Thursday, September 30, 2010
Anglos Still 'Rule' Much of Montreal
There's no doubt that outside the greater Montreal area (with a couple of exceptions), the English influence has been largely decimated and so in comparing Montreal to the rest of the province, it's easy to see why this misconception exists.
While the face of Quebec has radically changed towards a French only society, Montreal appears to become more and more English, by virtue of it changing at a much slower pace.
Montreal remains stubbornly resistant to this Francisation, and remains in many respects, what it always has been, a bilingual city.
Claims by language militants that Montreal is a French city is nothing more than bravado and wishful thinking, unsupported by the facts.
While the numbers of English residents has diminished, particularly over the last forty years, Anglos still make up a significant percentage of the city and in many areas of the city, actually dominate.
The comprehensive study released by Statistics Canada, which I cited yesterday paints a very different picture of Anglophone society in Quebec and particularly Montreal, than what French language militants would have us believe.
Here, from that study is a table indicating the percentage of Anglos living in the various cities on the island of Montreal;
For those unfamiliar with the Montreal region, it is an island that is politically divided between it's largest component, the City of Montreal, and about two dozen towns, most of them located in the central and western part of the island. The farther west one goes, the greater the English influence, as you can see from the map below.(Red=equals English)
While the StatsCan study says that Anglos make up one-third of the residents of the island of Montreal, it doesn't consider that the eastern half of the island is completely bereft of Anglophones.
If one were to consider the downtown core plus the areas west only, Anglos make up at least 50% of the residents, perhaps more.
So is it any wonder that in this area of Montreal, English is spoken widely, and that English culture flourishes?
French language militants refuse to face the unalterable fact that Montreal is still a bilingual city, or if not, a two language city. Though coercive language laws may have changed the outward appearance of the city, by ripping down English public signage, this underlying fact remains. Trying to sell the fiction that Montreal is a French city and that Anglos are interlopers is the core of the language 'problem.'
So instead of complaining that Montreal is becoming too English, it would be fairer if French language militants complained that Montreal is still too English.
This is isn't splitting hairs, there's a big difference between the concepts.
If the first scenario is true, the concept that Montreal is becoming too English, militants can fairly claim to be defending the French nature of the city.
But if the second scenario is true and Montreal has always been a two-language and two-cultured city, with that English element remaining stable or declining slowly, it would expose the ugly truth that efforts to curb this English influence is nothing more than ethnic cleansing.
Posted by Editor on 9/30/2010 12:01:00 AM