Anglos hate Quebec, says SSJB report condemning malicious generalizations of linguistic groups

Examples of francophobia on social media collected and published in a report by the SSJB.

Examples of “francophobia” on social media collected and published in a report by the SSJB.

I really don’t want to write this. I hate wading into language issues, because I know nobody’s mind is ever changed in those debates. And I hate giving attention to something so unworthy of it yet so desperate to get it.

But a manifesto published by a group assembled by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste that condemns “francophobia” by, among other things, anglophone media in Canada, is way off the mark, and predictable sarcastic responses by people like Don Macpherson will do little to enlighten anyone.

The thing is, there is Quebec-bashing out there, and attention does need to be paid to it. But a factually-incorrect manifesto that has the focus and self-criticism of a blog post comment thread will just lead the other solitude to conclude that the problem does not exist.

So let’s delve into the document that purports to give an update on “recent” examples of francophobia (Mordecai Richler is mentioned three times even though he’s been dead for 12 years).

Opening to the second page, you see that it’s loaded with footnotes that purport to show examples of statements, particularly in the English-language media, that are anti-Quebec.

But all you have to do is look at those footnotes to realize the statements in question aren’t aimed at French-speaking Canadians or residents of Quebec, but rather at its government. The headlines talk about “Marois” and the “Parti-Québécois”, not “Quebec” or “francophones.”

This is a common theme in this … I don’t know what to call it. A report? A study? It’s ridiculous to call it either of those things. It’s a rant that gives itself the appearance of a report. So I’ll just call it a document.

There seems to be a bizarre inability to separate political criticism of the Parti Québécois government on matters of language and cultural policy and discrimination against all French-speaking Canadians. I find this particularly hard to understand considering that nationalists in Quebec tend to take a more pro-Palestinian stand in the Middle East conflict, a side that is constantly forced to explain how political criticism of the Israeli government is not anti-Semitism.

Reading further into the document, you see that a lot of the examples used are not news stories, editorials or columns, but rather online comments at the bottom of stories posted to websites. Many examples are just taken from social media, entirely disconnected from journalism websites. Hell, they even go so far as to take pictures of bathroom graffiti to make their point.

Among some of the accusations in the document specifically about mainstream media, particularly anglo media in Montreal:

It condemns CJAD for — in the interests of clarity I’ll leave it untranslated — “banaliser la violence politique” for airing parts of an interview with Richard Henry Bain, the presumed election night shooter charged with murder and accused of attempting a political assassination. But the document doesn’t mention that French-language radio stations NRJ and Rouge FM (also owned by Astral Media at the time) also aired those same fragments of audio, which amounted to about 10 seconds total. The document also doesn’t mention that Claude Poirier of LCN also aired an interview with Bain, that Poirier’s interview was longer, and that it was live.

It condemns The Gazette for publishing a photo of Pauline Marois gesturing with her arm extended. It offers no context for this.

It condemns Aislin for apparently not being funny with a cartoon suggesting Pepe le Pew as the Bloc Québécois mascot.

It condemns comedian and CJAD personality Joey Elias for publishing a photo on Facebook of a metro attendant with a sign saying “au Québec, c’est en français que ça se passe!”, which it said he “falsely” interpreted as meaning that the person in the booth would refuse to serve people except in French.

It blames the entire Pastagate affair, including the resignation of the head of the Office québécois de la langue française, on anglo media, because they failed to realize that the original complaint was not about the word pasta. It does not mention that this fact was unknown to the media when the Pastagate scandal hit, that the scandal was condemned as much by francophone media as anglophone media, or that regardless of the nature of the complaint, what the OQLF told Buonanotte to do was to remove the word “pasta”.

But the biggest thing this document seems to condemn anglo media for is for condemning “tribalism”, discrimination and xenophobia in the Quebec government, whether it’s the language laws, the Charter of Quebec Values or any other beef that someone might have with the way Quebec’s laws are written.

In other words, condemning perceived discrimination is itself discriminatory.

Now, a lot of the language used to criticize Quebec is unacceptably over the top. Pauline Marois’s policies are not equivalent to 1930s Germany. There is no totalitarian government here. There is no secret plan to exterminate anglophones in Quebec. And there’s a good point to be made that anglophone Canadians outside of Quebec, who get their information about what goes on in this province from exaggerated criticism of its policies by newspaper columnists and editorial writers, have a wildly distorted view of our government and way of life.

But that point would need to be made by an essay that isn’t so desperate to find proof of a hypothesis it has already assumed to be true.

People say stupid stuff on social media

The most cringe-worthy statements, the ones that are truly francophobic and disgusting, are not published in newspapers or aired on TV and radio. They’re authored by the anonymous, pseudonymous or just plain stupid masses and passed around on the Internet.

Some are from news websites, and any reputable news organization should take them down. As someone who manages a news website myself, I know that there are certain stories that do not allow comments simply because we know in advance that no constructive discussion can come of them.

But a lot of the examples listed are from social media. Like the ludicrously offensive Facebook group “The Lac-Mégantic train disaster was hilarious,” which was rightly denounced by everyone who saw it with half a brain or half a heart.

Unfortunately, there’s little we can do as a society to prevent people from being stupid on the Internet. We thought maybe that limiting what can be posted anonymously and forcing (or at least encouraging) people to use their real names would bring up the level of discussion. But we clearly underestimated the power of stupidity.

But this isn’t a francophobia issue. It’s an issue of society at large. Desperate appeals for attention with shockingly heartless statements are not exclusive to anglophones. (Gab Roy, anyone?)

Every now and then someone posts a roundup of tweets that say disgusting things (they find them by searching Twitter for tweets saying those disgusting things). These tweets don’t come from celebrities or world leaders. They come from 15-year-old kids who just say stupid things to get attention. And we reward them by giving them exactly that.

It’s a problem. But it’s not one caused by language intolerance. Many of the social media comments comparing Pauline Marois to Hitler or saying she should have been shot were written in French by francophones. Suggesting that francophones are discriminating against themselves is as ridiculous as that “self-hating Jew” nonsense that I heard ascribed to Jews in favour of Palestinian rights at Concordia a decade ago.

And it goes both ways. Bernard Landry said that “If Le Devoir compared Stephen Harper to Hitler, I would cancel my subscription.” If the report he signed in support of makes no distinction between what media outlets publish and the user-generated comments that appear on their websites, then he should get on the phone. Because comments comparing Harper (or the Conservative governmentto Hitler (or Nazisare all over Le Devoir’s website.

Blind partisanship prevents action

What bothers me most about situations like this is that there’s a real problem, but the polarizing politicization of it prevents us from having a serious, rational discussion. There are newspaper columnists and media personalities and people in general in the rest of Canada who don’t understand Quebec and say some pretty ignorant things about this society. There are people all over the Internet who say stupid, horrible things because they’re too immature to understand the consequences of their actions.

But the SSJB and those who support it already have their minds made up: This is English Canada out to get Quebec and complete the colonization plan started centuries ago. And the anglo-rights crowd already have their minds made up too: The SSJB is wrong, end of discussion.

The truth is that, for reasonable anglophones in Quebec, slurs against francophones or the people of this province in general are as hurtful to us as they are to our friends in the other solitude. We too shake our heads at their ignorance, hoping that the impressionable masses choose to ignore them. And we too deplore the lack of services in French outside of Quebec — if anything, as linguistic minorities ourselves, we have a deeper understanding of the problems they face.

But criticism of Parti Québécois policy, combined with intentionally malicious things said by crazy people on the Internet, is not evidence that anglophone media hates Quebec.

And the “declaration” (supported by 101 personalities — GET IT?), which is more about defending Quebec language policy than fighting discrimination, and which engages in the exact same kind of generalizations of a linguistic group that it purports to condemn, will do nothing to accomplish the group’s goals of bringing the two solitudes together. Assuming, of course, that this is their goal.

When they’re ready to stop blaming English Canada for the statements of its political fringe or for political divisions intentionally prompted by the Parti Québécois government, when they’re ready to stop playing the victim, and when they’re willing to bridge the divide between this country’s two language groups instead of building more walls between them and communicating via press releases and manifestos, I suspect they will find a more receptive partner.

And when those anglophones in Quebec and elsewhere for whom the Parti Québécois government can do no good are ready to stop demonizing that party, its leader and its followers, they too will find a more open mind on the other side.

Racist anglo media isn’t the problem. The xenophobic Quebec government isn’t the problem. These are scapegoats used by both sides to distract from the real problem that is the source of francophobia, anglophobia, Islamophobia and all the other phobias.

Fear is caused by ignorance. And Ignorance is the real problem. Ignorance about Quebec, about the French language, about English Canada, about history, about basic human decency and about the facts.

The faster we realize this, the faster we can do something about it.

39 thoughts on “Anglos hate Quebec, says SSJB report condemning malicious generalizations of linguistic groups

  1. Michel

    My parents were both Francophone. Because my father’s work called on him to be transfered across the country (specifically Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia) my siblings were all educated in English because no French schools were available in the 50’s and early 60’s to them. When we moved back to Québec, they continued with English education while I, being only 2 years old, was sent to French school when the time came. I witnessed first hand what assimilation was like. In our house, my parents spoke French while my siblings spoke English. So I know what this debate can do. I have a foot in each camp. I see what the presence of English can do but I’m also very sympathetic to the Anglophone community. I consider myself a Francophone nationalist but I support the present language legislation that permits bilingual signs. I’ve been publicly called a traitor to my nation because of a letter I sent to the Gazette but it also pushes my buttons when the English media does sometimes have a tendency to fan the flames of intolerance by unfair generalizations. Do I support the SSJB’s position? I do not. I believe in free speech. I do however understand their frustration seeing as the English media also make statements out of context about issues regarding the French language and those who sensibly want to defend it. I hate this debate with a passion. As to the extremes on both sides of this debate, a pox on both their houses !!

    1. Pierre

      While I do understand your situation, having myself being born in Quebec, raised in the US and returned in time for High School. I had both English and french friends and thanks to the separatists among us I was treated as a “vendu” and alienated even by members of my family who still will not speak to me because I had the nerve to call an anglais a friend.

      I have since moved to BC and am very happy here. My grand kids go to French immersion school and we take part in a very active Franco community here. Virtually every ex-Quebecois hates even the mention of going back and with good reason! We, and English Canada especially, are just plain tired of the regular stream of BS coming from Quebec. The country has been bending over to kiss Quebec’s butt for decades and they still have the gall to bitch about “francophobia”? Are they kidding??? Really??? Aw, come on…really??

      Canadians love the idea of having a country that stretches from sea to sea to sea but we are getting very tired of living under the “oh we have 47.65772% in favour of making Quebec independent” and then waiting for handout that will no doubt come. Quebec gets over 8 billion a year from us and still you complain? How is this sane?

      You know what? Go. Just go. Of course we’ll keep our currency, passports, trade agreements, equalization payments, etc. etc. etc. You will of course take your share of the national debt with you (about 200 Billion for you) plus we’ll cut you a great deal on all Federal property and equipment including military hardware. And of course the natives up north may want to stay in Canada too, inconvenient, I’m sure.

      Sorry to sound like I’m specifically unloading on you but hey, when I see, ” I consider myself a Francophone nationalist”, I know who I am speaking to. And so if that makes me a Francophobe, as if that’s even a term with saying with a straight face, then so be it. I wear the handle with fierte

      Vive le Canada, meme sans le Quebec!

      1. Michel

        Easy for a certain someone from B.C. to play armchair quarterback from across the country. Francophone nationalist may be a term that makes you cringe but those of us who actually live here manage with that term just fine. My definition is a Francophone who while defending the French language and culture, and believing in strong provincial rights and powers, believes that it is possible to live within a federated Canada. And as opposed to you, I don’t make generalizations. If I walk to the corner from where I live, I can still see the tape they put over the word “street” on the sign. I recognize Anglophones and Allophones here as full share Québécois but when I go to certain department stores and some clerks barely speak French, this is unacceptable. How long would a almost unilingual French clerk last in Vancouver?

  2. Taylor

    This is quite possibly the best analysis and debunking of the bogus francophobia argument made by extremist ultra-nationalists.

    I couldn’t possibly have put it better myself. Perfect. Simply perfect.

  3. Dilbert

    “There is no secret plan to exterminate anglophones in Quebec”

    You are correct, but a statement like that comes with a major * at the end, because extermination in the sense of killing may not be on the agenda, but crowding out and removing has been in vogue since the early 70s.

    Making Quebec an uncomfortable place for Anglos is a key part of the general atmosphere. I have witnessed a generation of Quebec Anglos born in the 60s, educated in the 70s and 80s, who have almost without exception all hit the road and heading ANYWHERE ELSE BUT HERE. They no longer feel as welcome or as comfortable in the place they were born. My facebook friends, many of them classmates and work mates from those times are now all over the world, and with only one or two exceptions, no longer in Quebec. The exceptions are constantly looking for a way out. While there was no intention to exterminate the Anglos, there has certainly be a constant, almost endless campaign to make the lives of Anglos in Quebec less bareable, and also to make it less desirable for Anglos from outside of Quebec to relocate, especially if they are parents of school age children.

    The reality of Canada is that a person living in Hawksbury has more rights than a person living Grenville, a child born on the Quebec site is pretty much stamped at birth and their rights limited until they leave the province – and it applies to both Anglos and Francophones as well. Francophones cannot access english schools, and Anglo who come from outside of Quebec are forced to have their children educated in French. Anglo institutions do exist within Quebec, but it sometimes feels more like a specially labeled water fountain, a grudging permission and not a right in and of itself.

    I am Quebec born and raised, I can politely cuss in multiple languages and appreciate the cultural differences. Yet, I cannot ever accept that culture is something that has to be jammed down your throat and imposed on you through the law. The nature of limiting the rights of one group to make the other feel better or more powerful isn’t a solution. It’s actually sort of like blocking the roads to make public transit look better. You didn’t improve anything, you just made things worse for many.

    Equality for all would be a wonderful thing. It’s not happening in Quebec, and the recent “charter” goes to show the nature of “we are right, you are wrong, you must do it our way” that shows little tolerance and a true failure to understand equality or for that matter moving things forward by having a better way. Instead, people are legally forced to kowtow to the whims of others, against the very basic concepts of freedom itself.

    So when someone (in poor taste, I must say) stuffs a Hitler stache onto Marois or dares to point out the stupidity of the situation, of course the defenders of Francophony get uppity and kick and yell. Some of the complaining on both sides is in poor taste, but in the end, the yelps from the non-Franco community has it’s basis in the simply reality of a lack of equality.

    I made my choice. My son, born in Montreal, will not be educated there, and instead is being educated (along with myself, funny enough) on the other side of the world, where dozens of different cultures live together in relative harmony, where I hear conversations on a daily basis occur in any of a dozen or so languages and nobody complains, where announcements on the subways are made in three different languages, and so on. There is never absolute equality for all, but there is tolerance and understanding for the most part, so it isn’t just distance that makes this a world away from Montreal and Quebec.

    1. Kevin

      “Anglo who come from outside of Quebec are forced to have their children educated in French”
      This is NOT TRUE.
      Not true at all.
      It was the case in the original Bill 101 was passed in 1977, but Canada’s Constitution, passed a mere five years later, overruled it and allows the education in English of any child whose parents attended English school anywhere in Canada.

  4. Marc

    Pauline Marois’s policies are not equivalent to 1930s Germany.

    Good luck convincing many of the angryphones of that; especially on Facebook.

    Another thing, there in fact is such a thing as hatred towards francophones. Doesn’t matter what Bill Brownstein & co. will have you believe; it is real. Go to Brockville, ON and you’ll experience it. I did as recently as 3 years ago.

  5. Lorne

    They are making a generalization themselves by saying all anglos hate Quebec based on the actions of a relatively small portion of the Anglo population. In terms of CJAD and The Gazette they are expressing views which are reasonable criticisms and not hatred of Quebec. The social media people are the usual kind that express views that they don’t have to defend because of the anonymity of the medium.

  6. cheese

    Brilliant analysis, thanks for providing an even hand in this. When I read about things like this SSJB rant it really depresses me, this is supposed to be a tolerant place. I hope your post is widely distributed.

  7. François Gervais

    Bah, en fait, les anglophones aiment les Québécois qui se sentent inférieur aux anglophones, qui ont honte de leur langue et qui acceptent l’unilinguisme anglophone que le 8% de la population du Québec veut imposer au 80%.

    Les anglophones n’acceptent pas leur statut de minorité et n’acceptent pas de faire le moindre effort pour apprendre d’autre langue. Vous avez juste à constater partout où les anglophones passent, ils finissent toujours par exiger l’exclusivité de l’anglais et ici ne fera pas exception.

    Il a fallu créer une loi pour que la minorité du Québec finisse par daigner nous respecter avec leur maigre 8%. Il n’y a rien à faire avec ces têtes carrées. Tant qu’ils ne seront pas totalement obligés de le faire, ils ne nous respecteront jamais et exigeront toujours l’unilinguisme anglophone.

    1. Michel

      Les généralisations ne font pas avancer le débat. La majorité des anglophones ici sont à l’aise de vivre en français. C’est l’autre 25% qui causent des problèmes. Ils ont leur équivalent du côté français, ceux qui n’accepteront rien de plus qu’un Québec 100% français avec aucune déviation possible. Et bien François, en 2013, la réalité veut que l’on soit ouvert sur le monde et non renfermé sur soi même. Il est possible de préserver nos droits, notre langue et notre culture sans marcher sur la tête des autres pour le faire. En d’autres mots, on est peut-être quelque chose comme un grand peuple.

    2. Dilbert

      “Bah, en fait, les anglophones aiment les Québécois qui se sentent inférieur aux anglophones, qui ont honte de leur langue et qui acceptent l’unilinguisme anglophone que le 8% de la population du Québec veut imposer au 80%.”

      Pardon my english, but the 1960’s called and they want your empty stereotypes back.

      Seriously, get over it. It’s not about inferiority or superiority, if you try to frame it in that context it will always be about one side winning and one side losing. That is the ignorant mentality that leads to the problems that Quebec has almost always had.

      You don’t seem to understand that IMPOSING on even a single person something that is against their will violates their rights. Forcing 8% of the population to operate in another language to satisfy your inferiority complex isn’t going to help you in the long run. The very thing you rail against is exactly what the Quebec laws do to the Anglos. Wake up.

      Moreover, go look at your children and the children of the Quebec nation, who WANT, DESIRE, and ASPIRE to learn a second language (english), who watch TV in the second language (english), go to movies in the second language (english) and given a choice, take the better job with lower taxes outside of Quebec (in english, natch).

      Nobody is trying to disturb your enjoyment of your language and your culture. However, the moment you try to force it onto others, you will always get a fight.

      [Personal attack removed. -Ed.]

      1. Michel

        “You don’t seem to understand that IMPOSING on even a single person something that is against their will violates their rights”. Society does this all the time, like seatbelts and motorcycle helmets. You might not want to do it, but Society imposes it on you and in some cases it’s against someone’s will. And maybe it’s the retro fashion but some Anglophones still live in the 1960’s. You might not see it but it’s still there.

      2. Adams

        “if you try to frame it in that context it will always be about one side winning and one side losing.”

        Quebec nationalists, like most nationalists, are Social Darwinists. For them, life is a battle, and collectives and individuals alike are in this battle. The premise is this: if you don’t overrun others, others will overrun you. There can never be a state where different collectives live side by side in harmony. There are only warring factions (and as one pequiste said to me: even those who do not feel they are waging war against us are actually waging war against, just by living in English in Quebec), and there can only be clear losers and clear winners, nothing in between. In reality, everybody ends up a loser, even francophones who put their dignity in the hands of the state but 35 years after the passage of 101 still they don’t get the “respect” that 101 was supposed to assure (but they get all the 101-related restrictions, like not being able to send their kids to English schools for a year or two so the kids could learn the kind of English they’ll never learn from teachers in French schools). Apparently they didn’t realize that 101 would not change the demographic situation of the continent and it wouldn’t affect the global power of Anglo American culture and economy – to do that, the PQ would have to neutralize Wall Street, Washington, Hollywood, and London City , not West Island.

        And if you think about it, the Social Darwinist view of life is sociopathic.

    3. Ant6n

      In most democratic countries, minorities are protected, rather invited to leave. In most democratic countries, having 10% speakers is enough to make a language an official language.

      1. Michel

        You mean like Latinos in the USA? That’s probably why, despite English being spoken by the overwhelming majority, states like Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Florida have strong “English only” lobbies.

        1. Daemoncan

          “English Only” lobbies….

          AKA Rednecks. I leave it up to you to draw any parallels.

          The larger truth is: In the long run, no language can be protected or suppressed by a law. A language / culture will only survive if it’s speakers truly wish it to, and not depend on government to shield it from dilution.

            1. Fagstein Post author

              Look at Ukraine. How many people can speak Ukrainian now?

              About 37 million count it as their native language. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to prove.

        2. Kevin

          And multiple states have correspondingly large groups that quietly offer services in Spanish because money talks, and caring counts.

  8. Marlon N

    You, sir, have a very beautiful way of proving a point! What a flawless statement. I completely agree. For me, the path to a greater Quebec is one with bilingualism and a true atmosphere of cooperation.

  9. Maureen

    I grew up with a francophone mother and Irish Canadian father. Oldest brother went to french school till we moved and the english school was closer. We all are bilingual, played in english at school and after school with the french kids on our street.
    Christmas eve was at the french grandmother’s reveillon with the tortiere and the following day turkey at the Irish grandmother’s. One house spoke only french the other only english and both places talked politics and the divide between the languages. But it was always polite, lively fun.
    In my teens I enjoyed the St. Jean Baptists parade, back at the turn of the century my maternal grandfather was dressed as the lamb for a St. Jean parade. I recall St. Jean on Mount Royal being my last time. It was a lot of fun while it lasted but after that year it just got too dangerous to attend St. Jean. The separatists ruined it.
    Helicopters over my school yard and the FLQ kidnapping and killing people, placing bombs in anglo area mail boxes. Everything went south. We parted ways with our french friends for the most part and family no longer wanted to talk politics cause it became too heated.
    All of a sudden we were the enemy. Our dad worked for the ‘big english companies that theirs couldn’t get into’ whether that were true or not I was too young to know. We became outsiders even to some of our cousins.
    We had such a great childhood growing up in the late 50’s, and 60’s where it didn’t matter if you couldn’t speak french or they couldn’t speak english we all played dodgeball on the street together and football in the park and celebrated both traditions.
    I blame the separatists including political separatists for ruining it all. Seeing the thousands fleeing down the 401 and hearing the taunts “anglo go home” when I felt I was home was demoralizing. I don’t know if the tide will ever turn. My wish would be for thousands upon thousands of anglos to come back to their Quebec home and for francos to welcome them with open arms. We are after all ……… Joyeux Noel/Merry Christmas.

    1. Mario D.

      There is something in your comment that is compelling and i can relate to what you went through . You got stuck on one thing though that you shouldn`t have. The FLQ had nothing to do with being separatists. They were terrorist. If at a certain age i was in favor of the independance dream i never was or will be a terrorist.
      I grew up in the sixties with french only friends and neighbors although we were terrified by the FLQ we got over it after a while. I can understand that anglos would take it more personnal… Things did change though and i agree with an earlier comment that noted that 25 % of extremists on both sides make more noise than the rest that live together rather peacefully. Best wishes to you to !

      1. Fagstein Post author

        The FLQ had nothing to do with being separatists.

        My Quebec public school education might not be perfect, but I think independence was a pretty big part of the FLQ’s raison d’être. Of course, you’re right that sovereignists aren’t terrorists and don’t sympathize with the FLQ. But saying things like this just invites federalists to say you’re wrong and miss your entire point.

  10. Mario D.

    Can`t help it i have to give my opinion . I do not want to ignite the french-english debate but i know it`s already done and in a way is also the heart of the topic.
    The only thing i want to say as a french and bilingual montrealer is that if the french medias were to talk like a few anglos do , even some french readers would be outraged.
    The guy there from the Suburban is a dangerous extremist that only sees conspiracy. Tommy Schnurmaker is taking every chance he has to go on an anti french rant. Ctv does the same thing putting the french language related topics as the prime news.

    Again, if a french reporter was to speak against the anglophone community on the same tone the anglos do about french related news it would be a declaration of war. The anglo community can treat the PQ and Pauline Marois of every name and inuendo possible it`s not the same thing !

    I find those debates so useless cause they have been going on for ages when actually in every day life it does not create any problem. I do not mind speaking french or english and i noticed that it is the same for my anglo friends when just a few decades ago it was unthinkable.

    I would like to go on an explain that french language protection is important cause we are drowned in an english country with a U.S. neighbor of 300 milion anglophones but i do not think that the anglophones understand cause their language is not threatened.

    I for one am more than happy that this government chose to name an emissary to the anglophone community. Some may not like Jean-Francois Lisée but at least he is there to listen and does reach out .

    As for myself , i find it important that we use this tribune and others and debate respectfully on the issue cause in every day life it does not create the same conflicts as the medias want us to believe it does and is not such a hot issue as politician would like it to be. We have to live with it and deal with many situations and do it well i find.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Tommy Schnurmaker is taking every chance he has to go on an anti french rant.

      An anti-French rant or an anti-PQ/anti-sovereignty/anti-101 rant? The point I tried to make in this post is that there is a difference between an attack on a people (or a language) and an attack on a political ideology.

      Again, if a french reporter was to speak against the anglophone community on the same tone the anglos do about french related news it would be a declaration of war.

      You don’t think the way francophone commentators treat Stephen Harper is similar to the way anglophone commentators treat Pauline Marois? What do “the anglos” do that’s so especially awful?

      I for one am more than happy that this government chose to name an emissary to the anglophone community. Some may not like Jean-Francois Lisée but at least he is there to listen and does reach out .

      Indeed. He deserves a lot of credit for this. It’s like being environment minister for the Conservative government, constantly having to deal with people who think you hate them.

      1. Mario D.

        I agree that if you criticize a political ideology as you say it`s not as if you are insulting someone but still it gives an image of anglos being mistreated and the callers that follow are usually agressive towards anything french when actually in every day life we get along.
        Reality is that outside the greater montreal area borders it`s almost entirely french so to think that with critics aimed towards the french ideology will make it go away is a bit like when we were kid and would put our fingers in our ears and sing as if we did not want to understand what was told to us…

        About the cross reference to Harper and Marois i do not see it the same way as you do. Harper is governing without Québec. Barely has anyone elected here and does not need us to do his things. The medias do not follow Harper as the rest of Canada does. For example ,we barely followed the senate spending scandal being caught here in the charte des valeurs debate and the Lac Megantic follow up. Meanwhile it was page one everywhere else in Canada every day.

        Marois like it or not is our prime minister whatever language we speak. We have to deal with her daily decisions and although a minority government still was elected by the voters.

        What do “the anglos” do that’s so especially awful? I was refering to the direct tone taken by some media who spread hatred and use language that you never hear on the french side not even from the SSJB.

        Anyway thanks for taking my call !

        1. Fagstein Post author

          Harper is governing without Québec. Barely has anyone elected here and does not need us to do his things.

          I don’t see how this is different from Pauline Marois governing without non-francophones.

          I was refering to the direct tone taken by some media who spread hatred and use language that you never hear on the french side not even from the SSJB.

          I’m still waiting to hear an example of how anglo media have “spread hatred” against French Quebec in a way that is not just criticizing government policy. The Suburban may be grossly exaggerating the impact of the PQ’s language policies, but I don’t see how that’s equivalent to hate speech.

    2. TS

      Mario D said: “if a french reporter was to speak against the anglophone community on the same tone the anglos do about french related news it would be a declaration of war.”

      Have you seen the article in Le Devoir where Lisée compares Canada to a cancer? what do you think about that?

    3. John M

      “I would like to go on an explain that french language protection is important cause we are drowned in an english country with a U.S. neighbor of 300 milion anglophones but i do not think that the anglophones understand cause their language is not threatened.”

      But Canadians are well-aware of the threat to our culture by Americanization and have many policies in place (maybe not enough, but many) to protect it.

      And, I would say that Canadians have shown quite clearly that they understand the threat to the French language by making the country officially bilingual.

      1. Michel

        “And, I would say that Canadians have shown quite clearly that they understand the threat to the French language by making the country officially bilingual.” You’re kidding, right?
        Canada is officially bilingual on paper only. And I would not say that “Canadians have shown” but rather some Canadians have shown this understanding you speak of. I’ve called federal agencies in Ottawa and have been told by the person answering that they don’t speak French and to call back later. Good thing I speak English or I wouldn’t have understood them.

    4. Kevin

      Richard Martineau.
      Sophie Durocher.
      Benoit Dutrizac.
      Gilles Proulx.

      To say that francophones never insult anglophones is ridiculous. Look up what those four alone have said, or just keep your eyes open for what they say in the future, and you will see that their attitude is extremely hurtful.

  11. marc

    Kudos for denouncing hatred but I believe that this report clouded your view of legitimate quebec bashing in english media. Case and point: CBC article “Half of non-Francophones consider moving from Quebec” dated Feb 24 2014. The first two paragraphs explicitely state that linguistic dualitity was not identified as a cause for the potential exodus yet CBC chose to write 5 paragraphs from a paranoid anglo who refuses to speak French in Montreal anymore since he feels an unidentified threat (he does not say specifically why) from Quebec for the past couple of years.
    This is clearly an attempt to excite the Quebec bashers in Canada and the comment sections of yahoo and reacted according to plan. Sad the cbc considers this journalism.


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