Friday, October 22, 2010

Language Hysteria Grips Quebec

The run up to the passage of Bill 115 (formerly Bill 103) and the imposition of closure on the debate in the National Assembly has sparked an unprecedented reaction by language militants that can only be described as hysteria.

Gauging the depth of the reaction, one could easily imagine that the law provides for the abolition of the French language and the imposition of English as Quebec's national language and listening to the likes of Pierre Curzi, who declared that the law is as dangerous as the War Measures Act, one might assume that the law will have a profound and fundamental change in the language landscape of the Province.

Of course it is all pure hogwash.
To alarmist French language militants, facts are merely an inconvenience and never get in the way of a good narrative.

Mario Beaulieu, head of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and someone who never met a fact that he couldn't manipulate, described the recent demonstration protesting the law, that took place in front of Premier Charest's office, as having 5,000 demonstrators. Link
Radio-Canada put the number of demonstrators at 2,000 and then of course there's the Montreal Gazette who pegged the number of demonstrators at 700. Hmm......

It's hard to have any sort of adult conversation about the very real need to protect the French language, when militants, invent, exaggerate and distort reality to the point that any discussion is pointless.

Anglos who choose to remain in Quebec remain sensitive to the need to protect French. Those who went through the English school system over the last forty years are bilingual and almost all of us enjoy speaking French, as long as a gun isn't held to our head.

Stories of arrogant Anglos telling Francophones to "speak white" are so ridiculous that it would be funny if not for the fact that so many Francophones believe and propagate this fiction.

Last week I was shopping in a Costco located in Pointe-Claire, a west-island suburb of Montreal where English is the majority language.

A young shopper, with baby in tow, asked a clerk in French where a certain product was located. The stock boy, of high school student age, answered the woman in perfectly passable, yet accented French.  Neither one realized that they were both Anglophones!

My 85 year old mother has no problem speaking French and does so whenever she meets a francophone clerk while shopping.

I have always loved speaking French and like those of you who can speak another language, I am very proud of my bilingualism.
The idea of humiliating someone because of language is too stupid to imagine, yet language militants weave the fiction on a daily basis;

Anglos are cruel...
Anglos are colonizers..
Anglos demand that you address them in English....
Anglos want to take over Quebec...
Anglos seek domination...
Anglos hate Francophones and the French language...
Anglos are snobs and elitists...
Blah..Blah...blah....

The truth of course, is rather different.

Some of us Anglos are rich and some of us are broke. Some of us are struggling and many are doing OK.
Some of us are students, concentrating on graduating and some of us are retirees, trying to live out our days as comfortably as possible.
Some of us are family people battling mortgage payments and juggling a hectic schedule that may include dragging our children to hockey and ballet lessons.
Some of us are young, eager to build a career and trying to find that perfect life partner.
Some of us are white, some of us are black and some of us are brown. Some are straight and some are gay. We are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, to name just a few of our religions. Some of us don't believe in God.
Many of us are born in Canada, and many come from countries around the entire world.
We are all different.

We do however, share on thing in common..... We are not colonizers.

We haven't got the time, the desire, the power nor the inclination to colonize anybody.

Anyone who uses the word to describe us, is a blatant racist and unfortunately there are too many of these, among the nationalist movement.

The current hysteria over Bill 115 is just another example of the manipulation of reality by militants who understand that they can only achieve their goals by frightening mainstream francophones.

In the face of so much distortion, let me offer this humble rebuttal and dispel some of the more outrageous myths surrounding Bill 115.

Myth Number 1- The Supreme Court Overturned Bill 104 
For language militants it's easier and more convenient to blame the Supreme Court for the Bill 104 mess, (the law that outlawed the concept of bridging schools) than facing the reality that it was the Quebec courts that did the real damage.

Bill 104 was originally challenged in a Quebec lower court where it was deemed illegal by a Quebec judge. The provincial government appealed the decision to the Quebec Court of Appeals, where once again, the law was tossed.
As they say in baseball, zero for two.

The Quebec government could have left things at that and accepted the decision, but it decided, on its own, to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. I'm sure that all these French language militants protesting today, were in favour of the idea of appealing to the Supreme Court, after all they had nothing to lose, they had lost already!!
It's a bit two-faced to complain about the Supreme Court today, but that irony is lost in the hysteria.
To nobody's surprise, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower court.
Nothing new here, the case was a stinker.
Zero for three.

A cynic could be pardoned for concluding that the Quebec government appealed the case to the Supreme Court, to pass the buck. It would be easier to blame the federal government for the debacle, than to admit that it passed a law that was clearly illegal.

But the Supreme Court, sensitive to the need to protect the French language, offered to stay the execution of the law for a year, allowing the Quebec government time to draft a new law that would be compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This was a lot more than the Quebec courts gave the government. If anything, language militants should thank the Supreme Court!

Myth Number 2- The English School System is demographically over-populated
One of the oldest arguments made by French language militants to limit enrollment in the English school system is the one that says English schools have proportionally more students than is demographically justified. They claim that Anglos make up just 8.5% of the general population yet have 12% of the student population in primary and secondary school systems. Statistics Canada, after a thorough study has recently defined the proportion of Anglophones in Quebec as 12.7%  Statistics Canada

Myth Number 3- Bill 115, will have a profound effect on Anglophone student population'
Bill 115 is actually more restrictive than the law it replaced. In fact nobody is arguing differently. What French language militants are protesting against, is the idea that there is a path, however restrictive and expensive, to an English education for those ineligible according to Bill 101.
The number of students availing themselves of this path is estimated (by language militants) at less than 1,000 a year. Considering that over 10,000 students who are eligible by law for an English education, voluntarily opt to go to French schools each year, the trade off doesn't seem that prejudicial.
Proportionally, for every one francophone that seeks an English education, there are 100 anglophones seeking a French education!
So much for those damned elitist, anglo colonizers!

Of course, language militants, expert in misinformation, will find a way to repudiate these truths. They  will continue to bombard fair-minded citizens with false and misleading facts. They will continue to scream that the sky is falling.

It is the only way to achieve their goals, honesty has clearly failed.

60 comments:

  1. "The number of students availing themselves of this path is estimated (by language militants) at less than 1,000 a year."

    Vous oubliez leurs frères et soeurs ainsi que les déscendants potentiels.Vous avez dit exponentiel?

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  2. Bill 115 (or now Law 115) is really a slap in the face to both the Supreme Court of Canada and all those seeking to access English public schools in Quebec. This is nothing more than another nail in the coffin for minorities in Quebec.

    Just like when the the Quebec government says that they'll attempt to hire more anglophones in the civil service, but then refuse to offer english services from the civil service. Such as now refusing to offer english communication to business owned and operated by anglophones. Why do we need to hire anglophones, we just put more restrictions on access to English.

    Two faced all the way.

    Worrying about a bunch of paranoid separatists is nothing in comparison to the crimes towards anglophones, allophones and other minority groups that have been committed by our elected officials of all parties.

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  3. Nothing to comment. The piece says it all. Good job!

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  4. Typo du Sénégal dit: L'anglomanie, c'est un phénomène qui n'est pas nouveau, il reprend les même éléments que ceux des superpuissances qui ont pris le dessus dans l'histoire de l'humanité (voir les Romains, l'empire français,...). Il ne faut pas s'en faire avec ça. Parler anglais c'est utile mais c'est pas la fin du monde non plus. J'en ai contre ces gens qui s'imaginent que l'anglais est garant de tout. Il y a des ''tarlas'' et des idiots qui parlent anglais et des gens biens, c'est comme dans toutes les cultures. Arrêtons de faire croire que l'anglais c'est le passeport pour le meilleur dans la vie. Il faut être prétentieux pour penser ça. Mais lorsque je regardes les Britanniques qui ont un journal qui s'appelle le ''Times'', faut pas se prendre pour des merdes; penser que le temps s'arrête à ce qui se passe en Angleterre... Les Québécois et les francophones veulent le droit d'exister et de vivre dans leur langue, c'est tout. Le système d'éducation n'a pas à payer pour les ambitions personnelles de petites gens qui méprisent leur environnement immédiat.

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  5. @ Editor re Typo de Senegal

    Can there be a rule against reposting a comment? I mean if people want to make the same point again, fine. Just don't allow people to copy and paste old comments. It's boring!

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  6. Mississauga Guy said...

    1 of 2:

    My critique of this piece match the sentiments of Apparatchik.

    I can't helped but be bothered that Premier Goldilocks is ready to bend over backwards to appease the unappeasable, i.e., these fanatical cukoo birds who will not rest until every last Anglophone head is put under a guillotine blade and decapitated, or that at least is done to the English language itself in Quebec.

    Mahatma Gandi once said (at least in the 1982 movie on his life) that an oppressor can kill, but he won't have the corpse's compliance.

    The following freelance article written by Montreal lawyer Michael N. Bergman very profoundly notes what can, and likely will happen to rights and freedoms in Quebec:

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Opinion+Individual+rights+take+backseat+under+Bills/3606266/story.html

    Actually, what Mr. Bergman writes is NOT new and previously unseen.

    He points out in his article that Quebec's Charter differs from the federal charter: "Quebec's Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms is subject to Canada's constitutionally entrenched charter in all but one respect. The federal charter protects individual freedoms from the conduct of the government while Quebec's Charter of Rights also protects Quebecers against violations of liberty between private individuals and nongovernmental groups."

    In 2004, the late Claude Ryan wrote a manifesto, exposé or whatever you want to call it for the PLQ entitled "Liberal Values in a Contemporary Quebec". I read the English translation by Ryan's colleague and former fellow MNA Geoffry Kelley.

    In that manifesto/exposé, Ryan points out Liberal Party values place the rights of the collectivity over the rights of the individual, a signfiicant fundamental difference from, as Bergman points out, the rest of North America let alone the rest of Canada.

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  7. @ Typo de Senegal

    "Il y a des ''tarlas'' et des idiots qui parlent anglais et des gens biens, c'est comme dans toutes les cultures."

    Maybe if you read the piece instead of just copying and pasting an old comment you would realize the Editor made this point in his article. You are either incapable of reading English and are just here to make trouble or you are too lazy to read the opinions of others. At no point did you make an effort to explain how limiting children from going to English school prevents Francophones from living peacefully in what is clearly a French dominated environment. Typical.

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  8. Mississauga Guy continued...

    2 of 2:

    Ryan's manifesto/exposé used to be online, but no longer appears to be; nevertheless, I came across a presentation by Ekos Research Associates four years ago that points out very profound differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada:
    http://www.ekos.com/admin/articles/7Nov2006.pdf

    Quebec society (the majority ilk anyway) has been conditioned extremely differently from the rest of North America. They WANT to be different and are VERY MOTIVATED to be different, not just by their language but by their whole way of thinking and being. It is NOT compatible with the rest of this continent.

    Having been born, raised and educated there, I see it. It's as plain as the nose on one's face. I never was made to feel like I belong, but as some kind of foreigner or lesser class citizen despite having been born and living my entire childhood and early adulthood there.

    Between the writings of Messrs. Ryan and Bergman above, Reed Scowen's book "Time to Say Goodbye" the Ekos study and other literature on the subject, I reiterate it's high time for a federal political party to be formed putting Quebec in the back seat. The federal mainstream parties try too hard to bend over backwards to the point the tail wags the dog.

    Quebec is totally unappeasable unless it gets its way. It's not a two-way street between Quebec and ROC. This has been proven over the last half century and enough is enough. If Premier Goldilocks was such a federalist, why does he and the rest of the Quebec Liberal Party leaders past cave in to will of these fascist fundamentalists every time?

    My hypothesis is the PLQ, at least the Francophone MNAs and supporters, share the values and sentiments of the fanatics and are sympathetic to their cause. Over the years I have seen especially older Anglophones internalize the belief that the government is out of sync with population. WRONG! If governments don't bend to the will of the majority of the voters, then the voters will vote them out. The Duplessis model of pure pork barrel politics died with Duplessis, and the Quiet Revolution was on.

    I heard an economist comment on the radio early this morning about how we won't be able to as easily get our economy back into the black like Paul Martin was able to do so in the 1990s. Back then the population was younger, more of us were working and interest rates were declining from much higher levels (for those old enough, remember the prime rate of 22% in 1981?). We sort of grew out of the deficits (even though our national debt climbed from $18 billion in 1967 to over $575 billion by the mid-1990s retrenching back to about $500 billion, but now going up again).

    The point of my economic digression is to indicate that Quebec has become nothing but an expense. The only reasons they even want to be associated with Canada are they have been able to play the gimme gimme gimme card very effectively and on a more superficial level, "Canada" is a good brand name in the international community so Quebec benefits internationally from the brand.

    We can throw Quebec out and save $8-10 billion dollars every year on the equalization payments alone, not to mention the other way overly generous benefits we bribe Quebec with to stay in Canada. We need to SAVE funds where we can, Quebec is economically finished without Canada's support (sixth highet indebted jurisdiction in the world), so why keep them?

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  9. Je suis bien d'accord avec vous monsieur l'Éditeur, les membres de la communauté historique anglo-québécoise, qui compte pour 5,6 % de la population du Québec, sont de bons Anglais qui savent pour la plupart qu'elle est leur place sur la terre des Québécois et agissent en conséquence. C'est-à-dire que beaucoup d'entre eux respectent le fait français, l'apprécient et s'en imprègnent de diverses façons.

    Mais malheureusement, les Anglais de souche québécoise ne sont qu'une minorité parmi les parlants anglais du Québec. Les autres, pour une part ceux nés ailleurs au C*****, et surtout les immigrants anglicisés, reproduisent les mêmes comportements de ceux des Anglais d'avant les années 1970. C'est-à-dire qu'ils ne veulent rien savoir du fait français et le méprisent.

    L'un des nombreux avantages de la souveraineté est que tous les parlants anglais vont, d'un coup, comprendre qu'elle est leur place sur la terre des Québécois et agirons en conséquence. Ceux qui ne seront pas contents, surtout parmi les immigrants anglicisés, comme Adski, n'auront qu'à partir, et ce sera un bon débarras.

    P. S. Le fabuleux site web vigile.net a atteint ce matin son objectif financier pour l'année 2010. Du jamais vu, car les autres années la cible était atteinte vers la fin décembre. Merci beaucoup John James Charest, vous êtes un excellent collecteur de fonds !

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  10. Typo du Sénégal dit: Pourquoi ne pas reformuler un vieux commentaire, c'est tout se que vous faites répéter les mêmes propos haineux et carrément à côté de la planque à propos du Québec. À ce compte, on devrait fermer le site qui ne ressasse que de vieux clichés et des attitudes méprisantes de la part de gens bornés refusant de reconnaître le fait français au Québec et la nécessité d'en faire la langue courante de communication et de cohésion. J'ai habité Toronto et enseigné le français, les anglophones et les allophones ne se lançaient pas dans les écoles françaises comme c'est le cas au Québec. Regardez ce vidéo, très pertinent http://archives.radio-canada.ca/arts_culture/poesie/dossiers/1234/

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  11. A few thoughts..

    The root problem here is the insecurity French speakers in Quebec (especially in Montreal) feel about their language. This is the underlying factor that explains everything. The obvious solution would have been the adoption of Swiss style language laws rather then the ludicrous pan-Canadian bilingualism of the O.L. act. (I know this won't fly very far with Quebec Anglos but they are not a disinterested party).

    One other point, the author writes "I am very proud of my bilingualism". This statement unwittingly reveals so much of what is wrong with Canadians thinking and partly explains why Trudeau was able to get away with his smoke and mirrors routine for so long. Being bilingual is not something to be proud of anymore then a unilingual should be ashamed. A unilingual person is in no way less intelligent or cultured then a bilingual person. This idea that you are somehow not being a "good" Canadian unless you are bilingual or that it somehow means you are more intelligent or accomplished is just wrong. The Toronto guy.

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  12. "Typo du Sénégal dit: Pourquoi ne pas reformuler un vieux commentaire"

    Vs.

    "Can there be a rule against reposting a comment? I mean if people want to make the same point again, fine. Just don't allow people to copy and paste old comments. It's boring! "

    Try reading the whole thing through, understanding it, and then complaining. You will realize that people will take you more seriously. I specifically say that people should be able to reformulate an argument. I complain about lazy people who COPY AND PASTE old comments that have nothing to do with the current discussion (which is exactly what you did). Like I said, try reading first, complaining second.

    While your argument about kids in Toronto not going to French school has minimal relevance, at least it is a formulated opinion that has to do with the current subject. What it does point out though, is that Torontonians have a choice about their education, something (a freedom if you will), that does not exist in the socialist, racist and paranoid province of Quebec.

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  13. Anon 11:51AM

    All immigrants get “anglicized” sooner or later. After all, this is an English continent. Just because we come to a city with some Francophone population doesn’t mean that we lose sight of the bigger picture.

    T.O.guy 1:50PM

    A point of agreement and a point of disagreement.

    Agreement: the OLA. A delusional, hypocritical bill that does not reflect the true nature of this country.

    Disagreement: imposing the Swiss model on Canada/Quebec. It would be very hard to implement in Quebec. The city of Montreal is filled with people who live in English and WANT TO live in English. Changing that would require an enormous of amount of social engineering and would have to involve high levels of overt coercion, or physical displacement of scores of people. Having a French-only jurisdiction in North America is unachievable. As an example, the US border is only 20 minutes away from my house in Candiac (a suburb on Montreal). The most powerful, English-speaking nation, almost in my backyard. Ontario is half an hour away from the western tip of Montreal. How on earth would you turn Montreal into a French-only environment? It is just not possible.

    The truth is that both Bill 101 and the OLA are hypocritical pieces of legislatures that do not reflect reality and which were enacted (OLA) and tolerated (101) only as a remedy for the threat of Quebec’s secession. These legislatures match in hypocrisy the Prohibition laws of the 1920’s United States, where anti-alcohol laws were passed and enforced by federal agencies, but everyone was boozing anyways, and everyone knew that everyone else was doing it. It was the same thing with communism, where people lived under the system they were required to praise, but everyone knew deep down that the system was bad and bound to collapse sooner or later. It is the same with the English language in Montreal where we have the “official” line, and a “de facto” status. And the de-facto status deviates from the “official” line in a major way. Simply because people don’t like what’s “official” that much. So they don’t conform.

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  14. Of course, language militants, expert in misinformation, will find a way to repudiate these truths. They will continue to bombard fair-minded citizens with false and misleading facts. They will continue to scream that the sky is falling.

    This brings to mind the often used quotation ‘The first casualty of war is truth’. There is no doubt in my mind that the Quebecois militants wage a surreptitious war with Canada on behalf of the ‘fair-minded’ Francophone citizens of Quebec. Perhaps one day Canadians will realize this and finally fight back. The longer Canadians allow Quebecois propaganda to persist unchallenged, the more these separatist lies and myths will pass as truth and direct the Quebecois psyche. I can’t speak for others, but I sense that the Quebecois want to believe the lies and Canadians couldn’t care a less if they do. We just don't have the time, energy, or will to deal with the never ending bullshit. Quebec is like an old worn out shoe no one wants wear or smell anymore.

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  15. "Quebec is like an old worn out shoe no one wants wear or smell anymore."

    A feeling being shared by a great many people in the other provinces. Take Take Take, threat threat threat and then Take Take Take again.

    Couldnt agree more with you.

    Sad, isnt it?

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  16. Adski:

    Est-ce un problème d'argent qui vous empêche de parcourir les quelques mètres vous séparant de votre paradis?Ou est-ce votre statut d'immigrant qui vous bloque l'accès aux É.U?
    Comment une personne aussi passionnée que vous par le monde anglosaxon débarque au Québec (le seul endroit Francophone en amérique du Nord) pour vivre son anglomanie?Soit vous êtes totalement idiot ou carrément malchanceux.

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  17. "(le seul endroit Francophone en amérique du Nord)"

    Officially, yes.

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  18. “Comment une personne aussi passionnée que vous par le monde anglosaxon débarque au Québec”

    1. Far from being fascinated by the "Anglosaxons" (are English-speaking Italians and Hispanics, who make up 50% of my friends, Anglosaxons?), but totally disillusioned by Quebec Francophones. I know I’m generalizing, but the types like cause a lot of damage to the image of your people. Irreparable damage, as far as I’m concerned.

    2. The answer to your question appears on the blog of your pal L.Prefontaine every week: Montreal a’anglicise. If Montreal is becoming English, that means it is no longer French, is it? Think about it.

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  19. Montreal n'est pas uniquement francophone, il est bilingue n'en déplaise au twit 4:04
    Montreal a été bâtis par les marchands écossais n'en déplaise a notre tarla. En 1795 la population de Montréal étais a 95% anglophone. Le régime français ne tolérais que le commerce de monopole, le régime anglais a amener la liberté de commerce. Malheureusement la mentalité du régime français tue lentement Montréal.

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  20. "Malheureusement la mentalité du régime français tue lentement Montréal."

    Raison de plus pour que M.Adski quitte cet endroit maudit et ou la langue officielle du travail est le Français...Tarla.Si vous voulez parler d'histoire,le canada était Français a l'origine...Double-twit!

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  21. 5:47 vous vous trompez de référence,votre réplique s'adressait surement 4:19.Un peu embrouillé?

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  22. @ Anonyme 19h13:

    Quelle triste réalité que constater que votre idéal, c'est un nettoyage ethnolinguistique des plus insidieux alors que le mien, c'est une intégration réussie à un mélange hétérogène bilingue voire multilingue.

    Vous vous amusez à dire au monde de s'en aller s'ils ne veulent pas se conformer à votre idéal immatur et restrictif comme si c'était une vraie panacée en l'espèce. C'est avant tout votre propre échec que vous exprimez si éloquemment, en démontrant que c'est vous que ne parvenez pas à tolérer la diversité dans son état naturel.

    À cette fin, je vous propose un exercice mental: comment réagiriez-vous si face à vos craintes, en partie justifiables *même* à mon avis, Ottawa nous disait (en 2010) de rentrer en France parce qu'en Amérique du Nord, ça se passe en anglais et que c'est nous qui ne "fittons" pas?

    Quitteriez-vous le continent tout simplement parce que vous ne représentez qu'un faible pourcentage de la population?

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  23. A anonyme 7:13 non il étais améridiens en premier double cons.
    En effet je m'adressais au 4:19, qui semble être un disciple de Parizeau 1er.

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  24. @Apparatchik

    Mon conseil s'adresse spécifiquement a ceux qui semblent malheureux au Québec,a Montréal en particulier ou les lois linguistiques semblent représentées un obstacle a contourner ou a détruire.

    Que penser d'une affirmation semblable ?:

    "All immigrants get “anglicized” sooner or later. After all, this is an English continent. Just because we come to a city with some Francophone population doesn’t mean that we lose sight of the bigger picture."

    Ou encore:

    "If Montreal is becoming English, that means it is no longer French, is it? Think about it."

    De la provocation ou du mépris envers la population de sa terre d'acceuil?

    Ou "un nettoyage ethnolinguistique"

    Si nous devions retourner en France,je dirais des "canadians" qu'ils devraient retourner en Angleterre car il ne "fittent" pas du tout avec la majorité américaine et qu'ils ne font pas le poids face au pays de l'oncle Sam.

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  25. "...qui semble être un disciple de Parizeau 1er"

    Je me trompe ou vous êtes un charest-gnard ?
    Petit disciple de la magouille qui avez contribué a remplir honnêtement et rapidement les coffres de de Vigile.net?

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  26. A l'attarder mental 9:49 charest est du même moule nationaleux qui nous noie depuis 30 ans. Je ne me vanterais certes pas d'être un disciple de vigile.net il faut être vraiment cons pour haïr comme cela.

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  27. "De la provocation ou du mépris envers la population de sa terre d'acceuil?"

    Pas du tout. Même dans les années 50, Montréal n'était pas une ville "anglaise" à proprement parler. Montréal a toujours été bilingue. Quelle a été l'utilité de procéder à du nettoyage ethnolinguistique tranquille alors que le reste du Québec est beaucoup plus linguistiquement homogène par nature? Les purs et durs peuvent sûrement se contenter de plusieurs régions où ils ne doivent pas entendre un mot d'anglais sauf à la télévision par simple fait démographique. Pourquoi venir à Montréal nous dicter comment vivre?


    "Si nous devions retourner en France,je dirais des "canadians" qu'ils devraient retourner en Angleterre car il ne "fittent" pas du tout avec la majorité américaine et qu'ils ne font pas le poids face au pays de l'oncle Sam."

    Alors vous n'êtes pas mieux que les bigots intolérants anglos que vous détestez tellement et qui vous admonestent en vous incitant de retourner en France. Votre discours en est un de haine, de peur, et d'infériorité.

    Vous ne pouvez vous promouvoir qu'en rabaissant ceux qui vous entourent.

    Peut-être que vous aurez le respect et la tolérance que vous revendiquez (et qui sait, des alliés même anglos et allos) lorsque vous manifesterez un peu plus de respect au fait anglais au Québec et en Amérique du Nord.

    N'oublions pas que c'est nous qui aurons besoin de nos voisins anglos beaucoup plus qu'eux en ont de nous, petit peuple en Amérique en lequel nous nous comportons souvent ces temps-ci.

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  28. Typo du Sénégal dit: À Anonyme 22 octobre 2010, 2h19 pm'' exist in the socialist, racist and paranoid province of Quebec.'' J'ai seulement une question, avez-vous fait Science Po ? Vous ne connaissez pas la signification des termes que vous utilisez ? Votre dictionnaire est peut-être dépassé ?

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  29. "les lois linguistiques semblent représentées un obstacle a contourner ou a détruire."

    The Quebec language charter and its die-hard defenders are "meprisant" as they contemptuously deride the way of life of a significant part of Quebec’s population and attempt to bully those leading a way of life arbitrarily deemed “unacceptable” into a way of life arbitrarily deemed as “acceptable”.

    How twisted is this world getting where those who stand up to bullies are labeled "meprisant" while the bullies are knights in the shining armor?

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  30. "...lorsque vous manifesterez un peu plus de respect au fait anglais au Québec et en Amérique du Nord."

    Croyez-vous réellement que les anglos d'amérique du Nord sont un idéal a atteindre en matière de respect?Pouvons-nous vraiment compter sur leur bonne foi légendaire pour le respect des minorité sans imposer quoique se soit?

    "Votre discours en est un de haine, de peur, et d'infériorité."

    Haine:
    Je n'éprouve aucune haine envers les anglos.Ils sont ce qu'ils sont.Nous sommes qui nous sommes,point a la ligne.

    Peur:
    Vous confondez craintes (justifiées) et peur.


    Infériorité:
    Certainement mais en nombre seulement.
    Les nationalistes ne sont pas des "Elvis Gratton".

    ReplyDelete
  31. The racist, bigoted language Nazis of Quebec, in very party, all over the place... What a sad pathetic joke Quebec has become. Whats even worse is that these same anti- English langauge, anti-BNA bigots are in Ottawa, TO, NB and spreading all across Canada, what an expensive mess.

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  32. To Mr. Editor: Do you deny '' Stories of arrogant Anglos telling Francophones to "speak white" are so ridiculous that it would be funny if not for the fact that so many Francophones believe and propagate this fiction.'' For you, it was fiction ? Le 12 octobre 1889, au cours des débats à la Chambre des communes, Henri Bourassa se fait huer par des députés anglophones. Quand il tente de s’expliquer en français, il se fait crier : « Speak White ! » [1]. Le dictionnaire québécois-français a une entrée tirée d'un numéro de Maclean's datant de 1963 : « For every twenty French Canadians you encounter in my house or yours, fifteen can affirm that they have been treated the discreditable "speak white". » (Sur 20 Canadiens-français que vous rencontrez chez moi ou chez vous, 15 peuvent dire avoir été intimé ce méprisant speak white.) Dans la nuit du 9 décembre 1999, des vandales ont installé une banderole sur le pont séparant le Québec et l'Ontario où l'on pouvait lire : « From this point speak white! » (À partir d'ici, parlez blanc)[2].# ↑ Eliane Catela de Bordes, Gilles Blanchard, Francois Robichaud, Le Mémorial du Quebec : tome 4, 1939-1952, Société des éditions du Mémorial, Montréal, 1979 (ISBN 2891430026) (OCLC 62992496) à la page 89.
    # ↑ Speak white ! [archive] - Nouvelle de Radio-Canada, consulté le 14 mars 2008.

    ReplyDelete
  33. «Peut-être que vous aurez le respect et la tolérance que vous revendiquez (et qui sait, des alliés même anglos et allos) lorsque vous manifesterez un peu plus de respect au fait anglais au Québec et en Amérique du Nord. »
    +
    « Croyez-vous réellement que les anglos d'amérique du Nord sont un idéal a atteindre en matière de respect? »

    À ce que je sache, il n’y a aucune loi sur la langue d’affichage qui rend illégal un panneau exclusivement en français à Moncton, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, ou Vancouver. Il n’y a également aucune loi qui empêche des parents anglophones dans ces endroits à inscrire leurs enfants à des écoles françaises là où elles existent. Peu d’entre eux s’en prévalent (ce que je trouve fort dommage sinon même reprochable), mais n’empêche que c’est un droit qu’on ne leur a pas ENLEVÉ. Un idéal à atteindre en matière de respect de droits linguistiques? Oui, tout à fait.

    Pareillement, au Québec, je ne m’attends pas à ce que tous les francophones et allophones s’anglicisent (je trouverais fort surprenant même qu’une mince minorité de francophones et une partie d’allophones le souhaiteraient même), mais je trouve répréhensible le fait que des séparatistes et leurs sympathisants nationalistes du Parti Libéral du Québec aient comploté afin de restreindre deux droits fondamentaux des gens, à savoir le droit à l’éducation et la liberté d’expression dans la langue de son choix.

    Une partie de ma famille a des origines d’ailleurs assez récentes, comparativement à mes autres ancêtres canadiens-français et des îles britanniques. Cette première est arrivée à Montréal dans les années cinquante et cherchait à s’intégrer à la communauté francophone. Imaginez donc quelle fut leur réaction lorsque leurs enfants se virent refusés l’accès par les administrateurs de l’école francophone à deux pas de chez eux et furent refilés (renvoyés?) à l’école anglaise du quartier. Ce qui est triste, c’est que leur histoire n’est pas un cas d’espèce, mais s’est répétée à maintes reprises pour bon nombre de nouveaux arrivants lorsque l’heure était à la sauvegarde de la pureté de la race. Heureusement ne fut plus le cas une génération plus tard, quoique la motivation n’était devenue alors guère plus altruiste. Il s’agissait avant tout d’une justification qui ne servait qu’à une fin qui n’avait (et qui n’a toujours) rien à voir avec le vrai bonheur des immigrants mais qui a tout à voir avec les politiques intéressées de certains.

    Aujourd’hui l’heure est à la sauvegarde de la langue mais on emploie les vieilles structures de privation et de pureté de race d’autrefois (rebaptisée aujourd’hui en homogénéité linguistique).

    «Je n'éprouve aucune haine envers les anglos.Ils sont ce qu'ils sont.Nous sommes qui nous sommes,point a la ligne. »

    C’est un bon début. Maintenant ajustez vous au fait qu’ils fassent partie du Québec sur leur termes à eux et à part égale que vous. Le reste du Canada ne nous oblige pas à au moins nous intégrer au courant d’anglais avec l’argument « parce que sur ce continent c’est comme ça que ça se passe », quoiqu’on serait pas mal con de bien apprendre (et peut être manifester une ouverture envers) la langue de 98% du continent.

    «Vous confondez craintes (justifiées) et peur. »
    Il est justifié de craindre la disparition d’un petit groupe de francophones en Amérique. Il n’est pas justifié d’utiliser la peur pour nous motiver à ne pas disparaitre.


    « Infériorité: Certainement mais en nombre seulement. »
    Infériorité en termes de petitesse d’esprit. Et oui, nos politiciens séparatistes ne cessent de la manifester.

    ReplyDelete
  34. "For you, it was fiction ?"

    No. It WASN'T fiction; it was shameful.
    Today, however, it IS fiction.

    When in the last 35 years has an anglo ever personally and literally told YOU to 'speak white'?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Reply to Adski;

    Of course had the territorial unilingualism principle (t.u.p.) been adopted decades earlier it would have been much easier then today. It is true that English would probably still be well understood in much of Quebec. This is the case in Denmark and the Netherlands. That the Dutch and Danes learn how to speak English doesn't preclude Danish and Dutch from being the only official languages there. Specifically I would make French the ONLY language of education (including PHD level) and ALL government services for ANY new arrival to Quebec - from overseas or internally from another province in Canada. Likewise Francophones outside Quebec would be dealing with an exclusively English-speaking environment. This isn't that far from the de-facto reality anyways. There are a mere 50,000 unilingual Francophones OUTSIDE Quebec. I would mention that the 900,000 French-Canadians who migrated to New England never gave the Americans any trouble. They just assimilated. They knew the deal going in. They were moving to an English only country. Investing heavily in French within Quebec would do more to preserve the "French fact" (assuming thats what we want) then any of Trudeau's pie in the sky bilingualism nonsense and be a whole lot cheaper. On a personal level I wouldn't expect any special treatment if I were living in Quebec. If I couldn't handle the realities of living amongst a Francophone community I would just leave and move to Toronto. 100,000 people move here every year anyways. The Toronto guy.

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  36. @Toronto guy

    Thank you!Merci!gracia!

    Bonne compréhension de la situation.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Investing heavily in French within Quebec would do more to preserve the "French fact" (assuming thats what we want) then any of Trudeau's pie in the sky bilingualism nonsense and be a whole lot cheaper."

    How do you "invest" any more heavily in French in Quebec? Separatists hear that and think "hire more language cops". Perhaps a more results-oriented strategy would be to give the Office de la langue française an bigger role in helping us improve the quality of our French. Kind of how Guy Bertrand (language councilor at Radio-Canada helps listeners (and network anchors) be better French-speakers http://www.radio-canada.ca/radio/francaisaumicro/).

    It's not how big the lettering is, it's 'how good you talk it'. That message still hasn't sunk in for some of the loudest megaphones of the franco-supremacist language movement, who are focusing on the absolute worst ways of promoting what would otherwise be our province's BEST asset.


    "On a personal level I wouldn't expect any special treatment if I were living in Quebec. If I couldn't handle the realities of living amongst a Francophone community I would just leave and move to Toronto."

    You make it sound like the anglos in Montreal are demanding to be served on silver platters; few if any self-respecting debaters here seriously expect Quebec to stop functioning in French (those who held that illusion left ages ago).

    By the way, it's easy to be a friend of theoretical binarisms in an ivory tower. When you've spent your entire life accumulating almost separate outward identities living amongst the different communities here, you come to understand that the only way to resolve this conflict is through compromise.

    Taking your thinking just a hair further, you could just as easily argue that if the francophones in Quebec can't handle the realities of living among an English-dominant North America that we should just up and move to France. I brought up how ludicrous I found that idea a little earlier. Alas, I guess the sun rises later in the west...

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  38. @TO guy

    This may be an issue of semantics, but what you seem to be calling “special treatment” I am calling “basic rights”.

    In terms of your dreadful ideas in regards to Quebec English institutions (like universities), you seem to be in full agreement with the worst language purists in Quebec. In that respect, you sound no different than Mario Beaulieu, the chief of the SSJB (and previously MMF).

    Re: Holland/Denmark, I believe we covered this ground on another forum (Worldwide Decline of French). You seem to cling to your Quebec-Denmark/Holland allegory while being completely oblivious to geographies and histories of the jurisdictions in question.

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  39. To Adski, Apparatchik and company;

    We could spend hours speaking about the differences between "rights" and privileges, and between individual and group or collective rights and interests. But alas, let me just ask you guys to please admit you are hardly disinterested parties or impartial sources.

    P.S. "theoretical binarisms in an ivory tower" ??? Wow! Not even gonna go there with you buddy. The Toronto guy.

    ReplyDelete
  40. RE:
    October 22, 2010 10:16 AM Mississauga Guy said...“Liberal Party values place the rights of the collectivity over the rights of the individual”

    October 23, 2010 11:18 PM Toronto Guy: “We could spend hours speaking about the differences between "rights" and privileges, and between individual and group or collective rights and interests.”

    According to Ayn Rand:See quote below:F.Y.I.

    “Any group or “collective,” large or small, is only a number of individuals. A group can have no rights other than the rights of its individual members.”

    “A group, as such, has no rights. A man can neither acquire new rights by joining a group nor lose the rights which he does possess. The principle of individual rights is the only moral base of all groups or associations.”

    “Any group that does not recognize this principle is not an association, but a gang or a mob . . . .”

    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/collective_rights.html

    ReplyDelete
  41. Myth # 1) The French language needs to be protected.
    Fact: The French language has Never been in Danger and has done nothing other than grow and flourish - over the 400 year history of Quebec! The population that embraced and GREW the French language were in FACT the English - who in spite of the Fact of winning the war - embraced the French language and its people - and - assimilated into the French culture - and both cultures lived in harmony together mostly in the Greater Montreal area - where the English happened to settle!
    Fact: The Only discrimination against language throughout the history of Quebec - was the French (Church) Against the English!
    Fact: The myths and Lies about the mean - ugly Anglo Bosses - cannot be proven - because IT Never happened!
    Fact: The French Language has blossomed across the country of Canada and was welcomed BEFORE the Language Laws.
    Fact: The Province of Quebec belongs to ALL Quebeckers and to ALL Canadians.
    Fact: Both referendum laws were held Illegally - because 'any laws that affect the lives of the people - MUST be done with the Full Knowledge and Full consent of the People - NOT the MP's &/or MNA's.
    Fact: Ethnic Cleansing is Reviled - and Illegal throughout the modern world - and yet is encouraged and promoted in Quebec - under the guise of 'protecting the French language'. To destroy and/or Erase the English language and its culture and essence - in order to -supposedly protect - the French language in Quebec - is ugly, barbaric - and beyond discriminatory... It is a Crime - throughout the Modern World!
    Fact: Before the language laws: Quebec was the richest province in the country - and the Best place to live in North America.
    Fact: Since the language laws - Quebec has become the Poorest and most restrictive and racist Province in the World - and highest taxed - with the darkest spirit. That is what happens - when Ethnic Cleansing becomes a law. All rights and freedoms are removed and one part of the population is pitted against the other - in order to Control - both segments of the population.
    Fact: You have all been LIED to about the Anglo devil etc... Go and ask for proof - documentation - dates, names - etc... And then ask yourself Why - you have been taught to HATE.. And please - don't come back with Louis Riel stories. None of us were alive then... Find out why the richest province became the poorest and most restrictive.

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  42. “let me just ask you guys to please admit you are hardly disinterested parties or impartial sources.”

    I understand how it’s useful (and probably vital) to consider a problem from a dispassionate and removed position in order to arrive at a “reasonable” solution.

    However, there’s something seriously the matter with criticizing the very people in the middle of the action for not being sufficiently removed, disinterested, or impartial.

    It’s true that some of us come here to gripe, just as others go elsewhere and gripe about us. But some of us here (and some of them there) frequently do comment beyond immediate emotional reflexes. I am encouraged when I read francophone blogs and read someone blasting the whole message board about a more responsible approach to the situation, just as I often criticize some of my English-dominant confreres here for not doing enough to integrate themselves into Quebec society.

    The caricature of the Quebec anglo as the WASPy iconic Westmount Rhodesian, just as that of the French-Canadian as a bitter, old, chain-smoking, curmudgeon endure. Why? Despite not being so true at the individual level, they are convenient symbols that are still at the root of the issue that persists to this day. I submit to you that a healthy, inviting, two-way, and willing integration is the only real way to really solve the problem.

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  43. P.S. "theoretical binarisms in an ivory tower" ??? Wow! Not even gonna go there with you buddy.

    Hit a nerve, did I? You might think I’m an out-of-touch idealistic theory wonk with my fluffy pro-bilingual integration ideals, but I arrived at my opinions doing a lot more informal and unorthodox field work than you can imagine.

    The francophones live in existential fear and (rightly, I think) believe that they should be allowed to live and thrive here. Separatist nationalist politicians reinforce this legitimate fear with illegitimate alarmism, and they do it extremely well. This gives rise to, among other things, the idea that functional bilingualism is the slippery slope to becoming unilingual English-speakers.

    Quebec anglos feel like they’re bearing the brunt of francophone backlash that they consider excessive and believe they’re allowed to exist here too. Some Quebec anglos think it’s okay to seriously not be interested in integrating into Quebec society and wrongly confuse Kirkland with Mississauga.

    People like me believe that with a fraction of the effort that goes into worrying used instead to enhance each other, both sides can thrive, especially in Montreal. Angst-ridden anglos and francos do everything they can to dismiss and belittle views like mine because they don’t like to be reminded that this conflict has more to do with their failures than it does with their existence.

    You mentioned prohibition earlier, and how people the world over are less likely to conform to the “official” line the more fictitious it is. Fact: Montreal is overwhelmingly French-speaking. The fiction is that Montreal is French-only city, as article one of our Charter has been interpreted. The truth is that this place has been a de-facto bilingual town (some neighborhoods mixed, others less so) for ages and any attempt at legislating human behavior on such a socially important point as expression and language hasn’t made many of those neighborhoods any less so, despite francophone suburban flight. (And by the way, we’re all fleeing to the suburbs because irrespective of language, young people can’t afford on-island houses whose prices which have skyrocketed in the last decade – totally unrelated to the constitutional crisis.)

    Despite all attempts to the contrary, all it’s done is change the lettering on the signs. Jim Crow didn’t make white southerners better off following their crushing Civil War defeat (although many insecure whites certainly bought into the fiction that they would be culturally safer, whatever that meant), and it certainly didn’t do much to emancipate blacks.

    In what way would doing the same a few hundred miles north with a slightly different cast of characters produce a strikingly different result?

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  44. Anon 3:19AM - excellent post and spot-on defintions. Nothing to add, except for a warning: beware of anyone (anywhere) who speaks in terms of "collective" rights, for it is a trick used to curtail individual rights.

    Anon 9:06AM - re: myth#1 - notice that Quebec nationalists get caught up in a contradiction regarding the French language - they flip flop from the "French is in danger of extinction" argument to a "French is an important language of the majority" argument. Both of these contradictory claims are false: French is neither in danger of extinction (7 million people passing it to their children), nor is it particularily important (because of the geopolitical reality).

    Apparatchik 11:42AM - it was actually me who brought up Prohibition. The common hallmark of laws like the 1920 Prohibition and the 1977 Bill 101 is hypocrisy.

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  45. "Fact: Montreal is overwhelmingly French-speaking. "

    This is actually not a fact if you use the word "overwhelmingly" (but again, here we are again in the realm of definitions and semantics). The last figure I heard was 50% Francophones/50% non-Francophones.

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  46. @Anonymous Oct 24th @ 9:06 AM I agree with the spirit of your argument but some of your “facts” are questionable.

    “The population that embraced and GREW the French language were in FACT the English - who in spite of the Fact of winning the war - embraced the French language and its people - and - assimilated into the French culture - and both cultures lived in harmony together mostly in the Greater Montreal area - where the English happened to settle!”

    Don’t confuse the rights which Quebec Act of 1774 “restored” to French-Canadians, after it was clear that they weren’t interested in assimilating and it was easier to co-opt the Church hierarchy into accepting British rule so long as its religious supremacy went unquestioned. An Anglo-Irish governor (Carleton comes to mind) knew what disasters awaited the newly-minted Province of Quebec if the English were to pursue the same policy of forcible assimilation here just as they had in Ireland in the century before. That’s why so many assimilationist orders from London were in the meantime neatly filed in a drawer in Quebec City and never implemented on the people here.


    “Fact: The myths and Lies about the mean - ugly Anglo Bosses - cannot be proven - because IT Never happened!”

    Really? In the era of unchecked capitalism, especially during and after the industrial revolution, you mean to say that anglo industrialists were ruthless in pursuing policies that worked for them EXCEPT when it came to exploiting laborers – English or French-Canadians alike? Cheap labor is cheap labor. “Get in line and follow orders” doesn’t leave much room for negotiation no matter what language you speak.


    “Fact: The French Language has blossomed across the country of Canada and was welcomed BEFORE the Language Laws.”

    You mention forgetting about Riel. Why? Some education/language laws were passed in English Canada in the early years of confederation to deliberately stem the flow of French-speaking migrants westward. Why do this unless there was an official (officious?) policy to this effect? You don’t legally restrict behavior unless you perceive it as dangerous or at least undesirable.


    “Fact: Both referendum laws were held Illegally - because 'any laws that affect the lives of the people - MUST be done with the Full Knowledge and Full consent of the People - NOT the MP's &/or MNA's.”

    Go back and read you constitution laws of 1867 and 1982. At most, what makes unfeasible Quebec independence as the separatists would like it is the fact that the interminable negotiations on every minutiae from borders to financial settlements would take a ridiculously long amount of time to fully sort out. This turns off even many nationalist separatists who figure the headache just isn’t worth it, particularly when we aren’t given a clear picture of what the result will be. Giving mandates to negotiate aren’t illegal. They’re just not pragmatic. Declaring independence unilaterally following a breakdown of such talks (“effectivity”) isn’t a principle that is accepted under international law. We’d still need to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s.


    “Find out why the richest province became the poorest....”

    If you’re talking about what happened before confederation, when Lower Canada WAS the richest province, I’ll tell you it was because Lower Canada (later Quebec) had to pick up the tab for Upper Canada (later Ontario)’s (poor) fiscal (mis)management. In addition to becoming slowly outnumbered by anglos as they immigrated from the British Isles, we (Lower Canada) had to continue supporting a much more fiscally thieving and openly corrupt Upper Canadian government. Maclean’s wants to talk most corrupt province in Canada… does Bonhomme have a 19th century Ontario equivalent?

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  47. For Anonymous at 09:06:

    "Fact: Before the language laws: Quebec was the richest province in the country - and the Best place to live in North America.
    Fact: Since the language laws - Quebec has become the Poorest and most restrictive and racist Province in the World - and highest taxed - with the darkest spirit. That is what happens - when Ethnic Cleansing becomes a law. All rights and freedoms are removed and one part of the population is pitted against the other - in order to Control - both segments of the population."

    Spot on! In all facets of prosperity and progress, Montreal is definitely in an irreversible decline since early 80s. This is one subject that I keep on bringing up in discussions with nationalists and Bill 101 supporters. Nobody can give me a solid answer.

    It is fortunate (or not, depending on your poiny of view) that the city of Vancouver is surrounded by the ocean, the mountain and the United States. Otherwise, it would have surpassed Montreal as the 2nd city of Canada since 1997. The housing price there is the indication.

    As an intermezzo, a Quebec singer who is the dear of nationalists - since she returned her Felix Award for being named Anglophone, and never sings an English song while in Quebec - just gave birth to her twins. Her AMERICAN children.

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  48. Apparatchik,

    "...Ottawa nous disait (en 2010) de rentrer en France parce qu'en Amérique du Nord, ça se passe en anglais et que c'est nous qui ne "fittons" pas?"

    It hit a nerve, did it not?

    With all the hype about French language, pur laine French Quebecers throw hissy fit if they are associated with France. Not so with Anglophone Canadians. Association with the United Kingdom or the United States - the current big devil of English language - will not incur such negative reaction as French Quebecers with France. In fact, some Torontonians take "American wannabe city" as a badge of honor.

    I honestly do not quite understand this phenomenon.

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  49. Actually the association Quebecers have with France is more of a complex love-hate than either one of these emotions specifically. How can you love the mother country that literally gave you up to your invaders in favor of Caribbean sugar cane territories? Still, how, as its direct descendant, can you hate the world power that quintessentially defines what it means to be French?

    Similarly, some anglophone Canadians (especially older generations) shared a feeling of commonality with the British Empire, while many younger ones don't.

    Some Canadians feel at home associating with American culture, while others revile it.

    What I was getting at in the sentence you quoted was in reference to francophone separatists who admonish Quebec anglos to leave for anglo North America, under the notion that anglo Quebecers are a foreign entity that should be expelled. My comment was a thought exercise that involved turning the tables, in which a now English-speaking North America tells (Quebec) francophones to go back to France because they don't fit into the anglo tapestry of the continent. Both scenarios are of course equally ludicrous in my opinion, and that was the point I intended to make.

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  50. Apparatchik:

    I understand your point and maybe my comment is a little bit of a tangent from yours. My comment was triggered by Anonymous reply to yours. It reminds me of some pure laines I know that vehemently refuse to be associated with France.

    Montrealers I know from different backgrounds celebrate their ancestry even though they have been here for generations, including those with ancestry from the United Kingdom. That I do not see from French Quebecers. They celebrate Quebecers as if Quebecers are natives of this land.

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  51. "Un peuple prêt à sacrifier un peu de liberté pour un peu de sécurité ne mérite ni l'une ni l'autre, et finit par perdre les deux." — Benjamin Franklin

    Parler de protection du français en piétinant les libertés individuelles relève du totalitarisme. On en est arrivé à nier la contribution des anglophones (irlandais y compris) qui ont bâti eux aussi cette province. Tendances lamentables que prennent la politique et l'opinion publique...

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  52. Mississauga Guy said...

    In response to Apparatchik's Oct 24, 2010 @ 11:42 AM message, you can bang your head against a wall trying to integrate [with the Québécois «pur laine»] and all you'll end up with is a bad headache and no further ahead. THEY WON'T ACCEPT YOU! No matter what you do to become a model citizen of Quebec, THE QUÉBÉCOIS «PUR LAINE» absolutely will not accept you unless you were born into it.

    About 25 years ago, an American woman tried it and failed miserably. She came to Quebec, she learned French, she put her kids in French school and did whatever she could to try and become a "model Québécois". She bent over backwards trying, and failed. Her neighbours absolutely would not accept her.

    In the end, she was disappointed, disillusioned and worst of all, bitter. She left Quebec angrily, so much so she made a point of moving out on June 24th, and we all know the significance of THAT date on the calendar!

    Proof positive integration is next to IMPOSSIBLE in Quebec. This "moral contract" new immigrants to Quebec are supposed to observe with the host society is pure hokum. It only exists on paper; besides, it gives the message that immigrants are moving to Quebec, not Canada.

    If I was a new immigrant and you tried to tell me to bank with the caisses populaires instead of the major Canadian chartered banks, I'd tell you to f--k right off! As it was, I learned about the caisses populaires the first time I went into one near Vanier College (decades ago) to buy bus tickets. I asked in English where I could buy the tickets and I was responded to in French, like I came from another galaxy. The two solitudes at work.

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  53. "THE QUÉBÉCOIS «PUR LAINE» absolutely will not accept you unless you were born into it"

    Sounds an awful lot like my southern whites analogy. At some point that idea has to lose its social acceptability. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday, and we'll be all the better for it. P.S.: Not all 'pur laines' think this way; my French-Canadian grandparents certainly didn't.


    "This "moral contract" new immigrants to Quebec are supposed to observe with the host society is pure hokum. It only exists on paper; besides, it gives the message that immigrants are moving to Quebec, not Canada."

    Cotton-candy feel-good hokum. It's Hérouxville, sanitized. The immigration legislation currently in place (I'd call it an arrangement, but I digress) stinks, in my view. By the way, The Canada-Quebec accord (in place for over two decades now) allows Quebec to select its immigrants. A shared jurisdictional responsibility? Guess what one of the main filters is...


    "I asked in English where I could buy the tickets and I was responded to in French, like I came from another galaxy. The two solitudes at work. "

    I've seen this happen to other people (while standing in line). I wonder whether sometimes the merchant/teller does this because they have a serious axe to grind or because they're apprehensive to the point of worrying they'll murder the language if they hazarded themselves. I find this regretful, especially in Saint Laurent of all places. But how many times have you ever communicated with Videotron, Hydro Quebec, or the Quebec government in English and not received service in English?

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  54. @Anon 12:01AM

    The excellent quote from Franklin certainly applies to Quebeckers who sacrificed a few of their rights for the "protection of French". Even though this “danger to French” has never been proven, quantified, or could even be felt instinctively. The whole issue was about French power, not French survival, from the get-go.

    Franklin’s quote is also applicable to Americans who gave up some serious freedom with the Patriot Act following a barrage of lies served to them by the Bush Administration. Although I have to give Americans some credit - at least there was some public opposition to the Patriot Act from the very beginning, and now, not even 10 years later, the Act comes under some serious criticism. In Quebec, 101 has been an untouched sacred cow for over 30 years now.

    I was listening to some Jesse Ventura interviews yesterday, and he delivered an excellent paraphrase of Franklin’s quote: "I'd rather deal with terrorists on daily basis then to surrender a single freedom".

    Time for someone in Quebec to step up and do the same in regards to 101. Gilbert Rozon tried timidly in 2008. Gerard Deltell tried timidly in 2009. Time for someone to man up and do it with more confidence.

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  55. Myth Number 1- The Supreme Court Overturned Bill 104
    For language militants it's easier and more convenient to blame the Supreme Court for the Bill 104 mess, (the law that outlawed the concept of bridging schools) than facing the reality that it was the Quebec courts that did the real damage.

    Bill 104 was originally challenged in a Quebec lower court where it was deemed illegal by a Quebec judge. The provincial government appealed the decision to the Quebec Court of Appeals, where once again, the law was tossed.
    As they say in baseball, zero for two.


    Actually you're the one propounding a myth here, NoDogs. Namely, the self-serving myth that somehow this is Québec "scoring in its own net". Perhaps you owe it to your lectorat to point out that the judges of the Québec Superior Court are federal appointees, and that their ruling against Bill 104 was based on referencing the Canadian federal constitution and its Charter of Rights, a constitution imposed upon Québec over its objections and which had both for its objective and effect to weaken Québec's powers in the areas language and education. So the rulings against Bill 104 are very much part and parcel of this nearly 30-yr old phenomenon of sapping Québec's autonomy in these areas using federal judges and federal laws. You're not working under deadline here. It's wouldn't kill you to get some basic facts under your belt before opinionating on these things.

    Another self-serving myth is that the law someone only touches an infinitesimal number of students anyway. This is based on pretending that the dynamics when the law was in full force will somehow continue now that the law's been eviscerated. A more realistic projection would be based on the dynamics observed before the law was even adopted. That yields a very different picture, more like a 10% (conservatively estimated, 18% less conservatively estimated) augmentation of the anglophone school population at the direct expense of the francophone one.

    http://lautjournal.info/default.aspx?page=3&NewsId=1889

    http://www.tagtele.com/profil/Balzac/?v=46758&vc=&vp=1

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  56. @ Typo du Sénégal:

    Re. Typo de Senegal

    Wow, you can read! Try reading this:

    Socalism: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    Ie: Quebec (think Hydro Quebec, medicare, daycare, eldercare, education….)

    Racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

    Ie: Quebecois hatred and denigration of Anglo/Allophones, and generally anyone not from Quebec, including you Mr. Senegal. That’s right, you are a second rate citizen in Quebec because you probably don’t look “Quebecoise” or just because you were not born here (this is assuming you are from Senegal).

    Paranoid
    1: characterized by or resembling paranoia
    2: characterized by suspiciousness, persecutory trends, or megalomania
    3: extremely fearful

    IE: Quebec’s fear of everything English based on unsupported claims of the mighty North American Anglophone conspiracy to screw them out of French and Maple Syrup.

    All definitions are care of Merriam Webster .com (and I’m pretty sure they all mean the same things in French)

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  57. @Jacques

    It’s a fact that the judges of Quebec Superior Court are appointed by the federal government (I think they shouldn’t be, but I’m not the one who decides). However, what you fail to mention is that the majority of them (I believe there are over 100 of them) are Quebecois, and that they also rule by referencing the Quebec legislature as well as the Canadian Constitution or Canadian Charter of Rights. And even if they do occasionally reference the Canadian Charter of Rights, you do realize that it is probably the most liberal charter in the entire world. And that Quebec nationalists hate it NOT for being too restrictive, but for being too liberal.

    Regarding your second point, I don’t think that you can predict a new dynamic based on an old dynamic from 50 years ago. The world changes and evolves, as you know. Quebec evolves too despite the 101 that tries to keep the Quebecois in the dark ages. But I agree with you that with loosening of the restrictions, there might be a shift from French schools to English schools. This however would not be based on the fact that some English elite rules Montreal and noone respects French, but on the fact that everyone respects French but English just happens to be the world’s friggin’ lingua franca, an important second language of Montreal, and the predominant language of North America (320 million strong). So it would be a pro-English choice, not an anti-French one. And it would be a choice based on pragmatism, not on a desire to belong to some pretentious elite.

    And if you say that the loosening of language laws might lead to the demise of French, what are you saying about your own language? How much credit are you giving it? How much confidence do you have in it? Zero, it seems.

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  58. @adski,

    It's completely irrelevant whether the majority of the QSC's rulings reference principally Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or the Iceman Cometh. In the matter under discussion *here*, their ruling on Bill 104, it referenced the federal constitution and Charter of Rights, as did the Canadian Supreme Court in its subsequent ruling. Thus following a pattern in earlier attacks on the French Language Charter.

    And thus the dishonesty of claiming that this was some kind of a "made in Québec" impasse to the law, rather than a made in Canada one, which is what it is.

    I don't know where you got the gibberish about comparing "dynamics" of 50 years ago. The links I provided don't do that. Bill 104 is a comparatively recent "annex" to the French Language Charter, having been passed under the last PQ mandate but with the unanimous support of the National Assembly in 2002. In the years prior to its adoption the traffic thru the « écoles passerelles » was constantly increasing, having doubled just in the period from 1998 to 2002. One only has to project this trend to see its exponential potential. Then Bill 104 went into effect and *then* the numbers went down dramatically, as Robert Maheu has noted. So Bill 104, as originally formulated, worked, as Mme Saint-Pierre so much as admitted on Radio-Canada 2 wks ago.

    I have no idea what the concept of being "confident" in my language means. Confident that its syntax works? That future generations of speakers will be able to produce its nasalized vowels? "Confident" of what? Confident that North American anglophones will assure the continued existence of a small francophone nation through their good faith and respect? Why would I be "confident" of that? That would be ignoring 250 years of history. Ask the Métis and the Acadians.

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  59. @Jacques

    1st paragraph: Except that in this case the Bill of Rights is the LIBERAL force invoked to overrule a RESTRICTIVE force (Bill 104). You’re right to say that it is irrelevant if the QSC (or any OTHER court) references legislation A or B. What’s relevant to me and many other people is which one of the two referenced legislations wants to restrict my choices, and which one wants to allow me a freedom of choice. And what's important TO ME is that the liberal legislation tramples the restrictive one when non-universal values are at stake (alcohol, soft drugs, language) – only in the more universal sphere (rape, murder, theft) should the restrictive legislature prevail. In this particular case, the Canadian Charter of Rights is a clear winner in terms of liberties. And Bill 104 (along with all its twin Quebec bills) is definitely the loser. And if you equate a free choice of language with an “attack on the French language”, you are selling your own language short. Way short. If you claim that only a restrictive and well-enforced law will save your language, then you make me question the vitality and importance of your language. And even if it were true (which it isn't) that French was in danger of disappearing, I would still see restrictive legislation as a greater evil than losing my liberties. A few days ago I quoted Jesse Ventura: "I'd rather face terrorists every day than lose a single liberty". I’ll paraphrase that for you: "I'd rather see French face a prospect of disappearance, then lose a single liberty over it".

    2nd paragraph: the impasse is totally made in Quebec. The RoC wants to move on and made it more or less clear at Meech Lake that no more concessions will be made. So have your referendum and go, or accept that you’re in a federation that is indifferent (but not necessarily hostile) to Quebec and the French language.

    3rd paragraph - I referenced this: “A more realistic projection would be based on the dynamics observed before the law was even adopted.” But you’re right, you were talking about 104, not 101. My bad. The “50 years ago” bit doesn’t apply in this case, but it applies in a larger context to an argument often made by defenders of 101 that abolishing 101 would mean the return of the pre-1977 Montreal. Something that won’t happen as too many things have changed.

    4th paragraph – you know exactly what I meant in the last paragraph of my last post. And you know perfectly well that I didn’t mean “nasalized vowels”. Stop being cynical.

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