I didn't think the ridiculous assertion would be taken seriously by anyone other than the committed hard-liners, but I guess when it comes to the French language even reasonable people can be taken in by the hysteria mounted by a cadre of bullshit artists who weave a phony narrative based on voodoo mathematics.
The report finally landed on Friday and as I suspect, the data proves exactly the opposite of what Mr. Curzi is saying. If you read French and are interested, you can view it HERE.
The 80 pages can actually be summarized in just one table included in the report. Everything else is pure rubbish ;
False Conclusion # 1-- Montreal will be Anglicized by 2016
There it is, in blue and white, between 1996 and 2006 English language usage went down from 25.6% to 25.2%, so how on God's green Earth can English possibly be primed for a takeover. There is as much chance that the Island of Montreal will become anglicized by 2016, as is the chance that the world will be destroyed in 2012.
False Conclusion # 2-- English is 5 times more attractive to immigrants as is French
Only 37% of immigrants adopt either English or French as their new chosen language, while 63% keep on speaking their native tongue at home.
Of those who change, 60% choose English, while 40% choose French. English is hardly five times more attractive than French. This statistic is based on 2006 numbers, I recently read that in 2009, French is now being adopted by more than 50% of people in this category. The assertion that English is five times more popular is based on a totally contrived and statistically dishonest interpretation of the fact that Quebec Francophones outnumber Anglos and Allophones by five to one and therefore by virtue of that fact would be expected to choose French five times as much as English. It's nonsense.
False Conclusion # 3-- French no longer dominates Montreal
The fact that only 49% of Montrealers claim French as their mother tongue does not lead to the conclusion that the French language is in the minority. 54% of Montrealers use French as their first language, while English lags behind at 25%. In 1996 the numbers were just about the same- 55% French, versus 25% English. That's a 1% point change in ten years, hardly a game changer. French remains more than twice as dominant as English.
Last Thursday the Quebec Minister in charge of the the language debate, Christine St-Pierre, was asked to comment on Mr. Curzi's assertions. She wisely demanded to see the report before saying anything and wondered out loud, why he was doing a media blitz while holding back the report.
It's now clear why. Had he done the media rounds with the report already published, journalists would have been able to criticise its contents. It's obvious that he didn't want that to happen.
This week the story is already old news and the media is on to the next story. The fallacy that French is in danger is successfully re-enforced by virtue of his dishonesty.
My compliments to Mr. Curzi for a well played bluff. He is another French language nationalist who twists facts and figures to suit his purpose, knowing that few will actually run down the numbers. It was a masterful move to do the interviews before allowing the report to be seen. It is also a naked confirmation, that he himself knew, how full of baloney he really was.
It repeats and re-enforces the nationalist movements long history of distortion.
The decline of the French language over the last ten years has been slight. It is directly attributed to the fifty thousand new immigrants that make Montreal their new home in each year.
The only way to stop this ever so modest decline of French in the city is to reduce immigration.
Sorry, Mr. Curzi, it has nothing to do with Anglos or the English language.