Thursday, September 16, 2010

English Cegep Study - A Case of Weird Science

Once again language militants are all atwitter over a published report that 'proves' that attending English cegep(junior college) turns Allophones and Francophones into Anglophones. Typical reaction by French language militants is this by Pierre Leduc;
"Attendance of English colleges by more and more allophones and francophones is an important factor in anglicization, according to a survey by the Institute for Research on French in America (IRFA) and the Centrale des Syndicats du Québec (CSQ )." L'Autre Journal.
The  report itself never really came to this conclusion, but left broad hints that allowed others to jump to this conclusion. Language militants as well as mainstream media, all fell into the trap and wrote article after article indicating that  English cegep attendance was causing Francophones and Allophones to become anglicized.

The report published by an organization called the "Institut de recherche sur le français en Amérique (IRFA) was funded by a large union organization, the "Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ)."
Suffice to say that both organizations have a 'certain' political take.
 

The 'institute' has close ties with the Office québécois de la langue française. Marc Termote, a member of its scientific committee was recently named president of the steering committee of the OQLF and Claude Castonguay, a founding member has done quite a bit of work for the 'Office.' It's president, Patrick Sabourin is a noted French language militant who has waded into the language debate on many fronts including complaining about the English mega-hospital and questioned the value of investing in McGill university. 

And so, this report, prepared by language militants and separatists, brings to mind those cigarette studies funded by the tobacco companies, in the sixties and seventies, 'proving' no scientific link between their product and cancer! 

The study closely examines the use of English by francophone and allophones students attending English cegeps. It concludes, quite rightly that these students (as compared to those who went to  a French cegep) speak much more English, look for jobs where English is used principally, read more English newspapers, watch more English movies, have more English friends and speak more English at home etc. etc.

This conclusion is entirely supported by the facts and the data provided, is quite convincing.

But does this mean, as the study intimates (but never concludes,) that English Cegeps are responsible for this anglicization?

Perhaps, perhaps not. The study never examines this specific issue.

Let's get a bit technical;

The major conclusion of the study says that;
"...there is a strong correlation between attending an English cegep and the use of English in daily life."   LINK(French)
To scientist and statisticians, this phrase is a giant red flag because it makes no reference to 'causation' 
'Correlation': the degree to which two or more attributes or measurements on the same group of elements show a tendency to vary together.
'Causation':  the action of causing or producing.

"Correlation does not imply causation" is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other. 
The conclusion that English cegeps cause Allophones and Francophones to become anglicized, uses the same logic which says people who shop at a left-handers specialty store are more inclined to become left-handers, when in truth, they are most likely left-handers to begin with.

Let us say, that the education department creates a mythical French language course for immigrants and after a few years decides that they want to evaluate the effectiveness.

They hire a specialized firm who follow the students during the two year long course. First, before the students start the course, they undertake a 'baseline survey,' designed to establish initial conditions against which the effects of a finished project can be compared.

When the students finish the course, they are again re-evaluated and the difference in language skills between the two evaluations indicates the level of effectiveness. Simple enough?

If one wants to measure the anglicizing effect of English cegeps on Allophones and Francophones, the only true method, is to analyze the students propensity towards English before they enter cegep and compare it with their propensity to use English after they graduate. By comparing the two sets of data, conclusions can be drawn.

Is this what the IRFA did to to evaluate the anglicizing effect of English cegep on Francophone and allophones?

Nope, they did nothing of the sort.
Instead they compared apples and oranges, they studied the anglicization levels of two distinct and different groups of Allophones and francophones, one group which attended French cegep and one which attended English cegep.

The two groups are very different to begin with, even before they start attending cegep, so to compare their English skills and conclude that it is the cegep that is the anglicizing factor is scientifically unsupportable.

First and foremost, in order to attend an English cegep, you NEED TO SPEAK ENGLISH, to begin with.

Students who can't speak English, go to a French cegep, they have no choice.
It is only the bilingual (or trilingual,) allophones and francophones students who can go to English cegep. 
They are in fact, already to a large degree, highly anglicized before taking a step in the door of the school. Even though they have attended a French high school, many speak English at home, or have made a giant effort to learn the language.

How much English cegeps contribute or strengthen this anglicization remains unknown.
The IRFA study does not answer this question because it never set out to do so.

Drawing conclusions about the anglicizing effect of English cegeps cannot be extrapolated from this study, even though the authors want others to do so.

The study was cleverly structured to avoid looking at this "cegep effect.'

Clever, because nowhere in the report does it directly say that English cegeps are responsible for anglicizing Francophone and Allophone students, but everyone reading it, comes to that conclusion.

And so, like other great myths perpetrated by French language militants, the 'fact' that English cegeps anglicize Francophone and allophones has been woven into the 'French is in decline' narrative, a story based on fiction, misinformation and lies, one that is sold to a gullible public, thirsty to buy into the concept that they are victims of persecution.

No editorialist in the mainstream media challenged the faulty conclusions. Not one. 

Perhaps next time they report, the 'Institute' can tell us that francophones who patronize vegetarian grocery  stores tend to transform into vegetarians at a higher rate than francophones who shop at Loblaws.

Maybe they can examine the problem of francophones who shop at soccer equipment stores, and prove that they tend to play soccer at a higher rate than those francophones who patronize hockey equipment stores.
I've no doubt that they can provide all the necessary charts to prove that this is true.

Very enlightening, but this is what passes for science in the Quebec language militant movement.

It's neat and tidy and effective,.... but it's all tommyrot!

48 comments:

  1. Paris Guy dit: '''le droit à la langue d'enseignement de son choix n'existe pas sur le plan du droit international et n'est pas un droit fondamental ou une liberté fondamentale.'' Allez étudier dans les écoles privées et lâchez-nous la grappe, je demande à personne de financer mon apprentissage du mandarin !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Da language Nazis are at it again. “Dat bloody English language disease ST. How do we discriminate more den we have ST. We bring in du bill 22, 178, 101...how much more racist can we do? Fur me you NO, a trute is a trute because it is dat truet…fur me, you know and dat is dat? We figure out a way ST to ban da English language more, no worries, we do it quickly, hurry up ST.” Signed – Da language Nazis of Kebec.

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  3. "...We bring in du bill 22, 178, 101...how much more racist can we do?"

    Nous travaillons très fort sur ce dossier présentement.Un peu de patience.Je vois que votre maîtrise de l'Allemand est aussi bonne sinon meilleure que votre Français.

    Belle tentative mais continuez vos efforts d'ouverture sur le monde car ce n'est pas tout a fait au point et les nazis ne sont peut-être pas ceux que vous croyez.

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  4. Nous travaillons très fort sur ce dossier présentement.Un peu de patience.Je vois que votre maîtrise de l'Allemand est aussi bonne sinon meilleure que votre Français.

    Belle tentative mais continuez vos efforts d'ouverture sur le monde car ce n'est pas tout a fait au point et les nazis ne sont peut-être pas ceux que vous croyez.

    Fortunately you leaders incompetence in managing this dossier/project precludes their/your success. Your beliefs and tactics are so deceitful and disdainful that more and more people (of all languages) reject you and your pernicious, dubious dreams.

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  5. "Your beliefs and tactics are so deceitful and disdainful that more and more people (of all languages) reject you and your pernicious, dubious dreams."

    Les prochaines élections provinciale et fédérale nous donneront l'heure juste.

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  6. Here, there is another apricots and watermelons comparison from Caroline Moreno, one of the more radical at Vigile.net.

    http://www.vigile.net/YANN-MARTEL-les-effets-de-l

    The reason that I post it here is because I wrote a rebuttal for her, in French, and as always Vigile does not post opposing views.

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  7. Mississauga Guy to Anon @ 11:54AM: HUH? Waddayamean? (Qu'est-ce que ça tu dire?)

    This sort of politicking has been going on forever--it's called lying with statistics. Quebec has the jump because they've been using this strategy forever. The PQ's manifesto for the 1980 Referendum called A New Deal was notorious for all the smoke and mirrors in their statistical lies. People see what they WANT to see; hear what they WANT to hear and believe what they WANT to believe.

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  8. "Perhaps next time they report, the 'Institute' can tell us that francophones who patronize vegetarian grocery stores tend to transform into vegetarians at a higher rate than francophones who shop at Loblaws."

    Si vous êtes entouré de 300 millions de végétariens,vos chances de devenir végétarien sont très élevée et ça même si il y a une boucherie au coin de votre rue.

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  9. "Les prochaines élections provinciale et fédérale nous donneront l'heure juste."

    HAHAHAHAHA! Celle-là est bonne.

    Faudrait premièrement que les gens aillent voter (ce qu'ils ne font plus) et qu'ils cessent de toujours revoter pour les mêmes encore et encore.

    -Geneviève

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  10. Un immigrant doit regarder tout ça and say to himself, "I'm still going to have to learn to parler français et know English because try as we might to destroy it, it'll keep coming back". Il aura encore à se soucier de l'intégration de ses enfants tant du côté francophone as anglophone because the only way to truly compete and thrive in this beautifully crazy corner of North America called Québec, c'est de comprendre que les anglos et francos se chicaneront toujours mais que l'essentiel pour un nouveau, c'est de travailler fort, eventually buy three houses, rent them out to the native population who will still be fighting, put his kids through school and call the entire exercise de l'opportunité.

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  11. "Un immigrant doit regarder tout ça and say to himself,..."

    On s'en calisse-tu qu'est-ce qui pense l'immigrant.Si il veut vivre en anglais,il a le continent Nord américain (350 millions d'anglos): 50 états amérirains + 9 provinces Canadiennes.Si il est assez con pour venir vivre au Québec,qu'il assume!

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  12. I find it rather amusing that the zealots of the French language in Quebec have now zeroed in on the CEGEPS. If the francos and allos who attend these institutions did not want to be anglicized (as many already are as aptly pointed by another poster) they would simply attend a french cegep, correct? It is clearly obvious that they wish to attend the english CEGEP, likely for a myraid of reasons. Also interesting is that a majority of Quebecois would appear to want freedom of choice in what system they want their children enrolled. So, one must ask the question if democracy actually exists in Quebec when it comes to language. Seems to me that those such as Curzi are clearly in a losing battle with regards to these issues as the people have sent them a message. Of course, at the end of the day, without the language debate, where would the separatists? I suspect out of business as they have utilized their scare tactics (the sky is falling, francos are going to english CEGEPS etc etc) to facilitate their own agenda. Without the language debate the PQ and BQ would have been long out of business. They also (including the PLQ) lie to the people with regards to social programs within Quebec. Many people in Quebec ( I would think a large majority) have been brainwashed into thinking that the social programs in English Canada is on par with the social programs in Quebec which is simply not the case.

    At the end of the day, they utilize the language debate to further their own ends and ensure their continued existance. Would their be a PQ without the continued threat to the people of Quebec that their language and culture is threatened by the demonic anglos.

    These people are very hypocritical as others have pointed out. They want their own people to remain unilingually french while they themsevles have favored themselves and their families with bilingual educations. The language issue is something which they invented to ensure their continued existence. (Without us you people will be lost to the anglos).

    I find it amazing that the people of Quebec would even consider voting for regimes which control people through intimidation and threats.

    The language debate is their last stand...poor souls will no doubt lose in the end and will cost Canada and their taxpayers a great amount of money in the process.

    At the end of the day, their control will diminish as the new Quebec youth realize that the threats as presented by the various polictical language issues are really non existent. If they choose to live in french they can and if they choose to live in english they will be free to do so.
    At this point, the PQ and BQ and the other various mongers of hate and purveyors of fear will be out of business. Suggest they find another issue to assure their continued success such as perhaps "good government" which represents the wishes and best interests of the people rather than some conjured up perceived threat.

    Sad that the people of Quebec have bought into this shallow platform for so long. Suspect when the blinders come off they will realize that the reallity they are living is in fact a lie predicated by the politicians who were simply serving their own self interest.

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  13. RE: qu'est-ce qui pense l'immigrant. Si il veut vivre en anglais,il a le continent Nord américain (350 millions d'anglos): 50 états amérirains 9 provinces Canadiennes. Si il est assez con pour venir vivre au Québec, qu'il assume!

    It is quite brainless for Quebec to think that they can totally eliminate English being a minority in a sea of English. That is just downright ignorant. Quebec has not separated yet and until they officially do separate don’t count on winning any elections soon. Stupid is as stupid does, Francophone’s are willing victims to be oppressed by manipulative swindler politicians, who really don’t give a damn for anyone other than their own power grab. When Quebec starts drowning in its own debt, you will be the first to realize you’re in a prison of your own making. Then you’ll be using all those published reports of the language militants as TP paper with all their fictive statistics stamped our your French fesse just to save money to supplement your dwindling unemployment check.

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  14. "...It is quite brainless for Quebec to think that they can totally eliminate English being a minority in a sea of English."

    Merci a vous de contribuer a l'indépendance du Québec.Continuez d'écrire!

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  15. Anon Sept 16 9:37AM: “Westmount est un ghetto.Cette communauté ne s'est jamais intégrée a la majorité et vous trouvez ça drôle?” (previous thread)

    Anon Sept 16 4:01 PM: “Si vous êtes entouré de 300 millions de végétariens,vos chances de devenir végétarien sont très élevée et ça même si il y a une boucherie au coin de votre rue.”


    The clones of Dartagnan have descended again on No Dogs like vultures, serving the usual contradictions.

    When the 9:37AM post popped up talking about "majority", I decided to wait and see how long it will take for the brave Dartagnans to revert back to the contradictory "minority in peril" argument. It took no more than a few hours.

    In an attempt to disentangle their twisted "logic" and to try to make sense out of it, I must ask – in light of what he says at 4:01PM, aren’t the people of Westmount justified with sticking with English which is 300 million strong, rather than abandon it for the sake of a language that is so threatened? Doesn’t the 4:01PM post invalidate the 9:37AM one?

    I know that I won’t get an answer, but I thought I’d ask anyways.

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  16. "...These people are very hypocritical as others have pointed out. They want their own people to remain unilingually french..."

    Personne n'empêche personne d'apprendre une autre langue au Québec.Arrêtez de répendre ces faussetés.L'État Québécois n'a pas a payer pour l'apprentissage d'une seconde ou d'une troisième langue.
    Je paye présentement des cours d'Espagnole (2ième langue) a mon fils et je n'oserais jamais demander a mes concitoyens de payer a ma place.
    Un peu de dignité s.v.p!

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  17. Ne savez-vous pas Ratablavadski (logicGuy):

    Que l'équilibre de l'univers repose sur des contradictions.Sans forces opposées,notre monde s'écroule.

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  18. "Que l'équilibre de l'univers repose sur des contradictions.Sans forces opposées,notre monde s'écroule. "

    To clarify, when I said "I know that I won’t get an answer" I meant a reasonable challenge to the points I raised. I totally expected "answers" of this sort: "oh adski, you think you're so smart, go f**k yourself you meprisant colonialist, why don't you leave Quebec if you don't like our language and culture". Standard stuff, that is.

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  19. "Que l'équilibre de [mon] univers repose sur des contradictions. Sans forces opposées, [mon] monde s'écroule. "

    Fixed.

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  20. "I totally expected "answers" of this sort: "oh adski, you think you're so smart, go f**k yourself you meprisant colonialist, why don't you leave Quebec if you don't like our language and culture". Standard stuff, that is."

    HaHa!...C'est ce que tu aimes petit vilain!Tu adores quand on te méprise...C'est ça?Tu veux du fouet et des insultes?On va t'en servir,tu vas voir!Google Mistress Marois sur ton clavier.

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  21. "...you meprisant colonialist..."

    Adski,tu n'est pas un colonialiste.Tu es un immigrant.

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  22. I don`t understand the logic of the French langauge Zealot. Please explain me this. How does punishing the small Anglo community and restricting rights to Francophones prevent the enemy (North America) from invading?

    I mean, for sure Facebook, YouTube and Google do more damage to the Quebec identity than Westmount school children. Not to mention MTV, HBO and the like. Why not go China style on the internet and only allow pro PQ/BQ websites? While your at it you may want to ban satelite television and English channels in general. I would suggest also limmiting tourism to only French speaking persons. These would all be wise economic/political strategies. The funny thing is there are people who actually agree with this nonesense!

    Onto another point. The one thing I would love to see if Quebec ever separates is to watch the bizarre explanations why Montreal is not allowed to seperate from Quebec. I can`t even imagine what kind of arguments they`ll use! I bet there will be lots of backtracking on the statistics regarding the lack of French in Montreal.

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  23. Networked_Gestalt_Intellect_For_Sovereingty

    N'ayez craintes, pas seulement (votre) monde mais l'univers en entier.

    Corrigé!

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  24. Quote:

    Personne n'empêche personne d'apprendre une autre langue au Québec.Arrêtez de répendre ces faussetés.L'État Québécois n'a pas a payer pour l'apprentissage d'une seconde ou d'une troisième langue.

    Many civilized countries provide 2nd and 3rd language instruction to their citizens in school.

    Every single student in Holland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and other such countries is presented with the opportunity to learn English (and often an additional language) at the expense of the state.

    Somehow they are not scared of teaching their populations English. Traveling in Denmark using only English is probably more practical than in many rural regions of Quebec (or the East end of Montreal Island ;) )

    In many of those countries there are now University programs offered in English. Many businesses operate in English as they want to attract employees from all over the world (or at least all of Europe) instead of limiting themselves to the local labor pool.

    If you are so interested in being completely surrounded by French why don't you set up an area somewhere far from Montreal that will have that. Then leave Montreal alone and let it blossom into an economic powerhouse that it used to be and still has potential to be. Collect taxes from it and pay for your French paradise in the boonies. Everyone is going to be happy.

    If Montreal becomes 100% francisized it will stop producing economically and then the whole province of Quebec will have to be wearing used clothes and eat ramen noodles with poutine as a special treat on holidays.

    Please don't destroy Montreal.

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  25. Dr.Dave: "I can`t even imagine what kind of arguments they`ll use!"

    I like this one:

    "There is not one people in Canada. There are two peoples. Quebec is a people and Canada is another people and we have our territory. That is why Canada is divisible, Quebec un-divisible" - Gerald Larose

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

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  26. @Dr. Dave

    Ce ne sont pas les médias qui sont en cause mais bien leur contenu.Les différents médias en ligne ou par satellites ne sont que des canaux de transmission.

    En ce sens ils représentent des outils de communications par excellence au service de l'hégémonie linguistique anglo-saxonne.

    Le Québec n'est pas le seul pays a lutter contre ce monopole a tendance Homogénisante des cultures et des langues.

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  27. "Every single student in Holland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden..."

    Vous avez omi en élément d'importance majeure dans votre énoncée : Ces pays n'ont pas été colonisés par l'Angleterre...Oups!

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  28. I like this one:

    "There is not one people in Canada. There are two peoples. Quebec is a people and Canada is another people and we have our territory. That is why Canada is divisible, Quebec un-divisible" - Gerald Larose

    Alors Monsieur kiki prouvez-nous le contraire de l'étude qui a été commandée par l'État Québécois en ce sens....Nous attendons avec impatience.

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  29. "Personne n'empêche personne d'apprendre une autre langue au Québec.Arrêtez de répendre ces faussetés."

    If this is the case then why does bill 101 specifically exclude a francophone or allophone from attending an english school to learn a second language? You statemtent is again, a contradiction. eg: No one is stopping you from learning a second or third language providing it is not english. Je croire que, vous ete plein de merde avec ton commentaires.

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  30. "If this is the case then why does bill 101 specifically exclude a francophone or allophone from attending an english school to learn a second language"

    Dans les écoles subventionnées par l'État Québécois.C'est-a-dire publiques et bientôt privée car subventionnées a 65% par les contribuables.

    De plus pourquoi une deuxième langue serait-elle nécessairement l'anglais.L'Espagnole,a mon avis, sera beaucoup plus pratique dans les prochaines décennies,ensuite le Mandarin.

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  31. To Anonymus 1:31 PM

    You seem to be an English language zealot. I must say I'm fed up of that kind of people. What Quebecois want or don't want is not our business. Stop talking to them about language. I repeat, it's not our business.

    Steven Barker

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  32. @Steven Barker

    Thank you Steven you're a smart guy.I hope your anglo fellows will take your advice.

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  33. To Steven Barker (I doubt that's your real name):

    Language IS the business of Anglophones. English is one of the official languages of Canada, and Quebec is a Canadian province. The Quebecois have no business forcing French upon so many aspects of the lives of Anglophones.

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  34. "The Quebecois have no business forcing French upon so many aspects of the lives of Anglophones."

    Désolé bigotte mais la loi c'est la loi.Les prochaines années seront encore plus restrictives a ce niveau.Il est temps de refaire un petit ménage dans notre ville.Va falloir t'habituer mon coco!

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  35. To Dartagnan (yes, it's you!) at 4:36 PM:

    "Désolé bigotte mais la loi c'est la loi."

    Your multiple comments on this blog have easily defined you as a flaming racist...more so than anyone else.

    Nazi Germany had laws too. That doesn't mean they were reasonable, justifiable or acceptable. Hopefully the Supreme Court of Canada will continue to water down Quebec's fascist language laws.

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  36. To Anonymus 4:23 PM

    You say "language IS the business of Anglophones". I seem to hear my supremacist grandfather died several years ago.

    We are no longer in the 1960s. It's just normal now to speak French at work and public space. It's clear we lost the Quebec war. So we are in THEIR province.

    Finally, Steven Barker is my real name. I'm the fifth generation established in Quebec. And yes I'm PROUD to be an Anglo who believes that Quebec should become a country.

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  37. @Steven

    Tu es chez toi mon ami.Je crois bien que c'est la première que je lis une chose pareil.Vraiment ahurissant.J'espère juste que ce n'est pas un canular.

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  38. @Steve Barker

    I don't believe for a second that you’re an Anglophone. Not for a second. But since there is no way to prove it either way, you can hide under your fake nickname and we can move on...

    First, when you talk about a "Quebec war", note that noone was fighting this war except for nationalist Francophones. Everyone else just tried to live their lives while navigating around the laws that kept popping up right and left.

    Second, when you talk about winning this "war", you must be joking. Or contradicting yourself as all Dartagnan clones do. Because what I keep hearing is that 101 needs to be extended to private primary schools, private secondary schools, Cegeps, day cares, etc...What I keep hearing is that Montreal is back to what it used to be in the 1970s. What I keep hearing is that French is in decline in Montreal. What I keep seeing is movements like MMF calling Quebeckers to arms. What I keep hearing is that 101 is not respected... What I just saw written on this board is this: "Les prochaines années seront encore plus restrictives a ce niveau.Il est temps de refaire un petit ménage dans notre ville." - something that implies that the "war" is still in full swing. And this might have even been written by you, who knows. We all know that you language warriors are prone to contradictions.

    So here is your chance to do some good: explain to me why 101 needs to be extended across the board if the "war" waged since 1976 has been, as you say, “won”...I'm all ears.

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  39. Paris Guy dit: À Anonyme September 17, 2010 1:31 PM- Êtes-vous sérieux avec vos propos complètement dans le champs ? Vous pensez réellement que la prospérité s'acquiert avec l'anglais, sortez-moi des études sérieuses... Finalement, laissez-nous donc faire avec Montréal, la deuxième plus grande ville française du monde (titre à valorisé davantage, d'après-moi)!

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  40. @Ratablavadski aka Mr.Plot

    Steven n'a jamais parlé de Montéal mais bien du Québec.Encore une fois,un peu de concentration Monsieur Adski!Quand JE parle de petit ménage et puisque vous mentionnez les seventies,je fais allusion a une certaine loi que les vrais Québécois ont adoptés losqu'ils en ont eu ras le bol de l'envahissement anglo...un peu comme ces jours-ci.Capich?

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  41. Sorry Mr Adski, but I have a job, family and friends so I can't take to much time to discuss on a blog. I can still tell you that among Anglophones 10 % are sovereignists and you'll ear our voice when it'll be the time.

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  42. BUSTED!!!

    No anglo, no matter how illiterate would say
    "ear" instead of "hear"

    TaDa!!! Give it up!!!!!

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  43. @Monsieur l'éditeur

    Vous contrevenez vous-même a vos propres réglements:

    Ne jamais tenir compte des fautes orthographiques et cela inclu les erreurs de frappe ou d'inattention.Non?

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  44. To Anon @ 9:55

    It is obvious that ' Steve Barker' is an 'agent provocateur.' Of course it is of no matter errors in English, unless someone is pretending to be what he or she is not.

    Steve Barker is a fraud!!!!!

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  45. Here's an interesting article- perhaps it should be a post;

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/sep/14/french-pop-sing-in-english

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  46. Actually English is an official language of Quebec. Despite Bob Bourassa saying its not in 1974. That was an illegal act that still contradicts so many of quebecs own laws. Language of the Assembly is French or English, No laws can be passed without English translation. The quebec flag itself has a repsentation of English on it. There are enough ex english speakers (1st official language) in the rest of Canada to make problems for Quebec they day that they make their voices heard is the day Bill 101 is out the window. dada r baap

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  47. If you're not happy because Quebec is a francophone province, go live in Ontario you assholes, nobody if forcing you to stay. Quit bitching and get the hell out. When I go to Vancouver I don't complain about people speaking English.

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  48. A NEWBIE VIEW:

    I've only lived in Canada for five years (three years in university, in the early nineties, and now here for the last two), so I'm sure I don't really "get" all the tension between Francophone and Anglophone here. But, as an outsider, I have noticed something, and perhaps it's important.

    I've looked at a lot of comment/blog posts on this topic, and there is a clear and distinct difference in tone, between the two communities' posts.
    The Anglophones generally seem irritated, dismissive and condescending -- the tone is one of impatience and disdain; on the other hand, the Francophones appear extremely-defensive, prideful and stubbornly unwilling to give an inch.
    It is hard to see how ANY two groups with such attitudes towards one another could ever come to reasonable compromises that might resolve these tensions.
    But I guess the real question then is this: does anyone involved actually want compromise? It doesn't look like it.
    I get the feeling that Anglo-Canadians never took Quebecois grievances seriously, and have always dismissed Quebec's local culture and regional identity as trivial and disposable features of what should be just another piece of anglo-Canada. I may well be wrong about that, but that's how it feels when I look back at older discussions (from the sixties and seventies).
    On the other hand, it seems that particularly since the sixties, the attitudes of the Quebecois have been so defiant, legalistic, and 'exclusivist' that they have only put off people who might have been sympathetic to begin with. And again, I may very well be off base here.

    I just don't see ANY history of real conversation, real empathy, real effort at understanding or reconciliation when I read all the blogs, posts and old newspaper excerpts.

    And whose fault is this?
    It would be too easy to answer, "everyone's". If there were a catholic school, and a small group of attending jewish kids felt alienated by the majority, would it be THEIR responsibility to prove their assimilation? Or would the majority of students have a responsibility to go out of their way to be inclusive and accepting of "the differences"? I suppose the former would be a more conservative view (let the minority struggle to be among us), while the latter would be a more liberal view (the majority should take special care to incorporate the minority, differences and all). Depending on which of these you take, the blame lies in different quarters.
    But surely all Canadians could agree that more effort is needed, right? Maybe even from both sides?
    So then, WHAT GOOD IS A BLOG SITE LIKE THIS ONE?
    Doesn't it just make the chasm deeper and wider, and less likely to ever be crossed? Here you take out your hostility towards an entire community, and yet your primary argument seems to be that THAT community is hostile to you. Go figure.
    Please feel free to tell me that as an outsider I don't know what I'm talking about (it may be true to some great degree); but please, first, take seriously my comments. Sometimes it's useful to see through 'new eyes'.

    (Note: I'm gonna spend six weeks all over Quebec, starting in late May -- I'll let you know if I experience any of the anti-anglo sentiment so well-described here.)

    - Lauren

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