? Elle dit oui, Curzi dit non. Vous semblez dire non aussi, moi je n’arrive pas à me positionner.

    Avant de parler à nouveau de restreindre l’accès à l’école anglaise, il faudrait commencer nous, francophones, à se demander pourquoi on parle et écrit un français de si mauvaise qualité… Ça, c’est le réel danger pour notre culture, notre incapacité à maîtriser correctement ce qui nous unit.

    Reply
    1. AlexH

      Hugo, force feeding people culture results in only one thing: A lack of desire or interesting in that culture. For all of your studies, you didn’t learn the one basic thing, that many anglos in Quebec feel like second class citizens forced to live their lives in ways that are not natural to them. Being forced to be part of the french culture (if you like it or not) has lead a lot of people to have no interest in it at all.

      You are right though that francophones need to look at themselves first. If you really want to protect and promote your language, then start at home, with your own children, your own lives. Teach your children well. Disconnect your cable TV and turn off the english music on the radio, and live a full francophone life. So few Quebecois actually do this. Complain to your favorite radio station when the play english music. Stop wasting your money on culture other than your own, support your own first, help it grow yourself. When you show pride in your own culture, you make it attractive to others.

      Are there are true french night clubs in Montreal (or Quebec as a whole) for that matter? Quebec only movie theaters?

      The weakness isn’t the damn english trying to stamp you out, the wounds are much more self inflicted.

      Reply
      1. Pierre Phaneuf

        It is indeed a bit sad that the demand for movies (in francophone cinemas) is mostly for dubbed American movies (because most people outside of Montreal don’t understand English enough to follow even an American summer blockbuster, of course).

        One factor is that many Québecois do not really accept French culture as their own, so movies from France aren’t easily available, only in specialized cinemas (such as Cinéma du Parc, here in Montreal). This goes along with a common antagonistic attitude toward the elite. Often, getting higher education “in the city” will often mark you as “one of them” if/when you return to where you grew up. I certainly feel people in my hometown being a bit cautious, despite a certain ability to meld in…

        Thankfully, from what I understand, the per-capita production of local movies seems to be pretty good, and many of them do quite well. We still do get the occasional French blockbuster (I remember seeing Taxi at the cinema close to my hometown, back when it came out), and the cinema in St-Hyacinthe has the rather intellectual “Incendies” on now, which is encouraging.

        Reply
        1. AlexH

          Pierre, I think it is mostly sad that the demand for the culture from the native Quebecois is lower than the standards they want to apply to others. I am serious when I say, I invite all Quebecois of French decent to make the moves to live entirely, utterly, and completely in french. When they can do that, then they perhaps have the position to tell others what to do. But while they are listening to Michael Jackson music and watching American network TV on their Videotron Cable, they don’t really have a moral high ground to stand on.

          Set the standard, live by it, and then ask others to do the same. Don’t make the others do it first.

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            I invite all Quebecois of French decent to make the moves to live entirely, utterly, and completely in french. When they can do that, then they perhaps have the position to tell others what to do.

            I don’t know of anyone seriously suggesting that Quebecers never watch American TV or listen to American music.

            Reply
          2. Pierre Phaneuf

            Oh, as a Québecois, I personally think this PQ whining about is rather terrible, and that the real problems are right here, in the minds of the people who already speak French. I think we live in a global world, and that it makes sense to see what’s good from all over, and show what good things we have to others. We’re in the era of the European Union, not of the Canadian separation, and having lived there for a while, I think it is quite possible to protect a culture with relatively few people in it, if it is valued and cherished. Just go to Catalonia, or to Basque Country! The French government (in the distant past, this is no longer the case) was actively trying to suppress Basque, and it didn’t even work.

            Here, I don’t know. Maybe it’s true that we have to force people to go to French school, even if I don’t like it, if only because there’s nothing else being done. But the real thing to do would be for people to mind their culture a bit, which does not have to be at the cost of excluding other cultures.

            Hey, I like my Jean Leloup very, as I do my Jorane, Tiga, Miss Kittin, Metric, Nouvelle Vague, Arcade Fire, Indochine, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Me Mom & Morgentaler. I identify more as a Montréalais than as a regional Québecois, so I guess there less Bottine Souriante and Boom Desjardins than there could be, but what can I say, listening to Anarchie just puts a grin on my face! :-)

            Reply
          3. AlexH

            Steve, my point is only that if the Quebecois in general are unable to live in only their own language and culture, why should they be forcing it even harder on others? Without respect for their own culture and language (the type Pierre Phaneuf talks about), why would they expect anyone else to respect it?

            Set the bar high on learning the french language. Make everyone learn it, that’s fine – but don’t make people have to choose french over enlish (or their own native languages), rather, we should be allowed to choose “all of the above” and have our children taught that way. Nobody should be forced into a form of language slavery, which seems to be nothing more than an attempt to limit people’s options so they have to stay in Quebec.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              if the Quebecois in general are unable to live in only their own language and culture, why should they be forcing it even harder on others

              I think it’s ridiculous to suggest that anyone “live in only their own language and culture,” and that culture isn’t being forced on anyone. We’re talking about asking people to learn French, that’s all.

              Reply
        2. Jean Naimard

          It is indeed a bit sad that the demand for movies (in francophone cinemas) is mostly for dubbed American movies (because most people outside of Montreal don’t understand English enough to follow even an American summer blockbuster, of course).

          That’s because that’s the only thing that’s available. Hollywood is so overwhelmingly omnipresent that it eclipses everything else.
          For the mainstream french movie distributors, we are a negligible quantity so they will send us their movies months later (I both had the surprise of seeing the same movie twice, once in France and once here — they had changed the title from “Zig-Zag Story” to “Et la tendresse? Bordel! 2” for Québec — and also downloading a french movie DVD weeks before it hit the theaters here.

          Reply
          1. AlexH

            Sorry Jean, your argument does not hold water.

            Hong Kong is a tiny place, with a population similar to Quebec. They are surrounded by other languages, and know very well the pressures of Hollywood blockbusters coming to their neighborhood. Yet, Hong Kong has a significant and strong movie industry, with signficant releases that are actually sub-titled and translated into other languages because the quality of the movies are so good.

            The lack of Quebecois movies has everything to do with the lack of interest of the Quebecois people in the products of their own people, a sort of lack of self-respect. There is plenty of nearly disposible TV shows being produced (gripping dramas like 419 Chemin Du Golf), but few full length feature movies. With a similar population and similar distribution methods (and often fairly captive audiences in the remote regions), why is there little or no interest in producing Quebec movies? Incendies is one of the few Quebec movies made that is getting worldwide attention, you have to go back to Good Cop, Bonne Cop to find the next example.

            In the end, too much effort is put into forcing immigrants and allophones into french schools to somehow maintain a French Quebec, yet little is done by the francophones for the francophones. Showing pride in your culture is the first step towards making it attractive to others. Using the political equivalent to jackbooted thugs to force people into french schools won’t gain you much except a sullen people looking for the exit (which many do once they have gotten their Quebec government funded education out of the way, viva la tuition freeze).

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            The lack of Quebecois movies has everything to do with the lack of interest of the Quebecois people in the products of their own people, a sort of lack of self-respect.

            Being told for a quarter of millenium that you are shit, good for nothing, and worthless people eventually has the effect that some people believe it.
            We have to overcome a tremenduous amount of disdain and hate that has been thrown at us by the english invaders and that will take several generations to do. This is the purpose of law 101, that forces the respect we are owed but that was always denied us.
            History has taught us that the english have no respect for people they dominate, that the english will not willingly give anything to anyone they perceive as weaker. History is clear: in order to get anything from the english, you have to fight for it.

            Reply
  21. mike

    for WKH:
    As an immigrant I have zero sympathy for that can speak only one language in Montreal! French or English. I was able to learn another two languages as an adult.

    Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        What human rights? No person has ever been denied any human rights because of Québec language laws.

        And no, putting a sign in english on a business is **NOT** a human right, because a business is not human and therefore cannot enjoy the same rights as a human so it is perfectly admissible (even in first amendment USA!) that commercial speech has restrictions.

        And no, if you are a cobbler, there is a very distinct separation between the person and his trade. The person can say what she wants, but the cobbler cannot.

        Reply
  22. Cheese

    Steve, I totally agree with almost all your points. I was not educated in Quebec but it does seem to be a nightmare of language issues. the only thing I wanted to differ on was that French courses really should not be completely free. The reason to have some fees (for some full time courses the fee is $50 a term which is not much) is simply so that people don’t sign up and not attend, or drop out right away. That would rob seats from people who are committed to learning French.

    Perhaps make the fee refundable at the end of the course with a passing grade? Or for those with low incomes?

    What really needs to be improved for these courses is the time and availability. Most of the state run classes are during the day for a large number of hours. This means working people can’t take them (myself included). We need night courses that are part of the same program. There are currently courses offered by different organizations that are obviously subsidized and that is great, just wish it was better organized.

    Thanks for the post.

    Reply
  23. Fassero

    The reason why there is near-dead silence from the general public on Bill 103/115 is quite simply that they are probably intelligent enough to realize that the Bill does not and will never have any affect on them (with the exception of a tiny handful of wealthy friends of the Premier.)

    The inherent problem with the education rules as they stand is that they are ignoring the reality of globalization. Unless Quebec can figure out how to add about 20 million people to the population really quick, there has to be a realization that businesses more and more need people to communicate in more than one language.

    One really simple thing that should be done is to allow Francophone families to send their children to English-based (or any alternative language-based) schools should they choose.

    On the English-school side? They SO need to provide better French instruction. I wasn’t educated on Quebec but am getting a first-hand view of things and the word “joke” comes to mind. Yes, there’s more “100% French immersion” programs in the public system (and some of the “unsubsidized” private) but it’s really all for naught. By Cycle 2, the maximum French instruction is 50% but the English system squeaks around that in every way possible by piling the hours into math, art, and gym. Then the kids gets the basic “crash course” entirely so they can survive the Secondary French exam which they need to get into CEGEP. Thus, you have countless students at the high school level in English schools, public AND “private” (since a lot of the so-called private high-schools actually get provincial funding) who can barely construct a sentence in French. I won’t speak for all of the ROC, but I sure can say in Ontario, (granted, if the students opt to take courses in the language), the French education is far superior (although it really doesn’t cater to teaching the uber-special Quebecois dialect.)

    Again, not speaking for the ROC, but French immersion schools in the Toronto area are jammed to the rafters with students and it can be a battle royale to get enrolled in one. That might be because of all the Montreal ex-pats that have moved there but it’s there. But I’ll bet the big reason is that fluent biligualism is a hot commodity for numerous private businesses, and of course the Federal Government which pays quite well, to obtain.

    Steve, your article was excellent. But something tells me the language education debate will never come to an optimal conclusion until everybody agrees that it’s doing something to prevent NHL free agents with families from signing/settling here and/or the Pierre Curzi’s of the world wake up and notice that almost the last place in the world that French Canadian talent desires to play, unless their professional careers are just about over and they need the paycheque, is Montreal.

    Now, if they really want to make sure French is entrenched in the province, one great way to do it is financial/tax incentives. I don’t think free French courses are enough. Something like allowing English universities in Quebec to charge full tuition rates for Quebec-resident students who cannot achieve a certain level of French fluency on a standardized exam would certainly be one idea. I’m sure others can easily be found.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      the Bill does not and will never have any affect on them (with the exception of a tiny handful of wealthy friends of the Premier.)

      I’ve heard a lot of implications that this bill is designed to bestow special rights on the super-rich. But wouldn’t the super-rich just keep their kids in those non-subsidized private schools?

      Reply
      1. Fassero

        The super-rich obviously could do what they please before and after the new Bill. I was referring to the mere “wealthy”. For example….um……construction company owners? :)

        Basically, it’s attempting to stop *anybody* who found a way to scramble together 15 grand to toss junior into a private school for year and using that as the meal ticket to getting English-eligibility instruction eligibility. But, again, this is almost certainly a tiny, tiny handful of people. By “tiny”, I’ll bet it’s not even 25 kids a year (to be generous.)

        Reply
    2. Jean Naimard

      The inherent problem with the education rules as they stand is that they are ignoring the reality of globalization. Unless Quebec can figure out how to add about 20 million people to the population really quick, there has to be a realization that businesses more and more need people to communicate in more than one language.

      Those who need to learn english for their professional advancement will learn it by themselves.
      Teaching english to a larger number of people will on the long run let people tolerate encroachment of the french language, and we cannot let this happen. I mean, if you understand english and you run into an english-only sign, you’ll understand what it says and that’s it. But if you have trouble reading it, you will be pissed-off and be more inclined to bitch about it.
      In any other important country, the people can live their whole life and have significant careers without having to learn another language. Why cannot it be so in here?
      * * *
      Fagstein: the liberals, like any right-wing party will really cater to the filthy-rich. They only have to use fancy window dressing so the least informed lower-class people can be tricked to vote for them.
      Yes, this is a direct criticism of **YOUR** (this is a “collective” you, à “y’all” if you want — aimed at all the english and not solely at Steve) ethnic voting: as an english proletarian, never for a second you would consider voting for the PQ, even though it’s platform has been geared far more towards average workers like y’all. No, you blindingly vote for the liberals even though they will favour policies that will cater to the filthy rich.
      It’s perfectly okay for the average english to vote PQ, because you will stand to benefit for it much more than the liberals; don’t give me that crap about “but they will wreck the Economy” — that’s oxdung. Do not pretend you know the economy better than the french, because if you did, you would be much better off than you are right now. And no, don’t say “well, because of the language laws…”. Oxdung again. The language laws do not deprive you of any rights at all; you can still speak english in your daily dealings, including with the Québec government, and putting up a “garage sale” sign (in french, it means “dirty garage” :) :) :) ).

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        as an english proletarian, never for a second you would consider voting for the PQ, even though it’s platform has been geared far more towards average workers like y’all. No, you blindingly vote for the liberals even though they will favour policies that will cater to the filthy rich.

        I think this is the point behind François Legault’s maybe-new-party. Though he would probably also favour the rich, the main point is to set the sovereignty issue aside so that people don’t vote solely on that issue.

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          Obviously, the referendum is used as a wedge issue to secure the english ethnic vote (and some of the more refractory ethnics, such as italians, greeks and filipinos).

          Reply
  24. tornwordo

    I’m an American immigrant and I came and learned French, worked in French and settled on the east side of the island. I find it a bit patronizing when francophones praise me for having done this. I don’t think I’m the exception, but their perception is that I am. The future of French in Quebec seems to be more important than freedom and as you said, more important than what’s best for the children. That is the shame. When me francophone friends lament the decline of French in Quebec, I always ask them why they care. They will be dead in 50 years so what’s it to them if French actually does disappear from North America. They never see my point. But really it’s like complaining about the weather – useless because you can’t control it.

    Reply
  25. Bob Bee Gee

    Can’t we all just shut up and obey our french colonial masters like Pierre Curzi and St-Jacques Parizeau? They clearly know what is best for every parent in the province of Quebec. Parents should not have any rights in deciding what is good or bad for their childrens’ education and future opportunities. This is quebec and quebec’s politicians are always right about these things. What’s good for the children should have no weight in the decision to educate every child in french in quebec. Bombardier’s engineers recruited from outside Quebec to build all their new aircraft should not be able to have their children taught in english, they should be thrown into school in a language they don’t understand and learn what failure is all about because this is the quebec way, and they should learn to fail like almost half of the children in quebec’s union and technocrat-run french language education system.

    Can’t we just understand that english is just pollution? It’s pure and simple and the sooner we stop complaining and move out of the province, then the happier Quebec politicians will be and maybe they will even pay us to leave. I’d take their cheque. Because I’ve had enough of the HATE that is the level of courtesy that the pur laine that run the Quebec society give the english who also built this province. This is a province of hate and I am sick of it. Quebc is a few short steps away from being morally equivalent with apartheid south africa, nazi germany, slave-owning US south, and a few other intolerant regimes around the world. When will the english be sent to re-education kamps up north somewhere? Because this is the path we are headed towards. Quebec is filled with haters, and anyone who denies this is blind or a fool, or just enjoying having some culture different from their own to kick around. Daily.

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      Can’t we all just shut up and obey our english colonial masters like John James Charest and St-Stephen Harper?

      There, fixed it for you.

      They clearly know what is best for every parent in the province of Quebec. Parents should not have any rights in deciding what is good or bad for their childrens’ education and future opportunities.

      So, you mean to say that french education is inferior to english education, even in english-deprived Québec?
      So, you mean to say that the futures opportunities for people are less interesting if one is educated in french?

      This is quebec and quebec’s politicians are always right about these things. What’s good for the children should have no weight in the decision to educate every child in french in quebec. Bombardier’s engineers recruited from outside Quebec to build all their new aircraft should not be able to have their children taught in english,

      Well, if it’s okay to have Boeing engineers’ childens educated in english in Seattle, why can’t Bombardier engineers’ children be educated in french in Montréal? Are you saying again that french education is inferior?
      Why would an immigrant that goes to work for Bombardier should have the privilege of sending his children to english school when other immigrants don’t have that privilege (because that is a privilege graciously bestowed by us to the invaders for a quarter-millenium)?

      they should be thrown into school in a language they don’t understand and learn what failure is all about because this is the quebec way, and they should learn to fail like almost half of the children in quebec’s union and technocrat-run french language education system.

      If you don’t want to be dealt with by technocrats you don’t understand, you simply have all the freedom of NOT moving to Québec and staying where you are. It’s not like you have your arm twisted to come here. And you’re not that great of an engineer anyways, we can always find some who are not french adverse like you who will gladly come here and take your place.

      Can’t we just understand that english is just pollution? It’s pure and simple and the sooner we stop complaining and move out of the province, then the happier Quebec politicians will be and maybe they will even pay us to leave. I’d take their cheque. Because I’ve had enough of the HATE that is the level of courtesy that the pur laine that run the Quebec society give the english who also built this province.

      Oooooh. Yeah, they built Québec for themselves and only left us crumbs. When you come somewhere, take over the whole economy and take all the wealth and exploit the people, do you really expect the “natives” to genuinely **LOVE** you?
      You call having your own schools, your own hospitals, your own media, your own cultural institutions (and those are even exempt from the dreary, evil, bad, wicked law 101!!!) **HATE**???

      This is a province of hate and I am sick of it. Quebc is a few short steps away from being morally equivalent with apartheid south africa, nazi germany, slave-owning US south, and a few other intolerant regimes around the world.

      Nice try, Mordechai’s ghost. Hallow’een was yesterday, in case you didn’t notice.
      If you are sick of it, why don’t you leave? It’s a free country here, you are free to leave anytime. Good riddance!!!
      If there is anyone who was the closest to slave owners, it was those english industrialists who treated us like cattle, housed us in company camps and company towns, paying us in scrip only good at the company store.

      When will the english be sent to re-education kamps up north somewhere? Because this is the path we are headed towards. Quebec is filled with haters, and anyone who denies this is blind or a fool, or just enjoying having some culture different from their own to kick around. Daily.

      The one who is a blind **AND** a fool is the one who sees hate where there is none.

      Reply
  26. Jean Naimard

    I’m an American immigrant and I came and learned French, worked in French and settled on the east side of the island. I find it a bit patronizing when francophones praise me for having done this. I don’t think I’m the exception, but their perception is that I am.

    There is nothing patronizing; we are truly astonished that “an english” would actually learn french when moving here.

    The future of French in Quebec seems to be more important than freedom and as you said, more important than what’s best for the children.

    So, you mean to say that it would be better if the children were in an english country?
    Indeed, the future of our culture and language is far more important than the freedom of the richer people; richer people do not have a reputation for working for the benefit of everyone; quite on the contrary (we have been very badly burned in that respect — this is why we have extensive government, because unlike private entreprise, we do control government).
    As I said elsewhere, it’s not like if you didn’t have the freedom to move out to where you would not be bothered by french.

    That is the shame. When me francophone friends lament the decline of French in Quebec, I always ask them why they care.

    We care because it’s our future, and the future of our children, even if we’re not individually there. And we have endured much hardship, poverty, discrimination and disenfranchment because of our stubborn refusal to give up our culture and our language to let go right now, especially that now we have the legal tools to stop the discrimination and the various attempts at elimination that were thrown our way by the english.

    They will be dead in 50 years so what’s it to them if French actually does disappear from North America. They never see my point.

    And your point is? That we’d be better if we were english?
    Or merely bilingual (so the english won’t have to bother learning french?)

    But really it’s like complaining about the weather – useless because you can’t control it.

    Well, in that case, we can control what the laws are here, and we can legislate out of existence the assimilation of immigrants into english, and, like the proverbial dog, we do it **BECAUSE WE CAN**. And we’ll be able to control it even more once we get out of Canada.
    (And if you feel that your freedoms are being curtailed, you still have the freedom to get out).

    Reply
    1. Jim

      The only thing Jean Naimard has proved is that he is basically amoral in the pursuit of his political goals. Telling people who were born and raised in Montreal or in the rest of Quebec to leave if they do not agree with him certainly is not the kind of society most people in this province aim for. Maybe instead – Mr Naimard might be more comfortable in the Saguenay (where he will not have to interact with “the Rhodesians”) in Montreal.

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        The only thing Jean Naimard has proved is that he is basically amoral in the pursuit of his political goals.

        I am just as moral as anyone else, be it on the political, personnal or corporate level. I am just not an hypocrite who hides it. I am certainly not afraid of saying what I think.

        Telling people who were born and raised in Montreal or in the rest of Quebec to leave if they do not agree with him certainly is not the kind of society most people in this province aim for.

        But this is the very basis of the idea that made Canada what it is: full of people who immigrated because they did not like it where they came from.

        Maybe instead – Mr Naimard might be more comfortable in the Saguenay (where he will not have to interact with "the Rhodesians") in Montreal.

        Why would I move to the boondocks? I prefer it here, with all those immigrants — who integrate into Québec french society and are not tools for our minorization.

        Reply
    2. Kaved

      I believe a quick glance at every newspaper in the city this morning will confirm that English schools are indeed much better than French schools.

      The rest of your arguments are based on stupidity. I understand your point of view, I just don’t share it because it is stupid.
      Contrary to what you believe (and what everyone on this blog tells you) the English do not want to assimilate the French. By the same token, the English do not want to be assimilated.
      You even argue that the assimilation of the French would be a Very Bad Thing.
      But you, Jean, seem to think that all would be sunshine and roses if the English and everybody else were assimilated by the French.

      I understand that point of view. It’s called tyranny. You fail to recognize it in yourself, and in your fellow separatists. But it is, ultimately, why you’ve lost two referendums, and why you will never succeed in creating a separate Quebec. Because you are intolerant of ‘les autres.’

      Me, I’m happily integrated as a fully-functioning member of Quebec. Try and understand the difference between integration and assimilation.

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        I believe a quick glance at every newspaper in the city this morning will confirm that English schools are indeed much better than French schools.

        Didn’t read the papers. What was the news that would purportedly buttress this argument???

        The rest of your arguments are based on stupidity. I understand your point of view, I just don’t share it because it is stupid.
        Contrary to what you believe (and what everyone on this blog tells you) the English do not want to assimilate the French.

        Oh, sorry. It will take more than a few blog posts to erase a quarter millenium of History.

        By the same token, the English do not want to be assimilated.

        And we are not trying to assimilate them. If we were, there would be no english media, no english schools, no english hospitals and whatnot.

        You even argue that the assimilation of the French would be a Very Bad Thing.
        But you, Jean, seem to think that all would be sunshine and roses if the English and everybody else were assimilated by the French.

        It would be nice, but not necessarly desirable, nor do I advocate it. However, we will suffer absolutely no attempt at anglicizing the immigrants, which is the whole idea behind law 101. You just keep your hands off the immigrants; here, you are not the majority, but a minority, just like the other immigrants. **BANG** That’s the reality for you.

        I understand that point of view. It’s called tyranny. You fail to recognize it in yourself, and in your fellow separatists. But it is, ultimately, why you’ve lost two referendums, and why you will never succeed in creating a separate Quebec. Because you are intolerant of ‘les autres.’

        Again, the typical cluelessness of the english, along with the usual Québec-bashing efforts that will always denigrate Québec by saying it is what it is not.
        If we had tyranny, we would not have had referendum. If we had tyranny, there would not be a federalist government in power in Québec.
        And we are far more tolerant of «les autres» than elsewhere in Canada, as stated unequivocally in the hate crimes statistics.
        You are just attempting to paint us as “intolerant” in your usual efforts of assimilating the immigrants into english, in order to minorize us.

        Me, I’m happily integrated as a fully-functioning member of Quebec. Try and understand the difference between integration and assimilation.

        There is integration, and subversion. For as long as the english will not vote as the french do (those darn english ethnic votes!), they will always be suspect of trying to subvert institutions in order to finish the anglicization of Canada that has been going on for the last 250 years.

        Reply
        1. Jim

          “And we are not trying to assimilate them. If we were, there would be no english media, no english schools, no english hospitals and whatnot.”

          It is kind of silly as well as dishonest of Mr Naimard to state that somehow the English media, schools and hospitals simply exist because the government of Quebec “allows” them too. Actually the CANADIAN constitution “allows” for these institutions (which were thankfully established prior to 1976 – but have no doubt been adversely affected by nationalist venom in Quebec).

          It is a common statement made by nationalists like Naimard to somehow prove how “tolerant” his ilk are of those who are different. As if Naimard has a choice in the matter…. Actually no thanks to those like Naimard; Quebec’s ancient Anglophone community has been decimated (actually decimate implies 1/10th reduction – more like halved would be more accurate) and in fact is the one community in Quebec that is in danger of eventually fading away completely (thankfully many are waking up to this fact).

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            Quebec’s ancient Anglophone community … in fact is the one community in Quebec that is in danger of eventually fading away completely

            I don’t think that’s any more true than the idea that French is in danger of disappearing from Quebec. I don’t think either are growing in a significant way, but I don’t think either is in serious danger at the moment.

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            It is kind of silly as well as dishonest of Mr Naimard to state that somehow the English media, schools and hospitals simply exist because the government of Quebec "allows" them too. Actually the CANADIAN constitution "allows" for these institutions (which were thankfully established prior to 1976 – but have no doubt been adversely affected by nationalist venom in Quebec).

            Well, what if we would simply abolish english school boards, make english hospital french (oh wait, they are already french — to work there you have to speak french)? We certainly could do it.
            What’s gonna happen? They gonna send in the mounties?

            It is a common statement made by nationalists like Naimard to somehow prove how "tolerant" his ilk are of those who are different.

            If is a common statement made by federalists like Jim to somehow “prove” how “intolerant” the “separatists” are of those who are different.

            As if Naimard has a choice in the matter…. Actually no thanks to those like Naimard; Quebec’s ancient Anglophone community has been decimated (actually decimate implies 1/10th reduction – more like halved would be more accurate) and in fact is the one community in Quebec that is in danger of eventually fading away completely (thankfully many are waking up to this fact).

            The english diminished in Québec because a good part of them simply left since they could not bear being a minority and being ruled by those french they despise, and also because law 101 stripped them from their most potent anti-french weapon: the anglicization of immigrants.

            Reply
        2. Kaved

          You failed to notice that English high schools have graduation rates 10 to 20% higher than French schools.
          Oh oh it gets worse.
          Turns out that immigrants in French schools have higher graduation rates than francophones.
          That’s right, Francophones have ridiculously high dropout rates, higher than any other ethnic group in this province.

          That’s a severe problem that this province needs to work on. Forget all the independence crap: Why the hell are our students dropping out of schools?

          You may want to look at the newspapers this morning too, where it indicates how many students have been granted exemptions to attend English schools: 2221 since 2002.

          That’s what you’re worried about. That’s what has you blue in the face. A paltry 250 students a year switching to English schools after a year in English. That’s the onslaught under which a population of nearly 8 million will crumble.

          Utterly ridiculous.

          The rest of what you write is one lie after another, baldfaced lies.
          Telling anglophones they should leave is a statement of hatred.
          Advocating assimilation of immigrant anglophones is a statement of hatred.
          Saying that anyone who doesn’t vote in lockstep with the minority who support an independent Quebec is guilty of subversion is hatred.
          Saying that people who disagree with language laws are Quebec-bashing is an exaggerated statement of hatred.
          Thinking that intolerance only shows itself in hate crimes is stupid and short-sighted (or are the fabled fat ladies at Eaton’s not intolerant?)
          And yet you claim you don’t hate the English.
          You’re so full of it your eyes are brown, Jean.

          Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

            You failed to notice that English high schools have graduation rates 10 to 20% higher than French schools.

            That does not mean that the schools are better. The english are generally better-off than the french, and better-off people’s children have far more chances of graduating school.

            Oh oh it gets worse.
            Turns out that immigrants in French schools have higher graduation rates than francophones.
            That’s right, Francophones have ridiculously high dropout rates, higher than any other ethnic group in this province.

            That’s because the immigrants that are let in here are very often better educated than the average people, and it is well known that the children of better educated people will perform better in school.
            And we have that sub-group of hicks that do not value education. There are many people for whom, once you’re 16, you pull out of school and you go to work; I know, I have seen those in my extended family. Obviously, we do not let in immigrants hicks, and the english hicks have left long ago as they could not get employment if they did not speak french.

            That’s a severe problem that this province needs to work on. Forget all the independence crap: Why the hell are our students dropping out of schools?

            <cynic>That’s not a problem at all. There are no problem with our shools: see, all teachers have jobs.</cynic>
            I am not a pedagogue, so I do not know where the problem lies. But the solution is **NOT** opening english schools to more ineligible students.

            You may want to look at the newspapers this morning too, where it indicates how many students have been granted exemptions to attend English schools: 2221 since 2002.
            That’s what you’re worried about. That’s what has you blue in the face. A paltry 250 students a year switching to English schools after a year in English. That’s the onslaught under which a population of nearly 8 million will crumble.

            That’s 2221 too many.

            Utterly ridiculous.

            That’s easy to say when you are one of 300 million.
            It’s utterly serious. I would like to hear a valid reason why should ineligible people should be allowed to go to english school.

            The rest of what you write is one lie after another, baldfaced lies.
            Telling anglophones they should leave is a statement of hatred.

            And telling the french they should send their children to english school “so they can compete better on the world scene” is not?

            Advocating assimilation of immigrant anglophones is a statement of hatred.

            And assimilating immigrants into english to minorize the french is not?

            Saying that anyone who doesn’t vote in lockstep with the minority who support an independent Quebec is guilty of subversion is hatred.

            And saying that those who want the sovereignty of Québec are traitors is not?

            Saying that people who disagree with language laws are Quebec-bashing is an exaggerated statement of hatred.

            And saying that french Québecers are racist and bigot when there is no data to support that assertion is not?

            Thinking that intolerance only shows itself in hate crimes is stupid and short-sighted (or are the fabled fat ladies at Eaton’s not intolerant?)

            And refusing to acknowledge that Québec is french and insidiously keeping to try anglicizing is is not?

            And yet you claim you don’t hate the English.

            You have yet to prove that you don’t hate the french.

            You’re so full of it your eyes are brown, Jean.

            I have demolished every single one of your oxdung “arguments”. Good luck trying to demolish mine.

            Reply
          2. Kaved

            That does not mean that the schools are better. The english are generally better-off than the french, and better-off people’s children have far more chances of graduating school.
            Except for that pesky Stats Can report earlier this summer indicating that the median income of English Quebecers is a good $3-4000 lower than that of native French Speakers. Yes, the MMF or someone came along 2 months later saying it was bullshit, but that was because they figure a few millionaires in Westmount actually have an effect on electricians living off-island.

            That’s 2221 too many. That’s easy to say when you are one of 300 million.
            It’s utterly serious. I would like to hear a valid reason why should ineligible people should be allowed to go to english school.

            It’s this kind of statement that on one hand makes me feel sorry for you. Why the hell are you so afraid for your language? Can’t you recognize your own strengths?
            Then on the other hand I see your complete lack of compassion, like a guy who buys a dog just so he can kick something that won’t object. Stop being a victim.

            And telling the french they should send their children to english school “so they can compete better on the world scene” is not?
            Never said that. I do say that everyone in this province and country should be fully bilingual.
            And assimilating immigrants into english to minorize the french is not?
            You just ignored that part where I talked about the difference between integration and assimilation. Aaaaaand the part where I said that nobody wants to assimilate french culture, that assimilation is not how things are done in the past 50 years, etc…..
            Move into modern times Jean.

            And saying that those who want the sovereignty of Québec are traitors is not?
            Strictly speaking, trying to overthrow or dismantle a country is treason.
            From Merriam-Webster Treason: the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance.

            Saying that people who disagree with language laws are Quebec-bashing is an exaggerated statement of hatred.
            And saying that french Québecers are racist and bigot when there is no data to support that assertion is not?
            Oh please. That’s another attempt at a dodge. In your mind only separatists are true Quebecers, and how dare someone want to preserve any cultural differences. Do you same the same thing to your relatives who are not sovereignist? I hope not for the sake of family dinners.
            As for bigotry from Quebecers, see the parts about people being too English to get work.

            Thinking that intolerance only shows itself in hate crimes is stupid and short-sighted (or are the fabled fat ladies at Eaton’s not intolerant?)
            And refusing to acknowledge that Québec is french and insidiously keeping to try anglicizing is is not?

            It’s a french majority, nobody’s trying to change that, nobody wants to anglicize that, honestly you should stop beating this dead horse.

            And yet you claim you don’t hate the English.
            You have yet to prove that you don’t hate the french.

            Well those are two very different statements. Another lousy dodge on your part, since I’ve acknowledged leaving the province for several years and then coming back. Or do you really think that I’d come back to Montreal if I hated French? In which case I’d have to stop talking to my in-laws, my wife, my children’s teachers, and just about everyone I come into contact with on a daily basis.
            Nope, can’t say I hate French, or most of Quebec. I just hate your stupid attitude, and I’m very glad that it is not shared by the majority of people in this province (as indicated twice in referendums, and just about every poll ever taken).

            Now, are you going to fess up and admit that you will only be happy when the last anglo is driven out of Quebec, or can you not bear to admit that you really are that fascist?

            Reply
          3. Jean Naimard

            It’s this kind of statement that on one hand makes me feel sorry for you. Why the hell are you so afraid for your language? Can’t you recognize your own strengths?

            Yes we can. But when you have been told for a quarter of a millenium that you are garbage, crap, unable to do anything good, plenty of people cannot.

            Then on the other hand I see your complete lack of compassion, like a guy who buys a dog just so he can kick something that won’t object. Stop being a victim.

            So, for you, compassion is “ooooh, look at those poor french, if they were english, they would earn so much more money!”??? Well, this proves my point that you guys cannot understand others, and that for you, everything boils down to dollars and cents.

            And telling the french they should send their children to english school “so they can compete better on the world scene” is not?
            Never said that. I do say that everyone in this province and country should be fully bilingual.

            Trudeau said that, too. And everyone know how his dream was stupid and unattainable. The english don’t care about the french, they don’t want to learn the language.
            Bilingualism is just to insure that the french learn english so the english don’t have to learn french. And this is a fact buttressed by official statistics.

            And assimilating immigrants into english to minorize the french is not?
            You just ignored that part where I talked about the difference between integration and assimilation. Aaaaaand the part where I said that nobody wants to assimilate french culture, that assimilation is not how things are done in the past 50 years, etc…..
            Move into modern times Jean.

            As I said, a few blog posts certainly won’t erase centuries of historical facts.

            And saying that those who want the sovereignty of Québec are traitors is not?
            Strictly speaking, trying to overthrow or dismantle a country is treason.

            So why aren’t all those pesky “separatists” in prison?

            From Merriam-Webster Treason: the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance.

            How is any of the referendums we held on the subject were attempting to overthrow the government of Canada?
            I guess you just jumped the shark.

            Saying that people who disagree with language laws are Quebec-bashing is an exaggerated statement of hatred.
            And saying that french Québecers are racist and bigot when there is no data to support that assertion is not?
            Oh please. That’s another attempt at a dodge. In your mind only separatists are true Quebecers, and how dare someone want to preserve any cultural differences. Do you same the same thing to your relatives who are not sovereignist? I hope not for the sake of family dinners.
            As for bigotry from Quebecers, see the parts about people being too English to get work.

            Anybody who is not a sovereinist is either grossly misinformed, or has a vested interest in the status-quo.
            The application of proper information to any reasonable individual without vested interests will make him a sovereinist. I have seen it happen on anglo-saxons and on many “ethnics”.

            Thinking that intolerance only shows itself in hate crimes is stupid and short-sighted (or are the fabled fat ladies at Eaton’s not intolerant?)
            And refusing to acknowledge that Québec is french and insidiously keeping to try anglicizing is is not?
            It’s a french majority, nobody’s trying to change that, nobody wants to anglicize that, honestly you should stop beating this dead horse.

            So why are some people attempting to send their uneligible kids to english school? This is a blatant attempt to anglicize immigrants, which is something that shall never happen.

            And yet you claim you don’t hate the English.
            You have yet to prove that you don’t hate the french.

            Well those are two very different statements. Another lousy dodge on your part, since I’ve acknowledged leaving the province for several years and then coming back. Or do you really think that I’d come back to Montreal if I hated French? In which case I’d have to stop talking to my in-laws, my wife, my children’s teachers, and just about everyone I come into contact with on a daily basis.
            Nope, can’t say I hate French, or most of Quebec. I just hate your stupid attitude, and I’m very glad that it is not shared by the majority of people in this province (as indicated twice in referendums, and just about every poll ever taken).

            Polls mean nothing, and the last referendum was very close, and was lost thanks to the illegal voters from outside Québec.
            We have time, and History moves in our direction. The sovereignty is inevitable.

            Now, are you going to fess up and admit that you will only be happy when the last anglo is driven out of Quebec, or can you not bear to admit that you really are that fascist?

            No, all I want is the english to know their place: a tiny minority that should stop trying to illegitimately rule and subvert.
            If that is “fascist”, well, then Canada is fascist.

            Reply
    3. Fassero

      Well, in that case, we can control what the laws are here, and we can legislate out of existence the assimilation of immigrants into english, and, like the proverbial dog, we do it **BECAUSE WE CAN**. And we’ll be able to control it even more once we get out of Canada.
      (And if you feel that your freedoms are being curtailed, you still have the freedom to get out).

      Errrrrr, did you forget why Bill 113 came into being in the first place? Something about, oh, the Supreme Court of CANADA ordering Quebec to go back to the drawing board on Bill 114 which was deemed as unconstitutional? Then again, the separatist movement has never wanted to truly “get out of Canada”. What they have wanted is “sovereignty association” which loosely means “we want our freedom but your money”.

      By the way, I really don’t disagree with the need to preserve French language, culture, etc. Heck, I’ll agree that there are more than a handful of English in Quebec that would like nothing better than live here without learning to speak a word of French in their lifetime. But, again, Bill 113 is really a “much ado about nothing” law. A tiny handful of students will be affected by it because most English don’t have the financial means to work around it and the wealthy can keep their kids in unsubsidized private schools of any language anyway. Whom are far more affected by the education rules are, dare I say it, French-speaking citizens that would like their kids to get more than 60 minutes a week of English instruction. They’ve got more than enough freedom to “get out” too and I don’t think that bodes well for French language and culture “here” does it? Yet, that’s what going to happen. It already IS happening.

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        Errrrrr, did you forget why Bill 113 came into being in the first place? Something about, oh, the Supreme Court of CANADA ordering Quebec to go back to the drawing board on Bill 114 which was deemed as unconstitutional?

        Yes, but that was nothing that could not have been fixed by the notwithstanding clause, graciously put in the charter of rights for the benefice of western provinces in order to allow them to discriminate against the french.
        Pretty pissy, eh?
        And you can bet your arse had a sovereignist government been in power at the time, they would not have blinked one second before doing it.

        Then again, the separatist movement has never wanted to truly "get out of Canada". What they have wanted is "sovereignty association" which loosely means "we want our freedom but your money".

        Actually, it’s quite the opposite. But since you are totally clueless about the “separatist” programme, let me light your lantern. In the Parti-Québécois’ programme, we agree to pay back to Canada our portion of the canadian debt.
        This also happen to be a convenient bargaining chip to insure that once we separate, there will be no dirty tricks, which may be why there is so much hatred behind the idea of our “separation”…

        By the way, I really don’t disagree with the need to preserve French language, culture, etc. Heck, I’ll agree that there are more than a handful of English in Quebec that would like nothing better than live here without learning to speak a word of French in their lifetime.

        Not only the english, but immigrants, too. The english can ignore us, it’s not really important, they are not that significants.
        But it is totally inacceptable for immigrants, as we are counting on them for demography.

        But, again, Bill 113 is really a "much ado about nothing" law.

        No, it’s big hoopla about everything law 101 is for: making sure immigrants do not become english. It’s the proverbial leak in the dyke.

        A tiny handful of students will be affected by it because most English don’t have the financial means to work around it and the wealthy can keep their kids in unsubsidized private schools of any language anyway. Whom are far more affected by the education rules are, dare I say it, French-speaking citizens that would like their kids to get more than 60 minutes a week of English instruction. They’ve got more than enough freedom to "get out" too and I don’t think that bodes well for French language and culture "here" does it? Yet, that’s what going to happen. It already IS happening.

        This is why we have to keep the awareness about the danger the french language is facing quite acute at all times. We cannot let our vigilance lapse for a single second, the forces of anglicization never stop for a second!

        Reply
        1. Fassero

          What got lost in all the kerfuffle over Bill 113 is actually the fact that Quebec could NOT invoke the Notwithstanding Clause against the decision of the Supreme Court re: Bill 114. The Clause cannot be invoked against a number of sections of the Charter including #23 which deals with the protection of minority language rights.

          There has been a long-running question mark as to what portion of the national debt Quebec would pay back. The practical amount would be 25% which represents their portion of the national population and their percentage of the national GDP. Sovereignists, when they talk about it (extremely rare), have trumpeted amounts like 10 percent or nothing at all (they would just service the interest portion of their perceived portion of Canada’s national debt). Given that, on a per-capital basis, Quebec has the largest state/provincial debt in all of North America (and still growing), I have yet to hear a sovereignist explain how an “independent” Quebec could survive on a GDP-to-debt ratio of over 70% (and that’s before covering the cost of repatriating through hiring all Quebec employees whom currently work in the province for the Federal Government which sovereignists also promise.)

          Your point about immigrants and demography is absolute rubbish of course. Take a little trip down to Toronto some time. There are plenty of businesses which display signs in their native languages and where they speak barely a word of English. Nobody short of an aspiring Klansman ever talks of this as some kind of linguistic or cultural threat. The thought there is “hey, if they think they can run a viable business that way, so be it.” And their children can go to French schools, English schools, Chinese schools……wherever they want. Heck, Mother FRANCE is overflowing with ethnic immigrants but nobody panics about the language possibly disappearing (heck, their stop signs actually say “STOP” yet nobody complains about them not reading “ARRET”)

          Fortunately for everybody, the sovereignist cause is a tired one relegated to a near-death generation or misbegotten youth who will only talk that nonsense until they actually earn a living doing something other than sponging off the government. Anyway, the sovereignists have it in their heads that “Anglicization” has headquarters in Montreal. Well……as you always say, those who don’t like it can always move. :)

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            Heck, Mother FRANCE is overflowing with ethnic immigrants but nobody panics about the language possibly disappearing

            I wouldn’t exactly use France as a model of openness and acceptance, considering the news lately.

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            What got lost in all the kerfuffle over Bill 113 is actually the fact that Quebec could NOT invoke the Notwithstanding Clause against the decision of the Supreme Court re: Bill 114. The Clause cannot be invoked against a number of sections of the Charter including #23 which deals with the protection of minority language rights.

            So why was it put there? The reason was to allow western provinces to discriminate against the french. Or, I suppose that, in Canada, the english are more equal than the french?

            There has been a long-running question mark as to what portion of the national debt Quebec would pay back. The practical amount would be 25% which represents their portion of the national population and their percentage of the national GDP. Sovereignists, when they talk about it (extremely rare), have trumpeted amounts like 10 percent or nothing at all (they would just service the interest portion of their perceived portion of Canada’s national debt).

            It’s not “extremely rare”, I talk about it all the time, and it’s written black on white in the Parti Québécois’ programme. You are just attempting the usual canadian smear campaign against Québec.

            Given that, on a per-capital basis, Quebec has the largest state/provincial debt in all of North America (and still growing), I have yet to hear a sovereignist explain how an "independent" Quebec could survive on a GDP-to-debt ratio of over 70% (and that’s before covering the cost of repatriating through hiring all Quebec employees whom currently work in the province for the Federal Government which sovereignists also promise.)

            One of the reasons we want out is to get away from the inefficiencies of the anglo-saxon government that currently governs Canada; anglo-saxons have a big cultural distrust of the State (going back to the magna carta) and thus have plenty of institutions specifically designed to hinder the State’s ability to function efficiently.
            We, the french, have no such animal, so our government will be far more efficient, hence the savings.

            Your point about immigrants and demography is absolute rubbish of course. Take a little trip down to Toronto some time. There are plenty of businesses which display signs in their native languages and where they speak barely a word of English.

            Montréal is NOT Toronto. In Toronto, immigrants will naturally gather towards the overwhelmingly dominating language of North-America, whereas the difference in Montréal is that immigrants will naturally gather towards the overwhelmingly dominating language of North-America, thus endangering ours.

            Nobody short of an aspiring Klansman ever talks of this as some kind of linguistic or cultural threat. The thought there is "hey, if they think they can run a viable business that way, so be it." And their children can go to French schools, English schools, Chinese schools……wherever they want. Heck, Mother FRANCE is overflowing with ethnic immigrants but nobody panics about the language possibly disappearing (heck, their stop signs actually say "STOP" yet nobody complains about them not reading "ARRET")

            That’s because in France, they are 60 million who are not surrounded by 300 million of anglo-saxons. As it happens, France in Europe is in a similar position as the US is in North-America (a position, of course, tempered by the existence of France’s german big-buddy, accross the Rhine) and french is therefore not in danger, and especially not from the 60 million rosbifs accross the manche.
            In France, the immigrants send their kids to french schools, because there is nothing else, and they get the point that they should learn french, because there is no federal government telling them otherwise.

            Fortunately for everybody, the sovereignist cause is a tired one relegated to a near-death generation or misbegotten youth who will only talk that nonsense until they actually earn a living doing something other than sponging off the government. Anyway, the sovereignists have it in their heads that "Anglicization" has headquarters in Montreal. Well……as you always say, those who don’t like it can always move. :)

            Fortunately for everybody, the above language only emanates from rhodesian quarters whose dearest wish is that the clock be turned back 50 years and the genie put back int he bottle.
            Ain’t gonna happen.

            Reply
          3. Jean Naimard

            I wouldn’t exactly use France as a model of openness and acceptance, considering the news lately.

            France has been subverted by the bourgeois, a class of people whose mindset is very close to the anglo-saxons, and whose values includes racism. After all, it is not the ordinary workers who refuse to hire black and arab* employees, but the bourgeois business owners.
            There is no racism inherent to french culture; France itself is people by all the european invasions of the last 10,000 years that all ended-up in France, so we are one of the most mixed people in History. So, in those conditions, racism is simply totally unthinkable.
            The racism that appeared recently is merely an artefact of the bourgeois gaining power during the french revolution and consolidating it during the next two centuries and a half.
            * Is there any difference between white people and arabs? I seldom see any.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              France has been subverted by the bourgeois, a class of people whose mindset is very close to the anglo-saxons, and whose values includes racism.

              So racism in France is proof that the English are racists.

              If only reality was as malleable as the logic in your universe.

              Reply
    4. tornwordo

      “And we have endured much hardship, poverty, discrimination and disenfranchment because of our stubborn refusal to give up our culture and our language to let go right now, especially that now we have the legal tools to stop the discrimination and the various attempts at elimination that were thrown our way by the english.”

      You have endured none of that! You have the power but play the victim, just like the Americans. I love the French culture and see no impediments to its continued existence. Hampering our children’s ability to compete on the world stage notwithstanding. I’m more bemused than anything on the subject. But you sound like my good friend Daniel who is uber “cul serré” on the topic too.

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        Who are you to say what we have endured or not? Have you been denied employment because you are not english? Have you been forced to work in a foreign language in your hometown just to earn a decent living? Have you been kept out of the political decision-making process?
        You are bemused because, as an anglo-saxon, you are culturally incapable of understanding other cultures, and as one of the most imperialistic people in the whole History of Mankind, you cannot fathom why other people would resent being dominated by you.
        By saying that not educating our children in english “to compete on the world stage” all but confirms my viewpoint.

        Reply
        1. Jim

          Oh geez – I am shedding tears. I have news for you Mr Naimard – what you are referring to simply does not take place in modern day Quebec. From the way you are talking – it sounds like you endured the third reich. Give me a break.

          And 40- 50 years ago – when there was this kind of thing going on- thinking people demanded change and our democracy responded and righted those wrongs which were taking place. What you are unable to see is that the people discussing these issues in this forum are not out to take away your rights or language – but are unhappy with many of their rights being trampled on in the name of a kind of nationalism that you seem to embrace.

          It is intellectually dishonest to claim that French is in danger at this time in Quebec. It is intellectually dishonest to claim that allowing parents a freedom of choice in terms of what language (a small minority of Quebecers are involved in making such requests in any event) will doom French in Quebec.

          It is clear however that the Anglophone community in this province has diminished substantially and continues to do so and the future of this community is (at least) questionable.

          One last point I will make (though I know that it will be totally futile to try to convince you of this) and that is that this constant bickering is not only goofy but a complete waste time. It hurts all people in this province regardless of linguistic or ethnic background. Quebec at this time is amongst the lowest in terms of GNP per capita of all the provinces in Canada. The exodus of jobs and industry has hurt Montreal and damaged Quebec’s productivity over the last number of decades (as compared to other provinces). And still there is talk of nationalism (much of it not of the civic variety) and another referendum on the part of the PQ. These politicians use nationalism as their platform for power and it divides you and me. It is something worth thinking about.

          Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

             

            Oh geez – I am shedding tears. I have news for you Mr Naimard – what you are referring to simply does not take place in modern day Quebec. From the way you are talking – it sounds like you endured the third reich. Give me a break.

            Not exactly the third reich, but more like occupied France. The only thing is the occupation has been going on for a quarter millenium.

            And 40- 50 years ago – when there was this kind of thing going on- thinking people demanded change and our democracy responded

            No, democracy certainly did not respond. We had to set bombs off here and there to start things moving, because democracy was perfectly happy with the status-quo.

            and righted those wrongs which were taking place. What you are unable to see is that the people discussing these issues in this forum are not out to take away your rights or language – but are unhappy with many of their rights being trampled on in the name of a kind of nationalism that you seem to embrace.

            Whose rights are being trampled? Going to school is a right. Going to an english school is not; it’s a mere privilege.
            I have been hanging on this board for months, and I always ask for proof that anyone’s human rights are being ignored in Québec, and I have yet to receive proof. So excuse me while I dismiss your posturing as merely posturing.

            It is intellectually dishonest to claim that French is in danger at this time in Quebec.

            It is nevertheless a fact, and it will remain so until we have absolute and total control over immigration, up to and including the right to force immigrants to live in a given place, in order to force them to integrate and assimilate. Such a thing is quite impossible under the neurotic anglo-saxon laws that have been shoved down our throats.

            It is intellectually dishonest to claim that allowing parents a freedom of choice in terms of what language (a small minority of Quebecers are involved in making such requests in any event) will doom French in Quebec.

            The intellectual disonhesty is firmly in your camp. There is no reason whatsoever to allow anyone who is not eligible to go to english school. Period. And in all the verbiage that has been spewed froth in this thread by your ilk, there is not a single justification for it.

            It is clear however that the Anglophone community in this province has diminished substantially and continues to do so and the future of this community is (at least) questionable.

            Not my problem. And I’m not about to start caring, they have demonstrated in the past that they are quite capable of taking care of themselves.

            One last point I will make (though I know that it will be totally futile to try to convince you of this) and that is that this constant bickering is not only goofy but a complete waste time. It hurts all people in this province regardless of linguistic or ethnic background. Quebec at this time is amongst the lowest in terms of GNP per capita of all the provinces in Canada.

            Not a concern either. And it also proves my point that anglo-saxons are culturally unable to understand other cultures because you utterly fail to realize that THIS IS NOT A CONCERN FOR US. Being french is far, far, far more important than being rich.

            The exodus of jobs and industry has hurt Montreal and damaged Quebec’s productivity over the last number of decades (as compared to other provinces).

            The jobs that left were mostly parasitic jobs, such as finance, as opposed to real, important jobs such as engineering and research who, lo and behold, happen to be abundant here.

            And still there is talk of nationalism (much of it not of the civic variety) and another referendum on the part of the PQ.

            Well, yes. We are democratic. It seems the english are deeply disturbed whenever true, direct democracy is involved… Because a referendum will bypass the usual parliamentary tricks the Establishment uses to keep it’s way…

            These politicians use nationalism as their platform for power

            And you want me to believe that the federalists don’t do the same?

            and it divides you and me.

            No, what divides you and me is our different, anglo-saxon and french, viewpoint on Society.
            France and England had very different histories, both shaped by very different geographies. The dysfunctionality of Canada is a testimony to the fact that such wildly different cultures will never able to coexist to the satisfaction of both.

            It is something worth thinking about.

            I wish you would think at the information I gave you, but my past experience tells me it’s a futile exercise; anglo-saxons are culturally impervious to other cultures.

            Reply
        2. Kaved

          [i]Who are you to say what we have endured or not? Have you been denied employment because you are not english?[/i]
          I have been denied employment because I’m not french enough, and I know francophones who have been told refused jobs because they went to English universities. That was mentioned much earlier on this page, so you are deliberately ignoring arguments that don’t fit with your twisted world view.

          [i] Have you been forced to work in a foreign language in your hometown just to earn a decent living? Have you been kept out of the political decision-making process?[/i]
          Yes and yes. Although I have no objections to working in any language in order to earn a living. And when you get down to brass tacks, Montreal has always been a bilingual city.

          [i]You are bemused because, as an anglo-saxon, you are culturally incapable of understanding other cultures, and as one of the most imperialistic people in the whole History of Mankind, you cannot fathom why other people would resent being dominated by you.[/i]

          This is the point you cannot seem to understand, and fail to acknowledge in everything you write. It’s a shame really, because this complete and utter lack of empathy on your part is a major flaw in your character. Aside from this you’re an intelligent, determined person.

          English culture is not the monolithic beast you claim it is. It can be difficult to understand coming from Quebec, where shows like Tout le monde en parle are seen by 4 million Quebecers every Sunday, but it’s the truth.

          Failure to comprehend that ‘anglo-saxons’ (s you call everyone on this continent who speaks English, no matter what their ethnic background) are as different as snowflakes is almost mindboggling, but what it really is, is bigoted. It’s a way to say to yourself ‘I’m better than those guys, because nobody in that group of 300 MILLION is at all capable of understanding my point of view.

          If you really, truly, honestly feel that way I feel sorry for you. But I suspect that you are not that dense, in which case you’re a lying sack of shit.

          Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

            [i]…

            (Oh, if you want to neatly indent some text, just enclose it in “blockquote” tags suchly: <blockquote>blablabla</blockquote>).

            This is the point you cannot seem to understand, and fail to acknowledge in everything you write. It’s a shame really, because this complete and utter lack of empathy on your part is a major flaw in your character. Aside from this you’re an intelligent, determined person.

            Oh, I have plenty of empathy. But not for those who work to destroy us (which is a fairly normal reaction, I daresay).

            English culture is not the monolithic beast you claim it is. It can be difficult to understand coming from Quebec, where shows like Tout le monde en parle are seen by 4 million Quebecers every Sunday, but it’s the truth.

            I don’t care much about english culture.

            Failure to comprehend that ‘anglo-saxons’ (s you call everyone on this continent who speaks English, no matter what their ethnic background) are as different as snowflakes is almost mindboggling, but what it really is, is bigoted. It’s a way to say to yourself ‘I’m better than those guys, because nobody in that group of 300 MILLION is at all capable of understanding my point of view.

            You can say I am bigoted all you want, the fact is that Y’ALL unable to understand other cultures, and I call as witness the posts by other people on this very thread. (For more fun, you may want to look at the Galganov thread, too).

            If you really, truly, honestly feel that way I feel sorry for you. But I suspect that you are not that dense, in which case you’re a lying sack of shit.

            You are the very embodiment of what is wrong with Canada: a totally uncaring, imperialistic majority. And you wonder why we want to leave?

            Reply
  27. Tux

    Here’s what I think. If it matters: I’m a bilingual anglophone, 3rd generation Montrealer, I was educated in French immersion schools and learned many subjects in both languages at different grade levels.

    I think education in this province should be primarily French. French Canadians have earned their cultural protection in blood. If you want to live here, you should speak French. Immigrants who come here unable to speak a single word of French are, yes, pretty dumb and unprepared, but they should be able to attend school in English, so long as that schooling includes compulsory French language instruction (that they are required to pass). Basically, I think anglophones born here should be schooled in French from a young age, and given some instruction in English too. People who come here to live should learn French as fast as possible. It’s ridiculous to live here and not speak French and I don’t really understand people who do. Francophones should be taught to speak and write English, too. To raise a unilingual child in this province, English or French, is to deprive that child of countless opportunities.

    If we’re talking about signs (and what Montrealer doesn’t like talking about signs?) I think that signage here should be in French. Adding English signage can be optional. As far as font sizes go, I feel it is fair to give English and French equal billing size-wise. No one’s bigger, no one’s smaller, fonts the same, or the French bigger if you insist that font sizes have anything to do with cultural preservation. Personally, I find that a law requiring that safety instructions that could save lives in an emergency are printed 3 times smaller in English than in French is a law that needs rethinking.

    Culturally, I think we need each other. I can’t make a good case for it that isn’t full of stereotypes and conjecture and biased opinion, so I won’t try, but I think we do. My Quebec is populated by all manner of Francos and Anglos and just wouldn’t be the same if any of them were missing.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      they should be able to attend school in English, so long as that schooling includes compulsory French language instruction (that they are required to pass).

      Or what? Do they get deported if their French isn’t good enough? Does that apply to refugees? What about children of immigrants?

      It’s very easy to open up a big can of worms when you throw out ideas like this.

      Reply
    2. Jean Naimard

      I think education in this province should be primarily French. French Canadians have earned their cultural protection in blood. If you want to live here, you should speak French. Immigrants who come here unable to speak a single word of French are, yes, pretty dumb and unprepared, but they should be able to attend school in English,

      Here we go again. Imperialistic anglo-saxon that thinks that only english can bring salvation to this world.
      Well, no, no and no. In fact, there should be no english schools at all. And this is what will happen if such adamanting keeps going on, charters of rights and whatnot notwithstaning. We are very tolerant, but our tolerance has some limits nevertheless.

      so long as that schooling includes compulsory French language instruction (that they are required to pass). Basically, I think anglophones born here should be schooled in French from a young age, and given some instruction in English too. People who come here to live should learn French as fast as possible.

      So why do you want that immigrants be able to send their kids to english school? It is well known that if they do that, the kids will be impegnated by the subtle hared of the french english people have had since John Lackland, and will adamantly refuse to recognize that the english are just yet another minority in Québec, and act like if they own the place, like they are well known of doing.

      To raise a unilingual child in this province, English or French, is to deprive that child of countless opportunities.

      Here we go again, only english can bring about salvation.
      Bilingualism is just to make sure the english don’t have to learn french.

      If we’re talking about signs (and what Montrealer doesn’t like talking about signs?) I think that signage here should be in French. Adding English signage can be optional.

      No. English signage should be unmandatory, as mandated by law 101. No english at all on businesses. Québec is french and will remain so.

      Culturally, I think we need each other. I can’t make a good case for it that isn’t full of stereotypes and conjecture and biased opinion, so I won’t try, but I think we do.

      No, we don’t need each other. We don’t need people who ignore that we exist and who don’t care that our existence is threatened by their own attitude.

      Reply
  28. tornwordo

    “we are very tolerant….”

    LOL, Jean you are anything but tolerant after reading these rants of yours. Now who’s shoving what down whose throat? Priceless.

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      Indeed we are tolerant.

      Do you think for a second that the english would have endured for long what we’ve been put through for the last quarter-millenium???

      Reply
      1. Kaved

        “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”
        Hmm.. will you get that reference, even though it was uttered by a French-Canadian? Probably not, because it appeared in a Hollywood movie based on a book written by an American.

        If the English had ever wanted to eliminate the French presence in Quebec, you’d be speaking English with a Cajun accent, just like your confreres in Louisiana.

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          Oh, they have been trying hard, yes. As an immigrant, you are a living testimony to that fact; you have been anglicized and you are yourself decrying the fact that we have not turned into english.

          You have been used as a tool by the english. Don’t you find this insulting???

          Reply
          1. Kaved

            Do you recognize that your own attitudes toward non-separatist Quebecers are just as bad, if not worse, than anything inflicted on the french population of Quebec in the 250 years since the 7 years war? (and I’m deliberately using the word inflicted there.)

            Perhaps if you had paid attention to the enforced Catholic education you received as a child you would be willing to forgive, forget, and move on, but you’re just stuck on this theme of vengeance for slights that happened long ago in the past.

            For what it’s worth, I’m not an immigrant. I’m the child of an immigrant and someone else whose roots go back in this province for several generations. My ancestry is a European mix, including the UK, so I can hardly be ‘anglicized’ any more than you’ve been ‘francizid’ (although since you are apparently Métis, maybe you do rail against your native roots being erased).

            I can hardly feel like a ‘tool’ of ‘the english when I have english roots.

            Multiculturalism is just oxdung to make the french look like any other bunch of recent immigrants. It’s also something that is not french at all; we assimilate others, just like americans do. This is what happens in France, and this is what happens here (thanks to law 101).
            Oh don’t be silly. Multiculturalism is a way of maintaining harmony because it means cultures can adapt, change, and expand to include all newcomers.
            You, personally, are opposed to it because you are stuck with the false dichotomy of assimilation vs. extinction, but multiculturalism works and thrives. Yes, even in the United States.

            Assimilation is a failed philopsophy. It’s just a way of saying you’re too intolerant to accept that people eat different food and dress differently than you do. How boring, how dull.

            It’s also impossible to enforce except through brutality.

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            Do you recognize that your own attitudes toward non-separatist Quebecers are just as bad, if not worse, than anything inflicted on the french population of Quebec in the 250 years since the 7 years war? (and I’m deliberately using the word inflicted there.)

            And why should be “nice” to people who do nothing to help us? You seem to assume, as a conqueror, that respect and niceness is automatically due for you. Well, as it happens, I have that big bridge to sell you…

            Perhaps if you had paid attention to the enforced Catholic education you received as a child you would be willing to forgive, forget, and move on, but you’re just stuck on this theme of vengeance for slights that happened long ago in the past.

            Yes, enforced by the 1867 constitutional gift to the scatholic church (for being against the 1837 rebellion) to have the total control over education in order to brainwash the french into supporting the parasitic church and not getting involved in commerce/industry so the incompetent family compact faced no competition…
            Those who invoke forgiveness are those who expect to get away with murder.
            It doesn’t work, bub. We have dumped the scatholic values in the garbage heap of History, and now we mean business. It’s no longer 1950 anymore, we have progressed forward since the middle-ages we were kept into. We caught up 1000 years of history in a few decades…

            For what it’s worth, I’m not an immigrant. I’m the child of an immigrant and someone else whose roots go back in this province for several generations.

            Well, yes. Your immigrant parent was used as a tool against us by the english; it is quite obvious by your blatant parti-pris for the english, and your constant anti-french stance.

            My ancestry is a European mix, including the UK, so I can hardly be ‘anglicized’ any more than you’ve been ‘francizid’ (although since you are apparently Métis, maybe you do rail against your native roots being erased).

            Oh, yes, I wish I knew more about my indian side of the family. But alas, until very recently, the indians were taught that they were even worse piece of shits than the french by the english steamroller…

            I can hardly feel like a ‘tool’ of ‘the english when I have english roots.

            You are a tool, nevertheless, son of an immigrant that was used as a tool against the french.

            Oh don’t be silly. Multiculturalism is a way of maintaining harmony because it means cultures can adapt, change, and expand to include all newcomers.

            Not at all. Multiculturalism tell immigrants they don’t have to adapt very much, and they can keep their often retarded customs when living here.
            We, the french are jacobins, we cannot tolerate that some people be treated differently than others; we have to have everyone treated the same. This is why we make short thrift of cultural differences that are used as justification for special treatment; they are not relevant to our society.

            You, personally, are opposed to it because you are stuck with the false dichotomy of assimilation vs. extinction, but multiculturalism works and thrives. Yes, even in the United States.

            You are really assimilated into the english. You share their total inability to understand other cultures. If you could, you would realize the enormity of what you just said. Multiculturalism is **NOT** a threat to the english language in North-America because of the sheer superheavy weight of the english language there.

            Assimilation is a failed philopsophy. It’s just a way of saying you’re too intolerant to accept that people eat different food and dress differently than you do. How boring, how dull.

            Assimilation is the only way in a french society. It’s the philosophy that if you want to be part of us, you are welcome with open arms as long as you accept to behave like us.

            It’s also impossible to enforce except through brutality.

            Well, the anglo-saxon enforce it through their sheer economic weight. How is that any different, and how is this not “brutal”???
            Are you trying to win this argument? You cannot win it, because we have History on our side, and History cannot be defeated.

            Reply
          3. Kaved

            And why should be “nice” to people who do nothing to help us?
            It’s no longer 1950 anymore, we have progressed forward since the middle-ages we were kept into. We caught up 1000 years of history in a few decades…

            You clearly have not. Your attitudes are straight from some tribal group out of the past, and stuck in a biblical/sharia ‘eye-for-an-eye’ mentality.


            … and your constant anti-french stance.

            Liar. I disagree with you and your narrow point of view. That doesn’t make me anti-French, it makes me opposed to you and your particular bigoted views, which thankfully are shunned by the majority of people in this great province of Quebec.

            Multiculturalism tell immigrants they don’t have to adapt very much, and they can keep their often retarded customs when living here.
            We, the french are jacobins, we cannot tolerate that some people be treated differently than others; we have to have everyone treated the same. This is why we make short thrift of cultural differences that are used as justification for special treatment; they are not relevant to our society.
            Assimilation is the only way in a french society. It’s the philosophy that if you want to be part of us, you are welcome with open arms as long as you accept to behave like us.

            If you can’t tolerate differences, you are a xenophobic bigot.

            Are you trying to win this argument? You cannot win it, because we have History on our side, and History cannot be defeated.

            History is not on your side. Every culture that tries to shut out the outside world fails. Even China has been forced to open the doors of the Middle Kingdom.

            Everything you write confirms that you are an intolerant bigot with no understanding of reality.

            Reply
          4. Jean Naimard

            You clearly have not. Your attitudes are straight from some tribal group out of the past, and stuck in a biblical/sharia ‘eye-for-an-eye’ mentality.

            Hey! Look! A guy who thinks he’s Mordechai Richler!!!
            This is so stupid that it’s not even worthy of a response.

            Liar. I disagree with you and your narrow point of view. That doesn’t make me anti-French, it makes me opposed to you and your particular bigoted views, which thankfully are shunned by the majority of people in this great province of Quebec.

            Sure you are anti-french. What could be more anti-french than saying that “immigrants should be able to go to english schools”? This has been the most potent weapon used by the english against the french.
            And how are my views bigoted? How bigoted it is to insure that immigrants adapt properly to where they are moving to?

            If you can’t tolerate differences, you are a xenophobic bigot.

            I see that you ran out of arguments, since you are in the personal attack department.
            We tolerate differences. What we won’t tolerate is covert, underhanded attempts to diminish our numbers by deliberately not assimilating immigration into french. Where is the xenophobia here? Where do you see me saying that immigrants are not welcome? Nowhere!
            The only thing I say is that the immigrants shall not become english, and shall not go to english schools. There is nothing xenophobic in there.

            History is not on your side. Every culture that tries to shut out the outside world fails. Even China has been forced to open the doors of the Middle Kingdom.

            We do not shut out the outside world. We just shut out the little, tiny english world that is overwhelmingly heaped upon us. We want to have our own foreign policy that is not constrained by the anglo-saxon blinders that constrain the canadian foreign policy.

            Everything you write confirms that you are an intolerant bigot with no understanding of reality.

            Everything you write confirms that you know nothing outside of the little version of inward-looking reality the english have.

            Reply
          5. Kaved

            You only want to accept immigrants if they are assimilated, completely adapt to French Quebecois culture, and ignore their roots.
            You repeatedly call the cultural attitudes of foreigners retarded.
            You refuse to accept that people can have multiple cultural backgrounds.

            Your attitude is essentially “come here only if you can be exactly like me.”

            You think that anyone who lives in Quebec and does not live 100% of their public life in French is somehow wrong.

            That is the very definition of being xenophobic and bigoted.

            This exchange sums up how blind you are to reality.
            If you can’t tell that there are profound cultural differences between someone from the Deep South, a Montreal anglo, a Toronto elitist, a Latina looking forward to her quinceanera, and and Indo-Canadian about to celebrate Diwali, then you are just being wilfully obtuse and blind.
            Of course there are. But those are irrelevant in regards to the steamrolling anglo-saxon culture that dominates everything else.

            5 different cultures listed, and you see one mass. You’ve got issues Jean.

            Reply
          6. Jean Naimard

            You keep putting words in my mouth (I guess I should say “hands” – account the keyboard)

            You only want to accept immigrants if they are assimilated, completely adapt to French Quebecois culture, and ignore their roots.

            No, I never said that. I only want to accept immigrants if they accept the fact that Québec is french, and they should speak french and never expect that they could expect to live here only knowing english.

            You repeatedly call the cultural attitudes of foreigners retarded.

            No, I only said that some attitudes are retarded — like the meditterranean attitudes towards women (it’s not only the muslims who do honour killings, southern italians will do so, and they’re as remote from islam as Mordechai Richler from poutine).

            You refuse to accept that people can have multiple cultural backgrounds.

            No. I only refuse to accept that people would not accept that Québec is first and foremost french.

            Your attitude is essentially "come here only if you can be exactly like me."

            No, my attitude is essentially “don’t come here if you will not respect us as a people”. WHICH IS BASICALLY THE VERY ATTITUDE OF EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!!! It seems the english have decreed that Québec shall not be a real country with normal attitudes…

            You think that anyone who lives in Quebec and does not live 100% of their public life in French is somehow wrong.

            No. I think that anyone who lives in Québec in blissful ignorance of french is wrong.

            That is the very definition of being xenophobic and bigoted.

            No, that is the definition of every normal country in the world.

            This exchange sums up how blind you are to reality.
            If you can’t tell that there are profound cultural differences between someone from the Deep South, a Montreal anglo, a Toronto elitist, a Latina looking forward to her quinceanera, and and Indo-Canadian about to celebrate Diwali, then you are just being wilfully obtuse and blind.
            Of course there are. But those are irrelevant in regards to the steamrolling anglo-saxon culture that dominates everything else.

            5 different cultures listed, and you see one mass. You’ve got issues Jean.

            Of course I have issues! Who hasn’t? I have issues with those who want to bury us, and those who spew forth total oxdung about us. And you have issues with people who do not want to assimilate.

            Reply
          7. Kaved

            No, I never said that. I only want to accept immigrants if they accept the fact that Québec is french, and they should speak french and never expect that they could expect to live here only knowing english.

            No. I only refuse to accept that people would not accept that Québec is first and foremost french.

            No. I think that anyone who lives in Québec in blissful ignorance of french is wrong.

            Of course I have issues! Who hasn’t? I have issues with those who want to bury us, and those who spew forth total oxdung about us. And you have issues with people who do not want to assimilate.

            That is just beyond bullshit. Either you suffer from a severe learning deficiency or you deliberately choose to misunderstand everything that has been written.

            There is a difference between Quebec being 100% French and being majority French. You cannot seem to distinguish between the two concepts.
            You also fail to distinguish between the integration and assimilation. That’s been discussed.

            Know what? Either go take a remedial English class or stop reading and writing English.

            Reply
  29. Fassero

    Language in Quebec in just one gigantic flame battle. That being said, even Anglophones have to admit that there are certainly some in their midst who would love to do everything in their power to never see or speak a word of French at all. Conversely, it would be nice for the hard-line Francophones to understand that “protecting” their language and culture will never succeed through the discriminatory treatment of minorities. Period. The smarter way would be through the promotion of the French language. You want access to government services, cheap subsidized local university education, etc.? You should speak the language of the majority. Conversely, even having school boards set along linguistic lines is silly. ALL of them should be promoting instruction in both languages because it is economically invaluable to do so (and even more than that in communities that might want to go that route.) Having Bills like 114, 113 not only are of questionable value for the English but, yes, for the French. Mr. Naimard can sit blindly in his cave (the one with the Rhodesian map on the wall even though there has not been a Rhodesia in over 30 years) but there are an awful lot of Francophones who really want their own children to learn the English language – not because they have some kind of Anglo-Saxon/Oreo Cookie/Imperialist,/Bourgeois love-in for the language but because they know it’s good for their children’s business future to do so. Bombardier can’t survive selling jets to Val D’Or and you can’t exactly have the ability to pay big taxes to pay for big domestic services by merely hoping every tourist on the planet comes from Rimouski.

    All the blather aside, it is remarkable about the level of absolutely false factual information permeates the argument. As I mentioned previously, minority language rights across ALL of Canada are constitutionally protected under Section 23, which is one of a number of sections where the invocation of the Notwithstanding Clause canNOT be applied. I’m still amazed that I cannot find one journalist, Anglophone or Francophone, that has mentioned this and I don’t know if it’s because of sloppiness (French) and/or cowardice (English.) It’s exactly why the Supreme Court ruled on Bill 114 in the matter before them the way they did. They had every power to completely quash that bill yet, to avoid a complete malestrom, they opted to let Quebec have a chance to re-tool the Bill into something more fathomable (and, until it is actually challenged, it’s not a given that 113 could be accepted by the Court.)

    Now let’s deal with Mr. Naimard’s warped sense of history since I now see it’s hardly the tenth time he’s brought it up. The notwithstanding clause’s inclusion in the Charter has absolutely NOTHING to do with some kind of western conspiracy. The entire Charter was actually opposed by eight premiers, including Rene Levesque, who feared it’s existence would dilute provincial powers in favor of the Supreme Court (the exceptions were Pierre Trudeau (obviously), Bill Davis, and Richard Hatfield.) When Trudeau threatened to unilaterally take the Charter straight to England, the attorney’s general of Canada, Ontario, and Saskatchewan (Chretien, Roy McMurtry, and Roy Romanow) came up with the notwithstanding clause which the eight rebelling premiers – again, including Levesque (yes – L-E-V-E-S-Q-U-E) – accepted. In fairness, they might not have had much choice. Had Trudeau went straight to London with what he had, the British North America Act would have allowed him to hold a national referendum on the repatriation and, at the time, the premiers opposing the charter were terrified of getting to this point knowing full well that Trudeau would have won and they would have ceded a tremendous amount of arbitrary powers to Ottawa and/or the courts. In any event, Trudeau was actually extremely reluctant to have the inclusion of the notwithstanding clause (this is very well documented up to and including in Trudeau’s memoirs) but Davis and Hatfield persuaded him to accept it.

    In any event, Quebec (under Rene Levesque) ACCEPTED the notwithstanding clause and, in fact, has been one of two provinces to ever have invoked it (to protect Bill 101 no less – a number of provisions of which the Supreme Court had struck down when it was first tested. The other was Sasketchewan after a labour-related ruling.) To this day, it has been one of the PQ party’s greatest weapons/threats against Ottawa while western provinces (and others) have been forced into providing French-language services in their provinces, many of whom have a pittance of French-speaking population.

    What actually drove Quebec out of the repatriation was when the other premiers opted to pull out his beloved “opt out” clause which would have allowed provinces to opt out of shared federal-provincial programs but received equivalent funds to set up it’s own versions.

    If the tiny handful of delusional nationalistas would ever get their act straight, they’d realize that English (or any other language) people squibbling into their little fiefdom isn’t even close to the greatest threat to their being. Technology is. Documentation en francais seulment? No problem. My translation engine/recognition program will take care of that.

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      Conversely, it would be nice for the hard-line Francophones to understand that "protecting" their language and culture will never succeed through the discriminatory treatment of minorities.

      What “discriminatory” treatmenr? Is letting the english minority going to english school discriminatory? Is letting them have their own hospitals discriminatory? Is giving them access to governmental services in english discriminatory?
      Geee. I wish the french elsewhere in Canada were discriminated against like we discriminate against the english here!!!!

      Period. The smarter way would be through the promotion of the French language.

      Well, yes. We have to promote the french language by insuring that it is the only thing visible from outside. Which is the deal with law 101.

      You want access to government services, cheap subsidized local university education, etc.? You should speak the language of the majority. Conversely, even having school boards set along linguistic lines is silly.

      Indeed, there should be no english schools at all.

      ALL of them should be promoting instruction in both languages because it is economically invaluable

      Yes, because we know, english is the language of money, yadda, yadda, yadda, but mostly it’s because the english won’t learn another language, especially french.

      to do so (and even more than that in communities that might want to go that route.) Having Bills like 114, 113 not only are of questionable value for the English but, yes, for the French. Mr. Naimard can sit blindly in his cave (the one with the Rhodesian map on the wall even though there has not been a Rhodesia in over 30 years) but there are an awful lot of Francophones who really want their own children to learn the English language

      Yes, because they are colonized and have been led to believe, after being told for 250 years that they are shit, that french is no good at all. This is to tackle that kind of people that law 101 has been setup, too.
      What? Speak louder, I can’t hear you. … Hey, it’s funny. I hear an english bitching against the french being discriminated against because he can’t go to english school. It’s reall funny that the english only care about discrimination that goes against their goal of anglicizing Québec… Oh well. Talk about crocodile tears…

      – not because they have some kind of Anglo-Saxon/Oreo Cookie/Imperialist,/Bourgeois love-in for the language but because they know it’s good for their children’s business future to do so.

      Yes, I know, english is the language of money, yadda, yadda, yadda.

      Bombardier can’t survive selling jets to Val D’Or and you can’t exactly have the ability to pay big taxes to pay for big domestic services by merely hoping every tourist on the planet comes from Rimouski.

      Yes, we know, because there are only english-speaking tourists, yadda, yadda, yadda.
      Like if tourism was a viable industry in a country with so much natural ressources…

      All the blather aside, it is remarkable about the level of absolutely false factual information permeates the argument. As I mentioned previously, minority language rights across ALL of Canada are constitutionally protected under Section 23, which is one of a number of sections where the invocation of the Notwithstanding Clause canNOT be applied. I’m still amazed that I cannot find one journalist, Anglophone or Francophone, that has mentioned this and I don’t know if it’s because of sloppiness (French) and/or cowardice (English.)

      So, why law 178 has not been deemed inconstitutional by it’s use of the “notwithstanding” clause, then?

      Now let’s deal with Mr. Naimard’s warped sense of history since I now see it’s hardly the tenth time he’s brought it up.

      but Davis and Hatfield persuaded him to accept it.

      Big deal. The provincial premiers were terrified because they know very well that outside of Québec, canadians look upon the federal government to protect them against the provincial governments. And they knew very well that with a big strong constitution, their power would vanish like snow in August.


      western provinces (and others) have been forced into providing French-language services in their provinces, many of whom have a pittance of French-speaking population.

      A pittance, yes, thanks to the mighty efforts deployed to ethnically cleanse the french from Canada.

      What actually drove Quebec out of the repatriation was when the other premiers opted to pull out his beloved "opt out" clause which would have allowed provinces to opt out of shared federal-provincial programs but received equivalent funds to set up it’s own versions.

      Of course, that’s not a valid reason when what you really want is uniformization ad mare usque ad mare… What better way to hammer the french out than totally uniform federal programs that do not take account of the cultural differences of Québec???

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        What “discriminatory” treatment? Is letting the english minority going to english school discriminatory? Is letting them have their own hospitals discriminatory? Is giving them access to governmental services in english discriminatory?

        The English minority can’t all go to English schools, and Quebec is forced to “let” them through the Canadian charter. As for hospitals, there are no “English” hospitals in Quebec. Whether it’s attached to McGill University or Université de Montréal, a hospital still operates in French, though providing services in English as well.

        the english won’t learn another language, especially french.

        And yet the rate of bilingualism among young anglophones is around 90%.

        Reply
        1. Marc

          And yet the rate of bilingualism among young anglophones is around 90%.

          I have a hunch that figure is BS. My girlfriend, who hails from the 905, speaks far better French than some of her co-wokers who are lifetime Montrealers who were in French-immersion.

          Reply
        2. Jean Naimard

          The English minority can’t all go to English schools,

          Oh? Please explain. Of course, there will not be much english schools in Chicoutimi…

          and Quebec is forced to "let" them through the Canadian charter. As for hospitals, there are no "English" hospitals in Quebec. Whether it’s attached to McGill University or Université de Montréal, a hospital still operates in French, though providing services in English as well.

          So, in order to be a “true”, “genuine”, “authentic”, “natural” or “official” english hospital, it would have to operate in english? So, the “english” hospitals are basically ersatz english hospitals?

          And yet the rate of bilingualism among young anglophones is around 90%.

          This must be for Montréal, but worldwide, montréal englishes are quite a tiny minority.

          Reply
      2. Fassero

        What “discriminatory” treatment? Is letting the english minority going to english school discriminatory? Is letting them have their own hospitals discriminatory? Is giving them access to governmental services in english discriminatory?
        Geee. I wish the french elsewhere in Canada were discriminated against like we discriminate against the english here!!!!

        All English cannot attend English schools under Bills 101, 114, and 113. At least one parent must have attended English school in Quebec throughout their residence life here or must prove, with documentation to a panel, that they exclusively attended English-only schooling elsewhere in Canada (any English schooling outside of cannot does not qualify.) That’s more like justifying why you can strangle somebody (“hey, he can still breathe for a few seconds versus slashing his jugular”)

        Conversely, French in the ROC can have any kind of schooling they please. In fact, even one step further – they are allowed access to full schooling and full government-provided services (provincial and federal) in their own language. In some provinces – Manitoba and New Brunswick to name two -, their rights even extend further.

        There is no such thing as an “English” hospital in Quebec despite the monikers often used by nationalists. The hospitals that do provide services in the language do so at their discretion. Regardless, they are legally obligated to provide all services in the French language. In fact, all doctors and nurses must complete a French-language-only oral examination as a condition to working in any hospital in the province. You might even ask Msr. Parizeau who opted for his last medical stay at the Jewish General, his long-standing concerns about money and ethnics be damned….

        Well, yes. We have to promote the french language by insuring that it is the only thing visible from outside. Which is the deal with law 101.

        Bill 101 goes well beyond the promotion of the French language in that it openly intrudes into every facet of life including educational choice to even private conversation. If it was merely about government services and sign displays, there would have been a fraction of the derision it attracted. I’ll gladly concede that, in numerous respects, it righted a number of wrongs regarding the treatment of the French-speaking majority. But it went way overboard. If nationalists truly believed that it would be the springboard to expanding and flourishing the French population, they need to get their heads together because it’s done anything but. It sure drove a ton of (nicely useful taxpaying) English out of the province but the French population over the last 30 plus years pretty much stagnated, it’s birthrate (which would lessen the urge for more immigration) remained pitifully low, and as usual, the dropout rate amongst French students was and remains ridiculously high.

        Indeed, there should be no english schools at all

        Section 23 of the Charter protects minority language rights which includes schooling. If provinces elsewhere ordered all French schools shuttered, you’d be the firs to cry “racism”, “anglo-saxon treason” and other variations. That being said, outside of Montreal and some very tiny pockets in the province, they don’t exist. If you have a problem with that, you can move to Chicoutimi. Or Boisbriand for that matter. There is no shortage of locales where you’ll see nary a word of English for now and the forseeable future. It’s what you gladly tell any Anglo who doesn’t like the deal.

        ….but mostly it’s because the english won’t learn another language, especially french.

        Again, you seriously need to get out more often. In plenty of places in Canada, secondary language instruction is exploding. They can’t open courses fast enough. In the Toronto area, try getting into a French immersion school. They’re literally flooded from the application stage. The main reason has to do with what you like to keep calling “yadda, yadda, yadda”. Namely, businesses with international operations (or who want to DO business outside of domestic markets) and the public sector consider multi-lingual skills a highly coveted asset. Yes….money.

        So, why law 178 has not been deemed inconstitutional by it’s use of the “notwithstanding” clause, then?

        Eh? Bill 178 was the then-Liberal Government’s immediate reaction when the Supreme Court struck down the extent of the signage provisions in Bill 101. It hasn’t been declared unconstitutional because nobody has challenged it’s provisions – notably, nationalists even though they couldn’t stand it and treated it as a watering-down of the signage rules. Even the PQ party has never called for, or invoked, abolition of it. The inclusion of the notwithstanding clause as part of the bill was legal since it was invoked against a section of the Charter where it can be invoked.) I doubt any challenge to Bill 178 would succeed anyway because it did allow a path for the usage of non-French language on signage within reasonable limits (notably, as long as same signage also incorporated the majority language and that language was pre-dominantly displayed. And, of course, it allowed for minority-language newspapers to publish in those languages which Bill 101 technically abolished.)

        Big deal. The provincial premiers were terrified because they know very well that outside of Québec, canadians look upon the federal government to protect them against the provincial governments. And they knew very well that with a big strong constitution, their power would vanish like snow in August.

        Canadians didn’t look at anything and, in fact, Trudeau’s pursuit of a repatriation of the Constitution and the creation of a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came out of the blue. More or less until then, Canadians really didn’t have rights for anything and it allowed federal and provincial governments to do as they please even if it meant abrogating even the most fundamental of rights (speech, association, etc.) The provinces weren’t worried about the degree of federal powers under the Charter. What they were far more concerned about were those powers being taken away from the courts. That’s what led Chretien, McMurtry, and Romanow (all lawyers and Attorney’s General) to devise the notwithstanding clause in that it could allay the (differing) concerns Trudeau and the eight premiers had. Trudeau’s memoirs clearly say he grudgingly accepted the clause, which he felt would have still given the provinces many of the powers over rights which they had during Canada’s period as a Dominion but he only did so because it didn’t apply to the Charter as a whole but rather specific rights provisions he felt should be inalienable (including, yes, minority rights which formed part of the national bilingualism he wanted entrenched.)

        And please spare everybody the “inside Quebec vs. outside Quebec” rhetoric. As is already well-chronicled, Rene Levesque was completely onside with every premier in Canada except two until that period he decided to equate with the infamous Nazi “night of long knives”.

        A pittance, yes, thanks to the mighty efforts deployed to ethnically cleanse the french from Canada

        A claim with no statistical validity. French still is very much alive in the northern half of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Manitoba. If French have disappeared from areas (nowhere I’ve seen), it’s been to either emigrate to Quebec like you’d want anyway or out of the country entirely (and you can more than bet they aren’t being inundated with French language services in the US, Mexico, or most anywhere else in that case.)

        Of course, that’s not a valid reason when what you really want is uniformization ad mare usque ad mare… What better way to hammer the french out than totally uniform federal programs that do not take account of the cultural differences of Québec???

        What do Federal funding programs, outside of the arts (where Quebec is funded quite handsomely), have to do with “cultural differences” of anything? Even the most radical nationalist walks, chews gum, and puts their pants on the same way as every other culture, creed, gender, or sex. What? Quebec needs special tax forms because their genitalia craps roses? I can accept QPP instead of CPP if only because it might want to pursue a different kind of investment strategy. I’ll even accept the QPIP program because it better promotes family than the federal guidelines. Heck, maybe Quebec should have it’s own EI too so they can show Ottawa how not to skim surpluses to neutralize operating deficits (and flush it to Bombardier every time it coughs or to keep the corrupt construction mobs going instead). But until a nationalist(e?) can show me that he can pee out of his ear-socket and send the urine upstream. Quebec has no “cultural differences’ more or less than any other region in the nation (and that includes the native ones because lord knows they sure as heck aren’t going to assimilate into the pure laine and there sure are a heck of a lot of French engineers that need those lands to stay in Quebec.)

        Oh, and in case you missed it, despite Levesque’s pouting, Quebec has been able to opt out of some federal programs in the years since. As easy as it would be to say “because of the threat of 1995”, spare it. It’s not like the separatists had the guts to just put as the question “Do you want out of Canada, yes or no?” Heck, the mighty PQ is trying to figure out how to put nationalism aside until well…..well past the hardliners are more-or-less assuming the six feet under position from what I see.

        And stop with that ethnic cleansing malarkey. That’s trivialization pure and simple. Walk in the shoes of an actual ethnicity that had 50-80% of it’s breed physically slaughtered, then you can actually talk equivocation.

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          All English cannot attend English schools under Bills 101, 114, and 113. At least one parent must have attended English school in Quebec throughout their residence life here or must prove, with documentation to a panel, that they exclusively attended English-only schooling elsewhere in Canada

          Well, yes. Law 101 sets strict standards to assure that the genuine englishes are not discriminated against. Otherwise, anyone else than a genuine english has no business going to english schools anyways.

          (any English schooling outside of cannot does not qualify.) That’s more like justifying why you can strangle somebody ("hey, he can still breathe for a few seconds versus slashing his jugular")

          Is the strange phrase in parenthesis supposed to help the following nonsensical analogy to pass? Or is it a cleverer gimmick I’m too stupid to get?

          Conversely, French in the ROC can have any kind of schooling they please. In fact, even one step further – they are allowed access to full schooling and full government-provided services (provincial and federal) in their own language. In some provinces – Manitoba and New Brunswick to name two -, their rights even extend further.

          So? The french in Canada is hardly a threat to the pereniallity of the english language in Canada, hence the (apparently) liberal “availability”.

          There is no such thing as an "English" hospital in Quebec despite the monikers often used by nationalists. The hospitals that do provide services in the language do so at their discretion. Regardless, they are legally obligated to provide all services in the French language. In fact, all doctors and nurses must complete a French-language-only oral examination as a condition to working in any hospital in the province. You might even ask Msr. Parizeau who opted for his last medical stay at the Jewish General, his long-standing concerns about money and ethnics be damned….

          So, all you englishes have is ersatz english hospitals, then?

          Bill 101 goes well beyond the promotion of the French language in that it openly intrudes into every facet of life including educational choice to even private conversation.

          Bollocks. You will be hard-pressed to justify the above comment. I won’t even ask you to do so, because we know very well that you can’t. You are just pissed that you cannot go about, assimilating the immigrants into english to minorize the french.

          If it was merely about government services and sign displays, there would have been a fraction of the derision it attracted.

          Allow me to quote the most formidable foe the british ever faced in History: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Ghandi

          I’ll gladly concede that, in numerous respects, it righted a number of wrongs regarding the treatment of the French-speaking majority.

          Let’s hear it from you: which wrongs were righted by law 101???

          But it went way overboard.

          How is that? By stopping the assimilation of the immigrants into english, thus stripping the most potent anti-french weapon the english had?

          If nationalists truly believed that it would be the springboard to expanding and flourishing the French population, they need to get their heads together because it’s done anything but.
          It sure drove a ton of (nicely useful taxpaying) English out of the province

          Good riddance. We certainly did not need all those who fled Québec when they could not endure the fact that they were just a minority and could no longer run things without sharing.

          but the French population over the last 30 plus years pretty much stagnated, it’s birthrate (which would lessen the urge for more immigration) remained pitifully low, and

          It is extremely irresponsible to increase the population by increasing the birth rate; immigration is the most sensible thing to do: you get a lot of people who are extremely motivated to come here and tremenduously increase their standard of living, which means that they will not make trouble, as they know they have a lot to lose if they did, and it enrichs our culture. In any case, we are not willing to burden ourselves with large families which to lower our enjoyment of life. This is also an utter condemnation of the traditionnal lifestyle where women stay at home and takes care of the litter.

          as usual, the dropout rate amongst French students was and remains ridiculously high.

          It actually has decreased tremenduously during the last 20 years. You are just pulling out the usual derogatory scare tactics of canadian media that never shirks it’s responsibility of making Québec look bad in order to culpabilize is into voting “no” in referenda.

          That being said, outside of Montreal and some very tiny pockets in the province, they don’t exist. If you have a problem with that, you can move to Chicoutimi. Or Boisbriand for that matter. There is no shortage of locales where you’ll see nary a word of English for now and the forseeable future. It’s what you gladly tell any Anglo who doesn’t like the deal.

          Being here first (1600s for the french part of my family, and more than 10,000 years for the indian part), I am not the one who has to move.

          Again, you seriously need to get out more often. In plenty of places in Canada, secondary language instruction is exploding. They can’t open courses fast enough. In the Toronto area, try getting into a French immersion school. They’re literally flooded from the application stage. The main reason has to do with what you like to keep calling "yadda, yadda, yadda". Namely, businesses with international operations (or who want to DO business outside of domestic markets) and the public sector consider multi-lingual skills a highly coveted asset. Yes….money.

          Big deal. There are just short terms benefits with immersion schooling. But don’t worry, that french is promptly forgotten following graduation.

          Eh? Bill 178 was the then-Liberal Government’s immediate reaction when the Supreme Court struck down the extent of the signage provisions in Bill 101. It hasn’t been declared unconstitutional because nobody has challenged it’s provisions – notably, nationalists even though they couldn’t stand it and treated it as a watering-down of the signage rules. Even the PQ party has never called for, or invoked, abolition of it. The inclusion of the notwithstanding clause as part of the bill was legal since it was invoked against a section of the Charter where it can be invoked.) I doubt any challenge to Bill 178 would succeed anyway because it did allow a path for the usage of non-French language on signage within reasonable limits (notably, as long as same signage also incorporated the majority language and that language was pre-dominantly displayed. And, of course, it allowed for minority-language newspapers to publish in those languages which Bill 101 technically abolished.)

          In no way any legislation prevented anyone from publishing a newspaper in the language of their choice. You are, yet again, attempting to depict us as unreasonable people.

          A pittance, yes, thanks to the mighty efforts deployed to ethnically cleanse the french from Canada

          A claim with no statistical validity. French still is very much alive in the northern half of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Manitoba. If French have disappeared from areas (nowhere I’ve seen), it’s been to either emigrate to Quebec like you’d want anyway or out of the country entirely (and you can more than bet they aren’t being inundated with French language services in the US, Mexico, or most anywhere else in that case.)

          Bollocks. French is on the path of extinction in Manitoba and northern Ontario. 30 years ago, I was stunned to not speak a single word of english during a trip to northern Ontario. 20 years later, during a trip to the very same localities, I saw only one french person.

          What do Federal funding programs, outside of the arts (where Quebec is funded quite handsomely), have to do with "cultural differences" of anything?

          Plenty. Your ignorance is yet another testimony of the english’s cultural blindedness. I’ll give you a single example: when the GST came out, it would not apply to food. Yet, whenever one wanted to buy rabbit meat, you had to pay GST. Why? Because, for the english, rabbits are pets, and thus subject to the tax; they would not fathom that people would use rabbit for food.
          Even the most radical nationalist walks, chews gum, and puts their pants on the same way as every other culture, creed, gender, or sex. What? Quebec needs special tax forms because their genitalia craps roses?
          No, we need special tax forms because we have our own tax department because the federal government is unable to provide our different needs. We have a bigger government because we like government. We do not trust private entreprise (we have been shafted, screwed, raped and pillaged so much by english entrepreneurs), so we have a big government to provide us what private entreprise is unable to.

          I can accept QPP instead of CPP if only because it might want to pursue a different kind of investment strategy. I’ll even accept the QPIP program because it better promotes family than the federal guidelines. Heck, maybe Quebec should have it’s own EI too so they can show Ottawa how not to skim surpluses to neutralize operating deficits (and flush it to Bombardier every time it coughs or to keep the corrupt construction mobs going instead).

          If we were so generous to Bombardier, Québec would be criss-crossed by a network of high-speed trains and good commuter trains. But nooo, all transportation money goes into roads.

          But until a nationalist(e?) can show me that he can pee out of his ear-socket and send the urine upstream. Quebec has no "cultural differences’ more or less than any other region in the nation (and that includes the native ones because lord knows they sure as heck aren’t going to assimilate into the pure laine and there sure are a heck of a lot of French engineers that need those lands to stay in Quebec.)

          What about the native land? You show again your deep canadian ignorance of things non-english. Law 101 also protects native languages as much as it protects french. In Québec alone, native kids are schooled in their native language. The result is that 80% of Québec natives still speak their ancestral language. Compare this to less than 20% for the rest of Canada.
          Unlike the english, we do not despise and loathe the natives (the english had no consideration for them, because they did not squeeze out the ressources of the land); we always considered them as equals and we did not put them in reserves like the english did because we do not have the extremely constipated notions of private property the english have. French farmers had no problem with the indians hunting on his land; heck, the often joined them in the hunt. That notion, on the other hand, was totally alien to the english who could not tolerate nothing but an absolutely exclusive use and occupation of the land, and thus shoved the natives into reserves.
          You have a great deal to learn about us before spewing us what you think is “good for us”. No, what you spew forth is what is good for the english, and you cannot understand that people would want something else, as, being one of the most imperialistic peoples on Earth, you are culturally unable to understand other cultures (and you keep proving it with your declarations).

          Oh, and in case you missed it, despite Levesque’s pouting, Quebec has been able to opt out of some federal programs in the years since. As easy as it would be to say "because of the threat of 1995", spare it. It’s not like the separatists had the guts to just put as the question "Do you want out of Canada, yes or no?" Heck, the mighty PQ is trying to figure out how to put nationalism aside until well…..well past the hardliners are more-or-less assuming the six feet under position from what I see.

          Don’t worry. Canada in it’s usual shortsightedness (a very bourgeois trait) will always try to push it’s luck too far, and that will trigger the winning conditions. And most often it is a silly nonsensical event, such a flag being trampled in Brockville.

          And stop with that ethnic cleansing malarkey. That’s trivialization pure and simple. Walk in the shoes of an actual ethnicity that had 50-80% of it’s breed physically slaughtered, then you can actually talk equivocation.

          Are you trying to culpabilize me for being politically incorrect? That won’t work with me. I will still maintain that Canada is effectively ethnically cleansing our the french. Manitoba is a prime example of this, followed by Ontario. New-Brunswick is less of an example because of the relatively high proportion of acadians.

          Reply
          1. Fassero

            Well, yes. Law 101 sets strict standards to assure that the genuine englishes are not discriminated against. Otherwise, anyone else than a genuine english has no business going to english schools anyways.

            Outside of references to being “respectful” to “English”, “Ethnical minorities”, “Amerinds”, and “Inuit”, it makes no such standards whatsoever. In fact, all six Titles and 15 sub-chapters define very clearly that French is the “fundamental” language for everything from communications between persons (Title I, Chapter 2), the legislature and courts (Title 1, Chapter 3), public and semi-public agencies (Title 1, Chapter 5), labour relations (same, Chapter 6), commerce and business (same, Chapter 7), and instruction (same Chapter 8) and then goes on to establish the OQLF and the Superior Council of the French Language, and the penalities for any violations of inappropriate or non-use of the “fundamental” language. The preamble is actually abundantly clear – French is “the language of Government and the Law” and, contrary to your propagandic utopia, “the normal and everyday language of work, instruction, communication, commerce, and business”. Play with words (or translation) all you want, but this is far, FAR more discriminatory than rights applied to French-speaking, “ethnically”-speaking, or native speaking peoples (immigrant or otherwise) anywhere else in the country. Period.

            So? The french in Canada is hardly a threat to the pereniallity of the english language in Canada, hence the (apparently) liberal “availability”.

            Wait a sec – French-speaking persons elsewhere are entitled to more services in their own language (and/or should be) than English in Quebec because there are so few them that governements in other regions are just happy to provide them mother tongue services because the costs are so relatively little? Is this part of that “Anglo-Saxon financial inefficiency” you carp about? Or some kind of joke? If that’s the measure, then mother-tongue-French speaking persons in Quebec overwhelming overpopulate speakers of any other language. So the oh-so-efficient French system of “big government” should have no problem with it and leave them be. I mean…..you want to talk about a culture under threat and ethnic cleansing (more on this later) yet, statistically by every measure, the English have substantially net emigrated from Quebec over the last 40 years while the French-speaking population has increased. Easily more than 90 percent of the geographicl lanscape of the entire province is completely or substantially (meaning 90 percent or more) French-speaking or dominant. Like the typical hard-liner, you then move on that the other 29 million or so people who don’t even reside with Quebec borders are some kind of threat to the culture because…… good question. But I’ll bet it’s every obsfucation possible except for the real word: “paranoia”.

            So, all you englishes have is ersatz english hospitals, then?

            No. We “Englishes” (quoi?) have hospitals around where some personnel may or may not be able to commuincate in English. French-speaking persons have no such scenario since every single hospital in the province, by law, must provide communicaiton and service in their language. As mentioned earlier, you cannot even work in a medical institution without passing a comprehensive oral French exam. And if you’re an immigrant of “ethnic” origin, you apparently have to be a zen master at the efficiencies of the “Quebec medical system” (official rebuttal of the medical programs to the recent report from the Quebec Human Rights commission no less as to why they, in association with the Quebec medical associations have pretty much systemically discriminated against allowing foreign-trained medical personnel to practice in the province despite even having equivalent, or better, training or education). But I guess they are now tools of the Anglo-Saxon bourgeoisie conspiracicst crowd now too…

            Bill 101 goes well beyond the promotion of the French language in that it openly intrudes into every facet of life including educational choice to even private conversation.

            Bollocks. You will be hard-pressed to justify the above comment. I won’t even ask you to do so, because we know very well that you can’t. You are just pissed that you cannot go about, assimilating the immigrants into english to minorize the french.

            I just did above. You want to cherry-pick through Title and/or Chapter? Bring it on…..

            It actually has decreased tremenduously during the last 20 years. You are just pulling out the usual derogatory scare tactics of canadian media that never shirks it’s responsibility of making Québec look bad in order to culpabilize is into voting “no” in referenda.

            Cite your source, hotshot. “Descreasing tremendously” from absolutely atrocious to mere terrible is hardly useful for even the future of that culture you think is under threat – especially when it pails to that of any other minority in the province or country (which include French-speaking persons in the ROC where their graduation rate is much better.)

            In no way any legislation prevented anyone from publishing a newspaper in the language of their choice. You are, yet again, attempting to depict us as unreasonable people.

            It did that easily by it's very definition. And it was known as such since Bill 178 had to mention/allow it specifically as part of the legislation.

            How is that? By stopping the assimilation of the immigrants into english, thus stripping the most potent anti-french weapon the english had?

            What exactly are these “immigrants” to whom you refer? Most immigrants to Quebec, especially over the last 40 years, already have at least functional knowledge of the French language when they arrived. I hardly see secret English mobsters invading, for instance, the Haitian community and telling them to surrender the language they prefer to speak or die. Short of a Montreal Canadiens-drafted American hockey player, people who come here go out of their way to learn the dominant language.

            How is that? By stopping the assimilation of the immigrants into english, thus stripping the most potent anti-french weapon the english had?

            Actually, that would be guns and cannons if they really wanted to (and have according to past history). But nice try anyway.

            Plenty. Your ignorance is yet another testimony of the english’s cultural blindedness. I’ll give you a single example: when the GST came out, it would not apply to food. Yet, whenever one wanted to buy rabbit meat, you had to pay GST. Why? Because, for the english, rabbits are pets, and thus subject to the tax; they would not fathom that people would use rabbit for food.

            You gotta be kidding! To prove “cultural blindness”, you come up with Bugs Bunny?!!??! When the GST legislation was established, initally exotic animals were subject to tax. So rabbits were lumped in with horses. So was shark fin soup – a Chinese delicacy. Heck, so was seal meat. It was quickly clarified because, as clearly mentioned, food sold for the purposes of human consumption are treated as zero-rated. The GST was full of anomalies that took a couple of years to fine-tune. It had nothing to with cultural discrimination. It wasn’t done to pick on the French as much as to avoid animal rights activists.

            No, we need special tax forms because we have our own tax department because the federal government is unable to provide our different needs. We have a bigger government because we like government. We do not trust private entreprise (we have been shafted, screwed, raped and pillaged so much by english entrepreneurs), so we have a big government to provide us what private entreprise is unable to

            You have a bigger government because nationalists aspire to micro-manage everything in people’s lives and realizes that the only way to get any kind of support is by turning as much of the populace and industry as possible into massive welfare cases financed by…..extremely few based on the massive debt the province already carries. And your justification for separate tax forms – and the massive bureacracy to oversee them – is probably the most ludicrous argument I’ve seen yet. Let me put on my “anglo-saxon inefficient” hat: “Quebec needs x dollars to “provide our different needs”. Quebec pays y dollars in taxes to Canada. Dear Canada: please raise your collection from us by z percent to cover those needs and send us the cheque”. Every single other province does it that way. There. I just made French-style government a few billion dollars a year more efficient.

            If we were so generous to Bombardier, Québec would be criss-crossed by a network of high-speed trains and good commuter trains. But nooo, all transportation money goes into roads.

            Really? Care to take a guess as to how much in loans, loan guarantees, and grants the Quebec government has furnished to Bombardier over the years, much of those to allow Bombardier to low-ba……sorry, “compete”…..in tender bids at home and abroad? Or the tax credits and subsidies the province has furnished in past years to provide just about every major global pharmaceutical manufacturer an “incentive” to set up office and manufacturing facilities in Quebec? Or the present to technology firms? Can’t wait to hear about how the transport ministry is infiltrated by crazed English. After all, their bastion – Montreal – have had roads paved like gold since the dawn of time, right?

            Being here first (1600s for the french part of my family, and more than 10,000 years for the indian part), I am not the one who has to move.

            Oh, you don’t have to leave Quebec. Just stay out of a couple of parts of Montreal. Or Arundel. There’s a whole slew of other cities, towns, and villages in good ‘ole Quebec where you’ll barely hear or see a word of English.

            What about the native land? You show again your deep canadian ignorance of things non-english. Law 101 also protects native languages as much as it protects french. In Québec alone, native kids are schooled in their native language. The result is that 80% of Québec natives still speak their ancestral language. Compare this to less than 20% for the rest of Canada.

            Really? Bill 101 treats “native languages” no different than English in that they are acknowledged to exist. That’s about it. Natives are only allowed to learn their lannguages in their own schools on their own reservations. They have this not because the developers of 101 have a secret lovefest but because it’s the same rights they are conferred in the rest of Canada due to agreements between the First Nations and Canada. Your statistic is bunk and unsourceable. Right off the bat, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that in the Yukon and Nunuvut, pretty much 100% of natives speak their ancestral language (and quite a big percentage of those have access to government services, federal and otherwise, in those languages.) Actually, the same applies everywhere else. The only natives that no longer primarily converse in their language are those who leave the reservation. And, in Quebec, they have no choice since the second they leave the Cree school system, they have to accept schooling in the French system.

            we do not have the extremely constipated notions of private property the english have

            Which are what? Private property isn’t even a constitutional right in Canada to begin with. And you don’t think Quebec has reserves? Ever heard of Kahnestake? Oka? But you really got me on the hunt. You’re right. A Frenchman will have a hard time trying to shoot for his foie gras supply in a Westmount backyard. C’est la vie. On the other hand, they’ll pay big fat taxes for that big fat government you think is so necessary. Or cultural. Or whatever.

            you are culturally unable to understand other cultures (and you keep proving it with your declarations).

            Really? Outside of acknowledging that there are certainly English in the province, and have been in the past, that treat anything outside of their language as some kind of nuisance, I’ve done nothing but challenge your misguided, and frequently xenophobic, notions on how to protect some kind of declining culture that is anything but by every factual measure available. Then again, as alluded to in the past, I find your rantings to be nothing but monolithic and those who support it are a rapidly dying off breed. Even your PQ leader doesn’t want to embrace it but rather figure out some bull-spit way to push it aside for at least a couple of decades (translation: let it die). And, even more fortunately, the overwhelming majority of French-speaking Quebecois don’t share your views either. Then again, they didn’t in 1980 or 1995 even though the nationalists were too cowardly to even remotely frame the question as “Do you want out of Canada, yes or no?” but rather a pile of lengthy monotonous drivel.

            And, lest you forgot (surprise, surpise), in the days leading up the 1995 vote, those lovey-dovey partners, the natives, made it extremely clear that being forced into a “sovereign” Quebec would be a violation of international law. Most vociferous was the Grand Council of the Crees which is pretty much Northern Quebec – which has all that mining and hydroelectric power that “sovereign” Quebec would need to survive even a month. Care to talk about Chief Coon Comes legal paper? How about the separate native referendums where they polled their own residents on whether they would want to be a part of a sovereign Quebec? Want to share those results? Or was that a rhodesian conspiracy too?

            Are you trying to culpabilize me for being politically incorrect? That won’t work with me. I will still maintain that Canada is effectively ethnically cleansing our the french.

            No, that’s not political incorrectness. It’s flat-out vulgarity. The term “ethnic cleansing” was created and defined by the United Nations Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 780, which was associated with the situations taking place in the former Yugoslavian republics. It’s defined as “a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.” Unless you have some plausible theory that the FLQ was a secret cell financed by the Queen of England, you’re either way off the mark or in dire need of psychiatric assessment.

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            (hi!)

             French is "the language of Government and the Law" and, contrary to your propagandic utopia, "the normal and everyday language of work, instruction, communication, commerce, and business". Play with words (or translation) all you want, but this is far, FAR more discriminatory than rights applied to French-speaking, "ethnically"-speaking, or native speaking peoples (immigrant or otherwise) anywhere else in the country. Period.

            Though friggin’ noogies. It is no less discriminatory than the enormous economic pressures that are used against the french elsewhere. The difference between economic pressure and the legal, governmental pressure we have is that the governmental pressure are democratically decided.

            Wait a sec – French-speaking persons elsewhere are entitled to more services in their own language (and/or should be) than English in Quebec because there are so few them that governements in other regions are just happy to provide them mother tongue services because the costs are so relatively little? Is this part of that "Anglo-Saxon financial inefficiency" you carp about? Or some kind of joke? If that’s the measure, then mother-tongue-French speaking persons in Quebec overwhelming overpopulate speakers of any other language. So the oh-so-efficient French system of "big government" should have no problem with it and leave them be.

            No. English persons have less services because we are not willing to provide them, because immigrants could use them as an excuse to not learn french.

            I mean…..you want to talk about a culture under threat and ethnic cleansing (more on this later) yet, statistically by every measure, the English have substantially net emigrated from Quebec over the last 40 years while the French-speaking population has increased.

            They have not been cleansed out of Québec, they simply left from their own volition. It’s a free country here, and we certainly cannot keep those who want to leave from leaving because they cannot stand being just a minority and being rules by the french.
            And to those, I heartily say “good riddance”. We do not need such disruptive, asocial, bigoted citizens.

            Easily more than 90 percent of the geographicl lanscape of the entire province is completely or substantially (meaning 90 percent or more) French-speaking or dominant. Like the typical hard-liner, you then move on that the other 29 million or so people who don’t even reside with Quebec borders are some kind of threat to the culture because…… good question.

            Because?
            Because for as long as we are in Canada, those 29 million are overwhelmingly more numerous than our 7 million.
            And those people historically have never accepted that we should be french and are continuously trying to minorize us, for example, by arguing that the english are oppressed in Québec to make us look back and, out of some purported guilt, we should roll back law 101 and allow the free-for-all that has nearly caused our obliteration from Canada in the past.
            It’s as simple as that.

            But I’ll bet it’s every obsfucation possible except for the real word: "paranoia".

            It’s not paranoia, it’s just plain common sense dictated by a quarter millenium of local History, and a millenium of History.

            So, all you englishes have is ersatz english hospitals, then?

            No. We "Englishes" (quoi?)

            What’s the proper plural of english???

            have hospitals around where some personnel may or may not be able to commuincate in English.

            Oooooh. Can you hear this? This is the world’s smallest violin playing.
            Now, how can you legally justify forcing someone to speak a foreign language for a job that does not deal with another country??? Lemme pop a batch of popcorn, and I’ll be back enjoying your response. (Want some? I put microwaved margarine and sesame oil on it).

            French-speaking persons have no such scenario since every single hospital in the province, by law, must provide communicaiton and service in their language.

            And, somehow, you seem to find this unaccepable? How is that?

            As mentioned earlier, you cannot even work in a medical institution without passing a comprehensive oral French exam.

            I certainly hope so; in the case of medical care, it is crucial that proper communication be effected.

            And if you’re an immigrant of "ethnic" origin, you apparently have to be a zen master at the efficiencies of the "Quebec medical system" (official rebuttal of the medical programs to the recent report from the Quebec Human Rights commission no less as to why they, in association with the Quebec medical associations have pretty much systemically discriminated against allowing foreign-trained medical personnel to practice in the province despite even having equivalent, or better, training or education). But I guess they are now tools of the Anglo-Saxon bourgeoisie conspiracicst crowd now too…

            Well, if the authorities have seen that some class of people are less proficient in french, and as such could be obstacles to delivering proper medical care, they are simply doing their job by insuring that there would be no risk to patient because some “ethnic” is unable to properly communicate.
            In any hospital in Canada, someone will absolutely face the same thing: no english? No job.
            Now, I wonder why the english can do it, and we, somehow, would not be allowed to do it…
            Bill 101 goes well beyond the promotion of the French language in that it openly intrudes into every facet of life including educational choice to even private conversation.
            Bollocks. You will be hard-pressed to justify the above comment. I won’t even ask you to do so, because we know very well that you can’t. You are just pissed that you cannot go about, assimilating the immigrants into english to minorize the french.
            I just did above. You want to cherry-pick through Title and/or Chapter? Bring it on…..
            No you did not. All you did was bring some administrative provision that regulates professional communications. This has nothing to do with private conversations as you are decrying.

            Cite your source, hotshot. "Descreasing tremendously" from absolutely atrocious to mere terrible is hardly useful for even the future of that culture you think is under threat – especially when it pails to that of any other minority in the province or country (which include French-speaking persons in the ROC where their graduation rate is much better.)

            I don’t have cite my sources; you’re the one who is trying to shoot down my argument, so you are welcome to find reliable sources that say that drop-out rates have increased lately.

            In no way any legislation prevented anyone from publishing a newspaper in the language of their choice. You are, yet again, attempting to depict us as unreasonable people.

            It did that easily by it’s very definition. And it was known as such since Bill 178 had to mention/allow it specifically as part of the legislation.

            Bollocks. Law 178 (it has not been a bill since it has received the Royal Assent — isn’t that great? The Queen of England has indirectly allowed the passage of a law prohibiting the use of english language in one of her dominions!!!) was only regulating commercial signs. Not something cultural as a newspaper.
             

            What exactly are these "immigrants" to whom you refer?

            Immigrants that came into Canada after the war were given extremely strong hints that they really, really, really should not send their kids to french schools, because that would guarantee them to become some more “white niggers of America”. And when they saw how the french were treated like shit, you surely could not blame them for doing so… All in the name of anglicization of Canada.

            Most immigrants to Quebec, especially over the last 40 years, already have at least functional knowledge of the French language when they arrived.

            Not 40 years. 33 years since Law 101 was passed and received the Royal Assent. Before that, there was law 22 with it’s usual liberal lame, half-way measures such as language tests.

            I hardly see secret English mobsters invading, for instance, the Haitian community and telling them to surrender the language they prefer to speak or die. Short of a Montreal Canadiens-drafted American hockey player, people who come here go out of their way to learn the dominant language.

            The haitians are already speaking french. So are north-africans. And latin americans certainly don’t have trouble learning french.
            But some “ethnics” are more troublesome; take for example the filipinos who are absolutely unwilling to learn french… And others, such as ashkenazi jews are also very adamant in not learning french and being extremely hostile to all efforts toward Québec independance (the sepharadic jews, although they already speak french, are so dominated by the ashkenazi — who control the money given to jewish organization — that they will not make too overt moves toward our independance, even though they see our point).

            How is that? By stopping the assimilation of the immigrants into english, thus stripping the most potent anti-french weapon the english had?

            Actually, that would be guns and cannons if they really wanted to (and have according to past history). But nice try anyway.

            Guns and cannons are too unaccepable, and the english are not beyond using more devious ways. Like using immigrants as tools.
            They have done this elsewhere throughout their empire. For example, ever wondered  why tamils are so hated and despised in Sri Lanka? It’s not because of their recent terrorism attacks (they actually invented suicide bombing). No, it’s just because they were the ethnics who the british have favoured when they colonized Ceylon. When Sri Lanka became independant, the tamils were associated with the british colonizers and they have since have had to pay for their collaboration with the invader.

            You gotta be kidding! To prove "cultural blindness", you come up with Bugs Bunny?!!??!

            No, I come up with my mother’s cooking. It’s a valid example that you are just trying to debase by a nonsensical analogy.

            When the GST legislation was established, initally exotic animals were subject to tax. So rabbits were lumped in with horses. So was shark fin soup – a Chinese delicacy. Heck, so was seal meat. It was quickly clarified because, as clearly mentioned, food sold for the purposes of human consumption are treated as zero-rated. The GST was full of anomalies that took a couple of years to fine-tune. It had nothing to with cultural discrimination. It wasn’t done to pick on the French as much as to avoid animal rights activists.

            LOL! Mighty Revenue Canada backing down to appease animal rights activists! That’s a good one!It’s not necessarly cultural discrimination, but the usual cultural insensitivity anglo-saxons display towards any other culture.

            You have a bigger government because nationalists aspire to micro-manage everything in people’s lives

            No, we have a bigger government because we have been badly burned, screwed, raped and pillaged by the free market that came with the british conquest.
            We do not trust private entreprise, and we have plenty of very good reasons to do so. We trust government more than private entreprise.

            and realizes that the only way to get any kind of support is by turning as much of the populace and industry as possible into massive welfare cases financed by…..extremely few based on the massive debt the province already carries. And your justification for separate tax forms – and the massive bureacracy to oversee them – is probably the most ludicrous argument I’ve seen yet. Let me put on my "anglo-saxon inefficient" hat: "Quebec needs x dollars to "provide our different needs". Quebec pays y dollars in taxes to Canada. Dear Canada: please raise your collection from us by z percent to cover those needs and send us the cheque". Every single other province does it that way. There. I just made French-style government a few billion dollars a year more efficient.

            That would be no problem if we could trust the canadian government. Alas, we cannot do so, hence our separate tax system.

            Really? Care to take a guess as to how much in loans, loan guarantees, and grants the Quebec government has furnished to Bombardier over the years, much of those to allow Bombardier to low-ba……sorry, "compete"…..in tender bids at home and abroad?

            Not as much as the canadian export financing programs have…

            Or the tax credits and subsidies the province has furnished in past years to provide just about every major global pharmaceutical manufacturer an "incentive" to set up office and manufacturing facilities in Quebec? Or the present to technology firms?

            How is that any different from other, less pro-active programs Industry Canada offers? Are you saying that it’s okay when Canada does it, but not when it’s Québec?

            Can’t wait to hear about how the transport ministry is infiltrated by crazed English. After all, their bastion – Montreal – have had roads paved like gold since the dawn of time, right?

            Except that, when the liberals rule, what is paved in gold is the pocket of the mobsters…

            Oh, you don’t have to leave Quebec. Just stay out of a couple of parts of Montreal. Or Arundel. There’s a whole slew of other cities, towns, and villages in good ‘ole Quebec where you’ll barely hear or see a word of English.

            Why should I move? I was practically raised in Notre-Dame-de-Grace; every week-end was spent at my grandparents’ on Marcil Avenue near Monkland.

            Really? Bill 101 treats "native languages" no different than English in that they are acknowledged to exist. That’s about it.

            Bollocks. Please cite the titles of law 101 that forbid native languages…

            Natives are only allowed to learn their lannguages in their own schools on their own reservations. They have this not because the developers of 101 have a secret lovefest but because it’s the same rights they are conferred in the rest of Canada due to agreements between the First Nations and Canada.

            Funny that in Canada, they are assimilated into english…

            Your statistic is bunk and unsourceable. Right off the bat, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that in the Yukon and Nunuvut, pretty much 100% of natives speak their ancestral language (and quite a big percentage of those have access to government services, federal and otherwise, in those languages.) Actually, the same applies everywhere else. The only natives that no longer primarily converse in their language are those who leave the reservation. And, in Quebec, they have no choice since the second they leave the Cree school system, they have to accept schooling in the French system.

            And, somehow, schooling crees in french is less acceptable than schooling them in english?

            Which are what? Private property isn’t even a constitutional right in Canada to begin with. And you don’t think Quebec has reserves? Ever heard of Kahnestake? Oka?

            Actually, Kahnesatake is **NOT** a reserve, thanks to the deliberate foot-dragging by the federal government in this respect.
            But you really got me on the hunt. You’re right. A Frenchman will have a hard time trying to shoot for his foie gras supply in a Westmount backyard. C’est la vie. On the other hand, they’ll pay big fat taxes for that big fat government you think is so necessary. Or cultural. Or whatever.

            Really? Outside of acknowledging that there are certainly English in the province, and have been in the past, that treat anything outside of their language as some kind of nuisance, I’ve done nothing but challenge your misguided, and frequently xenophobic, notions on how to protect some kind of declining culture that is anything but by every factual measure available.

            By stating that our culture is “declining”, you are attempting to find a justification to eliminate it, such as allowing more leeway for the english to have immigrants totally ignore the french character of Québec.
            This is, of course, totally unacceptable and must not be allowed to happen; hence law 101 and it’s ilk.

            Then again, as alluded to in the past, I find your rantings to be nothing but monolithic and those who support it are a rapidly dying off breed. Even your PQ leader

            The PQ is something that will be dealt suitably once we get our independence. We bear with it because, for now, they’re the only force that is able to bring it about. And once we get our independence, the PQ will no longer be needed anyways. And, believe me, it won’t be missed much.

            doesn’t want to embrace it but rather figure out some bull-spit way to push it aside for at least a couple of decades (translation: let it die).

            You are confusing your wishes with reality…

            And, even more fortunately, the overwhelming majority of French-speaking Quebecois don’t share your views either. Then again, they didn’t in 1980 or 1995 even though the nationalists were too cowardly to even remotely frame the question as "Do you want out of Canada, yes or no?" but rather a pile of lengthy monotonous drivel.

            Yawn. The question was not drivel, but to the point.

            And, lest you forgot (surprise, surpise), in the days leading up the 1995 vote, those lovey-dovey partners, the natives, made it extremely clear that being forced into a "sovereign" Quebec would be a violation of international law.

            Bwahahahaha!!! The natives certainly do not make international law. And certainly not the illegitimate chiefs hand-picked by the federal government — who know very well what side to take because otherwise, they’d have to say good bye to their new pickup-trucks and snowmobiles they get every year…

            Most vociferous was the Grand Council of the Crees which is pretty much Northern Quebec – which has all that mining and hydroelectric power that "sovereign" Quebec would need to survive even a month. Care to talk about Chief Coon Comes legal paper?

            Irrelevant. The natives are just tools to the english to be used against the french. Divide and rule, that’s something the english understand and use well.
            Remember at that time, too, when the James Bay hydro development was relaunched around that time where the whole canadian media went in a frenzy against it, David Suzuki being the most prominent figurehead?
            Well, that’s just the canadians who are pissed-off that we can achieve energetic self-sufficiently without having to import their oil, or to use their capital to develop it. Bay Street would not lend us the money because that would be the end of the gravy train private electric companies were, so we went to Wall-Street who obliginly lent it to us. Ever since, the english have not forgave us for taking control of hydroelectric ressources and the mid-90’s howling about it is just their sour grapes attitude about it.

            How about the separate native referendums where they polled their own residents on whether they would want to be a part of a sovereign Quebec? Want to share those results? Or was that a rhodesian conspiracy too?

            Rhodesian divide-and-rule conspiracy, yes. Natives chiefs did not want to lose their ottawa-supplied cushy jobs, because they know very well that once Québec will be independant, we will negociate with them in full respect of their traditions, which means that the tribes will simply oust them and put in their place traditional chiefs.

            Are you trying to culpabilize me for being politically incorrect? That won’t work with me. I will still maintain that Canada is effectively ethnically cleansing our the french.

            No, that’s not political incorrectness. It’s flat-out vulgarity.

            It’s only “vulgar” because you are offended by the rightfullness of it.

            The term "ethnic cleansing" was created and defined by the United Nations Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 780, which was associated with the situations taking place in the former Yugoslavian republics. It’s defined as "a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas."

            Well, yes, this is exactly what has been going on in Canada since the deportation of acadians in 1755. One can see that the british were back then at the forefront of barbarian methods…

            Unless you have some plausible theory that the FLQ was a secret cell financed by the Queen of England, you’re either way off the mark or in dire need of psychiatric assessment

            Well, one thing for sure, by the end of the 1960’s, the FLQ was thoroughly infltrated by the RCMP… Which explains why they conveniently kidnapped Pierre Laporte hours before he was to be indicted for racketeeting… Something that would not have been very good for the freshly-minted Robert Bourassa government… But I disgress here.
            Anyways, as always, you really have it wrong, but that’s to be expected when you look at the world through english-coloured glasses…

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              the governmental pressure are democratically decided. … English persons have less services because we are not willing to provide them … the free-for-all that has nearly caused our obliteration from Canada in the past … We do not trust private entreprise, and we have plenty of very good reasons to do so. We trust government more than private entreprise.

              But “It’s a free country here”.

              Glad that was all settled.

              What’s the proper plural of english???

              There is none. English is not a noun.

              in the case of medical care, it is crucial that proper communication be effected.

              But you seem to be arguing that it’s not so crucial if the patient speaks English.

              But some “ethnics” are more troublesome; take for example the filipinos who are absolutely unwilling to learn french…

              Can we stop with the ethnic stereotypes please?

              Reply
          3. Fassero

            Though friggin’ noogies. It is no less discriminatory than the enormous economic pressures that are used against the french elsewhere. The difference between economic pressure and the legal, governmental pressure we have is that the governmental pressure are democratically decided.

            Oh, so now language treatment equates with “economic” treatment? Please elaborate on these “economic pressures” that French elsewhere face. And come up with something better than “well, the French elsewhere have transformed themselves into bourgeoise under the stomping foot of the surrounding Anglo-Saxon masses”. If there is such a thing, it would only be because those French choose to be put under that pressure by not attempting to cater to the size and scope of the marketplace that does not speak the same language. Big deal. Perhaps you missed out on decades of Anglo-Saxons facing “economic pressure” from the lower service and production costs found in Japan…..India…..Mexico……China….. Except, for French in the ROC, the fundamental difference is that they can fully opt to live, breathe, communicate, and work without speaking a word of another language and still retain the right to communicate, present signage in, and receive any and all government services, in their own language. Bill/Law (like anybody gives a crap if it’s one or the other) 101 and 178 eliminate or severely limit such right.

            No. English persons have less services because we are not willing to provide them, because immigrants could use them as an excuse to not learn french.

            Poppycock. One diatribe earlier, you talked about full-fledged “English hospitals” even though no such thing exists. There is no “English” school in the province that does not provide French instruction and even the poorest one provides more French instruction than a French one does English instruction. You also do not deny that there has been a substantial net migration of Anglophones out of the province over the last 35 years. Yet, interestingly enough, you cry about a cultural threat on the basis of 7 million in Quebec versus 29 million in the ROC. However, even though less than 1 million in Quebec use English as their home language or mother tongue, and almost that entire population is pretty much concentrated in sections of one city (a city migrated into which, apparently, French cannot do according to you. In the last 1800’s, Quebec City had up to a 40% Anglophone population), they are a threat to vacuum up immigrants and turn them into tea-and-crumpets lovers. But this isn’t paranoia. Yeah, okay….

            I mean…..you want to talk about a culture under threat and ethnic cleansing (more on this later) yet, statistically by every measure, the English have substantially net emigrated from Quebec over the last 40 years while the French-speaking population has increased.

            They have not been cleansed out of Québec, they simply left from their own volition. It’s a free country here, and we certainly cannot keep those who want to leave from leaving because they cannot stand being just a minority and being rules by the french.
            And to those, I heartily say “good riddance”. We do not need such disruptive, asocial, bigoted citizens.

            Nice obfuscation. I never said the English were “cleansed” out of Quebec. YOU have been the one claiming French citizens in Quebec have been victims of “ethnic cleansing” for years. Then when pressed that the only cleansers of the sort Quebec has ever had were the FLQ, you turn that organization into a sub-unit of the RCMP. Better explain that to your separatist brethren who were oh-so-happy to chant the FLQ manifesto during the Quebec City anniversary celebrations a couple of years ago. And, by the way, if it’s such a “free country”, and one where the French language completely dominates the Quebec landscape, including the political riding map which deliberately skews representation by population to ensure that the dominant-French-speaking regions retain a significant majority of seats in the Quebec Assembly (and, in case you’re winding up, a map that I agree with for the most part), why the need to restrict English or any other language? Or private enterprise in favor of “government” for that matter? After all, there’s a lot of economic difficulty to be had in not communicating in the language of at least 6/7ths of the population, no?

            Well, if the authorities have seen that some class of people are less proficient in french, and as such could be obstacles to delivering proper medical care, they are simply doing their job by insuring that there would be no risk to patient because some “ethnic” is unable to properly communicate.
            In any hospital in Canada, someone will absolutely face the same thing: no english? No job.
            Now, I wonder why the english can do it, and we, somehow, would not be allowed to do it…

            Wrong. In any hospital in Canada, you can be proficient in any language you choose and you will get the job if you meet the requirments of the practice in medicine – absolutely NONE of which are have anything to do with language of communication. Patients have all kinds of proficiency in all kinds of language. There are also “immigrants” in the rest of Canada who speak merely “some” English or may not have any English knowledge whatsoever in the area of medical terminology. Hospital staff and doctors are employed by what they can actually do, not what they speak.

            The Quebec decision was rendered by the French-speaking Quebec Human Rights Commission and it is against Quebec’s four medical training schools (three of which of fully French-instructional) and their thumb-nosing had nothing to do at all with French-language skills. The ruling was foreign-trained doctors who even went through the Quebec training AND spoke French proficiently, were being shunted aside (even if it meant *not filling the vacancy at all*) for residency positions while Quebec born and trained doctors were given slots automatically. And the justification by the defendants for this is that the foreign-trained doctors, even if proficient in French and fully educated in Quebec medical procedures, are not “as entitled” to those vacancies because they do not “know the Quebec system as well”. Read carefully: NOTHING TO DO WITH LANGUAGE. So, while piles of even French-speaking persons in Quebec do not have a doctor or limited access to doctors and various specialities, persons who could absolutely treat AND speak with them are prevented from practicing. Can’t wait to see where you tie in the Anglo-Saxon conspiracy here. Read and learn: http://www2.cdpdj.qc.ca/communiques/Documents/Communication_resolution_COM_559_5_1_1_Arial.pdf

            French-speaking persons have no such scenario since every single hospital in the province, by law, must provide communicaiton and service in their language.

            And, somehow, you seem to find this unaccepable? How is that?

            Because I doubt a person of any language has any problem using a person who knows what he/she are doing with a scalpel regardless of whether they speak French, English, Chinese, Portuguese, or has to use pictograms to communicate. Well, except the hard-line separists anyway. Hospitals in every province outside of Quebec have to provide services to French-speaking citizens if requested right up to governments funding interpreter services. Quebec has no such obligation to do so in it’s hospitals for English-speaking, irrespective of province of residence (and note that, under the Canada Health Act, they MUST accept ALL Canadian citizens regardless of mother tongue.) That’s mighty noble considering the oh-so-smarter “big government” that Quebec apparently needs gets the bulk of their hospital funding from federal health transfers under the Canada Health Act. Try to find a single French-speaking citizen in this country, Quebec-born or not, who bitches are language service in a hospital anywhere in the land. Bonne chance. But this is the common problem with separatists – they don’t understand that cultural advancement works through promotion, not intolerance (especially of the – let’s face it – hateful and xenophobic variety that they particularly prefer.) But, personally, I don’t even care about that. They’re mostly dying fossils or a handful of student brats passing time before they actually earn incomes. The odd time, they even become recalcitrant like Monsieur Bouchard (although I’m sure you’ll pin that on some Californian Anglo-Saxon terror sect) and discover that Quebec has much more urgent matters to address than what is or is not pure laine enough to stomach.

            Bollocks. Please cite the titles of law 101 that forbid native languages…

            Wrong. Please cite where I said that 101 “forbid”s native languages. I said it acknowledges them but extends limited rights to them since, right from the premble, French is determined as the fundamental language of virtually every facet of life in Quebec. That being said, they are restricted to instruction of their languages to their reservations/territories (and assuage your nitpickiness about terminology) only and under the auspices of their own school boards.

            Bwahahahaha!!! The natives certainly do not make international law. And certainly not the illegitimate chiefs hand-picked by the federal government — who know very well what side to take because otherwise, they’d have to say good bye to their new pickup-trucks and snowmobiles they get every year…

            You mean the same international law that recognizes the right to self-determination of all native peoples of the world? Oh, and love now that the tribal chiefs are suddenly Anglo-Saxon-handpicked henchmen when facts get in the way of a good story. The story you refused to disclose. You know – the question “Do you consent, as a people, that the Government of Quebec separate the James Bay Crees and Cree traditional territory from Canada in the event of a Yes vote in the Quebec referendum?” with “NO” kissing all your minerals and hydroelectric power goodbye. Or the Inuit answer to “Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign?” which was also 96% “NO”?!?!? Sure look like pretty concise and to the point questions to me. WAY better than anything that Quebecois voters were to answer in 1995 (and certainly 1980 for that matter.)

            Yawn. The question was not drivel, but to the point.

            Really?

            1995: “Do you agree that Québec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Québec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?.”

            I’ve seen Dali paintings that are less ambiguous. Of course, it was intentional. Much easier to sell a sucker on the notion of “don’t worry. We’re not going that independent? We’re only just trying to get more money” than do like the Cree, Inuit, or anybody with common sense and say point blank “Do you want independence or not?”

            Of course, 1980 was even funnier. But I’ll even use it in French:

            “Le Gouvernement du Québec a fait connaître sa proposition d’en arriver, avec le reste du Canada, à une nouvelle entente fondée sur le principe de l’égalité des peuples ; cette entente permettrait au Québec d’acquérir le pouvoir exclusif de faire ses lois, de percevoir ses impôts et d’établir ses relations extérieures, ce qui est la souveraineté, et, en même temps, de maintenir avec le Canada une association économique comportant l’utilisation de la même monnaie ; aucun changement de statut politique résultant de ces négociations ne sera réalisé sans l’accord de la population lors d’un autre référendum ; en conséquence, accordez-vous au Gouvernement du Québec le mandat de négocier l’entente proposée entre le Québec et le Canada?”

            Sovereignty-association. You’re out when you’re in, except when you’re out (or maybe). Can’t imagine why you need about 100 words to get to “the point”. But, hey, whatever you say. I say “cowardice” myself.

            Natives are only allowed to learn their languages in their own schools on their own reservations. They have this not because the developers of 101 have a secret lovefest but because it’s the same rights they are conferred in the rest of Canada due to agreements between the First Nations and Canada.

            Funny that in Canada, they are assimilated into english…

            This might be news to, oh, you but moving to another community is not “assimilation”. I know this will lead to the speech about how evil Anglo-Saxons draw them out by making community conditions deplorable but I’ll take my chances and see what kind of new laugher you come up with. Frankly, I think the secret marketing campaign of “Join Us So You Can Pay Taxes” has done wonders…. :)

            Irrelevant. The natives are just tools to the english to be used against the french

            As opposed to what? A day ago when they were your brothers-in-arms and hunting partners?

            By stating that our culture is “declining”, you are attempting to find a justification to eliminate it, such as allowing more leeway for the english to have immigrants totally ignore the french character of Québec.
            This is, of course, totally unacceptable and must not be allowed to happen; hence law 101 and it’s ilk

            Of course, I “stated” no such thing. In fact, I put forth the opposite – that the French population in Quebec has greatly expanded over the last four decades while the English population in same has done the polar opposite (although with a very slight uptick in the last three years if you need to find a new “threat”)
            But, hey – rant on if you must….

            Rhodesian divide-and-rule conspiracy, yes. Natives chiefs did not want to lose their ottawa-supplied cushy jobs, because they know very well that once Québec will be independant, we will negociate with them in full respect of their traditions, which means that the tribes will simply oust them and put in their place traditional chiefs.

            Actually, you’ll throw them all out on their collective arses, seize their lands, and force them to hegemonize with the rest of the province. Which would inevitably be by military force. That’s why they have never supported a sovereign Quebec. A handful of “cushy” paid chiefs can’t threaten to scalp the tens of thousands of tribesmen who voted against separtist questions. Twice. And lord knows there’s been historical precedence for this in Lower Canada (and surroundings) history. And the Metis sure didn’t end up where they are because they felt like taking a long swim one day. The Natives aren’t stupid. When they see the way separatists view “ethnics”, they know they are not immune.

            Well, that’s just the canadians who are pissed-off that we can achieve energetic self-sufficiently without having to import their oil, or to use their capital to develop it. Bay Street would not lend us the money because that would be the end of the gravy train private electric companies were, so we went to Wall-Street who obliginly lent it to us. Ever since, the english have not forgave us for taking control of hydroelectric ressources and the mid-90’s howling about it is just their sour grapes attitude about it.

            Oh please. First of all, James Bay was envisioned and executed by the Liberal Robert Bourassa. The PQ actually opposed it, let at the forefront energy minister Guy Giron and it’s chief “economic adviser” – a man by the name of….yes, yes – it’s getting clearer…… Jacques Parizeau. A big part of it’s costs was paying off the Crees when they pulled off such inclusive measures as starting the access roads to the project without ever consulting them. Three agreements over more than decade and over $600 million later, the brotherly natives were onside. Bourassa got Wall Street instead of Bay Street in the financing because Bay Street thought the whole project was way too high-risk without getting agreements from the natives first. Then Bourassa went to New York (during the October Crisis) and got Wall Street involved but under much greater draconian terms (which Hydro-Quebec still pays for and then some). And, of course, he had so much faith in French labor and commerce that, on the same trip, he handed over the entire engineering contract to Bechtel – an American company.

            The biggest reason for whatever “success” hydro-electric power has was the parallel deal Quebec got involved with to fund the Churchill Falls project in Labrador, which has supplied the province with sickeningly dirt-cheap power, most of which it resells to the U.S. market at a huge premium and will continue to reap benefits from for another 19 years. And before you go there…..yeah, I say “tough noogies” to Danny Williams too. But to call the whole thing an example about why Quebec needs independence is pure farce. Right off, as has been made crystal clear, the Crees do not, and will not, support a sovereign Quebec.

            On a side note, really loved the remarks about Filipinos and and the Ashkenazic division of the Jews. There are about 23,000 Filipinos and 75,000 Jews in Quebec (the latter down from about 250,000 in the late 70’s). Didn’t know they could scare the living daylights out of 6 million French speaking Quebecers like that. Mind you, even if it down to 100 Jews, they sure know about the notion of discrimination and the ransacking of culture within Quebec pretty darn well, since the French have done it in spades to them over the last hundred years. Familiar, for instance, with the story of Jewish General Hospital and how it came to be? Clue: it wasn’t that “more effecient big French government” you think does it better, that’s for sure.

            Reply
  30. Kaved

    It is extremely irresponsible to increase the population by increasing the birth rate; immigration is the most sensible thing to do: you get a lot of people who are extremely motivated to come here and tremenduously increase their standard of living, which means that they will not make trouble, as they know they have a lot to lose if they did, and it enrichs our culture

    How can immigrants enrich culture when you want to assimilate them so they are virtual clones of French-speaking Quebecers? In everything else you’ve written, you mock and despise anyone wanting to maintain any independent cultural ties that don’t match your own.

    as usual, the dropout rate amongst French students was and remains ridiculously high.
    It actually has decreased tremenduously during the last 20 years. You are just pulling out the usual derogatory scare tactics of canadian media that never shirks it’s responsibility of making Québec look bad in order to culpabilize is into voting “no” in referenda.

    As was pointed out to you earlier in this thread, the French dropout rate is much higher than that of students attending English schools, even right here in Montreal.
    Except the last time I mentioned it to you, you blamed it on the cultural attitude of French hicks who don’t value education.
    Didn’t take long for you to cast yourself in the victim role once again, eh?

    Yet, whenever one wanted to buy rabbit meat, you had to pay GST. Why? Because, for the english, rabbits are pets, and thus subject to the tax; they would not fathom that people would use rabbit for food.
    Gee, wonder what I was eating when I ordered rabbit on the menu in some of Vancouver’s finest and oldest restaurants…

    If we were so generous to Bombardier, Québec would be criss-crossed by a network of high-speed trains and good commuter trains. But nooo, all transportation money goes into roads.
    Nah, they just hand metro contracts to the local boys who charge twice the price of a foreign competitor (who would do 60% of the work here in Quebec and open a new factory).

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      How can immigrants enrich culture when you want to assimilate them so they are virtual clones of French-speaking Quebecers?

      Assimilating immigrants does not mean to stamp out their culture. They can keep it, and we’ll take what we like from their culture to enrich ours.

      In everything else you’ve written, you mock and despise anyone wanting to maintain any independent cultural ties that don’t match your own.

      And, pray tell, how is that any different from the anglo-saxon steamroller that has no regard for other cultures??? Pot, kettle, black.

      As was pointed out to you earlier in this thread, the French dropout rate is much higher than that of students attending English schools, even right here in Montreal.

      Yes. I never denied that. But, nevertheless, the drop-out rate has been decreasing.

      Except the last time I mentioned it to you, you blamed it on the cultural attitude of French hicks who don’t value education.
      Didn’t take long for you to cast yourself in the victim role once again, eh?

      Well, yes, we are victims of english imperialism. You would be very hard-pressed to find proof to the contrary.

      Gee, wonder what I was eating when I ordered rabbit on the menu in some of Vancouver’s finest and oldest restaurants…

      Tastes like chicken, eh? In any case, since it was a restaurant meal, it was considered a luxury, so you paid GST on it.
      Now try ordering rabbit in Lilloet or Quesnel…

      Nah, they just hand metro contracts to the local boys who charge twice the price of a foreign competitor (who would do 60% of the work here in Quebec and open a new factory).

      Well, you know what? Next time, do not vote liberal. It’s the liberals who dole out contracts to their little friends.
      Oh, sorry, I forgot. You can’t not vote for the liberals because you’re an ethnic voter who unquestionably vote liberal…

      Reply
      1. Kaved

        Assimilating immigrants does not mean to stamp out their culture. They can keep it, and we’ll take what we like from their culture to enrich ours.
        Except that there is nothing that you seem to appreciate from any other culture.

        In everything else you’ve written, you mock and despise anyone wanting to maintain any independent cultural ties that don’t match your own.
        And, pray tell, how is that any different from the anglo-saxon steamroller that has no regard for other cultures??? Pot, kettle, black.

        How many times must you be told that language does not equal culture?
        How many times must you be told that there are multiple cultures thriving on this great continent?
        If you can’t tell that there are profound cultural differences between someone from the Deep South, a Montreal anglo, a Toronto elitist, a Latina looking forward to her quinceanera, and and Indo-Canadian about to celebrate Diwali, then you are just being wilfully obtuse and blind.

        Well, you know what? Next time, do not vote liberal. It’s the liberals who dole out contracts to their little friends.
        Oh, sorry, I forgot. You can’t not vote for the liberals because you’re an ethnic voter who unquestionably vote liberal…

        Wrong. I cannot vote PQ, because a vote for the PQ is a vote to turn Quebec into a homogeneous mass, but I don’t vote Liberal.

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          How many times must you be told that language does not equal culture?

          Sure it does. Well, almost. Language is the foremost carrier of Culture. Far more than religion: after dumping ours in the garbage heap of History, our culture has flourished further.

          How many times must you be told that there are multiple cultures thriving on this great continent?

          Well, great. In the meanwhile, we will have ours thriving, and for this, we don’t need the interference of the big juggernaut culture that dominates all over the place.

          If you can’t tell that there are profound cultural differences between someone from the Deep South, a Montreal anglo, a Toronto elitist, a Latina looking forward to her quinceanera, and and Indo-Canadian about to celebrate Diwali, then you are just being wilfully obtuse and blind.

          Of course there are. But those are irrelevant in regards to the steamrolling anglo-saxon culture that dominates everything else.

          Wrong. I cannot vote PQ, because a vote for the PQ is a vote to turn Quebec into a homogeneous mass, but I don’t vote Liberal.

          So, you clearly do not accept the fact that Québec is french. Thanks for confirming what we’ve thought about you.

          Reply
          1. Kaved

            Thanks for confirming that you’re as intolerant as Gilles Proulx and that you are really striving for the elimination of anything that does not fit your own narrow view of what is appropriately French in Quebec.

            There’s a great big world out there, even in our own backyard. What a shame you are so xenophobic, so obsessed with a bitter misguided philosophy, that you cannot appreciate anything that doesn’t look and think exactly like you.

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            Thanks for confirming that you’re as intolerant as Gilles Proulx and that you are really striving for the elimination of anything that does not fit your own narrow view of what is appropriately French in Quebec.

            What I want is the elimination of all attempts by the english and their immigrant tools to suggest that immigrants shall not integrate in french.
            There is nothing obnoxiously intolerant there.

            There’s a great big world out there, even in our own backyard. What a shame you are so xenophobic, so obsessed with a bitter misguided philosophy, that you cannot appreciate anything that doesn’t look and think exactly like you.

            You are really a piece of work, thoroughly anglicized. A real virgin wool!!! You keep slinging the mud in our direction to make us appear as the bad guys here, like any english propagandist does towards Québec.
            One reason why we want out of Canada is to be able to have our very own foreign policy that is not constricted by the various anglo-saxon hangups that plague the canadian foreign policy.
            One of the Parti-Québécois’ slogans in the 1970 was «Pour un Québec ouvert sur le monde» (“for a Québec open to the world”).
            We want to be open on the world, not just towards the british empire and the little anglo-saxon world.
            And on the personal side, I prefer to hang with “strangers” (including the dreaded english) much more than with french. An exclusively homogenous society would be intolerably dull — this is why we find Canada so insufferably dull and uninspiring: everybody is english or wants to become one!

            Here’s the Gilles Proulx reference.

            Meh. Coming from La Praïsse. A Desmarais newspaper. Desmarais is a staunch federalist (because he knows very well that an independent Québec will never tolerate his shenanigans) who will never pass a single opportunity to make us look bad in order to keep stirring the old self-doubts that have been sowed by 250 years of being told we are good for nothing.
            This is just the same old fear campaign that has been going on forever.
            And Gilles Proulx is not very different from the shit that keeps being flinged in our direction by a lot of canadian radio hosts. So why don’t you bitch against that, too??? If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander, no?
             
            But why do you try to continue to argue with me? I am absolutely right because I have history on my side, and you just cannot prevent history from happenning, it is the most powerful social force that there is! And you cannot refute any of my points (and nobody else can either).

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              You keep slinging the mud in our direction to make us appear as the bad guys here

              Not “us”. You. We’re making you appear to be the bad guy. We know perfectly well that most Quebec francophones are not like you and don’t share your views. And we’re very thankful for that.

              Reply
  31. Marc

    Don’t extend language laws to CEGEPs and universities….

    This was made official PQ policy at their convention yesterday. Since there isn’t an iota of doubt they’ll be forming the next government (probably with a landslide), you can expect this to come to life.

    Reply

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