Thursday, November 11, 2010

9 Million Reasons to Speak English

"To be or Not to Be" able to speak English was the burning issue of the last municipal election in Montreal, where the unilingual Louise Harel, was criticized for not being able to speak the language of Shakespeare.

Madame Harel was elegant about her lack of bilingualism and committed to improving if elected, but for some French language militants, English as a prerequisite for public office in Quebec was an outrageous affront.

The whole argument was really a tempest in a teapot, Anglos weren't going to vote for the separatist even if she could perform "Hamlet" backwards and brought up her lack of English as a cruel way to belittle her candidacy.

But French language militants swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker and raged publicly about the injustice of it all.

Rising to her defence were those like Luc Thériault, president of Mouvement Montréal français who argued in a press conference that making knowledge of English an indispensable criterion to running for mayor of Montreal was a violation of a precept established by Bill 101, the Charter of the French language.

But the debate did lay bare the dangerous concept, currently in vogue in Quebec, that English is not that important, packaged with the equally condescending lie, that while it's always useful to speak another language, it isn't particularly necessary.

It's true that when teaching Cegep in Rimouski, selling hamburgers in Val D'Or or working for the government in Quebec City, one can get by quite nicely without any English. And so the argument goes, that for most Quebeckers learning English in school is unnecessary.


The myth that learning English isn't important is spun by militants to hide their paranoid delusion that English is a dangerous threat and an automatic road map to assimilation. So it's easier to say that English is just not that big a deal. 

And so smug, complicit officials in the education department, torpedo the teaching of English to the point that French students leaving high school are functionally unilingual.

It's a cruel trick to play on students, akin to telling them not to study algebra or science because for most, it's irrelevant to their future. 

Barefoot, pregnant and stupid, the philosophy of keeping the masses on the farm by refusing to let them visit the city, was the mantra of the Catholic Church for 350 fifty years. History repeats itself.

Perhaps speaking only French is fine when one chooses to spend one's whole life, living in the cloistered fish bowl of a unilingual Quebec, but dangerously cruel, when one aspires to more.

Luckily, many francophones refuse to drink this Kool-Aid of ignorance. They dream of success on an  international level and understand the importance of English.
Julie Payette and Marc Garneau would never have gone into space without English.
Celine Dion and Guy Laliberte would never have achieved their success without it.
It's the way of the world, like it or not.

And so congratulations to Jonathan Duhamel of Brossard (a Montreal suburb) for his victory in Las Vegas at the World Series of Poker's MAIN EVENT, the world's richest and most important poker tournament.

The 23 year old Quebecker beat out a field of over 7,300 players, both amateur and professional to claim the top prize of 9 million dollars.

Duhamel's fine grasp of the poker odds and strategy would never have mattered if he hadn't first mastered the first requisite of joining the world poker elite - speaking English.

To all those in Quebec who feed the lie that speaking English isn't important, Duhamel is the living proof that it isn't quite true.

Quebeckers have a right to be proud of his accomplishments, the enduring lesson is that Quebeckers can compete on a world level in just about any field.

For Jonathan, English was just a small part of his ascension to the top of the poker world, but a key element without which, he'd have gone nowhere.

Every time Quebec language militants propagate the lie that English isn't important and that Quebeckers can be successful without it, parents will point to Duhamel and other internationally acclaimed Quebeckers and will continue to insist that their children have the opportunity to become bilingual.
As long as the education department refuses to teach English, there will be pressure to send Francophone and Allophone children to private schools.

By refusing to teach English in a meaningful way, the Quebec education department remains an instrument of oppression, seeking to limit, rather than expanding student's horizons.

Listen to Jonathan deliver his victory speech in English.
For language militants and separatists, don't bother watching. It's a bitter reminder of realty.
If you're going to punish yourself, watch Jonathan drape himself in a Canadian flag, in a final rejection of everything you believe.

67 comments:

  1. Editor wrote...

    "Barefoot, pregnant and stupid, the philosophy of keeping the masses on the farm by refusing to let them visit the city, was the mantra of the Catholic Church for 350 fifty years. History repeats itself."

    Mississauga Guy said...

    On January 4, 1989, I wrote the leading editorial published that day in the Toronto Star stating almost those exact words. This was shortly after Bill 188, the law Bourassa concocted to override the Constitutional ruling on unilingual signs by the Supreme Kangaroo Court of Canada.

    Bill 188 was Bourassa's answer to the ruling to "maintain linguistic peace". I wrote about the Roman Catholic church, fueled by despotic Maurice Duplessis, to perpetuate ignorance and endless procreation (like sows, as the late Mortechai Richler once wrote) of the majority.

    Editor, you forgot to mention that if you or I, mere Quebec Anglophones, pulled off this card shark's feat, or sang like Céline Dion, would would mean NOTHING to the «Québécois pur laine».

    What do people like Glen Ford, William Shatner and even Margot Kidder mean to the homogeneous majority? Sweet f--k all, that's what! After all, these three Hollywood celebrities are not "their" kind or ilk.

    Dickie Moore and the late Doug Harvey and Gump Worsley were all respected hockey heroes in Quebec having played for the most storied hockey team in the world, the Montreal Canadiens. All were born and raised in Montreal, but despite that, they were never and will never be as revered as Jean Béliveau and the Richard Brothers. Maurice Richard was given a state funeral when he died. I imagine the same will happen for Béliveau when his time comes (but hopefully not for some time to come).

    Don't get me wrong. I think they all had outstanding hockey skills. All are Hall of Fame inductees, well deserved honors along with other accolades that came their way; nevertheless, Harvey and Worsley never received the level of reverence "Rocket" did, and neither will Moore when his time comes. Again, I wish the survivors all long, healthy and prosperous lives.

    While the preceding paragraphs may be a little off topic, they barely are. You can be born and raised in Quebec, you can be top bananas in your chosen field, but if you're not one of "them", you will never be equally recognized, at least not in "their" minds, and I'm sure the readers of this blog know full well who "their", "them" and "they" are!

    Congrats as well to Jonathan "Doo-HAM-ul" (and do pronounce the "th" and the H in his name). I'm sure "they" will give him a hero's welcome upon his return to la Rive Sud.

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  2. Pour avoir été modérateur de Pokercollectif ou John écrit régulièrement, le Québec n'est pas dans leurs coeurs vraiment.

    Avec toutes les loi sur gambling de Loto-Québec, l'hypocrisie de Loto-Québec, le Casino qui n'offre aucun vrai incitatif à y jouer, bref, ça les fait chier et ceux qui jouent live vont jouer chez les Amérindiens dans les casinos illégaux.

    Mais c'était sur qu'il allait faire son speech en anglais, il est à Vegas.

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  3. Good morning, Editor...I really must say that greenhouse effect, pollution and global warming produce strange creatures like petits kébékuà and their own fantasy world.
    No English, no future.

    Allophone ++

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  4. "I really must say that greenhouse effect, pollution and global warming..."

    Vous devriez remercier l'Alberta pour sa généreuse contribution accentuant ces phénomènes.Pauvre petit allo rampant et ignorant.

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  5. As time passes, circumstances reveal that the Quebecois language militants are deluded and myopic. Their endless nationalistic rhetoric repeatedly exposes the weakness of their anti-Anglo dogma. I say shine a light on them whenever they surface, the more they talk, the more irrational they sound. If the Quebecois continue to listen to and take their socio-political cues from these false heroes, then they will deserve to idle in the backwater obscurity Quebec will eventually become. As these racist, political relics begin to flounder and weaken, the Quebecois have the chance to break free from their tyranny. However, I wonder if they have the will and stamina to do so.

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  6. @ Mississauga Guy,

    "Dickie Moore and the late Doug Harvey and Gump Worsley were all respected hockey heroes in Quebec having played for the most storied hockey team in the world, the Montreal Canadiens."

    Here is a funny anecdote. My father grew up with Gump Worsley in the Pointe during the late thirties and the forties. They played on the same hockey team as kids. Initially, Worsley was a forward and my father was the goalie. But during a championship game in NDG my father let in 4 goals, so they replaced him in net with Gump. No more goals were scored against their team. After that game, Worsley always played in net and there was no looking back for him!

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  7. Mississauga Guy said...

    To Pierre-Luc and the other French blogger @ 9:39 AM: The Quebec Casinos suck. I don't know why they even bother to exist other than a small room with a sign (in French, of course), "Please leave your money at the door then leave." Never saw a slot machine take my 80 quarters so fast with virtually zero payouts, and the idea of a minimum $50 per outside bet at the roulette tables is outrageous.

    The Quebec government run casinos can take their games and shove them someplace. I went to the Montreal Casino once, over 15 years ago. It was my first and last time, and the visit wasn't that long.

    Oh, and you noticed Mr. Doo-ham-ul spoke English to the Vegas crowd. He could have spoken French, but he would not have been understood. 325 million vs 7 million: That's English vs French in North America! No English? Don't cross the Ottawa River, don't cross the Champlain, NY customes point and when you see Percé Rock, stop there.

    Yes, anonymous, thank Alberta for your equalization payments, but how long will Alberta be willing to continue this charade?

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  8. First of all I have a problem with people striving for " Easy Money ". If you thought the drop out rate amongst males was high in this province, this bozo does not help out the cause.

    Oh and as for Anonymous @ 9:39
    " Vous devriez remercier l'Alberta pour sa généreuse contribution accentuant ces phénomènes.Pauvre petit allo rampant et ignorant. "

    Why not say a big thank you to that beautiful cancer producing town of Asbestos,QC that has slowly been killing thousands of people.

    Poor little insignificant, unilingual, and ignorant separatist.

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  9. Mississauga Guy said to Anglo Bashers...

    Nice story. Now we know. Your father should have some good Gumper stories. I read all of Dick Irvin's books and Gumper and Don Cherry had the funniest anecdotes, except for one by John Davidson. His was hilarious!

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  10. Steve,les gras d'origine animale carbonisés sur le grill sont beaucoup plus nocifs pour la santé que l'amiante. Si les subtances cancérigènes issues de ce type de cuisson n'ont pas raison de vous,ce sera ce type de gras lui-même,qui lentement mais surement,qui affectera de façon négative votre flux sanguin alimentant votre coeur et vos neuronnes.A vous lire,on perçois déja les tristes effets des côtelettes de porc bien cramées.

    Espérant que vous n'êtes pas unilingue anglais.

    Note: Lire le profile de Steve.

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  11. Perhaps kids should read this article as further benefit to learning another language. Would delay their admission to QC's longterm public institutions run by So-So-Solidarité union brats.
    http://tinyurl.com/2wvacwm

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  12. Congrats to Jonathan Duhamel. Way to show the separatists where to stick it.

    Protecting a language is a noble initiative, but the means employed in Quebec to achieve these ends are atrocious. How do you protect a language by creating a bubble free of another language? It seems more like a ploy to keep people confined in Quebec than a way to protect French. In the meantime, the "elite" educates their children in private English schools.

    At the individual level, Quebeckers are known for defying 101 and learning English against the official line. What bothers me is that there is no public opposition to 101. There is no talk of stupidity and excessiveness of 101 on the radio, tv, newspaper. 101 remains a taboo subject, a sacred cow. And so what that a Francophone goes around 101 if he still keeps his opinions to himself.

    This is not the case in other countries, like in the conservative US where there is plenty of liberal opinion voiced against the current state of affairs. In my native Poland, there is a vast plurality of opinion expressed in print and on tv. No viewpoint is unopposed and no viewpoint is spared from criticism. And we’re talking about a country that was communist as recently as 21 years ago.

    I was wondering about the code of silence surrounding 101 in Quebec, and upon re-reading Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer”, I think I found the answer. It goes like this: the opposition to an established order usually comes from the educated circles, with the less educated going with the flow and following the leader. The states who want to silence opposition may do so effectively by co-opting the intellectuals by offering them lucrative positions within the current social framework. This is exactly the case in Quebec, where a great majority of Francophones who finish social science degrees almost instantly find well-paid (and way over-paid) jobs with the gouvernemaman. This ploy has been shown to turn the “educated masses” from potential rabble rousers to the most ardent defenders of the system. This is why Quebec is the world’s capital in producing highly educated cynics, like JF Lisee for example.

    This state of affairs would ironically end should Quebec become independent, because independent Quebec would no longer be able to afford to pamper its Francophone university graduates with lucrative government positions. In an independent Quebec, sooner or later the un-accommodated intellectuals would start stirring up trouble.

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  13. "Please leave your money at the door then leave."

    Vous étiez dans un casino,vous espériez peut-être y voir inscrit "Take the money and run"?Pour ce qui est des affiches en Français,c'est normale car vous étiez sur le territoire Québécois.Vous êtes de mississauga n'est-ce pas?Hmmm....

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  14. Actually the air here in the Alberta foothills (3,500 ft. above sea level) is very fresh and clean, even during the summer. You don’t get the foul smog one has to put up with in Montreal or Toronto (or even Ottawa).

    Appropriate to the 18-century separatist mindset, y’all in Quebec are welcome to stop driving your cars and return to the habitant ways of old. Just remember, keep your flintlock loaded in case of bear attacks while you’re portaging your canoe to Mohawk territory for cheap smokes. After all, if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.

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  15. Anglo Montrealer gives insight...

    What makes me even angrier is that the Supreme Kangaroo Court spit on and betray Quebec's Anglo and Allo minorities every time they get a chance to. This is evident by the fact that section 23 of the Canadian Constitution Act of 1982 was inspired by Bill 101 in Quebec. In addition to discriminating against anyone who is not a citizen, the right to public education in one or the other official language is available only to those whose parent(s) are in possession of a certificate that is handed down from one generation to the next, just like a peerage title in the class-conscious England of old.

    23.(1) Citizens of Canada
    (a) whose first language learned and still understood is that of the English or French linguistic minority population of the province in which they reside, or
    (b) who have received their primary school instruction in Canada in English or French and reside in a province where the language in which they received that instruction is the language of the English or French linguistic minority population of the province,
    have the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in that language in that province.
    (2) Citizens of Canada of whom any child has received or is receiving primary or secondary school instruction in English or French in Canada, have the right to have all their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in the same language.
    (3) The right of citizens of Canada under subsections (1) and (2) to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in the language of the English or French linguistic minority population of a province
    (a) applies wherever in the province the number of children of citizens who have such a right is sufficient to warrant the provision to them out of public funds of minority language instruction; and
    (b) includes, where the number of those children so warrants, the right to have them receive that instruction in minority language educational facilities provided out of public funds. (my emphasis)

    The Supreme Court of Canada admits that this section was inspired by Bill 101: "It is therefore not surprising that Bill 101 was very much in the minds of the framers of the Constitution when they enacted s. 23 of the Charter, which guarantees "minority language educational rights". This is confirmed when the wording of this section is compared with that of ss. 72 and 73 of Bill 101, and with other provincial statutes on the language of instruction" and "By incorporating into the structure of s. 23 of the Charter the unique set of criteria in s. 73 of Bill 101, the framers of the Constitution identified the type of regime they wished to correct and on which they would base the remedy prescribed"

    Source: http://csc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1984/1984scr2-66/1984scr2-66.html

    This makes Canada just as guilty, if not more guilty, than the Quebec government in the second class treatment of Anglos and Allos.I guess this is what it means now to be Canadian, eh?

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  16. "...Appropriate to the 18-century separatist mindset"

    Et que dire de vos politiciens créationistes et pro vie.Dans quel siècle vivent-ils exactement?De l'air pure a 3,500 pieds?Wow!Ce sont les oiseaux qui doivent être contents.

    Adski le tortueux : Ce type a du talent (anglais ou pas,aucun rapport),tout ce qu'il veut c'est l'argent des amarrricains,c'est pour cette raison qu'il a la politesse de baragouine quelques mots de globish.Vous n'êtes pas très perspicaces.

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  17. Actually (and the Editor made this point) you need to be reasonably fluent in English to have any kind of meaningful career these days, regardless of whether you’re aiming for big bucks in the U.S. or not.

    It’s blindingly obvious to most of the world outside Quebec (and many people within) that English is *the* global language, the lingua franca if you will (ironic, no?). Perhaps it could have been debatable forty or fifty years ago, but not anymore. The globalization of trade and development of the internet pretty much sealed that deal.

    Of course the Camille Laurins, Robert Bourassas et al could not have foreseen (or could not fathom) that English would come to dominate the world. With that in mind, Quebec’s coercive language laws and the resulting economic collateral damage constitute a great example of the law of unintended consequences.

    @adski – That is an interesting and credible theory in regards the “code of silence” around Bill 101. I’ll have to check out the Hoffer book.

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  18. @Anonymous 12:22 PM

    What do the blogs I follow have anything to do with this discussion?. Personal attacks? typical of a separatist.

    Now backup to the Asbestos mine you Poor little insignificant, unilingual, and ignorant separatist.

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  19. People go to the time, trouble and effort to learn another language only when it is in their personal interests to do so. Not because their government wants them too. This is a simple fact that social engineers like Trudeau were never able to understand and it explains why his bilingualism "solutions" was such a vapid and absurd action. The Toronto guy.

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  20. "...aiming for big bucks in the U.S. or not."


    Hein?Good luck dude!Le seul moyen de faire de l'argent aux É.U aujourd'hui,c'est d'être champion de poker.La preuve,mon camarade Québécois qui ne connait même pas Shakespeare peut maintenant acheter une douzaine de canayens et 2 ou 3 américains.

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  21. "What do the blogs I follow have anything to do with this discussion?. Personal attacks? typical of a separatist."

    Stevie (we're good friends now),je ne suis pas séparatiste,je fais même parti d'un nouveau regroupement qui a pour but d'améliorer les conditions de vie des anglophones de Montréal qui sont au prise avec des problèmes d'ordre linguistique et financier:

    Fondation pour l'unité canadienne au Kébec (F.U.C.K).Nous sommes un petit groupe de professeurs de Français bénévoles qui travaillons ardument,entre autre,sur l'amélioration du Français chez les unilingues anglophones afin qu'ils puissent trouver un bon travail au sein de la fonction publique et ainsi intégrer plus facilement la société Québécoise.

    Je trouve donc vos accusations tout a fait injustes et irrespectueuses .Je suis un bon gros fédé tout comme vous ; prêt a tout afin de sauver notre Canada.

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  22. @Anonymous 6:00 PM

    Ok "Fondation pour l'unité canadienne au Kébec" is ( F.U.C.K.'ing) funny . I got a kick put of that. Nice reply.

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  23. Louise Harel aside, I have always been fascinated by the fact that most leading Quebec separatists throughout the decades have spoken excellent English. Furthermore, many have attended English-language universities - often prestigious ones (e.g. Andre Boisclair at Harvard) - in Canada, the U.S., or even the U.K. (as in the case of Jacques Parizeau).

    Perhaps a rhetorical question at this point, but if speaking English isn’t important, why would even “pur et dur” Quebec separatists / nationalists such as Camille Laurin or Bernard Landry bother developing such a high level of fluency? English is an extremely difficult language to master.

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  24. Mississauga Guy said...

    ...to the jerk of NOVEMBER 11, 2010 12:56 PM:

    No, jerk, I don't expect there to be a sign "take the money and run". Besides, Steve Miller wrote the song and Woody Allen the movie. I WOULD expect the payouts to be a little better to encourage players to play longer and be better entertained. There are two casinos in Niagara Falls and a few others in Ontario and they certainly pay out better for longer play. Outside bet minimums are $10 or $15, not $50 for heaven sake!

    Too, French-only signs "ne sont pas normale" except for the sociopolitical engineering that forced unilingual French signs down our throats. Before Bi11s 22 and 101, bilingual signs were the norm, even unilingual English signs were not attacked.

    I realize the sign stuff is a bygone era, but that being the case doesn't make it acceptable. Until recently, you didn't see laws and now municipal by-laws forcing bilingualism in signs. I'm NOT asking for that. If you want to post a French-only sign outside Quebec, I won't stop you or anyone else from doing so.

    You want to start a business at Bloor and Yonge Sts. in downtown Toronto, be my guest. La Maison de la Presse Internationale has done this, and while it existed, so did La Maison du Croissant Ltée. The owner of the croissanterie was from France, and I'm sure most of the reason for the French name was trendiness or in creating a certain ambiance. No matter. There is no law in Toronto, and most of Ontario for that matter, forbidding the posting of French-only signs.

    Now poutineries are popping up in Toronto. I'll make a point of frequenting them on an occasional basis due to their being highly caloric and fatty edibles, but they're as welcome as can be to be part of the Toronto mosaic.

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  25. Adski shouldn't be surprised, one knows how much "la pensée unique" dominates Francophone medias. What saddens me the most is that many people, including many readers of this blog, make their opinion essentially from what the media decide to show, so they have no clue how millions of Québecers, at the individual level, refuse to live isolated from the rest of the world.

    Anyway, to have had a few arguments with hardcore militants like Préfontaine, their point is that "international" is a farce. Like Hitler, those guys believe that individuals are meaningless units in a nation and national interest shall prevail over any individual interest. Préfontaine & Co find perfectly normal that a person spends her/his whole life without crossing borders, interacting with foreigners and so on on...

    It's no surprise then, that they think learning another language is not important. For them, life is local and it should stay so. Roger and Francine from Sept-Iles shouldn't venture out of Québec on vacation, let alone should we "let" their son study in Ottawa!

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  26. "...If you want to post a French-only sign outside Quebec, I won't stop you or anyone else from doing so."

    Missi: Allez donc jeter un coup d'oeil sur ce petit groupe de bigots anglos.Moi et ma famille allons régulièrement en vacances au N.B et y déposons au passage quelques dollars dans l'économie locale.Lors de notre prochaine visite,nous encouragerons seulement ceux qui affichent en Français.Dites a vos amis racistes qu'ils se tirent dans l'pied.

    http://www.asnb.ca/

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  27. Berliner,

    If Prefontaine gets what he wants, Quebec will surely be a backwater place and will be set backwards at least 50 years.

    Some in Prefontaine wish list:

    -) Annihilation of English public education system.
    -) Prohibition for companies to demand competency in other language.
    -) Obligation for English media to have French content.
    -) Refusal to the Supreme Court's authority.

    http://louisprefontaine.com/2010/10/27/andre-pratte-mensonges

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  28. This is a personal story regarding what happens when those "types" venture outside Quebec. My husband and I were on a holiday in the Dominican Republic. There were informational meetings on our first morning at the resort - the first one in French, the second in English (of course, we know our place). While we were in the English meeting some Francophone prick and his sow joins the "English" group. Almost immediately he interrupts the host with some tirade in French about the condition of his accommodations and other complaints about the food, etc. Honestly.

    He actually interrupted an information meeting for the English speakers to make a huge scene, embarrass the host and waste other vacationers time because let's face it...life is all about him. I could have done without that start to my vacation. I saw this jerk a few more times over the vacation eating huge plates of fries for his meals. He should have just stayed in Quebec where he could have at least got greasy gravy and cheese curds with it. Those Dominicans know nothing of the finer foods in life.

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  29. derteilzeitberliner: "millions of Québecers, at the individual level, refuse to live isolated from the rest of the world"

    Why aren't they speaking up?

    In my 20 years in Quebec, I haven't met a single Francophone who would openly object to 101. The best I ever got was something along the lines of: "yeah, a lot has changed sine the 1960's so 101 should definitely be tweaked...but...it should stay because we have the right to protect our language...". And that is from “open-minded” bilingual federalist Francophones. (btw, I stopped believing in the "protection of the language” excuse. Now, I see it as a cynical way of excusing a law that benefits your demographic group – i.e. we know deep down that it's wrong, but hey, we're on the benefit end of it, so let's defend it and pretend it it's about our "culture").

    Others Francophones who are not too gung-ho over 101 simply refuse to talk about it.

    I'm still waiting for one who'd say: "man, this law is shit. Let's repeal it."

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  30. Adskouille:

    Vous devriez tenir vos propos sur la place publique.Si vous êtes vraiment convaincu de ce que vous avancez,je peux vous obtenir une entrevue radio.A condition que vous disiez de vive voix que la loi 101 est de la merde pour les Québécois.

    Il s'agit d'une radio communautaire s'adressant a un auditoire averti et intéressé par les sujets politiques et sociaux.Peut-être pourriez-vous recruter par la même occasion quelques individus intéressés a former un groupe de pression anti-loi 101?

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  31. To the moron @ 8:57 AM...

    You're calling the Anglo society of NB racist? wow...This is coming from a society in which it is the norm to bash Anglos on a daily basis. They, like Anglo Quebecers, are fighting for individual rights to post language signs of their choosing, a non existent right in Quebec.

    Anglo Montrealer

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  32. Très bon livre :''Histoire intellectuelle de l'indépendantisme québécois
    Tome I 1834-1968'' VLB Éditeur

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  33. ...a fine example of the intimidation that occurs when anyone dares to question Bill 101, the most holy of holy texts.

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  34. @ Anon./Dartagnan,

    "Vous devriez tenir vos propos sur la place publique.Si vous êtes vraiment convaincu de ce que vous avancez,je peux vous obtenir une entrevue radio.A condition que vous disiez de vive voix que la loi 101 est de la merde pour les Québécois."

    Why don't you publicly identify yourself and go on an Anglophone radio station and repeat all of the fascist/racist comments that you have been making on this blog for months?

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  35. "...You're calling the Anglo society of NB racist?"

    Lorqu'ils agressent nos frères et soeurs?Oui!
    Le N.B est officiellement bilingue.Nous ne laisseront pas les anglos imposer "leurs" lois.

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  36. "Why don't you publicly identify yourself and go on an Anglophone radio station and repeat all of the fascist/racist comments that you have been making on this blog for months?"

    L'auditoire n'est pas assez important.De plus je n'ai rien a revendiquer,c'est vous qui voulez abolir nos lois pas nous.Respectez les règles du jeu et tout ira bien.Acceptez la place que vous occupez dans notre société (17%).

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  37. @Anonymous 2:16 PM

    "Acceptez la place que vous occupez dans notre société (17%)."

    So then accept the place we allow "you people" occupy in North America in our English society (3%)

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  38. "Le N.B est officiellement bilingue.Nous ne laisseront pas les anglos imposer "leurs" lois."

    Only the government of New Brunswick is bilingual, and this despite the fact that Francophones only comprise about a third of the population. The bilingualism law does not apply to private businesses.

    I don't think that Francophones in New Brunswick (or any other Anglo province in Canada) should be better treated than Anglophones in Quebec. The Anglophone majority in NB should vote to repeal its officially bilingual status and make the province English only.

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  39. @Adski

    I actually erased the first version of this comment, in which I was summarizing my grasp of what happens in the average Francophone mind in today's open world but this is rather secondary because the phenomenon you describe in your reply to me is larger than language.

    Preaching dissent is tough in Québec. Have you seen the disdain with which the "elite" treats Éric Duhaime because he launched a group that go against the so-called "heritage of the Quiet Revolution"?

    Gilles Duceppe thinks his socialist agenda are the true "valeurs québécoises", implying that anyone not believing in socialism can't pretend being a citizen of Québec. On his blog, Jean-François Lisée twists every possible fact to prove how Québec is richer than it is.

    Look at how the MNAs vote. How many laws and motions are adopted unanimously? I've joked on twitter that the members of the Assemblée Nationale could be mistaken for the Supreme Soviet.

    The media. Fine, La Presse is more federalist than the others but left-wing nationalism is a constant force all over the tv remote and newsprints.

    Québec is ruled by a self-proclaimed elite who looks down on the ordinary citizens and who deems anyone begging to differ from their supposed consensus a traitor.

    No wonder people are deserting the polls. More and more people don't recognise themselves in what's offered and stop caring.

    If you're looking at history, it has always been so. The Church discouraged contact with Protestants because they could "contaminate" Catholics with liberal ideas.

    After the 1960s, the State replaced the Church and it was the same again. France was to be the only influence in our politics, there was no way our politicians would inspire themselves from our neighbours. And again, there would still be a ruling class that didn't listen to any taxpayer. Instead, they bend down to any request made by a subsidized lobby.

    The average Québecer's hability to speak up has been crushed to an extend that would make any dictator jealous. As if it wasn't enough, we've come to support silencing those who reject being chained.

    And since it includes A LOT more than language, it demands a much broader discussion.

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  40. The ironic thing is that if Quebec separates then its citizens will REALLY need to speak English. No more $8 billion in annual equalization payments, no more transfer payments, no more special favours from the federal government to artificially prop up the Quebec economy (sweetheart contracts to firms such as Bombardier, etc.). Then and only then will Quebec realize that in order to sustain their economy they will have to encourage UNILINGUAL anglophones to come to Quebec to live, work, educate, invest, etc. ... and they'll only come if they can live in unilingual English and interact with Quebec society in unilingual English.

    French is a folk language in Quebec. Sorry, that's not meant as a mean thing to say, only a demonstrable, obvious observation. Indeed, the best proof of this is Bill 101 itself because if French was NOT a folk language, why would Bill 101 even be necessary?

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  41. "French is a folk language in Quebec. Sorry, that's not meant as a mean thing to say, only a demonstrable, obvious observation. Indeed, the best proof of this is Bill 101 itself because if French was NOT a folk language, why would Bill 101 even be necessary?"

    Indeed, if french was not a folk language then it would not require protection by bigotted laws which discriminate against other languages. Pretty will sums it up TK.

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  42. L'anglais aussi est donc folklorique car même les américains doivent légiférer en matière linguistique afin de se protéger contre l'invasion Hispanique.

    Attention!Les Chinois arrivent a grands pas et se sera bientôt a votre tour de vous faire traiter de folkloriques...sans méchanceté,bien sûr.

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  43. "This makes Canada just as guilty, if not more guilty, than the Quebec government in the second class treatment of Anglos and Allos."

    So very true. The criticisms on fascist Quebec have been well deserved but it's been a disgusting display of political expediency by federal governments that have abandoned the citizens of this province and have neglected to protect the rights this nation guarantees them.
    They can raise millions in propaganda to convince Canadians that billions must be spent, as well as lives, to protect the rights of Afghan women, but the cellar door is kept sealed in a hear no evil, see no evil strategy when it comes to our rights in Canada.

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  44. "The criticisms on fascist Quebec have been well deserved..."

    Ha oui?

    http://www.vigile.net/The-most-racist-province-of

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  45. I don’t think anyone’s trying to say any other province is free of racism; that is a straw-man argument. This is my experience; take it for what you will:

    I moved to Montreal in 1998 for a job in the tech sector; Quebec at that time was experiencing a tech “boom” thanks to generous provincial subsidies. Having grown up in a large, ethnically-diverse Ontario city, arriving in Montreal I was taken aback at the casual racism (yet racism nonetheless) of my ostensibly educated French-speaking colleagues. I chalked it up to child-like ignorance rather than malice, as the worst offenders were generally (though not all) from outside Montreal, and were no doubt simply not used to other cultures and races. Also, after a time it became evident that crude, mean-spirited racial caricatures and references are relatively commonplace in Quebec French-language pop culture. E.g. I don't believe there's been anything on the mainstream English-language airwaves even remotely close to the unfunny “Bye Bye” series, not within the last 40 or 50 years anyway (think Buddy Hackett and the Chinese Waiter bit).

    @adski: On the `code of silence`topic`, from my admittedly limited time in Quebec (eight years), I’d go further and say this phenomenon also applies to a lot of English-speakers in Quebec, especially those who have lived there all their lives. Of course in the English-speakers case it’s more likely due to fear than anything – whether it’s fear of stepped-up government harassment, or fear of implied / actual threats of violence from the more extreme nationalists. I don’t blame the Quebec English-speakers, though; if I thought I had no option but to live there I’d probably do likewise. Nonetheless the cognitive dissonance would be hell.

    Most, including myself, decide it`s just best to vote with their feet. Thanks again to Quebec Inc. again for the inexpensive B. Comm, though. I like to think of it as Quebec doing its part for the Alberta economy (over twice the per-capita GDP of La Belle Province), reinvesting some of the $8-billion in transfer payments in productive assets, if you will.

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  46. I'd add to my own comment that there's this kind of, I dunno how to name it exactly, "patriotic reflex".

    I don't like Québec more than Canada. In fact, I believe loyalty to a state or a nation is a bit outdated and if I am to be considered a patriot, then it is of a mix of countries that I love: Canada, USA, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Germany. I am attached to French, who I consider hardly a dead language, but to me it is essential to at least get along in a handful of languages, not just one or even two.

    When I speak to Francophones, and there's evidence of this on blogs, I often find myself denouncing how provincial Québecers are, how our lobbies must stop discouraging us from consuming foreign culture, how we have to travel, etc. I believe the real victims of 101 are Francophones, who are not only deprieve of a right Anglophones have, but who are also made to believe that living isolated from the rest of the world is a good thing.

    But when I come here, while I quite often more or less agree with what our host writes, I sometimes cringe when I perceive that the legimitacy of Francophones to exist is questionned. I'm not interested in much of Francophone culture but it has the right to exist, and no it's not inferior because it's a worldwide success.

    Québec has gone anti-English instead of pro-French, compare to Iceland for example, but those who speak French certainly have the right to do so, and it's only common sense that businesses making money here should serve clients in their language. Now, do we needs laws and so on? I'm not sure.

    I certainly do not oppose the fact that, if you are to speak only one language, it's more useful to speak English than French. But who cares if you rarely ever need to speak another language, in both cases?

    Is an unilingual farmer from Gaspésie inferior to an unilingual farmer from the Faroe Islands or Saskatchewan? I say, who cares if they don't need it for their daily business.

    Hell, in central Berlin, of all places, I've been approached by both Americans and French to help them out because they didn't speak German.

    Many Anglophones have praised the fact that I speak three languages fluently but to me this is the most normal thing in life. I don't want a medal for this, but I certainly conclude that if Anglos praise my multilingualism, then it probably means they have been abroad at some point and struggled to be understood.

    And, on each side, who are you to expect the other to speak your language when you can't speak theirs?

    In my mind, the problem is the restrictive laws, not the two languages living side by side. And this has to be corrected.

    But what I hear here sometimes are comments (not all, of course!) that are questionning the legimitacy of speaking French in Canada in 2010 because it's supposedly dead, outdated, etc. This is just as bad as "Préfontaine and Co" who dream of eradicating English from Québec as if it was a plague.

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  47. If Anglos would be quiet, the Francos of Quebec wouldn't have to put rules, defend themselves or fight. The plague is not where you think it is. People have the right to speak and be what they were 400 years ago. Promises promises ? Well goodbye to the f.. Queen. TIme that they put her out of the Province.

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  48. "right to speak and be what they were 400 years ago"

    Tell that to the Natives that you conquered.

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  49. This is the typical answer of all Ontarians. They refuse to admit we are different and that we were here before them. They refuse to understand our rights, and they are pig headed about it. Well we won't leave, we will speak French and we don't care about you, why should we ?

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  50. It is terrible how those two English people on this site have everything confused, mixed up and use so much malice. If only they could stop bullying the French in their province ! Ontarians are not flexible, dislike languages, are arrogant and not capable of thinking very deeply !!!! I know everybody sees that well...

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  51. "Ontarians are not flexible, dislike languages, are arrogant and not capable of thinking very deeply !!!! I know everybody sees that well... "

    Really, confused as you say. Seems to me Quebec is the province with bigotted language laws which are designed to eradicate anything anglo. Dislike languages, Ontario is bilingual in many centers whereas Quebec is unilingually french with laws to uphold the continued discrimination against anything which is not french. No, everyone outside of the brainwashed Quebecois see things as they really are. A distrought province with huges debt and living off the avails of others. Anything more, I don't thing so. The national media have it correct. I doubt that Bonhomme is all the white either :)

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  52. "They refuse to admit we are different and that we were here before them."

    Really, you got your ass kicked. Of course you might be young and educated in the Quebec school system which changes history to suit themselves.

    "Well we won't leave"

    Gosh, I sure wish you would.

    "we don't care about you"

    Feeling is quite mutual, so why don't you leave. We (english canada) aren't going anywhere as we are the majority. Think about that!

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  53. "But what I hear here sometimes are comments (not all, of course!) that are questionning the legimitacy of speaking French in Canada in 2010 because it's supposedly dead, outdated, etc."

    Really:

    http://theworldwidedeclineoffrench.blogspot.com/

    French will be deader than a doornail in twenty years. Only in Quebec due to the silly policies of the Canadian federal Government who should repeal the OLA ASAP. Quebec and French are dragging Canada into a dead end spiral of death. But, if you enjoy it, no problem.

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  54. @Anon, Nov 15 11:40

    There's something you'll have to explain me.

    There are hundreds of languages that have less speakers than French and who still live.

    I have never said that I'd like French to be the same international language it was 120 years ago, I couldn't care less about whether French is used at the UN or the Olympics or taught to X number of kids in X countries. And this is actually what the blog you've linked is about.

    Every year or so, the Danish media reports on those businesses complaining that too few young Danes speak German nowadays, which make it hard for them to recruit German-speaking staff to deal with their biggest trading partner. The Danish Ministry of Education also has studied the case, arguing that students should learn more languages than just Danish and English.

    One may argue that it's the Germans' fault, they should speak more English. But a Dane that speaks German to reach out to clients, in addition to Danish and English, is a few step forward a bilingual or unilingual German.

    If you think that French is bringing Canada to death, then how about all those countries that speak languages only found there?

    Iceland: ca 307000
    Faroe Islands: ca 50000
    Denmark: ca 5M
    Norway: ca 4M
    Sweden: ca 9M
    Finland: ca 5M

    We could then speak about Poles, Hungarians, Czechs and Slovaks, or move on about Italians, Greeks, Koreans...

    No matter how bi/multilingual these societies can be, I don't see them dropping their language in favour of English any time soon. I even think they are models for Québec, as their languages live with minimal/inexistent legal intervention.

    If a tiny language such as Faroese can live, why can't French?

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  55. Exactly, French is an "adstrat" in Canada. It means it cohabites with another language. English is not a "superstrat" and does not take over at all. Other examples are in Aosti (French among Italians), or Belgium (French among Flemish). The attitude of the English is arrogant, but this is known everywhere in the world, it is their trademark, just like American money which was an arrogant denomination, until the Euro was born. The French in Canada like to travel across the ocean, are opened to other culture, enjoy food, creativity, enjoy wine, and a lot of them are refined. Most of all they love their own "Patrie" Quebec.

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  56. @ Anon. at 9:34 AM:

    "The attitude of the English is arrogant, but this is known everywhere in the world, it is their trademark,"

    Not nearly as arrogant as the French. Don't you know that the French are called "the arrogant race" by just about everyone?

    "The French in Canada...are opened to other culture"

    Why then are the Quebecois so hostile to immigrants and hold "reasonable accommodation" hearings? There are twice as many immigrants on a per capita basis in the rest of Canada, but they don't hold hearings of this type.

    Why is Quebec doing everything it can to stamp out the public visibility of other languages and cultures? Languages other than French are rare on signage and restrictions have been placed on Muslim women wearing head gear.

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  57. @derteilzeitberliner

    Re: dissent – good points. I am really bothered by the lack of dissent in Quebec. 101 is just a bad law, but bad laws happen. The US had prohibition, they had McCarthy, the “war on drugs” since the 1970’s, and now the Patriot Act. However, in the US, dissent is always heard. Who can forget Edward R. Murrow and his denunciation of McCarthy. In the meantime, in Quebec just LAST NIGHT Mario Dumont had some old dude on his tv show who sounded more radical than P.Curzi and resorted to slurs like “tetes carres anglais” (can you imagine someone on English tv talking about “peppers” and frogs”?). Sure, the US has Limbaugh and Beck, but they also have Olbermann, Maher, Moore, Stewart, and Colbert. Why doesn’t Quebec have anyone who would openly denounce dudes who think like the old man that was on Dumont’s show last night?

    You said once that you don’t like the fact that generalizations are made about ALL Francophones. But here is your answer as to why: the lack of dissent makes people think that all Francophones might think along the same lines (which may or may not be true - how are we to tell?)

    Re: other languages (Finland, Sweden, Denmark…), these countries have a better perspective of their place in the world than Quebec. This is why Danes will learn German (in addition to English, which all of them already know), rather than expect the impossible – that Germans (who have the luxury of not caring about Denmark) will learn Danish. So instead of passing “pro-Danish” laws to get back at the German minority in Denmark, the Danes do something more practical and less antagonistic – they learn the language of the much more powerful and populous neighbor WITHOUT complaining that the neighbor does not reciprocate.

    The antagonisms that (publically UNOPPOSED) Quebec policies generate are an important factor. Sometimes, I think that Quebec prefers to be DISLIKED than IGNORED. Because if it wasn’t for the antagonisms, that’s what the RoC would do – stop paying the slightest attention to Quebec and the French language.

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  58. @Adski

    I totally agree with your conclusions there.

    As for "knowing your place in the world", this is exactly what I'm asking to all Francophones of the world. Instead of whining, do like the Danes. Anyway, I have said it here, I absolutely dislike speaking French outside Québec or France.

    I guess you're right about prefer being disliked than ignored. I personally find Francophones be to be attention whores, no wonder it's reflected collectively.

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  59. I never heard such nonsense of my life. According to the Anglos of this blog, money is the only reason which will force people to speak English, force them to become anglos.
    Just a minute here. I demand from all of you English-speaking writers to write about your knowledge on the following subjects:
    1) why does Quebec is a distinct society;
    2) why do you have to respect all citizens of a country;
    Your response will be sent to the francophones community centers, spreaded on the 200 million francophones in the world, as I am connecting with the OIF (Organisation International Francophone). This blog is visited by them and a decision will be taken on the interpretation of English Canada vis-à-vis the French-speaking community of Canada.
    Thank you for your patronage dear English-speaker PROUD TO BE CANADIAN!!!!

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  60. Anon 1:01AM: "Your response will be sent to the francophones community centers, spreaded on the 200 million francophones in the world, as I am connecting with the OIF (Organisation International Francophone)."

    Here's my response. Please send immediately.

    http://tinyurl.com/2fqrs25

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  61. People are not ready, only good dogs.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/feb/11/dog-fouling-britain

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  62. "...encourage UNILINGUAL anglophones to come to Quebec to live, work, educate, invest, etc."

    Yeah right! Ça fait 50 ans qu'on essaie de se débarasser de vous autres...Ben oui,on va vous rappelez.Don't call us,we'll call you.

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  63. "...101 is just a bad law, but bad laws happen."

    Demandez-donc aux Québécois si ils désirent la disparition de cette loi.Mouuhhaaha!

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  64. Everyone in Quebec speaks English, except they don't have to. They are at home, that's why you can't stand Bill 101, it's a good bill, you can't take it bastard ! Even the Queen speaks French...

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  65. Attention!Les Chinois arrivent a grands pas et se sera bientôt a votre tour de vous faire traiter de folkloriques...sans méchanceté,bien sûr.

    nice try, separatist baffoon, but the way the chinese language is structured with its absence of grammar and complexity, I highly doubt it will become the next lingua franca of the world and I don't think the whole world would adhere to it either, given the fact it is a hard to learn for nearly all non native speakers around the world... if there is one language that has a chance to grasp that stature, it is spanish... portuguese would be in for close call position as well to step up for the takeover of the lingua franca of the world, since brazil is booming up economically on a fast pace.

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  66. Replying to this moron

    Demandez-donc aux Québécois si ils désirent la disparition de cette loi.Mouuhhaaha!

    Buddy, you would be surprised to see the amount of francophone wishing this see this impeding law removed from the board since it has been detrimental to their kids for their learning experience so far.

    Yeah right! Ça fait 50 ans qu'on essaie de se débarasser de vous autres...Ben oui,on va vous rappelez.Don't call us,we'll call you.

    Which is why the economy is falling apart in Quebec since you have been driving head offices of plenty of companies out of the provinces with your backfiring bill 101? Montreal has been declining all because of this bullshit.
    Typical pure-laine, They complain why everything is now relocated in Toronto, yet, they keep wondering why? Stupid, stupid, but MOST OF ALL DUMB DUMB...

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  67. Please Mr. Editor, Re-title this topic:
    9 MILLION REASONS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER CANADA !
    Just read the francophobic lines from Mississauga, Toronto and adxi !

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