Posted in In the news, Opinion

Anglophones: Vote PQ (ha ha, just kidding)

It happens, it seems, during every election. Reporters stuck on campaign buses to Saint-Félix-de-who-kn0ws-where look for some unusual story to report on inevitably throw out the idea that anglophones might somehow be interested in voting for a sovereignist party.

The sovereignist party – the Parti Québécois during a provincial election or the Bloc Québécois in a federal election – are never ones to say no to any votes (they are, after all, politicians), so they indulge, pretending Quebec anglos might have a reason to vote for them.

The party leader explains that this is an election, not a referendum, and federalists can still vote for a sovereignist party that will (in the case of the Bloc) be a voice for all Quebecers in Ottawa, or (in the case of the PQ) be an alternative to the Liberals. They remind the anglos that an independent Quebec would continue to respect their rights and that they, too, are Québécois.

Then comes election night, and the big victory speech, in which the leader proclaims a huge win for sovereignty, as if every vote for that party is a vote to make Quebec into an independent country.

Jean Charest alluded to this phenomenon just before the last provincial election in 2008.

But then, maybe we think it’s more commonplace than it is. The night of the 2008 federal election, Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe said the vote for the Bloc was not a vote for sovereignty, according to an article in The Gazette from way back then. Though he did say the vote showed that Quebecers wanted Ottawa to recognize the supremacy of the French language in this province, and insist that Quebec’s French-language charter apply to federally-regulated institutions.

I’d compare this with other recent sovereignist party victories, but unfortunately for them there haven’t been many. The PQ hasn’t won a provincial election since 1998. The Bloc was doing well until last year, when it collapsed into near-oblivion.

Few options for anglos

All this anglos-voting-PQ silliness highlights the problem that there really isn’t an alternative to the Liberals for federalist anglophones in Quebec. Of the five parties with a chance of winning seats, three of them are openly and proudly sovereignist, and four of them want to strengthen the French-language charter in some way to counteract a perceived threat to the French language in Quebec. Even the Coalition Avenir Québec, which is being seen as an alternative hope for anglos, makes it clear in its platform (PDF) that it would strengthen the role of he Office Québécois de la langue française and put in place measures to ensure more immigrants to Quebec speak French.

The Liberals, meanwhile, aren’t exactly the Equality Party. The best that anglos can hope for with them is the status quo.

It’s no wonder, then, that there won’t be an English-language leaders’ debate, even with the offer to have Pauline Marois do her part in French. The PQ really has little to gain from such an event, and the Liberals and CAQ don’t want to be seen as too friendly to federalists or anglophones, which might scare off soft nationalists.

It’s to the point where francophones are asking about how anglophones are being treated here.

I won’t use some of the ridiculous hyperbole being used by some, comparing Quebec to some totalitarian government or its leaders to some iron-fist dictators who think nothing of murdering millions of their citizens.

But let’s just say that you can understand why there are some people here, maybe some whose families have been in Quebec for generations, or who might be perfectly bilingual but have the misfortune of having the incorrect mother tongue, who feel that on the ballot will simply be yet another list of parties for whom this umpteenth-generation Quebecer isn’t really Québécois enough.

93 thoughts on “Anglophones: Vote PQ (ha ha, just kidding)

  1. Marc

    Hmm, I suspect this post will gather 200+ comments…

    Even the Coalition Avenir Québec, which is being seen as an alternative hope for anglos, makes it clear in its platform (PDF) that it would strengthen the role of he Office Québécois de la langue française and put in place measures to ensure more immigrants to Quebec speak French.

    And the PLQ isn’t?

    Every time the PLQ is challenged about taking anglos for granted, they reply with one of two talking points: Concordia’s new JMSB, or the new MUHC hospital. Big deal. Those were a while ago. Anything of late?

    Reply
  2. wkh

    You know what tires me in this debate? You’d think there were no francophone federalists out there. As if I’m married to the only one in the province and that’s just an error of his 1 July birthdate. But by sheer numbers there are more federalist than separatist francophones. Stop making it a two solitudes thing. While 99.9999999999999999% of non-francos are federalists, a damn good share of francos are as well. It’s an insult to them to frame it as a language thing.

    AndPauline hunting evil traitor Francos who go to english CEGEP is not winning her votes in either camp, especially as she campaigns for anglos to vote for her. But I am biased. If my francohusband hadn’t lived a 7 minute drive from JA as opposed to 30+ everywhere else, he would never have bothered to learn English (no, really, that’s why he learned, was too lazy to drive further, sighed, sucked it up, and decided he might as well finally get around to it) and married an immigrant USian he met at Concordia. And, ironically, helped her raise 4 kids who would go to English schools over her dead body and strongly identify as what used to be called “de souche.”

    Reply
    1. lagatta à montréal

      You are rather overplaying the percentage of non-pure-laine francophones that vote for unitarian (and usually right-wing) parties. I was at Andrès Fontecilla’s picnic in Jarry Park on Sunday – Amir Khadir was also there. People of a wide variety of origins, though I think Ramadan severely drove down the large Maghrebi contingent usually present at such Villeray events.

      And you’d be surprised at how many anglophones, whether they are fleeing Harperland or the US (yes, Obama is an improvement, but there are so many scary gun-nuts and religious fundies there). Not a majority, but enough to skew your figures.

      Reply
  3. David Pinto

    At present, all you can do is: a) stay home; b) spoil your ballot, neither of which does anything since spoiled
    ballots are only counted at the polling station level.
    A few years ago, the Libertarians came up with a very interesting idea.
    They suggested that there should be a None of the Above option on the ballot, which would ensure that the
    totals would be enumerated and would appear in newspapers/online with all of the other parties.

    Reply
  4. Alex H

    Observing this election from the outside (I am not longer residing the Kwee-bek), I have to say that I feel sorry for the voters.

    Liberals: Charest has proven to be a less than effective leader, certainly not a consensus maker, and like a bad parent, he is either too permission or too strict, and often tries to do both at the same time. When you major selling point is being “not the PQ” you know you are in trouble.

    PQ: I have to give credit to Marois, after plenty of cat and mouse, she has come out, declared for a never-end-um in the first mandate, which plays great to the PQ militant babe but scares away everyone else.

    CAQ: They appear to have mastered the concept of bribing the population with their own money. Everything I see is that they announce X dollars for this or that, but no indication of where they heck they are going to find it. Their major selling point is that they are neither the Liberals or the PQ, faint praise at best.

    SQ: Amir Khadir. ’nuff said. Hopefully this wingnut doesn’t get re-elected personally, so we can stop watching him grandstand for the press.

    So, from the outside, I pity you guys. The choices suck, the future looks as bright as a burned out 15 watt light bulb, and no matter what choice you make, there will be continued strife, anger, and fighting.

    My advice for anglos / allos: The 401 is a big highway, and the Trudeau airport has planes heading for many much more interesting places. You don’t realize how badly you have it until you don’t have to have it anymore.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      My advice for anglos / allos: The 401 is a big highway, and the Trudeau airport has planes heading for many much more interesting places.

      They may be interesting, but they’re not home. This whole move-to-Toronto debate is long over. Anyone who was prepared to leave did so in the 90s. Those who are left are here because they don’t want to leave.

      Reply
      1. Captain Obvious

        I (and many more Montreal anglos) will gladly ‘suffer’ through this election and its potential after-effects — doubly so if the alternative is a beige existence in some Ontarian suburb. *shudder*

        Reply
        1. Alex H

          If your vision of movie far ends in Toronto, then you probably won’t be happy. I went much further… the beige life in Toronto isn’t for most people.

          Reply
        2. john

          Its funny, ive had 6 friends move west to date and they have told me its the best decision of their life. They never want to go back to quebec where they were born. After 6 i believe them. Im sick and tired of hearing about these issues. Im saving up as we speak and ill be joining them.

          Reply
    2. Marc

      Charest has proven to be a less than effective leader

      Right now he’s getting creamed in his own riding; almost 20 points back from the PQ.

      CAQ: They appear to have mastered the concept of bribing the population with their own money.

      Aren’t all the other parties doing the exact same thing?

      Amir Khadir. ’nuff said. Hopefully this wingnut doesn’t get re-elected personally

      He’s polling almost 60% in his riding. He’s unbelievably popular with that populist discourse of his hitting the right notes with most of the folk in Mercier.

      Of course the debates are still to come, and that’s when most undecided people will make up their mind.

      Reply
  5. lop

    I vote “None of the above” (Brewster’s millions).

    I do have a question for the mases out there:

    Does destroying your vote have an impact?

    In the overall scheme of things.. Do destroyed ballots get couted, and do they affect the outcome, the system, the eventual changing the system? Do destroyed ballots, if enough collected, highlight any issues? Do the parties care how many ballots are destroyed?

    I figure a destroyed ballot is better, and makes statement, than jsut staying home.. is that true? Should I vote for “none of teh above” or just stay home?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Does destroying your vote have an impact?

      There are three kinds of “destroyed” vote: just not going to the polls in the first place, taking a ballot and not returning it, and taking a ballot and spoiling it.

      In neither of these cases does it affect the result, and I believe only in the last case is it even noted in the tabulation. Theoretically a large number of spoiled ballots might indicate that people are not impressed with the choices offered, but it’s rare that the number of spoiled ballots is significant, and the winner will still take his or her seat in the National Assembly.

      Reply
  6. Just Me

    Reading this evoked memories of being a foreign student at a French university in Montreal during the 1980 referendum for me. I thought then, & still think as an outsider in the US, that there are 2 main problems, viz : 1 ) , the presence of the ‘ soft ‘ nationalists willing to vote PQ ( &, later, also BQ ) but voting ‘ non ‘ on the independence question, thereby condemning Montreal & Quebec to a peculiar half-life purgatory ; & 2 ) , the willingness of Trudeau to abandon the rights of the Anglos of Quebec as a sort of sacrificial lamb, or bargaining chip, as the price for unity.

    Those which always vote for the provincial Liberals ( do they still call them the ‘ Grits ‘ ? ) & vote ‘ non ‘ are being consistent ; & those which vote for the PQ ( &, later, also BQ ) – AND – vote ‘ oui ‘ are also being consistent. But then you have the soft nationalists & their willingness to employ these votes for negotiating more French-language prerogatives within Canada. ( & also to prevent the partition of Quebec at independence — more about that thorny problem in 3 paragraphs from this one, infra ) They are holding both sides to ransom.

    At the federal level, there were those willing to concede more & more powers to Quebec City as the price of unity. I assume that that’s still true.

    A 3d problem was the awkward, acrimonious relationship betwixt Montreal & Quebec City which obtained then, when I was there ; it was worse than the relations between Quebec City & Ottawa. I assume that they are similar in this era.

    One thought that I had at the time was that there could be a 2-stage non-PQ referendum at some point for an independent, but DE-CENTRALISED, Kingdom Of Quebec. If approved, Bill 101 & the ‘ language cops ‘ would temporarily be held in abeyance till independence. There would be a separate referendum for determining if you wished your area to be a part of an area which we’ll call ‘ Interior Quebec ‘ , subject to direct Quebec City control & paying all national taxes directly to Quebec City ; or you could vote to be part of an ‘ External Quebec ‘ , which would not be subject to Bill 101 or the language cops or Quebec City’s school & educational regs, & the taxes for which you would be sending to a different administrative capital, which, in turn, would remit only an agreed per centage to Quebec City to compensate for military & foreign embassy purposes only. ‘ External Quebec ‘ could veto potential immigrants at their discretion. ( The Surete du Quebec would be split. ) This Quebec would include all of the current Quebec, but only in a de-centralised form & as a kingdom. ‘ Internal Quebec ‘ could choose subsequently to become a republic, or renounce the constitution, but ‘ External Quebec ‘ would automatically become an independent kingdom free to do whatever she wished ( including returning to Canada ) .

    This proposal would force the soft nationalists to make up their minds. ( They would even have a large, independent Quebec . ) & it would finally stem the erosion of the rights of the Anglo-Montrealers & of Montreal. I’m mostly concerned about Montreal, my favourite city. Just a thought.

    Reply
    1. Kevin

      There’s some guy actively pushing this idea, of a separate Quebec that doesn’t include Montreal the Townships etc.., but he cannot get any traction.

      Reply
  7. Patrick

    Can I ask you guys why separation is not an option? If we were sovereign Quebec would pretty much remain the same, except for the federal part. How is that so wrong to you? What would be so much different to you that you can’t even consider it as an option? Sure we are voting laws and being strict on the language, but I doubt that, when separated, we would ditch all your rights or what else… worst case scenario would be status quo.

    I take it that if you chose to stay its because you like it here. It might not be perfect, but hey, even the francos don’t think it is.

    How do you see yourselves in the Canada Harper is building? And most important: why is that unity so important to you? Can’t you see we’re diffrerent than the ROC?

    Excuse my poor english, it’s my 2nd language, as you may have understood already.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Can I ask you guys why separation is not an option? If we were sovereign Quebec would pretty much remain the same, except for the federal part. How is that so wrong to you?

      “The federal part” you refer to is Canada. Anglophones and federalist francophones consider that their country. They can no more cease to be Canadian than you can cease to be Québécois.

      What would be so much different to you that you can’t even consider it as an option? Sure we are voting laws and being strict on the language, but I doubt that, when separated, we would ditch all your rights or what else… worst case scenario would be status quo.

      You’ll forgive the anglophone community if your “doubts” aren’t sufficient to reassure them about their future under a sovereign Quebec. The Parti Québécois (and the CAQ) has made it clear it puts the protection of the French language above consideration of the Canadian charter of rights when it comes to language. Without the protections of the Canadian charter, many anglophones worry that an independent Quebec would ignore their rights entirely, making protection of the French language more important than, say, giving anglophones the rights to their own schools.

      I take it that if you chose to stay its because you like it here.

      They choose to stay because it’s their home.

      How do you see yourselves in the Canada Harper is building?

      That’s kind of a loaded question, but it really depends. Anglophones and federalists don’t all have the same political opinions. Some are conservative, some are liberal, some are social-democrats. How they feel about the Harper government really depends on their views about things other than Quebec sovereignty. But keep in mind Harper won’t be in power forever. Not too many people are willing to give up on their country simply because they don’t like the person voted in at the last election. (It’s not like sovereignists have left Quebec because of Jean Charest.)

      And most important: why is that unity so important to you? Can’t you see we’re diffrerent than the ROC?

      Absolutely. That’s not a bad thing. And it doesn’t mean Quebec must separate. To many federalists, Quebec is an important part of what makes Canada, and without it the country would suffer an incalculable loss. The solution, to them, isn’t that Quebec remove itself from Canada, but that Quebec export what makes it special to the rest of the country. To them, the ultimate goal is a country with thriving communities in both languages, where people from coast to coast to coast speak both French and English, enjoying each other’s culture. (Maybe even throw in some aboriginal languages in there, since we’re dealing somewhat in fairytale land.)

      Excuse my poor english, it’s my 2nd language, as you may have understood already.

      Your English is actually quite good.

      Reply
      1. Marc

        Quebec is an important part of what makes Canada, and without it the country would suffer an incalculable loss.

        What would that loss be, exactly?

        Reply
        1. Patrick

          That’s kind of my question. Why not separate? This wouldn’t prevent anyone from going to Canada if they want to (do you travel to BC or Alberta very often anyways?) or make it disappear, it would still be there. Most of the francos nowadays are not like our parents or grand-parents, we have no problem standing side by side with the anglos, the fight is over; I don’t feel any hatred from the population towards you, the hate is mostly going to (and from) the ROC. Most of us have understood that the anglos from Quebec are Quebecers as well as we are!

          Maybe the PQ or the Option Nationale or QS want to close schools to english (which would be a big fail in my opinion), but separated or not, they want to do it anyways, it’s up to you guys to get in the party and explain your point of view. Concerning your rights, it’s impossible to go back, you guys have ”des droits acquis”, the new government, or new country couldn’t steal you what you already have. And if they would, I hope you would stand up and protest against that.

          Strong points for the separation:
          -no more monarchy, which is useless and obsolete
          -no more ”ingérence” from the government above
          -no more federal tax, provincial tax, and no more tax on the tax (why did anybody think it was a good idea to be taxed on the tax anyways?!?!)

          Honestly, I cannot see why the anglos are against that! Heck, the door would’nt even be closed for another Liberal party! We need all kinds of governments, it would’nt be just the PQ or left wing parties, from the moment we separate, it would be a brand new game on that side (yet the same old boring story). I would like to see more anglos in the government (yes, even in the PQ!) as candidates or deputees to throw in their opinion and to protect and/or ameliorate their (your) rights.

          You’re part of the Quebec as much as I am and I don’t know why your fidelity towards Canada is so great… that’s what I’m trying to understand…

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            Maybe the PQ or the Option Nationale or QS want to close schools to english (which would be a big fail in my opinion), but separated or not, they want to do it anyways, it’s up to you guys to get in the party and explain your point of view.

            I’m pretty skeptical of the chances anglos have of getting in the PQ or Option Nationale and successfully advocating in favour of the rights of anglophones. The preferred options of anglos in this province has been not to vote these parties into power in the first place.

            Concerning your rights, it’s impossible to go back, you guys have ”des droits acquis”, the new government, or new country couldn’t steal you what you already have. And if they would, I hope you would stand up and protest against that.

            There’s little a minority can do when the majority has a strong interest in asserting itself. If an independent Quebec wants to write its own constitution and take away the rights of anglos, they will be successful unless the majority francophone population says no. As for protests, those also only work when you can get a majority on your side. Student protests have been marginally successful, but unless there’s a majority PQ government those tuition fees are still going up.

            no more federal tax, provincial tax, and no more tax on the tax (why did anybody think it was a good idea to be taxed on the tax anyways?!?!)

            Taxes won’t be much different (well, maybe higher to compensate for the loss of equalization payments), and I don’t think too many people care how much goes to the federal government and how much to the provincial government. And whether a tax is a “tax on tax” or just a higher tax, it still goes to the government. It’s a semantic argument.

            You’re part of the Quebec as much as I am and I don’t know why your fidelity towards Canada is so great… that’s what I’m trying to understand…

            Why is the idea of national patriotism so hard to understand for a Quebec sovereignist?

            Reply
          2. Ritchie

            Patrick says, “-no more federal tax, provincial tax, and no more tax on the tax (why did anybody think it was a good idea to be taxed on the tax anyways?!?!)”

            Please, Patrick, are you serious? It’s a rarity that any kind of tax is repealed. Federal tax will just become renamed and serve for something else. Indeed, it appears most of the parties who are prevalent in Quebec politics are left leaning (though I am excusing CAQ I guess), and it’s no secret ‘left’ parties like their taxes.

            As a Brit, let me inform you about the poll tax that was introduced by the UK Conservative Party in the early 90s. It was a tax per person. It was extremely unpopular; riots and what-not. Tories lose a lot of voters in the north of England and Scotland. So anyway, some may argue that was why Labour swept to landslide victory in 1997, among other reasons. Anyway, the Tories renamed it Council Tax, and it was based on property instead. They never got rid of it, just rejigged it. So of course, Labour come to power, and guess what – Council Tax is still here today.

            Correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t think of a tax that has ever been cancelled. Even Window Tax pretty much got rolled into another one.

            Anyway, I don’t know enough about Quebec politics so pardon me, but I am interested in it very much so. So on that note, does anyone know if the TVA debates are broadcast anywhere with English subtitles? Je parle un peu, je regrette!

            Reply
          3. philippe

            You’re part of the Quebec as much as I am and I don’t know why your fidelity towards Canada is so great… that’s what I’m trying to understand…

            Why is the idea of national patriotism so hard to understand for a Quebec sovereignist?

            Because canada is a ridiculous and stupid country and there is no patriotism to speak of… i.e. 60% of toronto is foreign born…. upon having met mannny torontonians throughout my schooling, i would always dig deep in them and find out what kind of people they are. they are brainwashed to restate and restate the “multiculturalism is good”… they just say this without basis and relentlessly. what ethnic culture is there to speak of? is it just that canadians have a complex of incompleteness that they’re run-down by MULTICULTURALISM? patriotism… what a joke. quebec, like MOST OTHER COUNTRIES in the world (i.e. european countries, since quebec has a french foundation, albeit it is 400 years old —- and no, england is verrrryyy different from other european countries, and this is non-debatable) have an IDENTITY and an ETHNICITY. how is that bad? why do canadians always have to be politically correct in ridiculing that concept? do you hate norwegians for supporting their country? or finns? or russians? the list goes on… the québécois are a people with their own language, culture, and values. canadians just assume that quebec is just another canadian province, but everything is just google translated into french. that’s not the f***ing case – quebec is not france, that is correct. but it is quebec. just like any other european country, or ethnic country that isn’t a melting pot like canada or the us. it’s not as simple as magically transferring the culture across the country and dancing around in bilingual-ity… people with an actual ethnic background laugh at canada… at least america has its priorities straight and it isn’t some sick experiment with universal equality (that honestly eliminates the natural concept of competition and motivation – take a look at canadian high schools, are there AP or Honors classes? or accelerated classes for that matter? no. it’s all equal and balanced out. everyone is doing the same thing. so bland). if canadians feel inadequate in front of quebec, that’s their problem. but being ignorant and shouting the same BS all the time about how quebec is full of stupid separatists is ridiculous. quebecers aren’t ontarians or manitobans with a special live google-translate-english-mindset-to-french-adapter. a language difference is a big deal. and quebec is just but another ethnic populace that wants to run under its own roof. what’s wrong with that? and incalculable loss… pffft. please. when anglo-canadians come to montreal they woo and wow on ste. catherine street and roam around the ugly sections of northern downtown. that’s all. and if they dare walk into the plateau, they don’t know what the hell they’re doing there. and go back home to tell everyone that the only thing they got out of quebec is how the roads are bad or that someone was rude to them in a store for speaking english. but no. that’s not what quebec actually is. jeez. if anyone is being ridiculous, it’s the anglo-canadians that are just too stupid to understand what’s going on around them. unfortunately, unlike in toronto and in other places, sings and announcements in quebec aren’t written in size 500 arial in a simplified version of the language. people here have brains.

            if anything it’s a beautiful thing that quebec has retained its culture language and values for all these years…

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              Because canada is a ridiculous and stupid country and there is no patriotism to speak of.

              It’s unfortunate you think that way.

              quebec, like MOST OTHER COUNTRIES in the world … have an IDENTITY and an ETHNICITY. how is that bad?

              There’s nothing wrong with having an ethnicity. Everyone does. But when you start separating people into ethnic groups, then you start having problems. Are black people not “real” Quebecers because of their ethnicity?

              I’d respond to the rest of what you wrote, but most of it didn’t make any sense.

              Reply
          4. Jean Naimard

            Ritchie:

            We have our own poll tax, it’s called the «contribution santé» (“health contribution”)…

            And the grit government (a tory government, in reality*) who brought it is also going to be History.

            * Since there is no tory party in Québec since the 1930’s, the liberals have gradually drifted rightwad to occupy their political niche (and the PQ has also drifted to the liberal’s political niche).

            Reply
    2. Kevin

      I am from Montreal, but I spent a decade out of province and out of country. It provides a refreshing point of view on news coverage.

      Namely — when it comes to news from outside your immediate area, you only hear about the stuff that is very far from normal.

      In other words, people living in the ROC have no idea about Charest, have no idea about the corruption scandals, and probably think that Quebec has only ever elected the Parti Quebecois for the pas 40 years.

      Reply
    3. Gazoo

      when will this topic ever end? Surely by now the rest of Canada has had enough of this idle threat. In fact if I am not mistaken ( and I could very well be) there was a report out not too long ago stating that the rest of Canada would gladly let Quebec go on it’s own.

      If this is the case, go at it entirely on their own. do not rely on Canada for military, health, any form of financial aide and your own denomination. Bonne chance Mme Marois quands c est le temps de parler avec vos voisins dans le sud our a l est ou a l ouest!

      And when you split, the broder can stop at Decarie!

      Reply
  8. Omi-san

    Come on anglos, the CAQ doesn’t look so bad. You can’t use that same excuse “But we don’t have a choice!” over and over and put the mafia in power for another 5 years. Didn’t you learn anything from reelecting Gérald Tremblay?

    If anything, not voting Liberal just this once would force them finally start caring about Montreal. Everybody wins.

    ps: Stop shitting your pants about separation. It’s not happening. Even with Marois if Marois wins.

    Reply
  9. Frenchy

    You all got it wrong. This half sovereignist/half federalist thing is nothing new, it has been around since Lower Canada; it is to the advantage of english quebecers as well as the french ones. Don’t be silly, the worst thing that could happen to Québec is not separation, it is the disparition of the sovereignists. They provide a pressure on the federal government, just enough, so that they don’t forget that Québec exist and must be catered for. Never forget that the buzz word in Ottawa is: “What’s good for Ontario is good for Canada”. This actually means that they really don’t care about Quebec or the Martimes or the West (agreed that when the Conservatives are in power the thruth could be a little bit different for the West).

    Now, for the real subject of all this: the rights of the english minority! Well, the best protection fo those rights is the fact that thre are french minorities in the anglos provinces. French quebecers have a sense of solidarity with those minorities. They won’t make political moves that could jeopardize those minorities. Maybe the Québec english minority should make alliances with french minorities in other provinces. This could help out in campaigns like the one to keep the french Monfort hospital in Ottawa or the one to keep the english Jeffrey Hale hospital in Quebec City.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Now, for the real subject of all this: the rights of the english minority! Well, the best protection fo those rights is the fact that thre are french minorities in the anglos provinces. French quebecers have a sense of solidarity with those minorities.

      Do they? I’ve seen little evidence of this. And wouldn’t Quebec sovereignty just make things worse for these communities, since Canada would increasingly become an English-only country? The impression I’ve always gotten from francophone sovereignists is that they’ve completely written off the rest of Canada and couldn’t care less what happens there.

      Maybe the Québec english minority should make alliances with french minorities in other provinces.

      I’m not sure how such “alliances” would work, exactly, but Quebec’s English minority is very sympathetic to the plight of French minorities elsewhere in the country.

      Reply
      1. Frenchy

        I am not suggesting Québec should separate from Canada. Instead, I am suggesting quebecers just keep enough pressure on Ottawa so that they remember we (both french and english quebecers) exist when decisions are taken and when our tax money is spent. Let’s call this ROI (Return on Investment) if our tax money can be called an investment.

        Reply
      2. Anonymous

        And you hear and read more and more about Canadians outside Qc that have completely written off Qc. I’d like to see a poll on this type of sentiment in the ROC.

        Reply
      3. Kevin

        @Frenchy

        This emphasizes my point about how news never tells you anything about other provinces.
        Literally EVERY PROVINCIAL PREMIER IN CANADA puts pressure on Ottawa to get more money/power etc…
        You don’t need to threaten to break up the country to do it.

        Reply
      4. Ritchie

        “French quebecers have a sense of solidarity with those minorities.”

        Not sure if the Acadians feel the same way, sorry.

        Reply
        1. Caroline

          Francophone and Acadians have a great relationship. If we were thought history properly in schools you would know that Acadians used to be French Canadian in the past and it’s the British that expelled them and sold their lands to new British immigrant.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acadians

          Reply
      5. Jean Naimard

        I’m not sure how such “alliances” would work, exactly, but Quebec’s English minority is very sympathetic to the plight of French minorities elsewhere in the country.

        Sounds like crocodile tears to me…

        Ask french people in Manitoba what the english of Québec have done for him, except send militias against Louis Riel, then saying nothing when Manitoba was unilaterally turned into an english-only province…

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Ask french people in Manitoba what the english of Québec have done for him, except send militias against Louis Riel,

          I don’t recall having sent militias against Louis Riel. When did I do this?

          Reply
          1. Frenchy

            The milicia and regular forces of the British Army was sent against Riel in the summer of 1870, it was led by Colonel Garnet Wolseley. This Wikipedia article tells the story of Louis Riel and the Red River Republic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Riel

            Actually, one of your relative was part of it: Monseigneur François-Xavier Faguy who was appointed
            Chaplain to the 9th Voltigeurs de Quebec and served with the battalion until the close of the troubles, receiving a medal for services rendered during the campaign. After that, Monseigneur Faguy was appointed curé of the Notre-Dame Parish in Qubec City. To top it all, he spoke french…

            Don’t tell me you are not part of it!

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              Don’t tell me you are not part of it!

              Well, since it happened more than 100 years before I was born, I guess I just don’t remember it very well.

              Reply
          2. Frenchy

            100 years is certainly a long time, but this is part of our history and collective memory, this ils the stuff culture ils made of; we can’t just write it off. When I was a kid, my grand father used to call canayen anybody who spoke french and was born in Canada. Other french speaking people were called français. Then there were the indians. Émigrés designated any foreigner who did not speak english. And last, there was les anglais that designated anybody who spoke English. For a long time, in the back of my mind, there was this idea that you could not be English speaking and canadien at the same time. My grand father was not very far from the thruth; when he was born, English speaking, Canada born, people were very few. Most of the English speaking people of the time were part of the british occupation army or closely related to it. Do you know that we had a war two hundred years ago and then Canada was occupied by the british army for a hundred years? Didn’t you had history classes in high school? But all this occured more than a hundred years ago… I know. But collective memory is like an elephant memory… For a long time to come, you can expect quebecers to be cautious with the anglos and ROC.

            Reply
    2. Kevin

      “French quebecers have a sense of solidarity with those minorities.”
      I have never seen any sense of this. In fact, any time I’ve broached the subject here in Quebec, I usually get blank looks from Quebecois who then say — “but they’re just there for studying English, right?”

      In fact, I know a couple Franco-Ontarians who have moved to Montreal, and when they let slip at parties that they grew up in Ontario and yet speak impeccable French, the reaction is usually ‘Mais c’est pas possible!”

      Reply
  10. Elizabeth

    There isn’t really any party in this election that looks good to me. I don’t feel like I relate to any of them and especially the PQ right now. They are trying to make the language laws even more than what they are now and I think that’s unfair towards anybody who wants to learn english. The PLQ seems full of lying and not very trust worthy and that’s about it for parties that I can vote for if I want my vote to count towards something.

    Reply
  11. Alex

    I think the montreal english community sealed it’s faith back in 1849 when they burned the Union Parliament. Badwin and Lafontaine were honestly trying to build a country where both french and english could live in mutual respect but when reperations for the war crimes commited in 1837-38 were voted the montreal english community went nuts. The Gazette called for a riot to defend ‘the white race’ (whathever that meant) and after many acts of violence, arsons, attacks on Governor Elgin and two attempts to lynch Lafontaine the Montreal anglophones pretty much send the message to everybody that they weren’t part of the Union or anything else. They have been living in their own little world ever since.

    It’s easy to blame everybody else but look at yourselves first. If you have no options to vote it may be your own doing. As long as you live in your own ghetto and refuse to be part of Quebec society it won’t change.

    Reply
    1. Kevin

      @Alex
      Jump out of your time machine and come to the 21st century please.
      The only thing worse than citing events from before the US civil war is citing them and thinking members of a community would behave in the the *exact same manner* 180 years later.
      I mean, there was this thing called the Quiet Revolution. That’s much more relevant to politics in 2012, but you seem to think it was insignificant and has had no effect on anyone :/

      Wait, I stand corrected. You also trot out the ancient and largely false canard that Anglos are not part of Quebec society. Have fun with that one!

      Reply
  12. David Pinto

    As soon as Quebec separates, the following will happen:
    a) All of the millions, nay billions, of dollars that are constantly flowing into Quebec pursuant to a whole host of federal-provincial agreements will cease.
    b) All federal institutions in Quebec will cease to operate. For example, Canada Post will simply shut down, so that there will no longer be any mail delivery to the public, nor will the public be able to mail items.
    c) All of the chartered banks will shut down. Why? Well, they operate under federal charters, and those charters will cease to have any legal existence.
    d) Canada Customs — believe it is the Border Services Agency these days — will shut down. In other words, all of those American tourists who bring in millions of dollars each year will be unable to cross the border. Soon, there will be NO American tourists.
    e) All airports will shut down.
    f) VIA Rail will cease to operate in the province of Quebec.
    g) All passports will cease to have any value. as they are Canada passports.
    h) Oh, wait, I forgot the most important result — Canadian money will be worthless in the province of Quebec.
    And that’s just for starters.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      As soon as Quebec separates, the following will happen:

      I’ll stop you right there. The truth is we don’t know what will happen. A successful sovereignty referendum will immediately result in the beginning of negotiations between Ottawa and Quebec. Assuming everything goes according to sovereignist plan, they would ensure an orderly takeover by the Quebec government of federal services in this province, including airports, banks, broadcasting regulation, border services, etc., or the creation of agreements for services that would continue to be shared. (A common currency, for example.)

      Pretending that separation will result in the apocalypse isn’t helpful to the conversation. Quebec won’t instantly become a third-world country after a sovereignty referendum.

      Reply
    2. Jean Naimard

      I really love this kind of fear-mongering oxdung, it’s so fun to debunk!!!

      All of the millions, nay billions, of dollars that are constantly flowing into Quebec pursuant to a whole host of federal-provincial agreements will cease.

      So will the $50 billion we pay to Ottawa every year.

      All federal institutions in Quebec will cease to operate. For example, Canada Post will simply shut down, so that there will no longer be any mail delivery to the public, nor will the public be able to mail items.

      Those federal institutions will simply split, and Québec will inherit their Québec portions. Over time, Québec will effect the operational changes deemed necessary.

      All of the chartered banks will shut down. Why? Well, they operate under federal charters, and those charters will cease to have any legal existence.

      All the federally-chartered companies will continue to exist, as per by international law, Québec will inherit the same rights and obligation Canada has in this regards. Later, if we wish, we will amend those laws governing the operation of those companies.

      Canada Customs — believe it is the Border Services Agency these days — will shut down. In other words, all of those American tourists who bring in millions of dollars each year will be unable to cross the border. Soon, there will be NO American tourists.

      See the comment for the other federal institutions.

      All airports will shut down.

      See the comment for the other federal institutions.

      f) VIA Rail will cease to operate in the province of Quebec.

      See the comment for the other federal institutions.

      g) All passports will cease to have any value. as they are Canada passports.

      They will still be canadian passports, and they will still be valid for their holders who will still be canadian citizens as well as Québec citizens.

      Oh, wait, I forgot the most important result — Canadian money will be worthless in the province of Quebec.

      Just like US dollars have no value in Cuba???

      And that’s just for starters.

      Awwww, that’s too bad, I started to really enjoy debunking all that nonsense…

      Reply
  13. Lorne

    if Quebec separates it will become a zenophobic entity where non-French are badly treated and the economy will suffer .

    Reply
  14. Eddy M.

    To Johh:

    As would a half-drunk Eddy Murphy say during his Delirious stand-by video comedy:

    “It’s my house! And If you don’t like, you can get the f&@k out!”

    Reply
  15. lop

    I heard a rumour, many many years ago, that if Quebec does separate, they are only entitled to the lands they held back in .. 1759? 1812?.. Something to the effect of 13km north & 13km south of the St. Lawrence river.. The original ‘lower canada’ territory..

    And, if Quebec does separate, what is stopping the aboriginal population also holding a refuerndum to join back to Canada? (meaning pretty much the entire north would revert back to Canadian soil..)

    Reply
  16. mike

    In case of separation Quebec will declare bankruptcy in max 10 years.
    In terms of language, the population will be forced to learn english to export/import goods outside Quebec.
    In terms of population there will be a huge migration to Canada.

    Reply
      1. mike

        Grece is in EU and Quebec in NA. Huge difference. If Greece is important for EU, Quebec is just a pain in the … for majority from ROC.

        Reply
  17. james w.

    I think Canada should hold a referendum and the other provinces decide whether to kick Quebec out of the country…

    Reply
  18. Terry Segal

    I am very concerned about Bill 101 being extended to CEGEPS and adult educational institutions. This alone could result in the exodus of future students, teachers, and families who really don’t want to move or cannot financially afford to it. Does the English and allophone minority not have any rights anymore as English speaking Quebecers? Is there nothing we can do about this extreme movement toward francophonization? Will immigrants no only have choices as to what colleges or universities they want to attend?

    Sometimes I feel as if the English community is in the final stages of a linguisitc purge.

    Reply
    1. Patrick

      I am also concerned about that extension of Bill 101, which does not support kids that want to do a technique in CEGEP and reach the higher level of business as fast as possible without going to university. If they can’t do it in english by their own will they will eventually lack languages skills and their future career may suffer from it.

      For the rest, welcome to our world. We’ve been fighting to keep our language for years, thus the protective laws. We’re surrounded by 300+Millions of english speaking people. You are surrounded by 7M french speaking people among which a portion don’t really care about their language and will speak english between them just because it makes them look/sound cool.

      Reply
      1. Terry Segal

        Hi,

        Is there any group we can join to fight for our rights especially against Bill 101 extending its tentacles to higher levels? I can’t believe we are going to allow ourselves to become an oppressed minority without any choice of language.

        Reply
        1. Marc

          “Oppressed” has become such a weasel word. Look up its meaning before you make nonsensical blabber.

          And the short answer to your question: No.

          Reply
        2. Patrick

          Citing Vincent Marissal (La Presse):

          ”Cette loi de Mme Marois, si elle est adoptée, s’en va directement à la Cour suprême, qui, indubitablement, la déclarera illégale en vertu de l’article 3 de la Charte (Tout citoyen canadien a le droit de vote et est admissible aux élections législatives fédérales ou provinciales), article qui n’est pas assujetti à la clause dérogatoire.

          «Ce projet va directement à l’encontre de droits fondamentaux garantis par la Charte, dont l’article 15 contre la discrimination et l’article 3 sur le droit de vote», souligne Frédéric Bérard, professeur de droit constitutionnel à l’Université de Montréal.”

          They probably can’t go as far as they want, but they will propose it to satisfy the Franco community.

          Reply
          1. Caroline

            Actually that specific law involve more Francophones and Allophones than Anglophones. I don’t agree with this law but I see where they come from with it. Basically, it would restrict or incite Allophones and Francophones to go to French Cegeps because they think that Francophones going to an english Cegep will most likely end up in english universities and then mostly use english in the workplace. Anglos can go to English Cegep without problem.

            Anglophones need to relax about Bill 101. It barely affects anglophones in their day to day routines anyway. It is more on how things are displayed (publicity, commerce signs) than what language you speak. Plus, it is naive to think that one day the evil government will FORCE you to speak French. It’s just a question of protecting our language and by the same mean our culture.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              Anglos can go to English Cegep without problem.

              Immigrant anglos can’t.

              It barely affects anglophones in their day to day routines anyway. It is more on how things are displayed (publicity, commerce signs) than what language you speak. Plus, it is naive to think that one day the evil government will FORCE you to speak French. It’s just a question of protecting our language and by the same mean our culture.

              You just said it’s about “what language you speak”. The government is trying to force people to speak a certain language, at least in the workplace, as well as increasingly in any dealing with the government itself. I’m not saying that’s an evil policy, but it is an attempt to enforce a language on people who don’t speak it as their mother tongue.

              Reply
  19. Frenchy

    @Fagstein
    “immigrant Anglo can’t”
    This is exactly what law 101 is all about: make sure we don’t become a minority in our own land, preventing that by imposing french schools to all immigrants, including the english speaking ones.
    Actualy, this is what Ontario was trying to do in 1912 with bylaw 17 that prevented teaching in french in Ontario. That was quite successfull in assimilating the french minority. If it was not for bylaw 17, most of eastern Ontario and the northern mining district would all be french speaking. We had that trick played on us before in Ontario and Manitoba; don’t blame us if we don’t trust english speaking people. So we made a law while we are still a majority and we will remain a majority as long as law 101 exist.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      don’t blame us if we don’t trust english speaking people

      I’m not blaming anyone. But I don’t think the fact that something unjust happened 100 years ago in Ontario justifies something similar happening again the other way.

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        Had we have not passed law 101, right now we would be past the point of no-return on the assimilation/minorization route.

        Reply
      2. Frenchy

        I can’t really understand why you are so obstinate in not accepting the right of the french majority to get some respect for it’s language and it’s culture. It’s actually what differientiates Canada from the rest of North America and the rest of the word; this is what makes, canadians, us unique. Plus it is a great source of foreign income; did you know that french Québec culture bring millions in foreign revenues to Canada and it is not only Céline Dion and the Cirque du Soleil. ROC doesn’t have a culture of it’s own; it is simply a subsidiary of USA culture which it imports to the point of affecting the balance of payments of our country.

        Please, don’t screw things up. Just let us protect our language and our culture for the best of Canada.

        Your real surname is Faguy, isn’t it? What I find curious, is that the name Faguy first appeared in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste ward of Québec City in the early nineteen century, I know, that was 200 years ago, but this is not the point; the point is my genealogy research reveals that Faguy was the nick name of a guy named Louis Prud’homme who was of pure french descent as he originated from the Maine province of France. How did you became so entrenched against the progress of the french language? Where did things go wrong? Was it you, your father, your grand-father, your great-grand-father? Where did things derail? Or is it that you are trying to capitalize on the discomfort of the English minority with law 101?

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          I can’t really understand why you are so obstinate in not accepting the right of the french majority to get some respect for it’s language and it’s culture.

          By “get some respect for its language” you mean “prevent other people from using their language”? Or do you mean something else?

          did you know that french Québec culture bring millions in foreign revenues to Canada and it is not only Céline Dion and the Cirque du Soleil.

          What’s your source on this? I don’t doubt that some Quebec culture is exported abroad, but governments also spend a lot of money to support culture, particularly in Quebec. If you’re going to make an economic argument about culture, you’re probably going to lose.

          ROC doesn’t have a culture of it’s own; it is simply a subsidiary of USA culture which it imports to the point of affecting the balance of payments of our country.

          It’s that kind of insulting generalization that makes it hard to take you seriously. English Canadian culture is much more heavily influenced by American culture, that’s true, but to extrapolate that to say it “doesn’t have a culture” is ridiculous.

          Please, don’t screw things up. Just let us protect our language and our culture for the best of Canada.

          How?

          my genealogy research reveals that Faguy was the nick name of a guy named Louis Prud’homme who was of pure french descent as he originated from the Maine province of France.

          Yes, although this was 10 generations ago. I don’t see how it’s relevant to my opinions, unless you think opinions are hereditary.

          How did you became so entrenched against the progress of the french language?

          I’m not.

          Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

            By “get some respect for its language” you mean “prevent other people from using their language”? Or do you mean something else?

            We mean something else, because no person is prevented from using his language.

            I’m not.

            Well, why do you howl when we want to strengthen law 101 to protect french more?

            Reply
          2. Frenchy

            «By “get some respect for its language” you mean “prevent other people from using their language”? Or do you mean something else?»

            I am not preventing anybody to use their own language. If you want to speak Mandarin, Italian, English, you name it; you can do it as much as you want. What law 101 does, is promote the use of French in education, in the work place and in commerce. Like I told you before, we don’t trust English speaking people, we got burned before, in Ontario, in Manitoba, in Acadia, in Louisiania so we designed law 101 to protect our language and our culture. If you could not use English, you would be without a job and this blog would not exist. Isn’t the Montréal Gazette, where you work, an English newspaper? If law 101 was that bad and the French speaking people of Québec were so racist, like some members of the Québec English community are saying, and with what you are writing about French Quebecers, you would be living in a concentration camp for quite a while by now.

            «What’s your source on this? I don’t doubt that some Quebec culture is exported abroad, but governments also spend a lot of money to support culture, particularly in Quebec. If you’re going to make an economic argument about culture, you’re probably going to lose.»

            Try this Web page: http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/donstat/econm_finnc/conjn_econm/compt_econm/tabsom0512inter.htm you will learn that the Québec culture industry brings a revenue of 9,9 billion dollars a month. That’s a lot more than governments’ subsidies to culture.

            «It’s that kind of insulting generalization that makes it hard to take you seriously. English Canadian culture is much more heavily influenced by American culture, that’s true, but to extrapolate that to say it “doesn’t have a culture” is ridiculous.»

            Well, you just wrote it: English Canada culture is “heavily influenced by American culture”.

            Please, don’t screw things up. Just let us protect our language and our culture for the best of Canada.

            «How?»

            Stop complaining about law 101. It is nothing compared to Ontario’s bylaw 17 or ignoring the Manitoba constitution for a hundred years.

            «Yes, although this was 10 generations ago. I don’t see how it’s relevant to my opinions, unless you think opinions are hereditary.»

            It is very relevant: you or somebody in your ancestry got assimilated by the Québec English minority. If we let that go by, all French Quebecers will be assimilated by the Québec English minority in no time. And there will be no difference between Canada and the USA. In that situation, why not merge? There would be no reason to remain independant from the USA. Maybe we could meet in the next stupid war the USA do against a country that disagree with their values after we get drafted.

            How did you became so entrenched against the progress of the french language?

            «I’m not.»

            If you were not, you would not make blog posts and comments like I am reading here.

            Reply
      3. Patrick

        ”But I don’t think the fact that something unjust happened 100 years ago in Ontario justifies something similar happening again the other way.”

        So you don’t think that we should learn from history and just let us vanish from the surface of the earth? It may look unjust to you, but think about the french speaking people and their families that got assimiled back in the days… It is certainly not just to let the same thing happen nowadays, but it is definitely worth the fight to say alive…

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          So you don’t think that we should learn from history and just let us vanish from the surface of the earth?

          Is there some mass-vanishing outbreak affecting francophone Quebec that I’m unaware of?

          I’m not arguing that Quebec should do nothing to protect the French language. I’m arguing that when you have a population of 7 million where more than 90% speak a language, it’s hard to imagine that language is in imminent danger of extinction.

          Reply
          1. Patrick

            ”Is there some mass-vanishing outbreak affecting francophone Quebec that I’m unaware of?”

            Not that I know of. But there could have been one if Bill 101 hasn’t been voted.

            ”I’m not arguing that Quebec should do nothing to protect the French language. I’m arguing that when you have a population of 7 million where more than 90% speak a language, it’s hard to imagine that language is in imminent danger of extinction.”

            Then you are arguing that we should protect our language. You’re right. French is not in danger in Quebec. But add the Canadian population and it’s a new game from now. Add the American population, then we’re fucked! Thikn about it this way instaed of limiting yourself to the Quebec population. 7M french-speaking population surrounded by 300M+ english-speaking folks from all over the continent. Bill 101 IS important. Put yourself in this situation and tell me if you wouldn’t feel endangered, if you would’nt fear that the future generations lose the english language. Well, that ain’t going to happen. Not for you. But for us, it is still a probability. Consider the amount of french-speaking people all over the planet and compare it to english.

            Having the Bill is a first barrier against assimilation and having our country is a double safety measure to counter that possible assimilation. I’m not saying it could happen in 5-10 years, I’m just saying that if we can protect our culture and language and live on, then we would have accomplished something. Cause when I’m gonna be an old man, I’m gonna be proud that my grand (and grand-grand) children still speak french and I’m gonna be proud that we have done everything to prevent french from being a dialect spoken by only a small group of the population.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              Put yourself in this situation and tell me if you wouldn’t feel endangered, if you would’nt fear that the future generations lose the english language. Well, that ain’t going to happen.

              There are some Americans who would disagree with you. But yeah, it’s hard for me to put myself in that situation because English isn’t going anywhere.

              Consider the amount of french-speaking people all over the planet and compare it to english.

              In terms of native speakers, English is No. 3 (365 million) and French is No. 18 (74 million). The difference is less when counting total speakers of the languages, according to one estimate.

              Reply
          2. Frenchy

            Well, you are a perfect exemple of assimilation. Even if your ancestors spoke french when they landed in Québec City, you consider yourself part of the English speaking minority. You or one of your ancestors got assimilated… French is not in emminent danger of extinction in Québec as long as law 101 is in force; after that, god knows.

            Reply
  20. Marc

    Immigrant anglos can’t.

    And why should they? When you immigrate to Greece, you go to school in Greek. Period.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      When you immigrate to Greece, you go to school in Greek. Period.

      I’m not familiar with the Greek education system. But if Greece offered English public schools, wouldn’t it be a bit silly not to allow an anglophone to attend it?

      Reply
      1. Frenchy

        Greece does not offer English public schools as the official language of Greece is Greek.

        In Québec, the official language is French and the constitution of 1867, I know that was more than one hundred years ago but it is still in force, garantee protestant schools for the English minority. It does not mention English schools. The English school system is a favor made to the English minority as we could offer a French protestant school system and still be legal. Don’t push your luck…

        The Manitoba constitution garantee French schools and a bilingual governement. That came to be only after somebody who had a traffic violation ticket went to court because the ticket was in English only. That went right up to the supreme court and Manitoba had to hire an army of translators to translate all it’s laws, bylaws, forms, and had to setup a French school system. The following Wikipedia article documents fairly well the situation: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-manitobain Note that the supreme court judgement was in 1978, not very long before you were born… I know, before your time, but not by much.

        The case of Ontario is a bit different: at first, it did not had any laws, bylaws or rules about language, it did not need any as the majority of the population was descendants of the British Empire Loyalists who came to Canada from New England, after the American revolution, to cash in on the perks offered by the British Crown. But like it is usual with that province, money was the driving force: in the early 20th century Ontario needed cheap labor for the mines, the new industrial economy and cash crops (mainly tobacco). They turned to an easily accessible work force: French Québec. At first, that was fine. But then those yong men got married and started to have children. The french clergy followed them and founded French parrishes and schools. Then some politician in Queen’s Park did some arithmetic (some of them can count) and realised that with the rate of growth of the Quebec French population of the time, Ontario would be submerged in a sea of francophones in no time. That was in 1912 and Education bylaw 17 was born. I know that was a hundred years ago but it was in force until 1927 when it was abandonned because Ontario needed the help of the Québec Governement to make pressure on the federal government. This Wikipedia article covers bylaw 17: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A8glement_17 Didn’t you say that Quebecers never cared about French minorities in ROC? Bylaw 17 was abandonned in 1927, but it took many years before French schools made a come back and their survival is not assured every where. Maybe the English minority of Quebec could make an alliance with the French minority of Ontario to mutually help themselves in supporting their school systems and make pressure on all level of government (school boards, cities, province and federal) to protect the integrity and the development of their respective school systems to avoid horrors like bylaw 17 in the future. Solidarity and love marches could be an idea, like the one in Dominion Square before the 1995 referendum. Law 101 is nothing like bylaw 17, it does not take the English schools away from the the English minority, it just say that if you are not part of the Québec English minority, you are not aloud in English school as these schools are for the exclusive use of the English minority, a priviledge granted onto them by the Quebec government.

        New-Brunswick is the only canadian province that proclaimed itself bilingual, That was in 1981, about when you were born… This Wikipedia article covers that: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loi_reconnaissant_l%27%C3%A9galit%C3%A9_des_deux_communaut%C3%A9s_linguistiques_officielles_au_Nouveau-Brunswick (Sorry, it is in French; if you can’t read French, I am certain somebody can fix you up).

        I will leave it up to you to research other canadian provinces. You will find some surprises…

        Hope this quick canadian history class shed some light on the “why” of some canadian politics of today. This your time I am talking about now.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          The English school system is a favor made to the English minority as we could offer a French protestant school system and still be legal. Don’t push your luck…

          So in other words an independent Quebec would have no problem eliminating English public schools?

          Didn’t you say that Quebecers never cared about French minorities in ROC?

          Actually it’s that many Quebec sovereignists (and politicians) don’t care enough about French minorities in the rest of Canada.

          Your historical examples of Ontario and Manitoba are interesting, though I don’t see why they’re relevant, any more than the actions of European immigrants of the 16th century are relevant today.

          The situation of French minorities in the rest of Canada is, indeed, a concern of mine. But Bill 101 isn’t going to help them.

          Reply
          1. Frenchy

            «So in other words an independent Quebec would have no problem eliminating English public schools?»

            We don’t need to be independant to take away the English schools from the English minority. Like I wrote, the Canadian Constitution require that the Québec Government provides the English minority with protestant schools; it does not mention that they must be English. Like I wrote: don’t push your luck, maybe we could change our mind and replace the English schools with French protestant schools right now while we are in Canada and still be legal. To answer your question: yes in an independant Québec, the English minority could keep their English schools if they would just stop propagating such stupidities.

            «Actually it’s that many Quebec sovereignists (and politicians) don’t care enough about French minorities in the rest of Canada.»

            Most of them do care, it’s just that this theme does not bring votes on election day.

            «Your historical examples of Ontario and Manitoba are interesting, though I don’t see why they’re relevant, any more than the actions of European immigrants of the 16th century are relevant today.»

            Evetything in history is relevant. We live with the errors and good deeds of our ancestors. It’s called collective memory. Maybe you should ask your dad or your grand-father when the Faguys got assimilated. It was certainly not in the 16th century as your ancestor, Louis Prud’homme came to Canada in the 18th century… So, it’s not that old.

            «The situation of French minorities in the rest of Canada is, indeed, a concern of mine. But Bill 101 isn’t going to help them.»

            Bill 101 will help them as long as it can boost French culture in Québec and make pressure on the grovernments of the other provinces. In all the exemples I gave you, other provincial governments stopped boycotting French after law 101. That was when bilingual road sings appeared on Eastern Ontario highways. That was when the Ontario government started to use bilingual forms. That was when the Supreme Court judgement on Manitoba bilingual status fell. That was when New-Brunswick proclaimed itself a bilingual province. Alberta, Saskatchewan, BC, New-Foundland and Labrador all have French schools now. Abandon law 101 and a good portion of all that will disapear very quickly… They are just saying “Hey guys, look you don’t need bill 101″. Once it’s gone, they don’t need to say it anymore. While doing that they put pressure on the Québec government that the English schools remain available to the Québec English minority. They are saying: “Hey look guys, we now have French schools, we are good boys”. We would look like a bunch of bullies if we were to take away the English schools while all the other provinces are opening French schools, don’t we? Beleive it or not, law 101 is actually good for protecting the English school system in Québec.

            Reply
        2. Justin

          Paragraphs (1) to (4) of section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867, have not applied to Québec since the adoption of Constitution Amendment, 1997 (Québec). This was the legal basis for the reorganization of the Québec school system on linguistic lines in 1999. Federal constitutional guarantees for minority Catholic/Protestant educational systems still exist in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_school

          The constitutional legislation for schools in Québec since 1977 has been, to all intents and purposes, the Charter of the French Language (“bill 101″). The Charter has been successful in limiting the assimilation of new immigrants to English, a condition sine qua non of maintaining a francophone majority in Québec in the long term, given the birth rate of the past 50 years. The vital importance of the Charter explains why it is defended with such force. Like any good constitution, it sets down the incontrovertible minimum and avoids overreaching. I doubt that discussions about restricting English-language higher education (cégep) are anything more than election posturing, and trust that good sense will prevail, whoever forms the next government.

          Reply
      2. Patrick

        ”wouldn’t it be a bit silly not to allow an anglophone to attend it?”

        It seems silly at first, but if you think about it, if the english language was about to overcome the greek language…wouldn’t it seem fair from the Greek to protect their roots?

        Reply
  21. Dave

    I’m volunteering at the PQ office. I told them I’m a new resident and my French is weak. They
    gladly accepted my offer. After living in English Canada with its high prices arrogance and shollowness
    American type attitude I’m glad to break away. I had too many bad experience out west.
    Being around Concordia and the bars is like Toronto

    Reply

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