Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dangerous Language Rhetoric Fails to Convince

Chateau Marois
In order for a language or culture to be threatened, it obviously takes another language or culture to threaten. Whether true or not, French language militants have been shouting loud and long that it is the English language and culture that is menacing the survival of French in Quebec.

The unfortunate extension of this argument is that, if English culture is threatening, it's Quebec's English citizens, who are to blame, in some major or minor way.

So inured are Quebecers to anti-English rhetoric from radicals that they no longer recognize attacks on English citizens as good old fashioned racism, which it is.
If one were to point this out, as I am doing now, shock would likely be the reaction by the francophone majority.
Quebecers as Racists?.....Never!

A couple of days ago, Pauline Marois' aide told reporters that she was about to close a sale on her famous mansion on Ile Bizard; 
"The sale of the property was not conditional on the buyer being a fluent French speaker, Marie Barrette, Marois's press attaché told the Journal de Québec.
"There were no sale conditions related to the origins of the person, but even better if it is a francophone. It's nice. That makes one more in Quebec," Barrette told the paper." Montreal Gazette Alternate Link
I almost fell over reading the statement and was inclined to paraphrase the Bible, 'Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they say!'
The spokesperson actually made it a point to tell reporters that Madame Marois did not include a clause excluding potential purchasers based on their origins which, as any high school student could tell you is not only racist but quite illegal!
So congratulations to Madame Marois for her courage in not excluding any potential buyer, based on race, creed or colour!

Imagine dear reader if you met with your local Century 21 agent, say in Montreal West, and made it a point to tell her that you wouldn't insist on a clause barring French Canadians from buying your house.
She'd probably think you a nutbar and racist extraordinaire. She'd be right.

But these type of racist public statements go unchallenged in Quebec every day.

And so it has unfortunately become commonplace in the media and among separatist politicians to disparage Anglos and allophones as less than desirable, a negative disturbance in the force, citizens to be tolerated, but never accepted as equals.
"We must work to develop policies to keep Montreal francophones from leaving the island and create conditions for more francophones to return." Pierre Curzi - PQ
What does this statement say about how Anglophones and Allophones are perceived by separatist politicians?

I daresay that if one were to ask Mr. Curzi if he viewed Anglophones and Allophones as less worthy or desirable citizens than francophones, he would bristle with indignation.

But Mr. Curzi's view that there are too few francophones on the island of Montreal is just a polite way of saying that there are too many Anglophones and Ethnics. 
If one were to point out that calling on francophones to settle in Montreal as a patriotic duty is nothing but naked ethnocentrism and racism, he would reject the notion because, as he would tell us,  French is the 'natural state' of Quebec that must be preserved.

So I wonder how Mr. Curzi would view a City of Ottawa politician calling on Anglophones to reoccupy Vanier, a district that has developed a large francophone population. What if that politician complained that anglophones were losing their historic hold on the city? 
Or how about an Israeli politician asking Israeli Jews to move to Jerusalem to alter the balance with Muslims?
Burlesque comparisons?.....readers will judge.

In Laval, alarms have been sounded that too many anglos (especially Greeks) are invading the landscape. Militant French language groups have demanded that countervailing measures be taken to re-establish the primacy of French, but nothing concrete is proposed. Link{Fr}
So what exactly do they propose to reverse the undesirable Anglo/Greek invasion?

I've written about the problem of those militants wishing to protect the French language crossing over the line into ethnocentric territory before.
$2,000 Fine for Speaking English

Revisiting Hérouxville 

 
Everyday the likes of Gilles Proulx, Mario Beaulieu and Pauline Marois bombard the media with messages of hate and disrespect towards Quebec's minorities, warning francophones of the dire and diabolical threat that we represent towards the preservation of the Francophone culture in Quebec.
They speak openly about English as inherently evil and dangerous and somehow fail to understand that they are talking about fellow citizens!
It's dangerous and evil talk, meant to drive Quebecers towards hate and animosity, a wedge meant to tilt enough towards the promised land of sovereignty, through fear and hate.

But while some people bite, the thirty year campaign of vilification has largely failed.

Incredibly, most francophones ignore the hyperbolic forecasts of gloom and doom and the nasty representations of Anglos and Ethnics, this to the utter consternation of the radical mouthpieces, who keep on yelling FIRE!, without much response or panic from the public.

Thankfully, Quebec francophones are imbued with a healthy disrespect for authority and don't particularly enjoy being manipulated or told what to think or do.
Perhaps it is in response to centuries of domination by the Church where an entire province was instructed how to conduct their personal lives, even how many children to have.

For Quebecers who live in these dangerously 'at risk' communities, anglos and ethnics don't seem to be the problem that the language supremacists insist that we are.
The campaign to trigger troublesome language confrontations remains unsupported by the overwhelming majority of those francophones who reside or work directly on the linguistic firing line. 

Despite decades of harping on the English and ethnics, it seems that the only place where the campaign has any traction at all, is in the hinterland, where there are hardly any anglos or ethnics at all!
Call it  'fear of the unknown'

Again, much to the consternation of radicals, Anglos, Allos and Francophones get along rather nicely where they actually co-exist and in fact almost one third of anglos choose a Francophone life partner and over two thirds of them end up sending their offspring to French schools.
The intermarriage rate between francophones and allophones is equally impressive.

Given the level of disrespect and hate spewed by French language supremacists, it's a wonder that the atmosphere between francophones and anglophones remains so positive.

Readers, I travelled this province from one end to another professionally for over thirty years, during which time, I have never been disrespected for being an Anglophone and that hasn't changed a whit over the years.
People recognize my very strong French as sometimes imperfect, but it hasn't mattered at all, my  effort to conduct business in French appreciated.
Back in 1995, during the referendum campaign, a business trip took me up through Saguenay-Lac St-Jean region and just to see what kind of reaction I'd get, I wore a big NON button.
I thought I'd be accosted or at the least given a tongue lashing by one or the other, but it never happened.
Some people asked if I was an organizer and a few people came up to me to tell me in whispers that they'd be voting No.

Despite all the harsh  rhetoric by radicals, Quebecers remain a kind and gentle people, of that I'm convinced and I remain happy to live in the most exciting and stimulating city in Canada.

Of course I bitch and moan the whole year long, largely because I'd like this province to be better, but like most Anglophones who live here, Quebec remains MY home and native land.

You may agree or not agree, but on this point my opinion cannot be swayed...

.....And so readers, positive is where I'd like to finish up the year.

As Christmas approaches, the majority of Canadians are feeling good about themselves, their family and the society they live in and this happy atmosphere is contagious, as most non-Christians will readily admit.

In this spirit, I'm going to do no bashing, complaining or harping until the New Year, at least.

On Friday, I'll tell you a marvellous story of Quebec public workers doing their job superbly....I'm not kidding.

74 comments:

  1. Back in September 2011, the Quebec government lost round 1 in its attempt to shut down a Chassidic elementary school belonging to the Satmar, a community of about 350 families living in Outremont and the Mile End.

    Justice Dugré, who incidentally, ruled in favour of Loyola High School in its effort to be exempted from teaching the Quebec mandatory ethics and religious culture course, refused the government an interim injunction in what was a very favourable judgment towards the Satmar. For the English translation of the judgment see: http://soquij.qc.ca/fr/services-aux-citoyens/english-translation
    And click on Quebec (Attorney General) v. Académie Yeshiva Toras de Montréal

    However, the Canadian Jewish News (Sept 22, 2011) reported that after some 60 years of operating a yeshiva for its teenage boys, the "Satmar community no longer has a boys high school in Montreal. Most of those leaving Toras Moshe continue their studies in New York or Israel."

    During this holiday season think about this: Chassidic kids conversant in biblical Hebrew and Aramaic, the languages of Jesus, teenage boys whose mother tongue is Yiddish, the people, language and culture Hitler set out to exterminate - are now being sent elsewhere to continue their studies.

    The Péquistes don't have a monopoly on racism. The Liberals are no better.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah you all.

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  2. This is an excellent post ; I see you answer one of my long-standing questions. I've wondered for a while, if things were so terrible in Quebec, what was keeping you there?

    You say something I find very interesting: you say that you've never personally been victim of racism. Yet, I see you infer racism from public events such as the passing of legislation.

    Is it not possible that you're mistaken about the racist character of Quebeckers? Surely if the 30-40% of people in favour of Independance and bill 101 and so on were truly racist, you would have seen it in day-to-day interactions, no?

    A lot of commenters here express disbelief that bill 101 and other language-related conflicts are "really" about preserving the french language. Since it cannot be about that, what could it be about? Inevitably, it's attributed to "racism" or "cultural arrogance".

    I think what is happening to you is exactly the same that happens to francophones who believe anglo-canadians have a secret agenda to assimilate the lot of them and be done with it: when people have a hard time seeing thing from another's perspective, they fill in the gaps so to speak, and infer reasons for that behaviour that might not actually be reasonable.

    Not that I say there is no racism : the comment by Pauline Marois' real estate agent is a perfect example. Nevertheless, I cringe everytime someone makes a blanket statement about whole swathes of people in Quebec based solely on their voting habits.

    Another interesting point you make: The fear of anglophones/immigrants comming in from mostly from the hinterlands - I'm reminded of this RBO sketch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmIp7c-MatM)following the 2007 provincial elections where the ADQ had been perceived to (unsuccesfully) capitalize on the xenophobic vote.

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  3. Calgary Anonymous you should move to this Banana Republic for ten years then comment.. That will add some first hand perspective to your general nonsensical musings on the subject...

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  4. I wish I had your strength of conviction. It would be much simpler to just know that I'm right all the time, and that differing point of views are just plain wrong without feeling the need to articulate my opinions.

    Incidently, I may very well end up working in Quebec later, but it's not my first choice ; it would be difficult for my unilingual anglophone significant other to obtain gainful employment there, at least until she learned french. Perhaps in Montreal? Who knows?

    If the blog is still around in 10-15 years time, I will let you know if I've joined the "Everyone who votes PQ is a racist bigot, also their culture has no value and they are morally contemptible" bandwaggon.

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  5. @calgary anon,


    What keeps most anglophones and allos in quebec is the will to not give and surrender. Also there is a large anglo and allo community on Montreal island that isolates us from some of the effects of Quebec language legislation and general state sanctioned linguistic discrimination.

    Anyway Calgary anon in 10-15 years maybe some of your smugness will drop to the level that you will realize that "being a total devils advocate and not having any logical arguement on my side, forces people to think I am a douchebag" point of view. By the way Terri Di Monte is also moving back to Montreal.

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  6. If my posts were truly illogical, you'd point out the flaws, you woudn't resort to Ad Hominem. If I coudn't be reasoned with, you'd simply ignore my posts.

    Yet you do reply, and you attempt to belittle me. Why?

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  7. I agree with Calgary Anon that life is too nuanced to be able to make blanket statements, especially concerning large groups of people. But I also agree with Anonymous that Calgary Anon should move and live here in Quebec for a while and get some hands-on experience, before dropping his smug self-righteousness and wisdom on this board.

    I guess nuance cuts both ways in this case.

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  8. @calgary anon

    The belittling of yourself, is just sense of personal gratification of reminding you of what I think you are.

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  9. Editor, have you ever read William Johnson's "A Canadian Myth - Quebec between Canada and the Illusion of Utopia"? It was published in the early 1990's, but a lot of it still feels close to home, and overall it's a cracking read.

    It confirms a lot of my knowledge about Quebec, it invalidates it in some cases, and teaches me new things I didn't know 20 years after coming to Quebec (sorry, to Canada, after all, it was the Canadian Embassy that granted me entry, a maple leaf was on my entry visa, and it says Canada not Quebec on my Canadian passport).

    For example, I had no idea how insane Robert Bourassa was, and how much of language legislation came from him, and not necessarily from Levesque or Parizeau.

    Also, I find it unbelievable how insane Quebec writers were, as they equated bilingualism to some sort of disease. For example, Marcel Chaput is quoted as having written: "A man can only have one system of thought. Bilingualism is nothing but the poisonous union of two branches deprived of a trunk, a union which must have as a consequence the sickly and misshapen knowledge of our mother tongue."

    Of course, in the case of the writers and artists, it could have been (as still is) opportunism and protectionism rather than insanity. After all, bilingual people may read too much literature or get too much entertainment from their second language. So the sales for stuff written or produced in the "mother tongue" drop, drop, drop...

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  10. The book was published in 1994, so mid 1990's.

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  11. One last thing, fitting with today's post, the book I'm reading, and personal experience, it is rather obvious how rotten, venal, vain, manipulative, determined, deceitful, and corrupt the Quebec elite is and has been, and how unfortunate the people of this province are, being trapped between common sense and reason, and the myths, lies, and nonsense that their elite peddles in its self-interest.

    It's very much in line with this venality that after a day of peddling utter nonsense, Marois retires to the mansion featured in a picture in this post.

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  12. Alors adski,outre les complots politiques(sic) des seppies et la langue,quelle est la véritable cause de l'échec canadien?Ne sommes-nous pas toujours,et plus que jamais,deux solitudes?

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  13. "e sommes-nous pas toujours,et plus que jamais,deux solitudes? "

    All I see is Canada and France...if you don't like Canada move to France. Perfect, 2 solitudes. Moron.

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  14. @Froggy

    Il y a deux solitudes : Le Canada anglais et la nation Québécoise.

    Si vous n'aimez pas habiter au Québec, et bien déménager au Canada anglais! Moron!

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  15. Petit cours d'histoire 101:

    Je vous rappelle froggy que c'est Jacques Cartier qui a découvert le Canada et qui lui a donné ce nom.

    http://www.linternaute.com/histoire/histoire-du-canada/canada.shtml

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  16. "Si vous n'aimez pas habiter au Québec, et bien déménager au Canada anglais! Moron! "

    I love living in Montreal, part of Canada...as for la nation Quebecoise ... really?

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  17. "...Montreal, part of Canada..." ?!?

    Pas beaucoup de drapeaux canadiens,n'est-ce pas?

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  18. "Pas beaucoup de drapeaux canadiens,n'est-ce pas?"

    So this is the way a nation is defined? By using flags?
    So there is a gay nation also? They use flags as well.
    Interesting, like a dog marking his territory...let's put a billion Quebec flags around Montreal and in this way, Montreal will be French. LOOOOOOOOL

    "Je vous rappelle froggy que c'est Jacques Cartier qui a découvert le Canada et qui lui a donné ce nom."

    And you were so brave that you lost it in 1759...that's the rule of the game: if you cannot keep it, give it to somebody who can.

    Let's not start the history lesson again, it would not be in your advantage...

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  19. "I love living in Montreal..."

    Effectivement,vous semblez très heureux.Vous incarnez le bonheur :D

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  20. @ Seppie

    Are you still here? Didn't the first grade went home already?

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  21. "So this is the way a nation is defined? By using flags?"

    Demandez à votre premier ministre canayen.

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  22. Actually it was the vikings who "discovered" canada first. Portugeese fisherman were already on the Grand Banks before the french. Whatever the case, historical facts don't matter to the "nationaliste Quebecois" but a cutoff of Eqaulization from the rest of Canada and taxes cut off from anglos and allos through partition would really crush alot of the fantasies and delusions.

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  23. "Actually it was the vikings who "discovered" canada first"

    Faux!Ce sont les pingouins.

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  24. @ Anon 1:08

    Dude, stop presenting true facts...
    Don't you see that this ... i don't know how to call it, does not provide us with answers to real questions?

    Every time he is invited to present some real facts of how Quebec will function in a post-Canada anarchy, he turns to donuts and other names toward Anglos/Allos?

    You have to lower yourself to his level...the subhuman one, so Og, yeah that's his name, OG, could understand.
    So cut yourself 99% of the brain, and for sure you can have a very interesting conversation about the Quebec nation and independent Quebec...

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  25. Great article, it sums up things perfectly. I think what annoys me most is the disproportionate amount of press the racist hardliners get and how their racist comments are seen as acceptable. What we need to do is separate the french Canadians from the separatists. We can't have people in the ROC making blanket statements about the french, it only feeds these lowlife scumbags.
    I also wonder what kind of criticism John James would face if he lived in a mansion like Pauline. Then again, John James gets up in the morning and has breakfast and is evil.

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  26. @The Ghost of Ma Joad:

    Not that I care at all about Charest, but I just wanted to point out that by calling him "John James", you're doing exactly the same as the language nazis.
    That's another great example of how racism is acceptable here...

    What happened when Charlie Sheen called his boss, Chuck Lorre, by his Hebrew name? Many people considered it racist, and still do.

    Using "John James" to show that he's not a "real Quebecois" is just the same, in my opinion.
    Again, I'm not trying to defend him or his performance as premier.

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  27. @Quebecker of Tree Stump

    Ce qui est encore moins acceptable,selon moi,c'est d'être raciste envers sa propre race,envers les siens.

    Je me demande même si le mot raciste est adéquat dans une telle situation qui,disons-le, est plutôt inusitée.Je crois que l'expression mépris de soi serait plus appropriée.

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  28. "Ce qui est encore moins acceptable,selon moi,c'est d'être raciste envers sa propre race,envers les siens."

    Ok, so stop then?

    You say that, but the problem is that you decide who is and isn't "one of your own", based on your own opinions, and that's what gets to me. Telling me that I don't belong here really hits the wrong nerve...

    Yes, I'd love it if there was no more discrimination based on race or language.

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  29. "Yes, I'd love it if there was no more discrimination based on race or language."

    Je sais que la magie de Noel peut avoir parfois des effets insoupçonnés sur certains individus mais pouvez-vous me nommer le nom de ce pays imaginaire?Ne me dites pas les É.U.

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  30. @Seppie

    You're absolutely right, for once I agree with you.

    The words used should have been: "chauvinist", "xenophobic", "isolationist", "jingoistic"; "parochial", "ethnocentric", "prejudiced", "bigoted", "intolerant". Isn't this a better characterization?

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  31. My Impoverished Scottish Grandma Was a RhodesianWednesday, December 21, 2011 at 5:18:00 PM EST

    Tree Stump,

    I use John James all the time too. I use it to mock the exact same bigots you describe who use it in a deragatory way. BTW, anyone notice that even the most hateful redneck in the states dropped the "Hussein" from their president's name as soon as everyone told them how pathetic they sounded?

    That quote from Pauline's aide is fucking gold! best language supremicist line since Curzi's "more teeth"!

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  32. To Quebecker of Tree Stump
    I've been waiting months for someone to make this comment about our Premier's supposed English name.

    Thank you!

    As you may or may not know, as a friend of the Charest family, I don't like to comment, it's a bit awkward as I readily admit I'm not impartial.

    But one thing I can assure readers is that the Premier is 100% Francophone and that aspirations cast by militants using his English birth name is more than a bit nasty.
    Jean Charest's mother died early on and he was brought up by his francophone dad, 'Red' whose funeral I attended last year.
    Read:A Funeral in Sherbrooke

    Jean, his brother Robert and the rest of the clan all speak beautiful English, but when we socialize, the language spoken is French.

    Any attempt to disparage the Premier's reputation over his name, is simply racist.

    ...and even if it was true. WTF!

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  33. "Any attempt to disparage the Premier's reputation over his name, is simply racist"

    I suspect that Charest isn't too sensitive to any concepts of racism unless they fit his electoral persona anyway - so who cares?!
    Let him get a whiff of the continuous racism, and hate that gets piled onto his non Francophone constituents. Maybe you should ask him how he feels about being the only western politician presiding over a linguistic police force the next time you're sipping martinis together.

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  34. I'm sorry if I offended anyone, my point was not to disparage the premier over his first name but like Rhodhesian Granny I used it to mock the militants who speak of him this way like he is some kind of secret anglo. If we want to even talk about his performance as premier, its not even 1/10 as bad as people in the separatist media like to make it out to be. I wish we had two of him, one for Quebec and one for Ottawa. I've had a lot of respect for him since he decided to bring his passport to the Unity Rally in 1995.

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  35. About John James Charest.

    Pointing out that is name is english is one part of it.

    To me, and to a few others, it is not so much that his name is english, it is that the man is such a liar and so dishonest that even is name is not what he says it is.

    Michel Patrice

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  36. "Je vous rappelle froggy que c'est Jacques Cartier qui a découvert le Canada et qui lui a donné ce nom."

    And who won on th plains of Abraham? Je doubte il etait des Francais. Eh.

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  37. "Any attempt to disparage the Premier's reputation over his name, is simply racist."

    You involved in the construction industy in Quebec, by any chance?? Seems Mr. Charest has a lot of friends in the=at industry, amply illustrated by his retiscence to launch and inquiry into their fraudulent practices. Could it be the finger might have pointed in a direction not desired?

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  38. Canada would be much better off if Quebec were to leave.

    Reed Scowen perfectly illustrated the realities of the situation with regards to Quebec and the ROC.

    No more welfare payments to an ungrateful people and province. One thing that all the parties in Quebec (PLQ, PQ, etc etc, BQ) agree upon is exhtorting more money from the ROC.

    Time to "say good bye", as there is no benfit Quebec provides to the ROC. Only large liabilities.

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  39. 'Canada would be much better off if Quebec were to leave.'

    Quebec is Canadian territory. If we protect the north from those that would exploit our borders, then why not Quebec?
    Power is far too decentralized in Canada. The provinces exercise too much authority. Strip them of the degree of control that they have at the regional level. Government will shrink, as well as the ridiculous costs of paying for twice the amount of spineless representatives, and there will no longer be a loophole environment for the apartheid style of government that exists in Quebec.

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  40. This is for the fool who claimed on this board recently that the flight of capital from Quebec was because of the St Lawrence Seaway, not Bill 101:

    "Our policy holders reside in all parts of Canada and several other countries, and English is the language of the majority of them. We don't anticipate as probable the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada. Nevertheless, as it now seems evident the language of the Province of Quebec will become, by law, largely French, we can no longer believe that it will be possible for us to recruit or to keep in Montreal, or to bring there from outside of Quebec, a sufficient number of English-speaking people with the qualities and the competence required for the day-to-day operations of the company".

    Thomas Galt, present of Sun Life, January 7, 1978

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  41. President of Sun Life...
    From a press release shortly before Sun Life moved its head offices to Toronto.

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  42. "Thomas Galt, present of Sun Life, January 7, 1978"

    Good riddance tommy...

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  43. 'Good riddance tommy...'

    You're still paying 'the man' pal. Every time you shop, anytime you flip on the tv, every time you throw on your Habs jersey, you're paying your cash to English Canada and the US. When these companies were still here, at least you had the benefits that came with paying in.
    Both my parents lost their jobs when all these companies left. I hope the same is visited on you and all of Quebec in the very near future. (Actually, I hope for much worse, but it's almost Christmas)

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  44. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful 2012!

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  45. @Michel Patrice:
    "To me, and to a few others, it is not so much that his name is english, it is that the man is such a liar and so dishonest that even is name is not what he says it is."

    Well if that's really the case, and you believe that he is dishonest and a bad Premier, then you can certainly come up with arguments against him that don't involve petty things like the language of his name, the color of his skin or his religious beliefs.

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  46. M.Patrice, Charest's dishonesty is one thing, racist overtones is another. These two are not necessarily mutually exclusive and can occur concurrently. The fact that Charest may be dishonest does not mean that some of those who attack him are not bigots.

    It is really a long shot to insinuate that those who point out the bigotry implicit in "John James" references work in the construction industry (that Charest's government is accused of being collusive with), and therefore draw attention to bigoted remarks, for a reason you don't specify (maybe as some sort of deflection from the construction industry issues, or just in defense of the leader who caters to them). It's a really long and absurd shot, like the St Lawrence Seaway stuff you peddle on this board and your blog.

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  47. Pierre Curzishould be charged with distributing hate mail. But you're right, francophones really think that this type of thinking is OK. This is reinforced generation to generation. How do you break the cycle?

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  48. "How do you break the cycle?"

    Vivez en français avec nous.Aussi simple que ça.

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  49. Anonymous9:24,

    I did not exactly argue that the flight of capital from Quebec was because of the St Lawrence Seaway. I argued about Toronto outgrowing Montreal over the last century. This rise of Toronto over Montreal happened before the rise of separatism.

    I am also not saying that separatism have nothing to do with anglos and businesses leaving Montreal. I say that it is one factor out of many.

    You don't buy the argument of the influence of geography on human settlements.

    Yet, geography (and geopolitic) explains why the USA population is ten times the population of Canada, why the population of Canada is concentrated along its southern border, why there is millions of people in California and much less in Montana, why Netherlands succeeded in remaining a sovereign country between France and Germany, why Sweden succeeded despite a cold and peripheral territory. I could go on, but you get the picture.

    For all these instances, geography is not the only factor but it is a major factor.

    Thinking that geography plays a major role everywhere but not in Québec would fooling yourself.

    That you find an evidence that bill 101 helped the rise of Toronto doesn't make geography irrelevant, it only means that bill 101 is also a factor.

    (And the argument that our linguistic laws hurt our economy by driving anglophones and businesses out of Québec is a rational argument. Yet, francophones do not seem to care.

    I think I see an explanation, take a look at http://michelpatrice.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/talking-to-a-wall/ if interested. That could be another thing that we could disagree on.)

    Michel Patrice

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  50. "Vivez en français avec nous.Aussi simple que ça. "
    No deal.

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  51. I'm surprised I haven't heard militants bitching about the fact that Madame Marois used an anglophone to sell her chateau!
    5% of 7,000,000 is a lot of money that "should" have gone to a pure laine. Of course Marois thought the only one capable of buying this place would speak English and not French.

    BTW Mario Beaulieu is organizing a rally against Randy Cunenyworth. These people have absolutely no class and its amazing how this racism is tolerated.
    I'm very happy now that I've left that racist cesspool.

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  52. No deal.?

    Aucun problème,ce cycle continuera et vous serez toujours les grands perdants.

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  53. "I'm very happy now that I've left that racist cesspool"

    Pas plus heureux que nous,c'est certain :D

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  54. "ce cycle continuera"

    True.

    "vous serez toujours les grands perdants. "

    False.

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  55. @anon 2:02

    Despite bill 101 Montreal is being lost to your types. That makes you the bigger loser.

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  56. Mario Beaulieu is trying to drag Claude Noel into this shit now because he doesn't feel comfortable enough in french to speak to the racist Montreal media. They are also accusing the Jets of barring Pascal Vincent from speaking french in interviews where the truth is that they are just barring him from speaking to the media entirely because of this issue like any intelligent organization would.
    I'm so sick of this shit. these racist cavemen making our entire city look bad and then turning around and accusing people in the ROC of practicing racism. When do the lies end?

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  57. All this will end.. when the Death penalty is brought back and treason becomes punishable by Death.. Eventually one of these clowns will commit treason against Canada...

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  58. @ Michel Patrice,

    I'm surprised the Editor hasn't told you to stick to your own blog, as he did when Louis Prefontaine posted here.

    Montreal is in a geographically advantaged location itself. It is at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and the Ottawa rivers. It's also very close to the U.S. border and is less than a days drive from New York City, which is the economic and financial capital of the United States.

    In another comment, you mentioned the importance of the Erie Canal to the growth of Toronto. The canal was completed in 1825. Why didn't Toronto surpass Montreal in the nineteenth century?

    The fact is that Toronto benefitted enormously from the massive exodus of Anglos, corporations and jobs from Montreal in the years following the election of the PQ.

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  59. Michel Patrice said:

    "And the argument that our linguistic laws hurt our economy by driving anglophones and businesses out of Québec is a rational argument. Yet, francophones do not seem to care."

    They should care. Quebec has become even more of a shit-hole in the past 35 years with Third World road, tunnel and bridge infrastructures. Quebec would be a Third World state in its entirety now if it were not for the welfare/transfer payments it receives from the rest of Canada.

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  60. "And the argument that our linguistic laws hurt our economy by driving anglophones and businesses out of Québec is a rational argument. Yet, francophones do not seem to care."

    En fait,je crois que la plupart des Québécois préfèrent nettement vivre en français de façon plus modeste que de devenir des surconsommateurs...in english.

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  61. "des Québécois préfèrent nettement vivre en français de façon plus modeste que de devenir des surconsommateurs."

    I don't agree with it, but maybe it's because I live in Rive Sud around career-driven francophones. I can tell you this - there is no way these people would sacrifice their standard of living for their language. They do care about French in a superficial way (they do support 101 for example but I always suspected that they do it out of economic protectionism), but they would reject anything that would threaten their economic security and well being. See Anon, this is why you cannot win a referendum with 80% of francophones up for grabs. And this is why every referendum question underlines an "economic partnership" with Canada. It is because for your people, language is important but not more important than their plasma tv, SUV, house, and private education (with English immersion) for their children.

    See Anon, this society is as materialistic, consumerist, and hedonistic as the American one. Other than the language, the landscape is the same - cheesy and depressing strip malls, shopping malls, shopping centers...Shopping mixed with dumb commercials that entice you to spend, spend, spend...That's also why the calls to boycott Future Shops or Best Buys never work. Because the allure of a shopping center overrides the concern for the language. So even if you want the chains to have French names, you'd be the first one run head over heels to Future Shop or best Buy to get the latest iPod or iPad or what not.

    This society, like every other, has been bought. On the outside, there is a lot of posturing. On the inside, it's different.

    I bet Mario Beaulieu is in a Future Shop right now shopping for Christmas gifts.

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  62. Alors anon,comment expliquer la totale indifférence des Québécois face à l'exode (passée et présentes) des entreprises anglos, qui refusent de se soumettre à nos lois linguistiques?Pas beaucoup de protestations...

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  63. Anonymous7:01,

    You said : "(...), you mentioned the importance of the Erie Canal to the growth of Toronto. The canal was completed in 1825. Why didn't Toronto surpass Montreal in the nineteenth century?"

    Because growth takes time I guess.

    And you said : "Montreal is in a geographically advantaged location itself."

    And you are right, that's why there is much more people in Québec than in Manitoba.

    Michel Patrice

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  64. @ Michel Patrice,

    The population is smaller in Manitoba in part because it was settled later than Quebec.

    No one is saying that geography does not play a role in the economic success of regions, but there are other factors such as politics, culture and even religion.

    The political instability caused by the Quebec independence movement hurt the economy of Montreal and Toronto was the primary benefactor. A fair number of corporate head offices also moved from Montreal to Calgary.

    Noted historian Niall Ferguson has said that the Protestant work ethic in the United States contributed greatly to its evolution as an economic powerhouse - as compared to Catholic South America for example. The Protestant work ethic also helped Anglophones succeed in Quebec.

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  65. Anonymous7:10,

    Manitoba was settled later than Montreal because it is far from the ocean and because it has no rivers conducting directly to it. I find it hard not to see geography into this.

    There are indeed many factors explaining that economic thrive or decline (separatism being on of them...). It is my point that there are many factors.

    Protestant work ethic is indeed an explanation that has been put forward. (But I don't really know what to think of it. Maybe, I don't know.)

    Coincidently, I was asked a few hours ago on my blog about my thoughts on why francophones did not thrive economicaly while other groups of immigrants did. Interesting questions that I will come back to (on my blog). If interested : http://michelpatrice.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/talking-to-a-wall/#comment-204

    Michel Patrice

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  66. Anonymous7:10,

    I have answered the question about francophones succeeding less. It has to do with your idea of protestant work ethic.

    Feel free to join the discussion :

    http://michelpatrice.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/talking-to-a-wall/#comment-206

    Michel Patrice

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  67. @ Michel Patrice,

    I read the link to your blog and found the following sentence to be noteworthy:

    "I also have this crazy idea that anglos are not arrogant bastards."

    So the view that anglos ARE arrogant bastards is natural, normal and not crazy?

    You sir, are a real piece of work.

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  68. @ Anonymous at 1:53 PM,

    Actually it is the French who are widely regarded as "the arrogant race." Some may think that this description applies primarily to the French in France, but the Quebecois also share this trait. They come from the same gene pool.

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  69. In most cases, anonymous December 26,7:06 is right on that point!! I personally believe, AS A WHOLE, the English, Scottish and Irish(lil bit rebellious, though) have a better sense of decency, friendliness, generosity and politeness as opposed to the French, who lack a lot in maturity and respect...

    Though, I have to admit that English tend to have that typical cold look on their faces, which may lead to the impression they are somehow unwelcoming and unfriendly, but nevertheless, that’s not the case at all and the fact of the matter is that Anglos are generally more friendly and more accepting than most French … Yet, Seppies keeps demonizing them with all their heinous attacks just to feel better about themselves so they can actually relieve themselves from their inferiority complex they have been suffering from for a very long, which, btw, is something they should overcome at all cost!!!

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  70. To Anonymous dec25th 1:53,

    I think that if one reads the full quote, one better gets what I meant :
    "I have this crazy idea : people and nation are the way they are because of history, geography, geopolitics and so many other factors. I have this crazy idea that we did not succeed less simply because we were inferior. I think that there is a more complex explanation. I also have this crazy idea that anglos are not arrogant bastards. I have this crazy idea that they simply learned the language they parents taught them, that they did not really needed to learn french because their language already gave them access to what ever they needed."

    Michel Patrice

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  71. "Manitoba was settled later than Montreal because it is far from the ocean and because it has no rivers conducting directly to it. I find it hard not to see geography into this."

    The northeastern section of Manitoba borders on Hudson Bay, which is saltwater. It is possible to navigate from Winnipeg to Hudson Bay via a series of rivers, but portages are also necessary and the rivers are not nearly as large as the Saint Lawrence.

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  72. "and a few people came up to me to tell me in whispers that they'd be voting No."

    The fact that they felt it necessary to whisper their intention tells you how truly scary this province is.

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  73. Anonymous11:43,

    You are right, Manitoba has access to sea through Hudson Bay.

    I had in mind the historical route through Saint-Laurent. Accessing Manitoba by the Hudson Bay is a long and difficult road, so the Saint-Laurent's valley was first developped.

    Carrying stuff by canoes and portages is much less efficient than carrying stuff with large sailboats, another reason why the Saint-Laurent's valley was first developped.

    Manitoba is less populated because its development started later, its developement started later because of its geography.

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  74. "Eventually one of these clowns will commit treason against Canada."

    They already have! Multiple times! They even solicited Francophone military officers to defect to an independent Quebec during the last referendum.

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