Monday, February 27, 2012

THE MYTH OF ANGLICIZATION - Part One

"Anglicization, or anglicisation (see -ise vs -ize), is the process of converting verbal or written elements of any other language into a form that is more comprehensible to an English speaker, or, in general, of altering something such that it becomes English in form or character" - Wikipedia
The English bogeyman
I'm not really sure what French language militants mean when they say Quebec or Quebecers are in danger of becoming anglicized.

Do they mean that Quebecers will retain some of their language but incorporate and become dominated by English elements or culture, or do they mean that English is so threatening that Francophone Quebecers are in danger of turning into tea-swilling, English-speaking, monarchists, within a couple of generations?

Either way, the myth of the danger of Anglicization in Quebec is perhaps the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on Quebecers, by a dedicated cadre of separatist manipulators, a group that has invented, nurtured and fed the monstrous and unfortunately successful lie of the 'English Bogeyman' who imperils the very foundation of the French language and Francophone culture.

The hard core gloom and doomers in the 'French-is-in-danger' industry, the Pierre Curzis and Mario Beaulieus, pedal fear over supposed Anglicization in order to camouflage their hidden agenda, which is to frighten people into supporting their quest for Quebec sovereignty through subterfuge and sleight of hand.

The independence movement, born in the 1960s was based on the very real concern of the newly emancipated Francophone community (from the Church,) awakened to the fact that its continued domination by the Anglo minority that controlled the economic levers of power, perpetuated the situation whereby Francophones remained a poor and powerless underclass.

Back then, culture or language was not part of the independence debate, it was purely a question of class struggle. The FLQ manifesto, never mentioned anything about language, culture or assimilation. Read the manifesto

The quiet revolution, the fall of the Catholic Church, as well as the PQ's first term in office, forever changed the economic and social reality. Today, Quebec francophones and the state institutions that they created have rendered Quebecers masters of their domain, eliminating the English ruling class in the process.

Ironically, the very successful transformation of Quebec from a society dominated economically by the English and socially by the Church, led to the weakening of the sovereignty movement.
With most issues largely settled, coupled with the flight of a sizable portion of the English community out of the province, Quebec society lost a great deal of passion for sovereignty. 

Today, those who remain passionately in favour of sovereignty can no longer employ the 'colonialist enslavement' argument and have had to redefine the issue of sovereignty away from the issue of economic emancipation.
And so the bogeyman of 'assimilation' is invented and the narrative of a disappearing language and culture created, as if a group of market researchers, admen, and spin doctors sat down and developed an advertising campaign to repackage and sell sovereignty, like a tired old product that most people had grown bored and indifferent to.

To their credit, the sovereigntists did a good job. A slick and addictive message, playing on the  historical mistrust of the English by Francophones, reinvigorated the movement and like a Madonna makeover, the new and improved version is quite attractive.

And so the myth of Anglicization has been invented;
"Quebec stands on the precipice of its cultural and linguistic destruction.
Surrounded by the overbearing presence and influence of 350 million hostile Anglophones, Francophone society in Quebec is faced with the unrelenting pressure to Anglicize, as has happened in Louisiana and which is happening presently in small francophone communities across Canada.
Until an independent state of Quebec is created, wherein English can be officially eradicated, vigilance must be employed to fight off any English encroachment, no matter how small.
English, in its smallest manifestation is as dangerous as the dreaded flesh-eating disease, which if left untreated starts off as a tiny infection, only to spread rapidly, overpowering and consuming its unsuspecting and oblivious host. The only defense against the disease, is to cut out any and all traces of the infection, in its nascent stage."
It is a nice story that resounds with too many. Unfortunately is a monstrous lie.
We hear variations of this doctrine repeated ad nauseam, even in the comments section of this blog.

But it is in fact nonsense, and an honest analysis of all its elements demonstrates that the basic premises of the danger of Quebec Anglicization are in fact unsupportable.

Now I'll get into the issue of debunking the specific myths, one at a time, later this week, but let me address a question to those Francophone readers of this blog who prescribe to the idea that their language and culture are in danger.

If Francophones de souche like yourself are in mortal danger of becoming anglicized, why isn't there any evidence today that this is happening, even early indicators?

If  anglicization is real, shouldn't we already see at least a few of you manifesting signs that you are transforming yourselves in Anglos, like tadpoles evolving into frogs? (Yikes..., that was certainly a bad metaphor!)

Do you know ANYBODY.........a friend, a sister, a brother, a cousin or an acquaintance who has abandoned their Francophone roots and heritage and actually turned themselves into an Anglophone, or is in the process of doing so?
Now readers, I do admit that there is a group of francophones who do turn themselves into Anglophones and become assimilated to the English side of the language equation.
They are those Francophones who have married or partnered with an Anglophone and have decided to raise their family in the English culture.
It happens.
These people certainly do exist, especially in the Montreal area and because one of the parents is English, the family has the option to send their offspring to English schools. Those who do so, ultimately Anglicize the entire family and that of their descendants.
BUT, statistics published by the EMSB, show that in these French/English relationships, the couple choose French as the family language over two-thirds of the time.
It is in fact, the exception that proves the rule!!

In fact, anglophone parents choose to send their children to French school a hundred times more often then French parents who send their children to English school!
The EMSB calculates that there are over 14,000 anglophones, eligible for English enrollment who choose a French educational path!
But this fact is conveniently forgotten as language militants would rather rage about the horrible consequences of a hundred or so ethnic students sidestepping Bill 101 through a loophole to attend English school each year, evidence that purports to show French language education under attack.
It is these, deceptive and grossly misleading arguments, selectively chosen by militants that is the basis of the Anglicization argument.

There is absolutely no concrete evidence, nor even the slightest indication that those born into francophone homes are in danger of becoming English.

Now don't be confused with statistics about French losing ground in Montreal, that is only a function of more immigrants arriving, they actually have no anglicizing effect on francophones.

The idea that French is being put in danger because more and more people are speaking English in Montreal, as put forward by French language militants, is a theory refuted by the historical evidence.

Back in the sixties when I was growing up, Montreal had twice as many anglophones as it has today and the city was offially bilingual with English and French signage abounding, sometimes English alone.
Most of the businesses were owned by Anglos and francophones were forced to speak English in the workplace.
Everything in the downtown core was mostly English (with a smattering of French) and it certainly is true that English was the norm at Eaton's, with Francophones shopping at Dupuis Freres, far across the famous English/French dividing line, St. Lawrence Boulevard.
All the big theaters on Ste. Catherine street played English movies exclusively. When I was a kid, I hardly ever met or interacted with a Francophone, in my neighborhood or downtown!

There was no Bill 101 to protect the French language or impose restrictions on Anglos.
English was as pervasive and dominating as French is today, yet francophones weren't anglicized at all. They remained French!!!

If today's militants think that an English sign here and there, or being served by a unilingual English clerk once in a while, or working under a couple of unilingual English bosses in the National Bank is a danger to the French language, they should have lived in the sixties.

Back then, the forces described by militants today as anglicizing elements, were present in factors that dwarf what we see today.

The truth that militants hide, is the fact that Francophone society is quite resilient and has thrived for hundreds of years, even through the decades when Montreal was completely dominated by the English  and through linguistic conditions that were far, far worse than today.

Today, more people speak French in Quebec than ever in the history of the province.
Tomorrow more people will speak French in Quebec than today, the day after, even more.

The French language and Francophone culture has never been in a stronger position. Period.

Now readers, attacking a sacred cow is never easy and I know that I'll take a bit of heat for this unpopular position.
To those who disagree, please avoid personal or nasty remarks. Make your case using facts.

I promise that like bowling pins, I'll knock your arguments down, because the very premise that French is under threat is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on Quebecers......

Wednesday...Exploding on the myths, one at a time.

117 comments:

  1. The real danger is that 1) Francophones don't have many children and 2) Immigrants are not properly assimilated.

    It's just a matter of sheer demographics that if Quebeckers don't reproduce, they won't have a future.

    But this is not Anglos' fault, it's their fault.

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    1. Why should immigrants assimilate? Do immigrants owe something to french Quebec?
      If french Quebecers believe that immigrants should assimilate, they can demonstrate the concept to these new arrivals by assimilating themselves into the larger English Canada.

      Oh I know I've written something that is bound to set of some fireworks. But hey, we can't even challenge the dogma?

      Here is another one. A quote from the article.

      "In fact, anglophone parents choose to send their children to French school a hundred times more often then French parents who send their children to English school!"

      In fact, francophones are not allowed to send their kids to english schools in Quebec.

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    2. Immigrants don't assimilate and shouldn't be expected to. It's their kids that assimilate. Has been for centuries and will be that way forever. Scaring immigrants to assimilate just makes them look elsewhere to plunk down. Path of least resistance, right?

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    3. Recall that a Gazette commissioned poll from about two years ago found that 60% of francophones surveyed wanted freedom of choice in language of education for their own children。

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    4. @Anyonymous 4:58

      Correction : francophones aren't allowed to send their kids to *public* english schools in Quebec. They certainly are allowed to send their kids to private english schools.

      Note that this is the same right every other canadian has. Outside Quebec, non-francophones do not have the right to send their children to french *public* schools. But apparently no one wants to, because no one has tried and no one knows that it doesen't work.

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    5. "Recall that a Gazette commissioned poll from about two years ago found that 60% of francophones surveyed wanted freedom of choice in language of education for their own children"

      Si nous laissons le peuple faire ce qu'il désire,nous serions dans un total chaos.

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    6. Anonymous writes:

      “Si nous laissons le peuple faire ce qu'il désire,nous serions dans un total chaos.”

      It wasn't “chaos” pre-1974 when the law was freedom of choice。

      Methinks you are afraid to let franophones think,act,and make their own choices in life,Anonymous。You are part of the new priest class of Post-Quiet Revolution Quebec where, because the Church no longer directs the thoughts and actions of francophones, you, the elite, want to fill the void. But I have bad news for you: francophones aren't going to let themselves be told how to think and how to act much longer...they will want the same freedom us Quebec anglos have for OUR children.

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    7. "It wasn't “chaos” pre-1974..."

      Ha non?Sur quelle planète viviez-vous à cette époque?

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    8. I'm not upset at disagreement or debate, but I hate the fact that people choose "anonymous". Is it too much to ask to adopt a moniker so we don't call you "hey you"?

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  2. Spot on analysis Editor! Now if only the Liberals stopped feeding into this language lunacy perhaps Montreal can finally change gears and move forward. Quebec politicians are not a cerebral bunch, they have to use wedge issues to distract the populace from the corruption and mismanagement that we are wasting our tax dollars on. Language is one of those issues. Unfortunately for us English speaking Quebeckers, politicians and the Quebec media cabal have whipped up anti-English hysteria to such a fever pitch that discriminatory borderline racist language organizations like the SSJB or MMF actually have an audience and aren't laughed off the stage.
    Having grown up in the Townships and Montreal, I've never met or known a Francophone that has "anglicized" ever! My francophone friends that did go to English universities are still francophones and haven't turned to the dark side and adopted English. Instead they have become super bilingual and successful. Their kids will go to French schools and will most likely become bilingual as well. No need to fear.

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    1. Do you think the same would have happened in an alternate universe with no Bill 101? Looking in from outside Quebec, it seems like the local anglos look at how well french has kept under Bill 101, and declare that french had no need of it. I find it a hard assertion to believe.

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    2. Quebec outside Montreal is virtually 100% White and Francophone. It was in 1976 and it still is today. Bill 101 had no effect on that.

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    3. What about Montreal? Pre-101, anglos did not learn french very well. Now almost all anglos are bilingual, and most allos know french.

      Do you think it would have happened magically on its own, that it oughtn't have happened at all, or perhaps you think that bill 101 was too oppressive for this one goal only?

      I have a hard time accepting that french would be just the same without bill 101 on faith alone.

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    4. So then what's your argument? French signage alone forced the English speakers that remained to learn French properly?

      I think a more convincing factor might be that half the anglophone population ran like the wind and those who stayed and stood their ground either had so little going for them that they couldn't leave or were sufficiently "francophilic" as not to have to. Bilingualism as an ideal, if not bilingual education outright, is not just a necessity - it's now a cultural given for many francos, anglos, and allos. I must point out, however, that this notion isn't a product of the post-101 era. It was already well underway in many circles (including those of my own grandparents) long before bills 101, 22, and even 63.

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    5. VIVE LA PROVINCE CANADIENNE DE MONTREAL !!

      That should do a great job of waking up the unsuspecting ones to question what separatists have created. Nothing but separation allover!
      Funny how that blade has many edges, eh?

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    6. @Apparatchik : I'm trying to understand as an outsider. To me it certainly looks like cause ---> effect. E.g. Bill 101 ----> Bilingual anglos in Quebec, O.L.A. ----> Bilingual anglos in New Brunswick.

      But feel free to enlighten me - do you think that Quebec could have convinced its anglos to learn how to speak to the majority of the population they were imbedded in the absense of any change whatsoever? I'm not convinced.

      What was in the process of changing in your grandparent's circles long before 101, 22 and 63?

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    7. > I'm trying to understand as an outsider.
      Fair enough; it's hard enough to make any sense of it as a (somewhat nihilistic) insider.

      > To me it certainly looks like cause ---> effect. E.g. Bill 101 ----> Bilingual anglos in Quebec, O.L.A. ----> Bilingual anglos in New Brunswick.
      Don't you find your own conclusion about Federal legislation mandating equality was supposedly necessary in New Brunswick but Provincial legislation providing for near-unilingualism was supposedly necessary in Quebec?

      > do you think that Quebec could have convinced its anglos to learn how to speak to the majority of the population they were imbedded in the absense of any change whatsoever?
      That all depends on whether the Quiet Revolution (and indeed "maitre chez nous" itself) was fundamentally about dispossessing the powerful anglos of the role any successful conqueror ought to reasonably expect to play in the territory he has acquired, or whether it was simply a movement to get French-Canadians out of the illiterate deprivation that had until then been our birthright. In other words, empty half that glass to fill this one halfway. I have written enough in previous posts on what parts of that period I believe were necessary and which elements caused the revolution to go off the rails.

      When it comes to anthropology, I'm a strong proponent of laissez-faire. If the minority Anglo-Quebecers realized that there were some benefit to communicating with their francophone neighbors, they'd have to pick up French, no holds barred. Similarly, as French-Canadians, we would have to weigh whether our perpetual cocoon might not be in some regards holding us back.

      > What was in the process of changing in your grandparent's circles long before 101, 22 and 63?

      To sum it up: the pragmatic realization that they couldn't continue being cloistered the way their ancestors were. And I'm glad they realized it between the Great Depression and the Quiet Revolution -- almost a generation before Lesage, Pearson, Trudeau, Lévesque, et al. This probably isn't all that ironic or shocking when you consider that many in that generation were already bilingual.

      It's not out of simple-minded spite that I look upon both Quebec and Canadian nationalism with scornful derision. Rather, it's because both contain more creative hypocrisy than I'm willing to appropriate as the descendent of French, English, and "Other" arrivals to this country.

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  3. Just going off the record a little bit! I have been wondering for quite a while now, are the architectures in downtown Montreal and in the old port from British influence or rather from french influence???

    I know it is mainly based on north american architecture for the most part, but I am talking about the old buildings built the 1800's,which I am still struggling to figure in order to find out!!

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    1. Mostly British trained architects. Montreal didn't have a decent architectural school until the 1940's -50's.

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    2. Montreal has a mix of French, British and US architectural influences, and is distinct to Quebec whose historic architecture is primarily French and British, or Toronto, whose architecture is British/US.

      Downtown Montreal is almost entirely post 1760 with a few exceptions. Few buildings prior to the mid 19thC show a strong US influence, most are of British/French influence. Scots architects had a particularly strong influence eg. Bank of Montreal Building on Place d'Armes and the Royal Victoria Hospital. Many late 18thC buildings integrate the vernacular construction and details of French Canadian architecture, and this continued thereafter. Often housing integrates British style bay windows with French style roofs. The row houses with outside curved stairs are very uniquely Montrealaise. After the mid 19thC, much of the architecture was increasingly influenced by US architecture, particularly the large commercial buildings and appartment buildings. However, British influence was always very strong as can be seen in the red brick arts and crafts/Queen Anne style buildings, or in the church designs eg ChristChurch cathedral, and much of the urban planning downtown is British neoclassicism, which was imposed on the original French regime planning.

      What makes Montreal so special in my mind is the mix of styles and how they created new interesting forms. This is a tangible expression of true Montreal which is a mix of influences and ideas, and should continue with new ideas from new immigrant communities.

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  4. Anglo dude this is when your at your best, lay off Fed politics and do what you to best.I mean my cat is smarter than Mario Beaulieu

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    1. I bet you that guys like OOQLF, Seppie, Howard Galganus,Press 9, Martin B.,Not the One are all Mario Beaulieu, spending his entire days trolling this blog.

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    2. What a sad, sad opinion. I guess it's easier to rationalize people who disagree with you as one single person with way too much time on your hands, than it is to accept that there are many and that they aren't all trolls.

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    3. Well, it's sad that you can't recognize the very distinctive grammatical errors he makes in 99% of his posts under different names. It is one person (except for Not The One). He hasn't denied it.

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    4. You think he's sneaky enough to comment under 5 different names, but has enough integrity to deny that he's all of them?

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    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    6. @ Anonymous at 5:43 PM,

      "You think he's sneaky enough to comment under 5 different names, but has enough integrity to deny that he's all of them?"

      How long have you been following this blog? His comments and writing style are very distinctive and he has posted under more (many more) than 5 different names. He is sneaky and he has no integrity either.

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    7. Not long enough, evidently.

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    8. Keep reading. Hopefully you will see the connection.

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  5. This post is very interesting, and I agree with most of your narrative of our history and your description of the situation. And it is true that one who learns english does not forget french. And it is true that the French language and Francophone culture has (probably) never been in a stronger position.

    "I'll knock your arguments down, because the very premise that French is under threat is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on Quebecers......"

    I think that there is also on your side two false premises :

    1. Independance is only about protecting french. It is not.
    2. It is about protecting the EXISTENCE of french. It is not, it is more about protecting the STATUS of french. (status in social and economical terms) (And I stated in number 1, independence is much more than about protecting the status of french.)

    Unfortunately, I cannot stay for long today and I will probably not read future comments until later tonight. I expect some of you to desagree with me, please keep in mind the Editor's advice : "please avoid personal or nasty remarks".

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    1. M. Patrice,

      Would you then explain to us what Quebec independence is about? Specifically, what are the benefits of Quebec independence for Quebec population? Additionally, what are the objectives that are not already fulfilled in the Canadian confederation?

      You wrote, "please keep in mind the Editor's advice : "please avoid personal or nasty remarks"." As you are obviously a francophone, would you give this advice (in French if possible) for the poster(s) in French who keep on trolling these boards and keep on calling people names? Thank you in advance.

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    2. @ Michel Patrice,

      "Unfortunately, I cannot stay for long today and I will probably not read future comments until later tonight."

      I'm trying not to be nasty but you keep posting notices about your schedule, which smacks of excessive self-importance. Do you think any of us cares when you will be making comments?

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    3. Moi ça m'intéresse car il représente,de loin,l'intervenant le plus articulé sur ce blogue.

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    4. Hey M. Patrice, it's been a while.
      You see, I'm not the only one who thinks independence is all about protecting French, most of us anglos do.

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    5. Troy,

      What is independence about? The short answer is : it is about a basic human need of self-empowerment, the need and the desire of a human community to decide for itself. The problem at the core of this issue is, I think, how we define "itself". It is something about belonging.

      You will probably be disappointed by the short answer and we will probably disagree on how we define "itself".

      The long answer is ... well, longer...

      (I too find both french and english trolling annoying. But I can't do much about it.)

      Michel Patrice

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    6. Anonymous 9:14,

      I wrote a comment that would likely bring more comments and/or questions and I knew that I could not continue the discussion before a while. So I sais it to the intention of Troy, Apparatchik, Adski and some others who tend to engage in longer articulate discussions. I just meant to be polite. You obviously don't see it that way and I don't really care.

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    7. Anonymous11:01,

      Merci

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    8. Ms Porridge, it's been a while indeed. Did you know that The Gazette blogger Andy Riga wrote a post after reading our on going discussion on my blog? (http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2011/06/06/blogger-tries-to-bridge-french-english-gap-in-quebec/)

      Nice to hear from you again.

      I know that you are not the only one who thinks independence is all about protecting French. What can I tell you? It is not. : )

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    9. Monsieur Patrice,

      First off, although we are on opposite sides of the debate, I admire that fact that you try to present it in a reasonable way.

      Could you please tell me and the audience, how do you see Quebec-ers gaining though independence from Canada? From my point of view, Québec is already very autonomous in the most important aspects, from control of the immigration to collecting taxes. What is it that is missing?

      And how I, as a tax-payer, living in the most taxed part of the North America, will benefit from Québec becoming independent? How about my neighbour, Jean-Pierre (my actual neighbour, not a made-up name) will benefit from it? Especially when his business will be seriously damaged by the outflow of businesses/people? From where I stand, people on BS, employees of Hydro and STM won't be affected that much, but for the rest of us, that either own businesses or are employed there is absolutely nothing good.

      Following your arguments, I believe you can understand and probably would agree, in the event of a separation from Canada, to the right of self-empowerment of the English minority than can vote through a referendum to separate from Québec. I am sure the same rules would apply too.

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    10. As for the aboriginals who have before alluded to not being party of Quebec separation.

      Quebec has a GDP to debt ratio of 94%...About 5th in line of the worst debted industrialized nations (japan, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland). Check out their own government finance site who sites this figure.

      One could conclude the seppies are dreaming in technicolor for a one time severance payment from the ROC. Doubt this will happen any time soon. Not about to give my money to the lazy province of Quebec and I know I am not alone.

      Quebec separating from Canada is simply not a reality any time soon. The seppie controllers know this, as well as the ROC. There will be no more bluffing as the The ROC will most likely call the bet.

      As to M. Patrice assurance that language is not the issue...Then why is there loi 101 and the OLA across Canada. The repeated and false allegations of the fact that the French language is in danger in NA. The seppies and nationalists need a symbol to rally the people to their cause. That cause, your culture and language is threatened by the anglos. Worked in the past. Unfortunately, for them, the immigrants and the youth no longer share or fear this threat.

      Myself, after years of Ottawa pandering to Quebec, I would prefer Quebec to separate but that will never happen given the existing realities. Best we can do is put Quebec in a box and no longer listen to their empty threats and fraudulent assertions.

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    11. @ M. Patrice,

      "...I knew that I could not continue the discussion before a while. So I sais it to the intention of Troy, Apparatchik, Adski and some others who tend to engage in longer articulate discussions."

      They could probably care less about when you plan to post additional comments either.

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    12. Interesting, I was not aware of that. Thank you for sharing the link. À bientôt.

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    13. I once asked one of my undergrad friends, a Quebecker, why he was a seperatist even though Quebec received money from the ROC. Wasn't it better to stay in Canada and enjoy the extra cash?

      He looked at me as if I didn't get it, and I'll forever remember what he said. "You can't put a price tag on freedom."

      It's then I realized I fundamentally misunderstood the motives of seperatist Quebeckers. They aren't much different from seperatist Slovaks, Basques, or Montenegrans in Europe, yet we respect their desire for independance. Why are we so hostile towards a significant portion (but not the majority of) Quebec?

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    14. Gogu,

      What would we gain out of independence and what would you gain as a tax-payer?

      We would gain a government that we would run in our own interest. (This something I have discussed at lenght here : http://michelpatrice.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/what-would-we-do-without-equalization-payment/, the comments might be more onteresting than the post.)

      We now have two governments being controlled by two nations and acting on the same territory, each one according to its own interest and its own vision of things. I see this like trying to walk with two heads controlling one leg each. I can't see how this is easier than having one head controling both legs. We would gain a more efficient government.

      (When I read comments like : "Best we can do is put Quebec in a box and no longer listen to their empty threats and fraudulent assertions.", I just think it is not the kind of people that should take decisions in our name because I just think that they would probably not have our best interest in mind. I think that we should look ourselves after our own interests.)

      "...Québec is already very autonomous in the most important aspects, from control of the immigration to collecting taxes. What is it that is missing? "

      Québec has power over health, education and social issues. These power do not shape the development of the state. The way you run a hospital does not shape the development of a state. Negociating an international treaty does. Deciding to build a bridge here or there does. Deciding where a hypothetical high speed train railway will be built does. Chosing to invest in oil instead of electricity does. Chosing to invest in car manufacturing instead of airplain and train manufacturing does. And we don't have these powers.

      We have many powers, more than other provinces (over immigration for instance), and we have developed our own institutions that have been used to develope our economy and our state (la Caisse de Dépôts, Hydro-Québec, Desjardins, and so on). One can ask if we do we have enough power? A more interesting question would be who is best suited to decide if we have enough power? I believe that we are.

      "Following your arguments, I believe you can understand and probably would agree, in the event of a separation from Canada, to the right of self-empowerment of the English minority than can vote through a referendum to separate from Québec. I am sure the same rules would apply too."

      Yes, the same rules would apply. It is a discussion that I have had a million times. It is much more complex than first meets the eye. But to make a long story short, yes, english parts of Québec could separate from the "new" Québec (and french elements in west Montreal could decide to separate from west Montreal and decide to stay with Québec, and so on up to absurd levels...)

      Michel

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    15. Anonymous10:26,

      It is funny how you can have something in front of your eyes for years without seeing it, and then, once you see it, it seems so obvious that you can't imagine that you could not see it.

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    16. In reference to the anonymous contributor at 4:14PM yesterday: "Myself, after years of Ottawa pandering to Quebec, I would prefer Quebec to separate but that will never happen given the existing realities. Best we can do is put Quebec in a box and no longer listen to their empty threats and fraudulent assertions."

      Those are my sentiments exactly. Enough is enough! Harper has finally circumvented his way around the Quebec vote and Quebec voters have clearly and uniquivocally let Harper know what they think of him. While porkbarrel politics is not appropriate, Quebec has cried wolf at least one time too many, and as a loyal Ontarian, I've paid enough of taxes in Quebec (but not since 1983), and I've had enough of paying taxes for their ungrateful sake outside of Quebec.

      Considering their current financial position as pointed out by the same contributor above, if they still want to threaten with separation, GO FOR IT! They're nothing but fiscal drag anyway, and good luck to them when they have to come out with a currency that will be worth about a Zimbabwe dollar. The last time I looked, Zimbabwe was printing the $100,000,000,000,000 (one hundred trillion dollar bill).

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  6. i say , let Quebec separate but speak English . The seppies wouldnt like that would they ?

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    1. Funny you say that, Anonymous.

      I am convinced that the fastest way for English to be recognized in Quebec is for it to become independent. Today, the prohibitions against English in Quebec costs it dearly: few anglos from the Sea of English of 350 million surrounding it are eager to come to Quebec to live, invest, or use their entrepreneurial or professional skills. And this sea of 350 million is an incredibly affluent and highly skilled pool. As a result of not getting their fair share of these anglos, Quebec suffers greatly economically. But it is camoflaged by things such as $8 billion a year in equalization payments, net positive transfer payments to Quebec, and number sweetheart deals for Quebec that are negotiated on its behalf in order to keep it within Canada.

      Once Quebec is independent, the powers that be will soon learn that the expected influx of francophones from Haiti, France, and Cameroon is not materializing and in order to attract its fair share of investors and professionals it must start to draw from the evil 350 million "Sea"...and to do so, they will have to eliminate Bill 101 and make it possible for these anglos to come and live in Quebec so that they can live, educate, invest, and interact with the government IN UNILINGUAL ENGLISH. Cause these anglos ain't gonna come because of our winters. And they ain't gonna learn French.

      Quebec independence is a future of more welcoming to English and unilingual anglos.

      It is within the Canadian context that Bill 101 thrives. Indeed, all of the parties in Canada's parliament support it.

      There's a reason why Stephane Dion said that "Bill 101 is a great Canadian law." He was half right.

      Delete
    2. what I don't understand is why should an Independent Quebec be welcoming toward anglophones while on the other hands, when being part of Canada as it is now, is the total opposite???

      Delete
    3. "...and to do so, they will have to eliminate Bill 101 and..."

      Les chances pour que nos Lois linguistiques disparaissent sont encore plus faibles qu'un éventuel retour des chevaux comme moyen de transport...So,forget it!

      Delete
    4. @ Seppie,

      With Quebec's pathetic fiscal status, after separation its inhabitants will only be able to afford horses as a means of transportation.

      Delete
    5. @Tony : Equalization payments are not negociated for the benefit of Quebec alone, the Maritimes and Manitoba get more out of it (in relation with their population/budget) than Quebec does.

      People such as yourself like to paint it as a way to appease Quebec, but that's incidental. To cut Quebec out of the loop would be unfair unless you also removed equalization payments from the Maritimes and Manitoba, but people seldom acknowledge this.

      Unless you propose a "Screw Quebec" constant in the equalization payment formula.

      Delete
    6. To Anon right above me: No, don't remove Quebec from equalization, but it should be reduced to $1 per Quebec TAXPAYER (not resident, since 60% of filers don't pay tax in Quebec - they get one rebate or another).

      To Tony: Trudeau stated many, many years ago that Quebec would have to speak more English if they separated because nobody would speak French to them from North America, and France is in NO position to financially rescue Quebec, let alone THEMSELVES!

      Delete
    7. Mr. Sauga - isn't it the same in the Maritimes in Manitoba? Unemployment/welfare is much higher in the Maritimes than in Quebec. I don't know of any way you'll find to lower federal contributions to Quebec without also lowering them to the Maritimes and Manitoba.

      It just seems to me that the complaints about equalization payments are not made in full knowledge of how the system works, but rather because people don't like Quebec's politics. That makes me uncomfortable because it implies we ought to treat provinces differently based on how they choose to manage their province.

      Delete
    8. "That makes me uncomfortable because it implies we ought to treat provinces differently based on how they choose to manage their province."

      Damn right we should treat Quebec differently. It has fascist language laws that violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and which openly discriminate against the speakers of one of Canada's official languages. Equalization payments to Quebec should be cutoff entirely until it starts to treat all of its citizens equally.

      Delete
    9. Openly discriminate? I do not think that word means what you think it means...

      Delete
    10. "Openly discriminate? I do not think that word means what you think it means.."

      Je crois qu'il ne connait simplement pas la définition...Un autre moron.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous writes:


      "People such as yourself like to paint it as a way to appease Quebec, but that's incidental. To cut Quebec out of the loop would be unfair unless you also removed equalization payments from the Maritimes and Manitoba, but people seldom acknowledge this.

      "Unless you propose a "Screw Quebec" constant in the equalization payment formula.

      I do。

      The Canadian Constitution makes provisions for equalization ONLY for provinces of Canada。As you most certainly are aware,Quebec is no mere province but is, at the very least, a distinct society and, at most, a nation.

      There is no provision legally to give either distinct societies or nations within nations equalization. And, yes, there most definitely SHOULD be a court challenge over this.

      When it comes time for equalization, Quebec magically morphs into a province, with its hand eagerly stretched out. But when it comes time to negotiate for all sorts of constitutional privileges, Quebec magically morphs back into the nation it proudly claims it is. Back and forth. Back and forth, depending upon which hand Quebec has outstretched。

      Quebec is the Evelyn Mulwray of Canadian politics. She was the Faye Dunaway character in “Chinatown” upon being slapped by Jack Nicholson's character goes back and forth:“She's my sister”。“She's my daughter。” Back and forth。Well,it's time to slap Quebec。Real hard。

      Delete
    12. Tony est un "real canadian" car toutes ses références sont empruntées aux amerlocs.
      Un petit calumet avec ça mon ami?

      Delete
    13. To the Anonymous respondent @ 1:20pm: No, the Maritimes and Manitoba should NOT be reduced if Quebec's formula is reduced. We learned recently about how much Quebec has in the ground regarding natural resources, yet very little effort is being made to exploit these resources. Quebec is capable of doing much better, and why should the rest of us let Quebeckers sit on their asses on the dole while no effort is made to harvest these resources, create a plenitude of well-paying jobs and have these workers paying taxes.

      More importantly, why should we pay for this distinct society, nation, whatever you want to call it when their disloyalties to confederation are blatant and putrid? The Maritimes are small provinces with limited resources, but they WORK to harvest those few resources they have, and they fish the oceans for more. In addition, they're loyal to Canada. THAT is the biggest difference of them all!

      Delete
    14. But the formula is not based on potential income, or potential ressource profits. It's based on present income. You'd have to introduce a "screw Quebec" constant in the formula in order to give Quebec less but keep Manitoba and the Maritimes at their current level.

      You're not paying for a distinct society, nation, whatever - some of the federal taxes are redistributed according to the income-raising capabilities of the province. Every province treated the same, including Quebec.

      Delete
    15. @Tony : Do you understand what the word nation means? You seem to think it means "sovereign state".

      Delete
    16. @ Anon., Feb. 28 at 5:25 PM,

      "Openly discriminate? I do not think that word means what you think it means..."

      Passing laws that restrict or ban the presence of the English language sounds like open discrimination to me.

      Delete
    17. @Anonymous: do you understand what the word "province" means?

      Delete
    18. Tony Kondaks : Yes, it's an administrative division of a federation, with a certain amount of self-determination. In principle, powers are clearly separated between the federal and provincial level. In practice, those powers are not so clearly separated. Quebec is a province, out of 10 in Canada.

      I'll ask again, do you understand what the word nation means? It's a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. Like say, the Basques of Spain, the Welsh of the UK, or the Sicilians of Italy. It has nothing whatsoever to do with laws, boundaries, administration.

      You might be confused since in the 1800's, many nations wanted to form their own state, thereby leading to the creation of the modern Nation-State in many parts of Europe. But not all nations have states, and not all states have a single nation. Spain has 4-5 of them, for instance.

      Delete
    19. Anonymous:I am certainly aware of the sleight-of-hand definition that Stephen Harper and his infamous “Quebec people contitute a nation within Canada” means。But that isn't the main or commonly understood definition in English,or how it is understood by -- and I'm not exhagerrating here -- virtually 99% of anglos in or out of Canada。

      dictionary.com lists four definitions under “nation”。Dictionary definitions are listed in priority。See the entry at the following link and please try to understand that YOUR definition is listed #4,at the end,and MY definition comprises #1 and #2:

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nation

      Delete
    20. Words change in colloquial meaning over time, that is true. But the word Nation is already used this way in Canada, and in other places. Take for instance the reserves - are the First Nations understood to be 100% autonomous states by 99% of Anglo Canadians?

      Delete
    21. @Anonymous: The only place "nation" is used in the sense that you want it used is in Quebec by francophones. No where else in Canada is it used that way except perhaps on the Order Paper on Parliament Hill where that silly resolution made an appearance about 5 years ago...and today I suspect that with the new crop of MPs coming in to Parliament from the last election many of them are not yet familiar with the politically correct version to be using it.

      As for the First Nations: there is MUCH more legal and actual basis for claiming that their communities constitute nations with the nation of Canada because the special rights and privileges that accrue to those with Indian status enjoy them only on those territories designated as reserves. Once an Indian status individual moves off a reserve and onto non-reserve land in Canada, he can no longer enjoy benefits such as not paying taxes.

      Not the case in Quebec where everyone is SUPPOSED to enjoy equality...unless of course we take Bill 101 in to account. Refer to the language of education provisions of Bill 101 which mete out rights to people using the same procedure as the one that determines Indian status: who your parents are and what their classification is. But, of course, you don't want to go down THAT road because, you see, the Indian Act has been deemed in the courts in Canada as a race law.

      And then you'd have to admit that the language of education provisions may also, by implication, be a race law, too.

      Delete
    22. OQLF says to me:

      "Tony est un 'real canadian' car toutes ses références sont empruntées aux amerlocs.
      Un petit calumet avec ça mon ami?"

      I proudly use analogies and metaphors from the American pop culture in which I have been inundated with since birth. I make no apologies for it. And they are certainly NOT Canadian Content references which I reject without hesitation.

      But here's one that is, perhaps, more pur laine quebecois and more to your liking:

      "Mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c'est xenophobie."

      Delete
    23. Tony Kondacks wrote on Feb 27, 2012 04:16 PM:

      "Funny you say that, Anonymous.

      I am convinced that the fastest way for English to be recognized in Quebec is for it to become independent. Today, the prohibitions against English in Quebec costs it dearly: few anglos from the Sea of English of 350 million surrounding it are eager to come to Quebec to live, invest, or use their entrepreneurial or professional skills. And this sea of 350 million is an incredibly affluent and highly skilled pool. As a result of not getting their fair share of these anglos, Quebec suffers greatly economically. But it is camoflaged by things such as $8 billion a year in equalization payments, net positive transfer payments to Quebec, and number sweetheart deals for Quebec that are negotiated on its behalf in order to keep it within Canada.

      Once Quebec is independent, the powers that be will soon learn that the expected influx of francophones from Haiti, France, and Cameroon is not materializing and in order to attract its fair share of investors and professionals it must start to draw from the evil 350 million "Sea"...and to do so, they will have to eliminate Bill 101 and make it possible for these anglos to come and live in Quebec so that they can live, educate, invest, and interact with the government IN UNILINGUAL ENGLISH. Cause these anglos ain't gonna come because of our winters. And they ain't gonna learn French.

      Quebec independence is a future of more welcoming to English and unilingual anglos.

      It is within the Canadian context that Bill 101 thrives. Indeed, all of the parties in Canada's parliament support it.

      There's a reason why Stephane Dion said that "Bill 101 is a great Canadian law." He was half right."

      Pardon me if I beg to differ.

      It's been over 30 years since the Quiet Revolution and Law 101 took effect, and it's fairly obvious that the anti-English language policies adopted by Quebec have had an adverse effect on both the province of Quebec and what used to be Canada's biggest and most prosperous city. If this hasn't changed the minds of most Quebecois, I doubt that the circumstances you describe would change their minds either.

      Take a look at Japan. They are in demographic free-fall, and the obvious solution should be to open the immigration gates. But the Japanese are too wrapped up in the idea that the only REAL Japanese is someone who belongs to the Yamata race, and that all foreigners are bad, that they can't bring themselves to do this. I think an independent Quebec will take harsher measures against English. When tourism and foreign business slacks off, instead of making the province more English-friendly, they will blame outsiders (including former countrymen) for not learning French. When more Quebecois have trouble finding jobs outside their country because for lack of English skills, they will blame other people for REQUIRING English. I don't know what else they might do, but I think it's safe that all the rights currently afforded to native-born English-speakers from Canada will go out the window.

      If it's any consolation, I don't think Quebec is leaving Canada anytime soon. Most Quebecois, if not satisfied with the status quo know they need money from Ottawa to fund the services they use. If they believed that Quebec could--on her own--generate the revenues needed to be an independent country, you might have a successful independence referendum.

      Delete
  7. In 1968, the internationalist Bilderberg Club, met at Mont Tremblant Quebec. The meeting was attended by the future PQ leader Jacques Parizeau along with Pierre Trudeau, Claude Ryan (editor of the influential newspaper Le Devoir and future leader of the "NO" side at the 1980 "sovereignty association" referendum) as well as Jean Victor Allard, the Canadian army chief of staff. Talk about false opposition. Both sides of the "Quebec Separatist" debate belong to the Bilderberg Club. Quebec Nationalism and phoney Language Debates are all just sideshows.

    List of Bilderberg participants: (see 1968)
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/23247205/Bilderberg-Conference-Public-Participant-List-1954-2009

    ReplyDelete
  8. If the author of this blog wants to engage in the francophone numbers game, he's welcome to do it.

    But that's not the question that should be asked.

    The question that should be asked is how and why we've gotten to the point in Canada that it is the responsibility of GOVERNMENT to protect and preserve a language of a particular identifiable group. Discrimination is defined in the Quebec charter of rights as existing when there isn't just an "exclusion" but "a distinction" or "preference". And "language in that same charter is one of the listed prohibited bases of discrimination.

    So Bill 101 -- aside from naming French as an official language of Quebec which is completely legitimate -- is itself discriminatory because its intention is to promote one particular language over all others.

    And there are sections of the federal government's Official Languages Act which seeks to influence society outside the realm of government services, particularly Chapter VII, by promoting French and English minority communities. Again, discriminatory and a violation of equality guarantees because it is discrimination based on "language" (language isn't listed as a prohibited base in the Canadian Charter but is prohibited due to case law from the Supreme Court).

    Both laws (or at least sections of each) are discriminatory and should be declared null and void.

    The fact is that a language in a given geographic territory WILL ALWAYS gain numbers of speakers, lose numbers of speakers, evolve, change, or disappear. That's the nature of the beast. For example, the English language of a thousand years ago in the British Isles was changed forever as a result of the Norman Conquest: today, 40% of the words in the english language are from French or Latin via the French.

    French very well may be "threatened" if that's the term one wants to use. But there are no -- or at least there should be no -- legal protections for a language other than for official language status (a necessary evil to prevent against a constitutional Towel of Babel). We fall into a trap if we engage in a numbers game because this gives credence to the initial, false premise that numbers should actually matter. They do if free associating individuals acting OUTSIDE the influence of government want them to matter; but as far as the state is concerned, there must be zero tolerance in allowing said governments from passing laws, spending money, or otherwise acting for or against any particular language group. And to do so is, simply, discriminatory and a violation of fundamental rights and freedoms.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you 100%. Language laws are a barrier to people coming to Quebec to invest and live and also, just as important, it's a barrier for unilingual Francophones from leaving Quebec and living elsewhere in North America. Was it by design to create a captive tax base and to control the population? Who knows?

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately, the whole premise of this exercise is unfolding the way the PQ wanted it, except for the actual separation of Quebec from Canada. Not only did separatists pass laws, they overtly encouraged and promoted these "discrimatory violations of fundamental rights and freedoms" as you wrote at the end of your piece.

      Open rhetoric was a weapon of choice and the chief machination of getting the process to mainfest and grow. The language zealots the Editor names are those who became hooked on it. It's an addictive drug. As the Editor loosely points out, since the Quiet Revolution, there are new speakers at the pulpit. It used to be the priest in the Roman Catholic Church, and now it's politicians congregating at the Paul Sauvé Arena or other places, sometimes the National Assembly.

      Think of what the government is doing as a sort of "affirmative action" that was done in the States to elevate the black population that were seen as some kind of permanent underclass. It only worked for a while in the 70s, and completely disappeared by the 80s.

      What makes this worse than "affirmative action" is certain organizations in the private sector chose to implement it with the ENCOURAGEMENT of the government, but not forced to by law.

      In Quebec, separation didn't take place because ascendants born in the post-Bill 101 era don't see the perceived discrimination under the "Old English Masters" because a path was beaten for the descendants that enables them to enjoy their Frenchness for lack of a better word.

      What bothers me more than anything else is the supposed "federalists" are acting exactly the same way the separatists are. They strenuously make every effort to prevent anyone who falls into that "grey area" from enrolling in English schools, even though there are provisions in that Great Charter of Charters that explicitly make provisions for children with severe learning disabilities or on humanitarian grounds. That is what makes this all intolerable. Too, individual government departments are making goofy policies.

      For instance, the CSST will not communicate in English anymore with anyone within Quebec, or outsiders; RAMQ, too, has come up with this goofy policy they will only cater to immigrants who ask for English services for one year and then no more. RETARDED! They are capable of communicating in English, they produce literature in English, yet they won't use English with very narrow exceptions. It is primarily because of this nonsense of one having to ASK for English with French being the default language that I left. They went out of their way to be difficult about communicating in English, and fight using it.

      So now I've been living in Ontario the last half of my life and I feel French is infiltrating Ontario far more where the use of English is being fought in Quebec. If the objective, as the author and creator of the Great Charter of Charters stated, the objective of that law was to make Quebec as French as Ontario is English. I guess that means there should be more English in the pipe in Quebec!

      Delete
    3. Mr。Sauga,

      Here’s another reason why the Quebec situation is worse than affirmative action:

      Both the Quebec and Canadian charters of rights actually have provisions for affirmative action。That is,they allow the rights and freedoms contained in the charters to be overriden by laws Quebec writes if they are justified under the concept of affirmative action。

      In all the court challenges I have ever seen on Bill 101, NOT ONCE have I ever seen either Quebec or the court invoke affirmative action as a justification for the human rights violations。Why?Because,of course,Quebec francophones would have to prove that they were a disadvantaged group in order to get that benefit。

      Now,maybe Quebec has invoked affirmative action as a defense (I haven't done exhaustive research) but I haven't seen it. Pretty hard to prove you're a disadvantaged group when you contitute an 80% majority and have had access to the vote for over 150 years.

      Delete
    4. Affirmative action would only work if you were advocating the hiring of ethnic francophones.

      Instead, jobs ask for the linguistic skill of being able to speak french. Bilingual anglos can and do get them.

      Unless you're talking about the signs, in which case it has nothing to do with affirmative action per se.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous wrote:

      "Affirmative action would only work if you were advocating the hiring of ethnic francophones."

      Yes, I think you're technically correct. But I was referring to the reasoning that many people hold as to why Bill 101's human rights violations are allowed. And many people hold to the idea that it is a form of affirmative action: the righting of alleged past wrongs by giving advantages to one particular identifiable group (ie, francophones).

      You further writes:

      "Instead, jobs ask for the linguistic skill of being able to speak french. Bilingual anglos can and do get them."

      Uh, not in the provincial civil service they don't.

      Less than 1% of anglos get the cushy civil service jobs provincially...and this figure hasn't changed much in the last 35 years. The figure is a somewhat higher for allophones. Either way, the approximately 20% of Quebec's population that is non-francophone is NOT reflected in the makeup of Quebec's civil service.

      And we all know the reason for this.

      Delete
    6. Tony, do you know for a fact that anglos apply and get rejected from working in the public service? I woudn't be surprised if anglos weren't interested in working for the government given their consensus view on bill 101 and the state of the government in general. I'm not convinced that all the CVs starting with "John", "Smith", "Edward" are systematically fed to the shredder.

      Delete
    7. Yes, they do, as well as any `foreign`sounding names, read up on the results from the http://www2.cdpdj.qc.ca/en/pages/default.aspx

      Delete
  9. "And this sea of 350 million is an incredibly affluent and highly skilled pool"

    Pas aussi convaincu que vous l'êtes...Ou alors si ils sont si performants,expliquez-nous ceci :)

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html

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    Replies
    1. Quebec 2009-2010 budget:

      Revenue $47.994b
      Expenses $67.696b
      FEDERAL
      TRANSFERS $15.161b

      The US doesn't receive a "federal transfer". Quebec's debt is $150.1b with "transfers"
      accounting for almost 30% of revenue. Day care workers should send a thank-you note to
      the good people of Alberta for their raise!

      DD

      Delete
    2. Note that ontario gets 19 billions in federal transfers, and Alberta 3.5 billions (http://www.fin.gc.ca/fedprov/mtp-eng.asp). Quebec has 2.1x the population of Alberta, and 0.6x the population of Ontario, so it certainly is getting proportionally more than they are.

      However, throwing figures like that without putting things in context gives the idea that Quebec gets an extra 15 billions that no one else gets. This is simply not true.

      You might be thinking of equalization payments; in that case the number is not 15 billions, but 7 billions. (http://www.fin.gc.ca/fedprov/eqp-eng.asp) This is certainly money that not everyone receives; however it's based solely on how much income people have. Places with higher incomes (Alberta) get nothing, while places with lower incomes (maritimes) get more. It's not related whatsoever to expenditures, so it has nothing to do with daycares. New Brunswick gets more (in relation to its population) than Quebec, and it doesen't pay for daycares. It pays for other things instead.

      Note that Quebec sends more than 40 billions in taxes to Ottawa*, out of that they get 15 billion back in transfers. Of course, the rest of that money is spent by the federal in ways that may or may not benefit Quebec, depending on how much they care about federal investments in Newfoundland's oil industry.

      *Quebec sent ottawa 5.5k per capita for almost 8 billions in 2004 (about 44 billions), no figures since then but it can't have changed drastically since (http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/LOP/ResearchPublications/prb0639-e.htm#provrevcoll)

      In the future, please put some effort to understand what you're talking about before using it in an argument. Thanks.

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    3. "In the future, please put some effort to understand what you're talking about before using it in an argument. Thanks."

      Enjoy.

      http://www.td.com/document/PDF/economics/budgets/td-economics-budgets-qc11.pdf

      DD

      Delete
    4. Yes, the federal transfers are indeed of 15 billions. Did you even write what I wrote?

      Delete
    5. Why should western provinces pay for programs they can't afford themselves. Quebec cheats on revenue by selling power in Quebec below market value to ensure income is low to allow for equalization receipts (a double benefit for quebecers). Why is Quebec granted 50% of agriculture subsidies with only 22% of Canada's population, 33% representation on the supreme court with only 22% of population. And on and on it goes. Quebec is the spoiled child of the provinces in canada. Why is Quebec a have not province at all. Could it be lack of productivity,big government,labor unions and gold platd social programs not enjoyed by other Canadians. Quebec GDP/debt ratio 94%.... Ontario is ringing the bell of austerity at 50%.....of course in Quebec they just gave daycare workers a huge raise in pay and benefits (at the expense of others pocketbooks). Quebec is Canada's Greece, and the ROC will have to pick up the tab to ensure national unity. hogwash. Let them separate now before they sink the boat (which many in Quebec would no doubt wish to happen to the maudits Anglos in the ROC). Quebc has contributed nothing to the nation than problems ...remember the FLQ and referendums which destabilized the currency and economy. Name me one positive thing in the past 50 years. Oh, I know, a real identity they proclaim. Which is really self exaggeration on the part of the québécois who feel this way.... Canada will be fine without Quebec and the associated problems such as the language debate which is the usual topic of this blog. As a matter of fact, things would be a lot better without the destabilizing effect of the Quebecois false nation within a nation.

      Delete
    6. "Why should western provinces pay for programs they can't afford themselves" : because they don't. Equalization payments are based on income, not expenditures. Quebec could take the 7 billions of equalization, put it in the middle of the bell center and light it on fire at the St-Jean Baptiste, it woudn't change anything to how much it receives.

      You show a fundamental misuderstanding of how equalization payments work.

      Delete
    7. Perhaps being straight up and claiming the real income would change the amount of equalization receive by Quebec. For the most part Hydro revenue is cleverly omitted from the Equalization formulae but of course oil and gas are not exempted. Harper had promised to do this in 2007 but never followed through. As a by product Manitoba gets the same advantage which is why they receive 2 billion plus a year in Equalization payments.

      Call it any way you want. Quebec receives 60% of the equalization payments for 22% of the population. There are no similar programs to Quebec's in the west (day care etc) so again, why should the West pay for Quebec's programs. The value of the day care and other programs which Quebec has over and above the ROC, should be clawed back from the payments and transfers Quebec receives.

      You obviously read too much of JF Lisees distorted arguments.

      Facts are facts.

      Delete
    8. Reminds me of the neighbor down the street who has a big house, boats and RV's and is also receiving welfare and tax breaks as they don't wish to work thus keeping income at a level to qualify for subsidies. Same situation with Quebec and the ROC on the subject of equalization payments.

      Delete
    9. Anon 6:04 : I don't read JF Lisée. I don't follow news in french at all. All I go on is the numbers.

      Why do you think that the day care in Quebec is paid by Equalization payments and not, say, it's own higher taxes compared to the ROC? But no, the one part of the Quebec budget you disagree with (daycare) is paid for exclusively with the one part of it's income you object to (equalization payments).

      Yes. Quebec gets 60% of the equalization payments. It's the second most populous province in Canada, and it's poorer than average. Ontario gets equalization payments too, but being a bit richer than Quebec, they are only receiving 3.2b to Quebec's 7.4b, but given how McGuinty is running things give it a year or two.

      Will you change your tune when Ontario will receive more equalization payments than Quebec?

      Delete
  10. Hi Editor,

    I know several of my friends in high school that are in the process of anglicization. When I meet them, even though we both have french roots, they are uncomfortable speaking in french, having done so so very rarely since high school.

    Often this is because they got in relationships with anglophones, worked in english, or socialized with anglophones. The choice of a mate who is uninterested in learning french is one of the most common causes. Outside of Quebec, even in the presence of a large number of francophones (where I lived was 33% francophone, 67% anglophone, but of course billingualism goes one way: the french learn english, the english don't. The english say it's because there's "no reason to learn french", then complain that so many jobs require knowledge of the french language (hello cognitive dissonance?).

    One of my best friends from undergrad was a "reclaimed" anglicized francophone - his father was of francophone stock and spoke french as a first language, but lost it later in his life. His kids knew a tiny bit of it in their youth. This guy, unlike his sisters, decided (after going through the english schooling system) to go to university in french to try and reclaim his heritage. It was very difficult for him, but he managed to do it. His entire family still speaks french with an english accent, despite their origins. But someone like him is an exception, not a rule.

    Disagreeing with Bill 101 with one thing, arguing that anglicization is a myth is another. Cheers.

    (Note to anyone who might get angry - this post is in no way or form an endorsement of bill 101, but no one can deny that it certainly reduces the appeal of anglicization)

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    Replies
    1. Hello, So Bill 101 and other such laws help protect the francophones from themselves. Just in case they make a big bad no no and don't produce French mother-tongue offspring -- then the government (and friends) have an obligation to step in and save them from their own stupidity. For the greater good of course.

      The editor did say the opposite is happening and this about sums it up: "It is these, deceptive and grossly misleading arguments, selectively chosen by militants that is the basis of the Anglicization argument."

      Delete
    2. That's a tall tale but the solution is quite simple, have the Government select who you can hook up with just like how they dictate which schools you can send your kids to. Francophone "stock" as you say should only be allowed to mate with other Francophones. That way none of your High school mates could ever become anglicized.

      Delete
    3. You seem to imply that my position is that the government should intervene and force french people to stay french. I said no such thing.

      I said anglicization happened, and I explained how. No moral judgement either way.
      If anything, the slow death of an identity makes me sorrowful.

      I myself am dating an anglophone; I'm lucky, she's very progressive and very enthusiastic about learning french. But if she decides it's too difficult and we have children? I may become one of those anglicized people. Only the future can tell.

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    4. Another clarification - some of you may think, "all of your examples of anglicization happen because people chose to!"

      You'd be correct, assimilation is 100% uncoerced. No one shows up in your house with a gun and forces you to give up your mother language. But uncoerced doesen't necessarily mean volontary.

      But people don't exist in a vacuum. Assimilation occurs because of the circumstances people are placed into. In a place like Alberta or BC, there's not much to be done about it. But in New-Brunswick where I hail, we still form 33% of the population.

      So how does assimilation stop? We've slowed it down considerably by a few simple steps - good coverage (and better quality) of education in french (such as founding a local frengh university, the U niversité de Moncton), equality in provincial services in both languages, and better visibility of french (such as our yearly french international movie festival) in general. All of these are non-coercive yet inherently governmental approaches. Back in the day, francophones would put their kids in english schools in the belief that to get ahead in life it was better to speak english flawlessly; nowadays speaking french is an advantage. That did not happen on it's own. It's a direct result of the equal rights in both languages movement of the 60's.

      Nevertheless, there continue to be some who assimilate. But New-Brunswick is the only province in Canada (other than Quebec) where the assimilation rate has diminished rather than increased since the 60's, in spite of the internet, globalization, and all other cultural influences towards assimilation.

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    5. I'm not sure how you jump from "assimilation makes me sad" to "assimilation must be stopped". People live and die, nations live and die, languages live and die. It's a fact of life: surely you wouldn't want every person on earth to become immortal and live until the Sun fries the earth, nor would you want to bring back the Mongol Empire or the Aramaic language. Sadness at this state of affairs is understandable, justified, even. But that doesn't make it right to intervene on the decisions taken by individual people of their own volition.

      On a separate note, there always seems to be this misunderstanding among those people who perceive themselves as "victims" that "equal rights" means: "greater rights" for themselves and "smaller rights" for the others. This is convenient because, by phrasing it this way, there is no boundary to how much one's right can be increased, nor to how much someone else's rights can be reduced, as you no longer need to check whether "equality" has been achieved, so you don't need to stop asking for more. So you go from establishing the right of people to choose in which language to communicate (a perfectly fair thing to do) to pigeonholing them into one or the other language "box" and forcing them to stay there, even to the point of saying that one "box" is more important than the other. That makes ME sad!

      But uncoerced doesn't necessarily mean voluntary.

      No, it does: it really does. Even if you mean that the choice is forced on you by the fact that by choosing language A you have to give up on certain things and by choosing language B you have to give up on others, it still is a free choice: what it highlights is where your priorities REALLY lie, and if speaking French or being part of the Francophone "nation" or "community" doesn't come as high as having a decent job or having a family and these things happen to come with the requirement to speak English, that's what you CHOOSE because these things matter more to you. What you are protesting against then is against the impossibility of having it all! As you say: people don't exist in a vacuum. That's a feature of life, not a drawback.

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  11. I disagree with the anon from NB that bill 101 reduced the appeal of English and as an immigrant I can attest to it. The real tragedy is that after all the unethical things that happened on account of 101 (driving people out, citizens denouncing citizens to the govt, fines issued for language 'offenses'), the attractiveness of English is as high as ever. I agree with M Brock Cote who said that the pro French momentum due to 101 has been cancelled with the rise of English as the global language. I also agree with the militants who perceive Montreal as in many ways an English city, not much different than it was in the 1970s. Of course we differ in the future course of language - to them the reality is an indication that 101 needs to be strengthened, to me reality is an indication that 101 failed and needs to go.

    I also do not see a 'cognitive dissonance' in the claims that French is not needed but so many jobs require French, given that many of those jobs do not really require french to get the job done - the requirement is a purely arbitrary criterion meant to give advantage to one specific language cohort.

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    1. Meant to say the future course of action.

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    2. I think you are assuming that jobs require bilingual skills spuriously rather than basing it on knowledge. Most jobs requiring bilingual skills are jobs that interact with the public, or jobs where the internal language of use is french but communication with anglophones agencies/businesses is required.

      This is an imperfect example; but if I look at kijiji jobs in Moncton, there are 9 pages of jobs when I don't specify anything and 4 pages of jobs if I look for the word "bilingual". If you look through the "bilingual" jobs, you'll note that the jobs are receptionists, retail, servers, salespeople, customer service, etc... all jobs that interact with the public. One ad specifically says that "english and bilingual positions are available".

      Ads that don't specify for bilingual skills include the above, but also things that don't interact with the public directly - electricians, janitor, painter, newspaper delivery, catering, delivery driver, etc...

      http://moncton.kijiji.ca/f-jobs-W0QQCatIdZ45
      http://moncton.kijiji.ca/f-bilingual-jobs-W0QQCatIdZ45QQKeywordZbilingual

      Of course on kijiji one finds unskilled jobs. So I went looking on the government websites for public services jobs.

      For social workers : "Some positions require written and spoken competence in French and English. Others will require written and spoken competence in English or in French only. Please state your language capability."

      Managing positions in St-John and Fredericton (where there are few francophone) required english only, peace officer jobs required either english or bilingual skills depending on location, one job working in sales in Campbellton (55% french, 40% english) required bilingual skills. It all seems pretty reasonable to me.

      So what are these jobs where the requirement for french is a purely arbitrary criterion meant to give advantage to one specific language cohort?

      https://www.ere.gnb.ca/competition.aspx?lang=E&t=Y

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    3. As for bill 101 reducing the appeal of english, I meant the appeal of *living* in english, not just learning it. All over the country people know english more than ever before, and it's a good thing. English is a global language, and not knowing it severely limits your employment opportunities.

      But of course I don't live there, so I was just basing my opinion on the fact that there are many more Quebec anglos/allos knowing french and living in french now than there were pre-bill 101.

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    4. > [...] to them the reality is an indication that 101 needs to be strengthened, to me reality is an indication that 101 failed and needs to go.

      I'm right there with you, adski... and I'm bilingual despite, not because of bill 101.

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    5. Apparatchik note that I'm against laws like 101 regardless of whether they work or not. If 101 succeeded in changing people's perceptions (which it didn't because it's still kept and might possibly be extended into other spheres of life later on, like interfering with the young ADULTS choice of cegep), I would still frown upon it because I don't believe in means justifying the ends, but the apologists for it could at least say: look, we know the measures were harsh but at least we got or done, so we can all move on. But they can't even say that!!! Instead, it's Montreal s'anglicise, we're back to the 70s, 101 needs to covet cegep, daycare, businesses of less than 10 people, need more owls police, need harsher fines, etc...

      So my point is this: if you implement something controversial, something that raises ethical objections, them at least make damn sure it produces a desired effect. Otherwise, you'll have nothing. No desired effect, and no 'sympathy for an inderdog' which Quebeckers might have had 50 years ago but have now forfeited it.

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    6. Forgive a few spelling errors. Its my iPhone's spellchecker fucking things up also, it's hard to type on this tiny thing. The owls police is of course the OQLF police.

      At least there are no language errors, like Seppie mixing up infinitive forms with passé compose in his allegedly native tongue.

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    7. It's not his mother tongue... I'm not entirely sure he could even speak the language: Google Translate is as much his friend as it is mine as far as French is concerned, hence the very short posts and the complete lack of arguments...

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    8. Unfortunately it is his mother tongue, which is really sad. He's a raving separatist fanatic.

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    9. > note that I'm against laws like 101 regardless of whether they work or not.
      > if you implement something controversial, something that raises ethical objections, them at least make damn sure it produces a desired effect.

      I don't know that I necessarily like where you're going with that. Laws, fortunately, are as fallible as the humans who write and advocate them. Laws much more vindictive than our Holy Charter have come and gone. Imagine what the world would be like if all of those laws, decrees, or policies had (entirely) succeeded.

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  12. "Of course we differ in the future course of language - to them the reality is an indication that 101 needs to be strengthened, to me reality is an indication that 101 failed and needs to go."

    Adski,soyez positif!Nous voyons le verre d'eau à moitié plein et vous à moitié vide.Comme vous êtes négatif kiki :(

    À l'avenir faites donc l'effort de ne pas massacrer les noms propres des personnes que vous citez.Son nom est Bock-côté et non "Brock cote".

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    1. >À l'avenir faites donc l'effort de ne pas massacrer les noms propres des personnes que vous citez.

      Prêche-donc par l'exemple. C'est bien Toynbee, et non pas Toybee.

      En passant, Bock-Côté, ça s'écrit avec une "c" majuscule.

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    2. Adski n'a pas encore de clavier français?

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    3. I speak for myself, and I can't stand the Italian keyboard: when you know the shortcuts for all the special characters, why would you want to move the punctuation marks around just to accommodate them?

      Also, adski pointed out that he was using his iPhone, so I reckon he had the spell-checker set to English, given that his post was in English with the odd French name thrown in... not really a matter worth dwelling on!

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  13. Myth 1

    I agree that the vision of us being surrounded by 350 millions of english speakers is simplistic, I find it simplistic from both french and english side. And someone does attack this myth : J. René Marcel Sauvé attacks this myth in Géopolitique et Avenir du Québec. According to him, we are not surrounded, our territory is peripheral and it is one of the major factors of our survival and of our lasting existence as a people. If interested, his book has interesting chapters on Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Danemark, Israël and South Africa.

    But when comparing north american and european contexts, one has to remember that no european country or language outweights every other countries or languages together by 10 to 1 and that 23 languages (if my memory is right) co-exist in Europe.

    Also that french, in the Québec context, competes with a language that is both its local competitor and the new world lingua franca is an interesting factor that makes our situation somehow unique.

    Few languages once in real danger of disappearance (or assimilation, folklorisation, marginalisation, whatever) have succeeded in gaining ground ; catalan, hebrew and french in Québec could be the very few to have succeeded. And to my knowledge, Québec could be the only society in the world where french openly competed with english and gained ground. One commenter rightfully noted that it did not happen by magic.

    Despite english being the new world lingua franca, italians work in italian, frenchmen work in french, germans work in german and so on. In Québec, there was a time when you had to work in english and french speakers were second last in terms of earnings. Language laws adressed this issue and turned things around. Then again, it did not happen by magic.

    Again, it is not about the existence of french, it is about its status.

    Myth 2

    Again, the issue is not the hypothetical disappearance of french. What we mean by louisianisation is a process through which french speakers become citizens of second class, a process through which french becomes a folkloric language and a language of marginalization.

    As I said before it is not about the existence of french, it is about its status.

    Myth 3

    True, immigration will not cause the disappearance of french. But there is nevertheless a problem with immigration : immigrants tend to adopt (at least at first) the canadian vision of things. If immigrants would integrate our society and become, let’s say, 40% for independence and 60% against independence (should I say pro-dependence?), that would be much less of a problem.

    As immigrants become a larger part of our society, francos slowly lose the ability the choose for themselves. (Again, we cannot escape the issue of the definition of «themselves».) And independence is about the ability to decide for yourself. And the abilityb to decide for yourself is not only an issue for independentists, it is also an issue for federalist nationalists (who are federalists who see things from a Québec perspective).

    Integration of immigrants is a challenge not only for Québec but for also the whole western world. In Québec the problem might be more acute because, in Québec, two governments and two national visions compete on the same territory. The issue of immigration has also to be seen in the context of two nations struggling for preponderance.

    Would Québec be independent and would we have full ability to decide for ourselves, the integration of immigrants would be much less problematic because the struggle between two nations would no longer be.
    Integration would not automaticaly easy since it is a challenge everywhere in the western world, it would not be easy, but it would be easier.

    The challenge of immigration is not a threat to french, it is a threat to our ability to choose for ourselves.

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    1. > But when comparing north american and european contexts, one has to remember that no european country or language outweights every other countries or languages together by 10 to 1 and that 23 languages (if my memory is right) co-exist in Europe.

      Fair enough. Take a look at Asia. East Asia is dominated by Chinese (increasingly and administratively Mandarin), South Asia by India (increasingly and administratively Hindi). And as a whole, Asia has nearly 4 billion people, of which 2.5 billion come from one of these 2 countries. Anybody scared yet?

      > Despite english being the new world lingua franca, italians work in italian, frenchmen work in french, germans work in german and so on. In Québec, there was a time when you had to work in english [...]
      This is where your simplifications do you in. France is notorious for having murdered its own dialects in the name of a "standard" variant. German dialects are fast declining, as are traditional ones in Italy. Even though I advocate a universal exchange medium, I don't celebrate any of this; quite the opposite actually. Similarly, I read your comment about French-Canadians having to work in English and I yawn because it sounds like we were being raped when all we were doing was putting food on the table. Faut quand même pas exagérer.

      > it is not about the existence of french, it is about its status.
      That's even more insulting. I don't want a law or a government telling me how status-y my language is. See my comment about dialects above.

      > But there is nevertheless a problem with immigration : immigrants tend to adopt (at least at first) the canadian vision of things.
      I fail to see how that's a problem. Canada is a country. Shit-disturbers in Quebec keep force-feeding us this idea that we need to make two countries where now there's only one using equally creative emotional and often irrational appeals to immigrants who don't give a flying fuck about our complexes as the descendents of defeated colonists.

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    2. > If immigrants would integrate our society and become, let’s say, 40% for independence and 60% against independence (should I say pro-dependence?), that would be much less of a problem.
      What a pompous ass you are, Michel. With what gall do YOU get to set (or even comment on) the percentages and proportions whereby immigrants choose what's good for them? They're citizens just like you and me. Just because your ancestors stole this land from the Nativs first? I've got new for you, buddy, the immigrants will care even less about us and our petty "primacy" claims than you do about the English whose argument goes along the lines of "finders keepers".

      > As immigrants become a larger part of our society, francos slowly lose the ability the choose for themselves.
      That's what we get for losing in 1759. I keep saying how damaging it is (to Quebec!) to keep pretending to omit fact from our minds. The sooner we realize we exist within a framework we can't control, the sooner we'll come to terms with how artificial and illusory most political control is anyway.

      > And independence is about the ability to decide for yourself.
      See that last sentence I wrote above.

      > In Québec the problem might be more acute because, in Québec, two governments and two national visions compete on the same territory.
      Or perhaps, "In Quebec, this is exacerbated by the fact that the provincial government continues to ignore the realities of a system of shared sovereignty and continues to weave fantastical delusions of its own grandeur".

      > The issue of immigration has also to be seen in the context of two nations struggling for preponderance
      The Chinese are coming. Look busy.

      > Would Québec be independent and would we have full ability to decide for ourselves, the integration of immigrants would be much less problematic because the struggle between two nations would no longer be.
      I think crazies in Quebec City counterbalanced by crazies in Ottawa makes sure that no one group of crazies gets to go overboard. I like that more than the fact even more than the idea that our grandchildren might speak both English and French someday.

      P.S. When writing in English, kindly spell it "Montreal" and "Quebec" without the accent aigu. Political differences aside, reading your stuff is sometimes like listening to Bernard Landry speaking English: he says both those words in a French accent (within an English sentence) and it makes him sound like the total stooge that he is.

      I'd like to have a smidgen more respect for you than I do for him, though.

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  14. You can have all the language laws you want, if francophones don't have kids and the immigrants don't assimilate, there is no future.

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    1. ...and it is likely going to be the case in the long run...

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  15. I am not a Canadian. I am a multilingual Bharatiya (Indian). I can speak, read and write Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit and English fluently. I have done a lot of research on English-French divide in Canada. I wholeheartedly support independence of Quebec from Canada. Contrary to what is suggested by the author here, the fears of French people in Quebec about getting Anglicized is genuine and not exaggerated. Let's look at some hard facts on the "linguicidal record" of English language. English was once only a language restricted only in England. After Britain was formed, the English speakers systematically murdered the Irish language. Scottish and Welsh were murdered afterwards by English. English came to American continent and like Spanish killed all the indigenous languages of the continent subsequently. English has systematically weakened Afrikaans in South Africa. When English language came to Australia, it killed all the indigenous languages. In New Zealand, the English language launched a brutal assault on Maori language. In Louisiana, USA, the French people were Anglicized by the English speaking majority. In Southern USA, the Hispanics are getting Anglicized rapidly. In Malta, English has murdered both Italian and Maltese simultaneously. In Philippines, Spanish language has been replaced by English. In Singapore, Chinese, Malaya and Tamil are gradually becoming extinct because of English since 1965. In my country, English has launched an all out war against 22 scheduled languages. My age mates after receiving English medium education, have largely become Anglicized. Many of them cannot speak their mother tongues properly and use an enormous amount of English words while communicating. The Vernacular Press in my country is battling hard against English particularly in urban metropolis of Bharat. Hence English has virtually killed or is in the process of killing and replacing every other language in this world. The only exception is Israel where stringent laws supporting Hebrew have reduced the expanding capacity of English. Record shows English cannot co-exist with any other language without eliminating it. The entire USA (318 million) and English majority Canada (35 million) have an overbearing influence of Franco-Canadians of Quebec (5 million). Hence their "siege mentality" is perfectly justified. They don't want their French language to die out because of English. They are the last "non-English" speakers of North American continent. Fortunately most Latin American countries have acrimonious relations with USA, hence their chances of rescuing Spanish and Portuguese from the onslaught of English is fairly bright till now.

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  16. The English language murdered French in other parts of USA as well. French language was exterminated by English in Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well as around Detroit. In New Orleans and St. Louis; French was eliminated by English language. Bill 22 was ineffective in stopping the English assault on French in Quebec, hence in 1977; a stricter law (Bill 101) was brought in by René Lévesque to insulate French culture and language from the overbearing influence of English and Anglophones. If this bill would not have been brought in, then today French language would have become history in Canada. It is already declining because of immigrants who readily learn English, but not French. Without complete secession of Quebec, I don't think French language will survive in the future.

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