7 things francophone media pundits say (or imply) Jay Baruchel said or thought that he didn’t

It was a simple Q&A as a sidebar to a Saturday feature about Montreal actor Jay Baruchel, but the recounting of Baruchel’s reasons for leaving Montreal for Toronto has prompted a lot of debate in Quebec, particularly among the francophone media. We’re barely back at work on Monday and already five francophone pundits have written to condemn Baruchel’s statements, at least one of whom is demanding apologies, and another is diagnosing a mental disorder.

Nevermind that his reasons for moving are clearly more about economics (English movies are made in Toronto, not Montreal) than about politics, or that he’s hardly the first person in history to find Quebec identity politics to be tiresome and annoying. Jay Baruchel has attacked Quebec, and his personal feelings about his life here are apparently incorrect.

It’s notable that none of these reaction pieces actually interviews Baruchel to expand on his 300 words of commentary about Quebec politics. And perhaps for that reason, a lot of the stories about his comments exaggerate his comments, make inferences about his thoughts that are not supported by evidence, or just plain shove so many words into his mouth I’m worried he’s going to choke.

Here’s the pundit count so far:

And here are seven opinions these pundits are outraged over Baruchel having that the story doesn’t say he actually has.

What he’s accused of saying: Quebec is like Syria (Bock-Côté, Durocher, Longpré, Petrowski, Ravary)

What he actually said: N.D.G. “happens to be located in a pretty difficult part of the world.”

It’s perfectly legitimate to criticize Baruchel for lacking some perspective, to point out that there are far more difficult parts of the world than Quebec. But Baruchel never compares Quebec to a third-world country or to war zones like Syria. He merely says it’s difficult.

What he’s accused of saying: Quebec sovereignists are stupid (Durocher, Ravary)

What he actually said: (In referring to the referendum debate) “Aside from that silly stuff, which I wish would just go away but it won’t…”

I guess French doesn’t have the proper translation for “silly”, but there’s a difference between calling an issue silly and saying the people talking about it are stupid.

I disagree with Baruchel. I think the Quebec sovereignty debate is an important one. But I can also sympathize with the argument that we’ve had two referendums already and there’s no serious move to have another one because it’s clear the province doesn’t want it.

What he’s accused of saying: Francophones celebrating their culture and defending their language gives him a headache (Bock-Côté, Durocher)

What he actually said: It’s the “kind of poisonous ethnic dialogue, which really, really left a sour taste in my mouth. It didn’t feel like the place that Mom wanted me to live in.”

Baruchel makes it clear he likes the diversity of language in Montreal. But it’s the “editorial subject matter in Quebec” and the political debate over language that is making his head hurt. He also wants to be able to go outside and speak in English without it becoming “a loaded or political deed of any kind.”

What he’s accused of saying: Montreal has been taken hostage by sovereignists who refuse to die (Bock-Côté)

What he actually said: Nothing that under even the most ridiculous of interpretations could come close to saying this.

What he’s accused of saying: He’s afraid the Charter of Values will return (Bock-Côté, Durocher)

What he actually said: It’s the “poisonous ethnic dialogue”, not the law, that was the problem.

The Charter isn’t coming back, at least not in the form presented by the PQ. But the people who defended it are still here. The debate hasn’t disappeared.

What he’s accused of saying: French should not be the language of power in Quebec (Bock-Côté)

What he actually said: (In Toronto) “when I go outside and speak English, it’s not a loaded or political deed of any kind.”

There’s a difference between what language someone speaks on the street and what language is spoken in the National Assembly.

What he’s accused of saying: He was traumatized by the 2012 election because the PQ won it (Longpré)

What he actually said: “The last election was very traumatic in a way.”

Longpré assumes Baruchel is either wrong or being misquoted, and provides no evidence for why her interpretation, based on a translation of an article, is more correct than the original article it’s based on.

Baruchel’s comments are controversial even if anglos quitting Quebec for both political and economic reasons has been a cliché for decades. And let’s have a difference of opinion with him over those reasons. But let’s not be outraged about things that were not said.

UPDATE (June 4): Unsurprisingly, some of the columnists mentioned here (Durocher in particular) challenge my assertion that they’re putting words into Baruchel’s mouth by saying they’re not quoting him saying these things.

To be clear, I’m not accusing anyone of making up direct quotes. But it’s clear from the texts they write that they’re attributing opinions to Baruchel that he doesn’t actually express. When Durocher writes “Indépendance = idiot” in a headline, one reasonably infers not that this is her opinion, but that she thinks this is Baruchel’s. When Bock-Côté writes “la défense du français, c’est super vilain”, it’s clear he’s sarcastically mocking what he believes is Baruchel’s opinion. And when just about everyone mentions Syria, it’s clear they’re challenging a comparison they don’t believe is fair.

We can play semantic battles over what precisely was quoted or alleged here, but the implications of these columns and blog posts are clear, and what matters is what conclusions a reasonable reader would come to after reading them.

I’ve added the words “or imply” to the title of this post for added clarity, but I still believe these columnists are challenging opinions they have projected onto Baruchel that he didn’t express.

34 thoughts on “7 things francophone media pundits say (or imply) Jay Baruchel said or thought that he didn’t

  1. Lorne

    The French writers just cannot take the truth from someone who used to live here and felt he had to move.

    Reply
  2. Lise Ravary

    Come on Fagstein, you can read better than this. I never wrote that he compared Quebec to Syria and I never wrote that he called sovereigntists stupid. In fact, on both counts, you and I agree. I’m not Lise Durocher-Bock-Côté-Longpré.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I never wrote that he compared Quebec to Syria

      “Une partie difficile du monde? Et la Syrie? Et l’Iraq?”

      It’s not a direct statement, but the implication is clear, that Baruchel is describing Quebec in a way that should be used to describe Syria. It’s noteworthy that Baruchel never mentions Syria but all the Journal stories linked to above mention it.

      I never wrote that he called sovereigntists stupid

      “Les Écossais sont stupides? Les Catalans aussi?”

      Why ask these questions if you’re not asserting that he’s directly or indirectly calling Quebec nationalists stupid?

      Reply
      1. John

        I’m afraid that after seeing Lise Ravary retract an article she wrote about PKP last month, only hours after she hit the publish button, that she is no longer a journalist I consider to be in good standing.

        She’s made it pretty clear that PKP is holding her strings, which stings since I was a fan of her work before her boss has a vested political interest in what comes out of her pen.

        Reply
  3. Pefder Magfrok

    Perhaps the JdeM commentariat would like to explain to me why my 17 cousins have all moved out of Quebec?

    Reply
  4. Dilbert

    ” I think the Quebec sovereignty debate is an important one. But I can also sympathize with the argument that we’ve had two referendums already and there’s no serious move to have another one because it’s clear the province doesn’t want it.”

    I think that the continued discussion of sovereignty is like constantly picking at an unhealed scab. All you do is make it bleed, and possibly make the scarring worse. Worse yet, you prolong the healing time and raise concerns about infection and having to start over.

    No means no. Twice already. Many Canadians (aka, non-separatists) get tired of being pestered by the same question over and over again, like a little kid bugging their parents to get candy or a new toy. We are adults, no means no and to continue the discussion is particularly grating because it just never goes away.

    “There’s a difference between what language someone speaks on the street and what language is spoken in the National Assembly.”

    More and more, the right even to speak anything other than french on the street and in day to day life is getting limited. The slow but constant beating of the drums to sweep away or overwhelm any English (voice mail at the English school board, example) is a constant fact of life. The constant demands to tolerate just a little more loss of rights is truly annoying and meant mostly to make Canadian citizens uncomfortable living in their own country.

    “The Charter isn’t coming back, at least not in the form presented by the PQ. But the people who defended it are still here. The debate hasn’t disappeared.”

    The charter isn’t coming back right now because the PQ isn’t the government. Get PKP elected (entirely possible, with the media machine he controls, even through the blind trusts), and you can be sure that separation, charter of values, and attempts to entirely eliminate english will all be on the menu. Quebec lives with the constant fear (and the sad reality) that every decade we will get dragged back down the same rabbit hole.

    In the end, Jay Baruchel makes it clear: He loves NDG, he loves his “home town” as it were. However, he has also come to realize that he loves living somewhere that language and the related issues aren’t an issue at all. You don’t know how restricted you are until you can use the freedoms that you have been denied all your life. Speaking English (or any other language) in Toronto isn’t a crime. It isn’t a negative, it isn’t even an issue.

    The French media will never understand, and even if they do come to somewhat understand, they will dismiss it as some sort of evil plan from Ottawa. They seem to be purposely ignoring and demonizing anyone with the attachments to point out the problems of being the minority in Quebec.

    Reply
    1. Charlotte Jolicoeur

      ” However, he has also come to realize that he loves living somewhere that language and the related issues aren’t an issue at all. You don’t know how restricted you are until you can use the freedoms that you have been denied all your life. Speaking English (or any other language) in Toronto isn’t a crime. It isn’t a negative, it isn’t even an issue. ”

      I think the French would like the same thing. You and I weren’t probably alive when it happened, but the french faced the same struggle at the first portion of the 20th century. They would also like to live in the only place in north america where they can speak freely their language unabatedly. It’s not only about individual rights, it’s about the survival of a cultural group. I’m sure you never had to wonder ”will my grand-grand kids know my language and the stories and cultural traits that surrounds it? will that culture still exist in their lifetime?”. People who immigrated from Europe or South America or Asia or Africa can always go back to their origin country. Their culture will evolve without them but still be there. If I decide to immigrate, mine might not. France is not our country anymore, we evolved next to it, the same way britsh and american evolved differently. Wanting to live in a french society in North America shouldn’t be seen as a crime. It shouldn’t be negative to some people, or an issue. After all, all the rest of North America is english, so it’s not exactly like we’re standing on equal turfs.

      Jay Baruchel can say ”screw that” and go live in Toronto and let it go. I’m sincerely happy for him that he can go on with his career and turn a page on something he felt was a everyday struggle. After reading the newspaper articles in french, I agree that some of them are distorting the message to make it provocative. But you have to understand that the Journal de Montréal is like the Sun News Network. It publish sensationalist news for the ”undereducated”. It’s goes often into demagogy and provocation for the sake of readership. I seriously empathize with the hardships of english speaking quebecers because my long-term partner is an english quebecer too. I understand both sides. But as a french-speaking canadian, I cannot do what Jay Baruchel did, there’s no other big city I can turn to go to to forget about it. It’s either here or get assimilated to another culture elsewhere. Sure you might say there’s Quebec City, but that’s like saying to someone ”You can always go live in Ottawa! ”. If you don’t work for the government, it’s not exactly a great choice.

      But I agree that the sovereignity project is like a scab that refuse to heal. It has put divide between the french quebecers ”de souche” (of Nouvelle France descent) and the others who do not feel like they affiliate to that cultural group. It has given the right to a minority of idiots, from both sides, in and outside of Quebec, to spur hate and racism. It was a huge mistake! I guess that’s why we’re still in a bind.

      Let’s try to be better then our parents and fix that thing and live all together. It might take time. It might ask for people to involve themselves in politics and in their communities, maybe even learn a second language, but that’s how you do history. Baby-boomers will leave, generation X will pass by and soon it’ll be our turn to take the reigns of society and chose what to do with it, but only if we chose to act and empathize to everyone’s situation. For instance I’d really like to see more english speakers involve themselves in provincial politics on more then the language debate. I think the Conservatives gave us the chance to realize that we have more in common then we previously thought. The orange wave of NPD united us for the first time in years. Is it because the sense of US is always define by the sense of THEM ? Maybe. But I think it also open the door the a new chapter of our history.

      Reply
      1. Phil

        I agree with most of this, but saying people who read Le Journal de Montreal are “undereducated” is somewhat arrogant.

        Reply
  5. mark trafford

    I have known jay since he was 12 and got to work with him on the Quebec made series,”My Hometown”.I have never met someone more devoted to his hometown and home province,seeing him holding back from opportunities,elsewhere,because he wanted to be in Montreal.If those who are offended by his candor would read these comments with a clear mind,they will see they come from a broken heart,that feeling that know matter how much he adores his love,it will not love him back.Jay has been vocal about how much he has loved Montreal,as opposed to so many actors and performers of all origins,who silently slip away and never come home,even former politicians who rarely leave their properties in France to make a few speeches and then leave the province.If the people who insist on a bloodtest to determine admissibility to appreciate the province took a look around,maybe they would see that you dont have to be related to the original 30,000 people of Quebec,but the love in someones heart can be greater than the assumed love from heredity, and not make those of love and promote Monteal and Quebec,feel unwelcome.Montreal is one of the most special places in the world..lets celebrate that and not hamstring people because 200 years ago their ancestors were somewhere else!

    Reply
  6. Graham

    A little sensationalist with the title though Steve. Could have gone with “Montreal media pundits” (because those were your sources) or just plain “media pundits” instead. You don’t usually call out “Anglo” pundits, do you?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      A little sensationalist with the title though Steve. Could have gone with “Montreal media pundits”

      I don’t know where these pundits live offhand. But I think the francophone part isn’t a coincidence. I think a lot has been lost in translation here.

      Reply
      1. Graham

        “I don’t know where these pundits live offhand.”
        Where do they work? Who do they work for?

        “But I think the francophone part isn’t a coincidence.”
        Or proud Montrealers. If a francophone celebrity said the same as Jay, I’m sure the pundits opinions would also have been the same. I’m an anglo and my first reactions to some of Jays answers were the same as the “franco” pundits. “N.D.G. happens to be located in a pretty difficult part of the world.” Really?

        “I think a lot has been lost in translation here.”
        That’s an understatement.

        And remember the main reason why Jay left-“There’s a few contributing reasons, not the least of which is between the movie and my TV show, I was here as of September” -“I’m going to be here a s—load.”

        Reply
  7. Rahul

    Ms. Ravary,

    I’ve listened to you on CJAD and read your columns in JdM on occasion. I thought you were different than the “Durocher-Bock-Côté-Longpré” coterie, and among the few francophone journalists willing to take the high road when it came to the often tense relations between Quebec’s two (2) official language communities.

    So it came as a great disappointment that you chose to take a small sidebar interview from The Gazette and turn it into bashing session against Jay Baruchel and English-speaking Montreal. People leave Quebec all the time, at least 600k by my count since 1977. A lot has happened since Baruchel’s 2013 pronouncement of never leaving Montreal. He referenced separatism, anti-English (Bill 14) and anti-religious minority sentiment (Bill 60) – all of which were hot issues in the past two (2) years. He expressed an honest discomfort with these issues, as reflected by numerous polls when the PQ was in power. What’s wrong with that?

    Baruchel happens to identify with Montreal more than Quebec as a whole – like many of us Montrealers regardless of ethnicity and language. That’s his choice – nationalists constantly beat their chest about their “Quebec first” views and are heartily praised by your colleagues for them. Deux poids, deux mesures, n’est-ce pas Lise?

    As Steve noted, Baruchel is moving to Toronto for practical economic reasons. He is an English-speaking actor and director for Pete’s sake! We are not revisiting the Sun Life move of yesteryear, but to read the anglophobic comments on your Facebook page and others, you’d think that he had attacked each and every one of us! A serious journalist would be more accountable for the anglophobia that they were unleashing.

    Baruchel’s move is not an anti-French, anti-Quebec move. However, his “exit” interview does serve a purpose. It once again reveals the small-mindedness of ethnocentric nationalism, and the insecurity of those who criticize “les autres” for staying – as well as leaving – la Belle Province…

    Reply
  8. Steve

    Jeez! With stories like these, it’s no wonder that he left and no wonder the rest of the country continues to hate Quebec.

    Reply
  9. LoRo

    Rahul writes: “Baruchel’s move is not an anti-French, anti-Quebec move. However, his “exit” interview does serve a purpose. It once again reveals the small-mindedness of ethnocentric nationalism, and the insecurity of those who criticize “les autres” for staying – as well as leaving – la Belle Province…”

    I’m an NDG girl and I know exactly what Jay and Rahul mean. Taking inspiration from Rosa Parks I have decided that I will speak English to whoever I want and whenever I want and without apologizing.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Taking inspiration from Rosa Parks I have decided that I will speak English to whoever I want and whenever I want and without apologizing.

      I don’t think Rosa Parks’s message was to be an asshole to people who speak another language.

      Reply
  10. Mario D

    I just find it sad that those kind of accusations or harsh words always stem from the anglophone medias. If the french reporters were to use such a tone it would be seen as an outrageous insult towards the anglos . As we can all witness the replies from the french side is seeng as offensive comments when they actually are just answering the call…Mister Baruchel probably feels how a french canadian feels wherever he goes outside Quebec …

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I just find it sad that those kind of accusations or harsh words always stem from the anglophone medias.

      I find it sad that you think that’s true.

      Reply
    2. Rahul

      @Mario D: It’s the French Montreal media (mostly Mr. Péladeau’s JdM) that made a mountain out of a molehill. One guy, albeit one in the entertainment industry of some notoriety, leaves Montreal for Toronto and the idle bloggers of this world go apoplectic.

      When other Quebecers like Rachelle Lefevre, Karine Vanasse, Jessica Paré etc. leave for Hollywood or elsewhere to further their careers, nobody notices or complains or gives a damn. So why is it when one particular lifelong Montrealer does the same thing, the poison pens comes out?

      Couldn’t be because he identifies as an anglo, and tells us things about Quebec’s language and political woes that everybody already knows, could it?

      I’ll repeat what I wrote in an earlier comment addressed to Lise Ravary: Baruchel’s move is not an anti-French, anti-Quebec move. However, his “exit” interview does serve a purpose. It once again reveals the small-mindedness of ethnocentric nationalism, and the insecurity of those who criticize “les autres” for staying in – as well as leaving – la Belle Province…

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        When other Quebecers like Rachelle Lefevre, Karine Vanasse, Jessica Paré etc. leave for Hollywood or elsewhere to further their careers, nobody notices or complains or gives a damn. So why is it when one particular lifelong Montrealer does the same thing, the poison pens comes out?

        Probably because Lefevre, Vanasse and Paré didn’t take the opportunity to shit all over Quebec when they left.

        Reply
      2. Phil

        In regards to the “poison pen”: I think it had to do with his declaration of his supposed “undying love” for all things Quebec – which ultimately just turned out to be just undying love for NDG, nothing else.

        Reply
        1. Rahul

          @Phil: I don’t know Mr. Baruchel personally, but from his public pronouncements, he has always been upfront about his love of NDG and all things Montreal in general (e.g. Les Canadiens). His reasons for moving to Toronto are easy for any Montrealer regardless of mother tongue to understand.

          I don’t believe that Baruchel hates the ROQ (Rest of Quebec) or dismisses people in the other regions. In the Gazette interview, Baruchel simply reflected what for many of us – especially non-francophone Montrealers – is an undeniable reality: that Quebec is a province of (at least) two solitudes, and that people have a finite tolerance for state-sponsored discrimination of all forms.

          Regardless of how successful we may be professionally or otherwise…

          Reply
          1. Phil

            It isn’t “state sponsored discrimination” in English Canada, because French Canadians outside don’t have the clout to make even the kinds of demands Anglo Quebecers can make in Quebec. Laws banning french language education in the early 20th Century made sure of that. Yes, we have bilingualism, but this is something francophones outside Quebec always need to insist on. In Quebec, the french language has done well because of the law 101 (I think that’s the so-called “state sponsored” discrimination your talking about). There always seems to be this double-speak on the part of many anglos and allophones that goes a little something like this: ” I love Quebec and I love french, but french in Quebec are mostly racist and so is the law 101″ and also eventually you’ll hear “French is beautiful and can survive without any state protection or enforcement”. This is not going to appeal to most francophones, who they themselves really don’t feel they are being discriminatory for insisting on their language being the one of main public use, when they are a minority in Canada but a majority historically in the Province. I am know there will be many posters who will pull out the typical libertarian / N. American concept of “freedom” tropes, but the fact is that the english community has had access to its institutions and its language, and french has thrived. Notwithstanding the pressures of actual racist nationalists (there are certainly many), why would so many “angryphones” try to mess with that cocktail of social peace? Push back on the real ethnic nationalists if you must, but stop trying to make Quebec like “every other Province”. It never has been, and never will be.

            Reply
    1. Dilbert

      Ms Duroucher, I have a simple question for you:

      “Is Sophie Durocher worried about a certain video getting out?”

      See, the problem here is that I didn’t say ANYTHING, but I let the readers feel that there is possibly a video with you in it that you would be worried about. I could replace the video with “rumors of her drunken nights out” or “that people might think she’s racist” and accomplish the same thing. None of them are true, but the point is there.

      It’s like the old “When did you stop beating your wife?” question… just asking the question implies some thing that likely isn’t true, but creates the association between the person and the bad act.

      English and French are the same that way. It’s hard to create sensationlist blog posts without it!

      Reply
  11. Sophie Durocher

    Accuser des professionnels de mal citer Jay Baruchel ce n’est pas du tout la même chose que les accuser d’avoir mal interprété ses propos. C’est bien plus qu’une question de sémantique. 

    En modifiant le titre de votre post, vous reconnaissez par le fait même que vos accusations de “misquoting” étaient non fondées.

    En passant quand on clique sur votre entrée de blogue voici ce qui apparaît: http://blog.fagstein.com/2015/06/01/misquoting-jay-baruchel/

    Vous aurez beau le tourner dans tous les sens, vous m’avez accusé de faire une chose (mal citer Baruchel ou lui attribuer des citations qu’il n’a jamais dites) que je n’ai pas faite.

    J’attends toujours votre rétractation ou vos excuses.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Je pense que mon opinion a été bien exprimé dans le texte, et ça n’a pas changé. Je comprends que vous n’êtes pas d’accord, et j’ai ajouté deux mots dans le titre pour clarifier pour ceux qui ne veulent pas lire le texte au complet. Mais c’est clair pour moi que votre texte intime des opinions que M. Baruchel n’a pas exprimé.

      Reply
      1. Sophie Durocher

        Montaigne : « De même que notre esprit devient plus fort grâce à la communication avec les esprits vigoureux et raisonnables, de même on ne peut pas dire combien il perd et combien il s’abâtardit par le commerce continuel et la fréquentation que nous avons des esprits bas et maladifs. »

        Si vous ne comprenez rien et vous obstinez dans votre mauvaise foi, c’est ici que se termine notre conversation…

        Reply
        1. Dilbert

          I have to laugh. Rather than addressing the main point (that you have implied things that M. Baruchel did not say), you instead spend your time on the attack against Steve.

          How about just addressing the issues, instead of trying to distract everyone from the point?

          Reply
    2. Rahul

      @Sophie Durocher:

      Madame Durocher, je pense que la meilleure solution pour terminer cette séquence d’insultes maladroite et d’interviewer monsieur Baruchel vous-même. Par la suite, il sera facile de déterminer s’il est actuellement un Québecophobe, un francophobe, ou – d’après-moi – un autre jeune anglo parmi plusieurs jeunes anglos qui quitte le Québec pour des raisons tout à fait légitimes.

      L’acte de prendre le travail d’un autre média (autre langue ou pas) puis de l’interpréter et d’altérer à notre goût n’est pas très professionnel…

      Reply
  12. Phil

    As soon as Baruchel invokes the “political climate of Quebec” as a motive to leave, regardless of your position on said climate, it makes him fair game for comment. Nathalie Petrowski said it best – it was inevitable for him leave given his career. However, now that he’s made these comments, a lot of francophones who probably otherwise liked him, now have the impression he’s slightly anti French. Sorry Steve but I am afraid that’s unavoidable here.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      As soon as Baruchel invokes the “political climate of Quebec” as a motive to leave, regardless of your position on said climate, it makes him fair game for comment.

      I’m not arguing otherwise.

      Reply
  13. Alexandre

    I don’t think there was anything surprising or particularly insulting in what Jay said about Quebec. But it’s kind of tiresome to hear the same story again and again, Anglos leaving Quebec because of politics. Having spoken to many “exiles”, I doubt that politics was the determining factor. The main one is jobs. Then, they try to justify their departure by constructing a false narrative about politics and language. I guess this makes their life seem more meaningful. It’s kind of ironic that Jay made such comments AFTER the PQ was defeated… by one of the most Federalist (and anti-Charter) politicians in Quebec!!! Which confirms the false narrative theory. If the PQ wins, Jay leaves. If the PQ loses, Jay leaves. Where is the logic? Or is it that he is not comfortable with Quebec itself? I guess it’s more comforting for a native Anglo to live in a place where English is the dominant language. I can understand that. But then don’t go and make your story more heroic by making your departure some kind of political exile.

    Reply
    1. Rahul

      @Alexandre: There’s an old Cherokee Nation proverb which states, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes”…

      I’m sorry that you’re tired of persistent anglo whining, but there was and is great truth to Mr. Jay Baruchel’s reasons for moving to Toronto. His mistake was to air his dirty laundry in public, I guess. Then again, with over 600,000 Quebecers having left la belle province since 1977, can you explain the hysterical reaction in some ethno-nationalistic quarters?

      NEWS FLASH – language, politics and jobs in Quebec are inextricably linked. The evidence is irrefutable, and I’ll assume that you are curious enough to find it. If not, here’s the quick version: Anglophones are practically non-existent in the public civil service (especially provincial), and Bill 101 has ensured that the private sector – even in Montreal – hire “French” first, regardless of language fluency. You see, I too know many exiles and was (briefly) one myself. So your claim of the false narrative is, sorry to say, false…

      Another massive fallacy among many folks is that the Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ) election victory represents some kind of political nirvana for anglophones and allophones. True, many of us vote PLQ, but that’s because they are perceived as the least worst of Quebec’s political options. In fact, the Liberals are planning to bring in a watered down version of the PQ charter this fall, as well as more restrictions to English re. store sign descriptors in Bill 101.

      The logic of Baruchel’s move is that state-sponsored discrimination of the non-“québécois de
      souche” in Quebec remains a fact of life regardless of the party in power. Many of us just accept it, keep quiet, and go about our lives. There’s nothing heroic about Jay’s Montreal Gazette article two months ago, and I’m sure he did not want his departure to explode as a news story the way it did.

      In fact, it was French language journalists and bloggers (mostly from PKP’s JdM) who turned Baruchel’s move into a cause celebre. So, if you are going to complain or assign blame for igniting the language wars, perhaps you should direct your disgust at them…

      Reply

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