Friday, August 10, 2012

Marois Abandons Corruption Platform and Plays the Race Card

It isn't often that the very first week of an election campaign proves monumental, but it seems that Pauline Marois and the Parti Quebecois have been badly battered by the entry of Jacques Duchesneau into the campaign on behalf of the CAQ.

At the time of this writing, I haven't seen the results of any new opinion polls, but if I am right,  you will soon see that the CAQ has benefited from a huge bump.

Of all the scenarios the PQ prepared for, the Duchesneau card was not one they anticipated, having shaped the campaign around an anti-corruption platform.

So terrified of Duchesneau is the party, that his very presence has convinced them to abandon their game plan, barely days into the campaign.

 It is utterly unbelievable!

Perhaps Pauline should take note of the oft repeated hockey metaphor, which tells us that after a team's confidence is shattered because of some early opposition goals, it  befalls upon an inspiring and resolute coach to restore confidence and calm upon the team, calling the players to order and reminding them not to panic or abandon the game plan.

Apparently Marois is  not made of such stern stuff, she seems to be doing the exact opposite, leading the Parti Quebecois in a collective panic attack that has led her team to abandon a very sound election strategy, because of some early setbacks.

Instead of taking a few days off to develop a new anti-Duchesneau strategy (trust me, the Liberals are doing so) the PQ gave up and whimpered off to the corner like a beaten dog, believing that they were whipped on the issue of corruption and needed a change in strategy.

The only conclusion that I can draw is that Marois and her PQ planners have decided that given the split vote, they can win the election, carrying only their separatist base, which hovers around 30-35%.
It's a risky strategy, but a plan just the same.

And so Marois dusted off and resurrected this failed strategy of the past, the one which frightens voters into believing that their francophone society is at risk from English and Ethnic barbarians, a horde that has breached the outer defences of the moat and who are in the process of banging down the castle entrance, all while the castle guards, led by Jean Charest, are asleep atop the parapets.

I've heard it all before and am not impressed.

It is a story that plays well to faithfully committed separatists, but has little or no chance in gaining traction with the majority of voters, who care more about bread and butter issues which trump language, something that each internal party pollster has told every political party in Quebec.
The independence issue and defence of the French language and culture as an issue cannot alone win an election in normal times.
But as the votes split, narrow constituencies become more important and it may become possible, but not likely, to achieve a victory on the narrow separatist/language issue alone.

Unfortunately, attempts to ramp up the message and energize the base is taking on a dangerous tone, veering away from the narrow issue of language and heading straight into the direction of intolerance, where talk of a 'Quebec Identity' in  mortal danger, is becoming Pauline's most important talking point.

And so, Marois and the PQ have pushed the identity issue farther down the pipe towards intolerance, telling voters that Jean Charest is letting those damn ethnics and Anglos destroy traditional francophone culture and this readers gives rise to my depiction of Madame Marois at the top of the page as a committed ethnic cleanser, sharing a philosophy with the scoundrels of the world that have used persecution of minorities as of political tool to gain power.
"The Liberals are a threat to Quebec's identity, believes Pauline Marois. "Absolutely, absolutely," she replied when asked. "It is unacceptable, what is happening. There are setbacks everywhere, everywhere, "she said.

She argues that French had "declined" in Quebec, particularly Montreal, since the Liberals came to power in 2003.

She  reiterated the PQ proposals: a charter of secularism, a Quebec constitution, a project of citizenship and a new Charter of the French Language (Bill 101). "
A new Quebec constitution, a project of citizenship, and a revamped Bill 101, which collectively, I have dubbed derisively as the "Poutine Laws," measures designed to ram the French language and culture down the throat of all citizens, not only the newly arrived immigrants but the English minority, a founding nation of this province and country, with a Canadian culture of their own.

Before I go on, let me explain my inspiration for the term "Poutine Laws."
It comes from the old Bouchard-Taylor commission,  a public enquiry that ostensibly looked into those infamous 'reasonable accommodations' but which degenerated into nothing more than ethnic bashing, when the floor was thrown open to the average Joes, who wished to present their mostly racist opinions rather publicly.

The comment that stayed with me was made by an attractive and statuesque African woman, resplendent in native dress, who in perfect, but accented French, asked rhetorically whether she had to eat poutine and maple syrup, in order to be accepted as a Quebecoise. YouTube
That one statement summed up the true state of Quebec language and cultural affairs rather succinctly and like the boy who shouted that the emperor had no clothes, the simple truth is sometimes embarrassing to a public which embraces a mass delusion.

What will these Poutine Laws enact?

First, a revamped Bill 101 will restrict access to English cegeps.
Those who were not eligible under the terms of Bill 101 for primary and high school would be forced into a French cegep.

While this measure's effectiveness in promoting French may be dubious, what is certain is that it will serve to further isolate and ultimately sanitize the English community.

I previously wrote about one French militant claiming openly in a television interview that keeping ethnics out of English cegep is important because this is where they may find their life partner.

According to this 'expert'  an Anglo who partners with an ethnic will result in an anglophone couple, whilst the equally opposite effect takes place in a French cegep where a Francophone who partners with an ethnic is likely to raise their family in French.

Imagine a Dawson or Vanier college without ethnics, an utter aberration in a city as diverse as Montreal.
English students will continue to be deprived of socialization and contact with Montreal's large ethnic community by a provision of the law designed expressly to disconnect Ethnics from the English.

French language and culture militants will tell you with a straight face that the measure has everything to do with the preservation of French and nothing to do with the persecution of English.

Lost in all this, is the concept of 'Free Will,' something that has become an anathema in Quebec.

And let's be honest, how different is this policy than that of  prejudiced parents who forbid their child from dating someone who is not of the same religion, race, or who speaks the same language?'
While this type of behaviour by parents would be roundly rejected by right-thinking folks, when applied on a societal level in Quebec, it is somehow not only acceptable, but eminently justifiable!

The new Bill 101 would likely eliminate the so-called 'bridging schools' where about two or three hundred students, ineligible for English instruction, attend private English schools for a year or two, in order to win eligibility in the public system.
Because the Supreme Court has ruled that this is legal, the new PQ government would likely invoke the notorious 'Notwithstanding  Clause.'

There's no doubt that the 'bridging school' manoeuvre is a 'work around' by desperate parents, but the Charest government has created so many hoops and barriers that the number of students availing themselves of the ploy is severely restricted.

But for the PQ, this is not good enough, the very idea of bridging schools is too good an issue to pass up. Deemed offensive and insulting to the Francophone majority, it is the ideal  issue to fire the emotions of indignation.

Lost in all this is the realty that the 200-300 families taking advantage of the strategy is infinitesimal compared to the approximately 10,000 students who qualify for English school under Bill 101, yet voluntarily attend French school.

The Charest government's inelegant treatment of the 'problem' is actually rather clever, avoiding a constitutional issue, yet accomplishing the major goal of restricting access. (and no, I'm not congratulating him for the effort.)

Clearly, the PQ is seeking a manufactured issue to breed conflict across linguistic lines, something that they believe will be instrumental in fostering support for sovereignty.

Now to the proposed "Charter of Secularism" which is nothing more than a disguised device to rid the public and para-public service of observant Muslims.
The law will state that no ostentatious religious regalia can be worn by public employees, something on the surface that seems equal, but in practice is discriminatory.

Let us consider that this measure will bar these public employees from wearing a hijad, a niqab, a yarmuke, a turban or a great big crucifix around the neck, or any other ostentatious display of religion.

But let us be practical.
When was the last time you went to the license bureau and was served by a Hasid or a Sikh and how many Quebecers, other than Raelians wear humongous crucifixes around their necks?

This provision is designed to attack Muslims who wear a  simple scarf (Hijab) around their heads, an offence to French language militants because it denotes a person who is religiously observant, another anathema in the new Quebec.

But this Charter of Secularism will not trifle with the crucifix in the National Assembly, nor will it eliminate traditional statutory public holidays on Christian holy days like Christmas and Easter.

Militants will feed us the line that these holidays are not religious, rather part of a certain Quebec 'heritage.' Hmmm..
Readers, please understand that I'm not attacking the celebration of Christmas in Quebec, I'm just demanding a little truth in advertising.

French language militants remain defensive about their motives and freak out when they are described as ethnic-cleansers.
They uniformly hold that everything they do is meant to preserve the French language and culture and not specifically meant to hurt minorities.

Haven't we all heard and seen this before?

Kamal G. Lufti...  Kamal G. Lutfi
The newest wunderkind of this modern separatist philosophy,  Mathieu Bock-Coté, took great exception to a statement made by the now dumped CAQ candidate Kamal G. Lutfi, who described sovereigntists as racists. Link

By the way, regular readers of this blog know that spelling is not a criterion for criticism in our forum. 
That being said, when a newspaper with a distribution of hundreds of thousands of subscribers allows an attack column to misspell the name of the target, I will make an exception and call the newspaper and the columnist out for non-professionalism. Link{Fr}

To Mr. Back-Caté, a word of advice... before criticizing someone in such a public forum, please get the spelling of the name of the target right.

At any rate, it is decidedly a sore point with most sovereigntists, who cannot imagine that their defence of French and Quebec culture be construed in any way, shape or form as discriminatory.
The very idea is so alien, that the leader of the CAQ, removed the poor Mr. Lutfi from running for the party faster than you can say Jacques Frost.

But here is the interesting twist and remember that I promised to bring you aspects of the current election campaign that are largely ignored in the mainstream media.

It seems that describing Muslims as unworthy of being considered for Quebec immigration is perfectly okay by CAQ standards and the fact that these comments were made by an ex- CAQ member of the National Assembly seems to be of no import.

In a radio interview, Claude Roy went off on Muslims, calling the decision to give them priority in terms of immigration because they spoke French, a grave mistake. Link{Fr}

In that interview, the ex-MNA, advanced the notion that Muslims are bad members of Quebec society, lazy and prone to dishonesty and crime. He went on to say that Quebec would be better served by replacing them with Orientals, whom according to Mr Roy, are ideal immigrants.

True? False?.. it doesn't really matter.

Are these types of remarks acceptable, while Mr. Lutfi's are unacceptable.

No readers, these comments made not a blip in the mainstream media.

This is the Quebec reality and therein lies the problem.

So who is right? .... Readers will judge....


  1. Les anglos représentent une race?Depuis quand?Et surtout laquelle?

    PS:Vous devriez utiliser les services d'un pro pour vos jobs de photoshop.

    1. RACE: 2. noun /rās/  (races, plural)
      A group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group.

      RACIST: 1. noun /ˈrāsist/ A person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
      2. (adjective) /ˈrāsist/ Having or showing the belief that a particular race is superior to another.

    2. It would be very interesting if Michel Patrice would state whether he supports Pauline Marois, will vote for the PQ in the next election and supports a charter of secularism, a Quebec constitution, a project of citizenship and a new Charter of the French Language (Bill 101).

    3. "A group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group."

      Qu'ont en communs les Chinois,Indiens,Italiens,Grecs,Polonais,etc de Montréal ?

    4. Non S.R

      communs les Montréalais qui seront

  2. Oh yeah that fat blubbery baby Mathieu Cock-Coated is at the forefront of the new racists. Another guy who has somehow sold himself as an intellectual.
    Oh and I must say I‘ve seen lots of discussion about thos blog online. Today Eatin Cox tweeted that its “a silly blog, filled with delusional, uber right wing angryphones who like dick jokes.“ thanks for dropping by, malakas. I also stumbled upon some separacist Habs fans saying they think that the Editor should be the first person deported, and then crying that he doesn‘t use his real name. Incredible!

    1. A self hating no count who is a communist hiding behind words like progressive and democracy all the while supporting his neoTerrorist Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois who tweets death threats for the democratically elected Premiere of this Canadian Province.

    2. To show you just how much of a panderer Ethan Cox happens to be, just check out how much he licks Josée Legault's ass.

      I don't know how many readers here are familiar with Legault, but I'll tell you this much - she is not a good person. Much like Mathieu Bock-Côté, she skates around outright bigotry and takes a more "polite" approach to the whitewashing of Québec.

      Ethan essentially embodies the very hazard that the Stockholm Syndrome brings on. While he's busy praising Legault up and down and urging people to vote for Amir Khadir, those two are drinking with their sovereignists brothers and sisters and cracking jokes about him.

      Believe me, I've heard Ethan rant at the bar and he is one self-absorbed most socialists. They don't really give a shit about anyone, they just love the sound of their own voices and being the center of attention.

    3. I‘m not surprised at all. The type of person who is always taken care of and never had to go out in the real world to fend for himself. Fine you want to classify us as angryphones but “uber right wing“? It just shows the self absorbed, intolerant, with us or against us mentality the new left has.
      If I had to compare him to anyone it would be the piss pants in Unforgiven...haha

    4. You have to understand James, it's not just the sovereignists who see financial progression as a sin. Socialism, no matter where you live thinks that the lazy dude sleeping under his desk is entitled to the same quality of life as the hard-driving rain-maker.

      But you are right about their backgrounds. Cox, Bureau-Blouin, Nadeau-Dubois all come from privileged families and with that come feelings of guilt for not having earned their high-standard of living.

      After spouting off torrents of self-righteous chest-thumping rhetoric about the evils of capitalism, they feel they've earned themselves a good night's sleep.

      I think the comment Cox made that riles me most is calling this blog "silly" as if anything, it forces the readers to take a close, hard look at the actual situation here in Quebec, whereas if you read any of Ethan's work you quickly realize it's anything but what HE thinks it is - journalism.

    5. Its one thing for a francophone to hold these views, but an english guy who can‘t even write in french? I would feel sorry for him if I didn‘t find him so disgusting. All his nationalist friends are chuckling behind his back and he probably thinks they worship him.
      And he actually compared himself to Andrew Coyne the other day. Still can‘t believe that one. Big difference from being a non partisan, right of centre writer as opposed to a rabble hack who blows Amir Khadir via print media.

    6. Oh, yay! The new French socialism is driving their rich out of the country!

      How come there are still sooo many simpletons that don't see it's a failed system?

    7. TS,

      The answer is simply, QuébécoisSeparatistsFactory "schools!

    8. Troy, no one answered your question directly. They're making fun of @EthanCoxMtl on Twitter, who got himself blocked from François Legault's account this week.

    9. For Eatin Cox, getting blocked by Francois Legault is easier then say, surviving the LAC program at Con U.

  3. That rant by the CAQuiste about muslims is one that I've sadly seen repeated on this blog many times - the idea that Quebec is importing "inferior" immigrants like Africans, Haïtians or muslim arab North Africans on the basis of language as opposed to "superior" immigrants like Indians or East Asians.

    1. Yannick,

      Let me say this as an immigrant and as an Asian.

      How do you qualify immigrants as "inferior" or "superior"? There are three factors I think:

      1. The amount of money they bring into the country.
      2. The level of applicable education and experience they have.
      3. Their survivability: doing business, willingness to work, network.

      While I admit that I do not have measurable metrics for those criteria I can say that immigrants from South, Southeast and East Asia are substantially better than those from Africa (North and Sub-Saharan), Haiti and the Middle East. Proof? Just look at all the ethnic faces that hold good positions in private and public sectors in Canada. Look at those who own high-priced properties. Of course I am talking in Canada in general, including Quebec.

      Now, the fact of the matter is that French is virtually not spoken in Asia. The business language of Asia is English. While one may say that Mandarin has more native speakers, the single most widely known language in Asia is English.

      So I agree with Mr. Roy. Oriental and Sub-continent immigrants are better that Africans and Haitians. But they speak English.

      The question now, what does Quebec society want? Does it want high-level immigrants or French-speaking immigrants? Unfortunately, it is not that easy to find ones that are both. And remember that the flow of good immigrants to Canada is continuous. For them, Quebec is not so welcoming so off they go to other provinces.

      My position is that because of its putting far greater importance on language ability than any other properties, Quebec is losing the battle in attracting high-quality talents. Nowadays, the economy is bearish that immigrants are not really wanted. But remember the internet boom during the 2000s. The competition in attracting foreign talents is global with countries offering quick access to those with qualification.

    2. Hi Troy. Thanks for replying, i value your insight quite a lot.

      I'm aware that Africa is a much poorer place than East Asia, and that peiple from those places have fewer opportunities for education. I think it's discriminatory, however, to take the whole and draw conclusions about the individual. Only the top applicabts are allowed in Canada, from Africa or from elswewhere. It's not obvious to me that the top Maghrebians are necessarily inferior to the top Koreans.

      Suppose that instead of nationalities i speak of gender. Women are not as likely to study engineering than men, but would you say that a firm employing mant women would be necessarily worse than a firm employing all men?

    3. Yannick,

      I think it is just simply a number game. Suppose we put a numerical value on each of the criterion above. The higher the score, the higher the "quality" of an immigrant. And there will be a threshold that an immigrant needs to pass to qualify. Just for the sake of simplicity let us say that there are two kinds of immigrants. Type F are those from Africa, Middle East and Haiti and type E are those from South, Southeast and East Asia.

      Looking at those passing the passing score, I am pretty sure that the quantity of type E far exceeds those of type F. In fact, there are only a few of type F able to pass the threshold. Now, since Quebec has its own immigration policy, Quebec has a different criteria. The first and foremost: ability to speak French. Thus, to balance type F and type E, Quebec accepts many type F that otherwise will not pass the threshold.

      So, we have higher-scoring type E who go elsewhere in Canada and we have type F, whose "quality" is watered down already since without watering down there will not be enough type F admitted to justify Quebec's autonomous immigration processes. While indeed there are high-quality type F, their number is far below their type E counterparts.

      Now, let us look to your example. Suppose that in a recruiting session there are 200 women and 1000 men. There are three engineering firms. One is firm W that wants to employ all women. One is firm M that wants to employ all men. One is firm A that does not care about sex. Suppose that statistical distribution of both groups are the same. All firms want to recruit the top 10% of the graduates and they need to recruit 50 persons.

      Of all the available recruits, there are only 20 women and 100 men eligible to be recruited. To fulfill its quota, firm W is then forced to take 30 women below the top 10%. Firm M can easily take the top 5% of its pool and firm A can even take the top 4%.

      So yeah, based on your example the firm W gets "worse quality" human resources compared to firm M or firm A.

  4. (Sorry, I just posted this on the previous thread but I think it’s more relevant here… apologies for duplicating!) Here’s an interesting opinion piece that was published today by a new blogger at the Journal de Montréal. I’m linking the original article in French and providing an English translation below. There are a number of level-headed and idiotic responses alike at the link but there’s no room to translate all that here.

    Quelle place au Québec pour les Anglophones ?

    What place for Anglophones in Quebec?
    LISE RAVARY - AUGUST 9, 2012
    Here is the first of my weekly columns in the Journal de Montréal and Le Journal de Québec. Happy reading!

    The refusal of Pauline Marois to take part in a leaders' debate in English has inflamed passions. Time to remind our dear Anglos that French is the only official language here “chez nous”, that they need only to learn it in order to know what is going on and if they are not happy, well then we will close McGill and the English hospitals. Pampered minority, your hole. (Sorry, I don’t know how to translate “ton trou”!)

    The malaise of "nous"/”us”

    By refusing this debate, by continuing to bang on the fictional nail of the anglicization of Quebec, on the absolute necessity of Bill 101 in CEGEP and to impose French on Aboriginals, Ms. Marois has made the “nous/us” of the PQ’s election slogan "It’s up to nous/us to choose" rather problematic.

    Which “nous”? Is it the “nous” of the Quebec nation, heir to the glorious French Canadians and the courageous settlers from France? A civic “nous” that includes all those who know their postal code by heart? Or the emotional “nous” that beats in the chest of sovereignists? There are as many answers as there are political options.

    Not to mention the hateful “nous” that the xenophobes brandish whenever they cross an immigrant who is the least bit swarthy. Or an Anglo who butchers French.

    Many anglophone Quebecers as well as mixed anglo/franco Quebecers who live in both languages believe they will never be part of this “nous”. Even if their French is impeccable, even if they live on the Plateau and even if they know all the lyrics to the songs of Marie Mai.

    Good Dr. Laurin’s Bill 101, in force for 35 years now, still has not managed to heal our paranoia towards our linguistic minority. The proof? The Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste is now worried that Quebecers continue to speak English at home. So when will we have the Office of the Maternal Language?

    ”Why not?”

    Why not have a debate in English? Ten per cent of Quebecers use English at home, or about 800,000 people. Even if young people are bilingual, this is not the case with older people who, they too, would love to hear what the party leaders have to say is in store for them.

    All parties recognize the right of the English community to exist, as well as its institutions.

    No law prohibits it.

    The leaders' debates in New Brunswick are bilingual.

    In the last Ontario election, there was a leaders' debate held in French only.

    Such a debate would also allow us to assess how our leaders would be able to negotiate loans in New York with the same ease as Jacques Parizeau or René Lévesque.

    And, damn it, we built modern Quebec together.

    Yet some politicians continue to treat Anglos as if they were forever to be plague victims. However, for 253 years, they have been not only our neighbours but also, for many, our husbands, our wives, our mothers, our fathers.

    If language, history and culture have divided us, we are also related by blood.

    To claim that Quebec does not interest them is false. But for them to assume all their responsibilities as citizens, and not only by paying taxes, we cannot continue to act as if Anglos were just an embarrassing historical addendum that should be gotten rid of one of these days.

    1. I feel obligated to point out that the "French debate for party leaders" in Ontario actually only involved Candidates which had been delegated by their respective parties, and that no party leaders actually showed up. Not very inspiring.

    2. Pathetic in Ontario and doubly pathetic in Quebec, considering our non-francophone population is twice as big.

    3. New-Brunswick's population is three times as big as Quebec's and six time as big as Ontario's, and the French debates (while firmly established as the norm) are still a crapshot (emphasis on crap). I have no doubt that Quebec's English debates would be of better quality than NB's.

      I think francophones are always expected to do more for anglophones than the reverse, presumably because it's "normal" to learn English while it's some kind of oddity to learn French.

      If there are to be English debates in Quebec, it'll be yet another consession done by francophones unreciprocated in the ROC. Not that that's a reason to not have them, but I can see why some would feel bitter about it.

    4. An addendum: i know some will dispute my saying that Quebec does more for anglophones than vice-versa. It's objectively true if you look at the number of services provides. The difference is that Quebec provides them reluctantly and seems to always be on the lookout to reduce them, while the attitude in the ROC is benign neglect/indifference with hostility only flaring up when some attempt to increase services is made.

    5. Merci pour ce lien, cher Chat... j'aime sa style d'écriture et je vais la lire encore pendant la compagne.

      Yannick... merci d'avoir ajouté ce fait (que je ne savais pas). Et oui, Apparatchik a raison a appeler ce 'pathéthique'... surtout quand McGuinty parle un tres bon français et aussi se veut franco-canadien (sa mere était francophone); j'ai même lu l'année passé qu'il est considéré comme le premier ministre canadien qui a fait le plus pour la langue a la fédération, surpassant même le 'grand' premier ministre Harper. On dit qu'"on devrait entendre comme ça parle français au Parc de La Reine"; il n'y a pas de raison de n'y pas participer, surtout quand ça démontrerait aux gens que les autres chefs n'y auraient pas pu participer. (Mais, j'ai lu aussi qu'il veut un peu se cacher a cause des sentiments anti-français parmi la province...)

  5. OK - We have almost a month to go before the election. Regardless of polls, a lot can change at the last minute. The pattern has always been 9 years of PQ, 9 years of Liberals, 9 years of PQ, and so nauseum.

    What makes any of you think it's going to be different?

    My prediction: PQ minority government, with the CAQ the official opposition. Then, surprise, surprise, within a year the CAQ will merge with the PQ (like the ADQ did with them) giving the PQ a majority government. Then get ready for Referendum III. Yay!

    1. Good one, poster!! For those of you who may have grown up with Bobino, Les Oraliens and Les 100 tours de Centour rather than The Friendly Giant, Mr. Dressup, Captain Kangaroo or The Banana Splits and don’t get the reference, here is what the joke refers to:

      H.R. Pufnstuf

      Little did we know that TV execs were doing drugs in those days!!!

    I was out to John Abbott in St.Anne's to help my 23 yr old grandson get bursaries. 3 yrs ago he agreed to go back and finish his education. In Nov.09 he applied for welfare help since my $1200. pension does not go far for two people. For two years they screwed him around demanding form after form. He had to send three birth certificates because they lost the first two.
    On the last conversation I had I was told that what was holding it up was because we had not sent in the form for parental support. I said, "Excuse me I have the form in my hand stamped by your people twice." Her answer stunned me , She said, "Oh well then , maybe it's best to just reapply." Start over for another two years. Furious, I turned for help to Henri
    Gautrin our Liberal member in Verdun. He told us he would look into it. 3 Mos. later my grandson and I were passing his office on Wellington as he and his assistant were going home at 5PM. His assistant asked if the problem was solved and I told him we had heard nothing. Mr.Gautrin
    blew up. He told his man come back to the office. They went up and two days later Dave had a check and an apology .
    The Liberals have many like Henri Gautrin. Their people come first which is why we need people like him in office. The payoff for this story is
    that he did not reaize that when the welfare form asks if there is a change in school it does
    not mean going to a different school so he kept collecting welfare until January. They cut him off and are now demanding he pay back $2800. dollars with no income. I have been speaking to a well known lawyer whose name everyone here would recognize. He suggested we sue thru the Quebec Human Rights Commission citing articlle
    45 which states that the Government makes monies available to all Quebecers who need them and it is the duty of the people controlling these monies to help people obtain them. He suggested we sue for the two years that he should have had help. I am in debt close to three thousand dollars the only income Dave had in four years was for six months. I've borrowed money from every friend I have to keep him in school and the people that should have done this want me to pay them $2800. The life of an old English Quebecer. You pequists tell me how proud
    you are of seperatists. This is not the fault of the Liberals, it's being done by the pur lain
    English hating civil servants s that Rene Levesque installed to rule over us.; Try to tell me Marois would be more fair and I will tell you to shove in french or in english. Ed Brown

    1. Ed,

      Please check your emails...


    2. Sounds like a case for the Ombudsman of Quebec. Good luck.

    3. Pure and simple harassment, against "Les Autres" by abusing bureaucratic powers.

      Three years ago, when my father was dying of a brain tumor, I required a sick leave from work during his final week of life. Simple matter, but not when the company I worked for had its health services based in Rimouski (only in Quebec -- all other provinces dealt the main health services department out west). Despite being diagnosed with major depression by my doctor, the bastards decided to harass me left and right about language issues and do ANYTHING to keep me from granting my sick leave. This is a major corporation I might add, right across Canada. Not a small company.

      Forms only available in French. Forms had to be filled out in French. Actually stopping my manager from assisting me in translating the forms from French into English (even verbally!). Telling me (in English no less) they cannot correspond with me in English and they're not bilingual because of bill 101 and so forth. And these were intimate and extensive questionnaire forms -- literally essays to fill out with details about my life! Even after jumping through all the French hoops, it wasn't enough. They even demanded copies of personal notes my doctor took when examining me, more letters, more forms, etc, etc. My doctor said in all his years of practice, he had never seen so much being asked from him and his patient. All this started when I simply asked for English forms, that is apparently considered blasphemy in the small minded bigoted town of Rimouski.

      Nothing less than discrimination and abuse of powers. So much so I still feel I should take this up with the human rights commission, but I'm sure I'd just get laughed at. Imagine, an Anglophone being discriminated by for requesting English services. In this so-called province that is something to be given a reward for! Disgusting.

      I can say one thing, I will never forget these racists and what kind of place Quebec is. I will not even get into the fact during this harassment, my father was delayed a potential life saving study/treatment because it had to be made available in FRENCH FIRST. That was delayed months, too late for him to hang on.

    4. Jesus Christ.

      First off Apple, my heart goes out to you regarding your father. But please don't just keep this story only to this site. Write it out and make sure the PLQ and CAQ see what happens when you dogmatically follow the French-first mindset.

      Hell, get in touch with the Gazette and La Presse about it. You could even bait Mathieu Bock-Côté, see if he has the balls to tell you your father should have learned French to save his life.

    5. Vous devriez voir les atrocités que subissent les francophones au canada et même ici au Québec.

      Poor little english man...

    6. S.R Pufnstuff is puffin' some good stuff.

    7. Bien voyons donc ! À McGill à Concordia, à Bishop, Dawson etc, tous les campus anglophones ca se passe comme ca? C'est la faute aux Péquistes ? Ce sont les libéraux qui étaient en place depuis 9 ans il me semble !!!

  7. Editor,

    Living in Europe, I can tell you that the multi-cultural project has failed; tragically so. Why? Religion.

    Kudos to France for, in one swoop, banning all that worthless garbage. If you want to be religious; I support that.....if you do it at home or in your church/temple/mosque. If you're not at home or at your religion casa; put your ornaments away.

  8. Editor, why did you edit Pauline Marois' (quite unlovely) face into one of the attendees' costumes of Spain's holy week as your opening image? Spain and Quebec and very little to do with each other, so I don't know what you're trying to say.

  9. Cecil is very well aware of the KKK reference.

  10. Given that polls weren't published at the time the Editor wrote this piece, thought I'd serve them up:

    Sure enough, the CAQ is gaining massive ground. The PQ on the other hand, despite carrying a lead, can't shake the Liberals off by more than a 1% lead.

  11. Well-written, Editor.

    One small point: the notwithstanding clause can only be used to counter Section 2 and Sections 7 through 15 of the Constitution Act.

  12. A question, Editor:

    What's your reaction on this halted SQ wiretap thing? I was almost sure you'd talk about it in today's piece...

    1. Believe it or not, I actually work on my posts over a couple days, so the SQ story was a bit fresh to get out.
      I wasn't going to write about it at all, because all I an offer is some background information, which while interesting won't shed any light as to who is telling the truth.
      But mulling over your request, I've decided to write about the subject next week, because what I will say, might help you draw your own conclusions.
      Until Monday......

  13. Since we've brought up Mathieu Bock-Côté in this thread, I thought I'd publish what he had to say about the sovereignist stance just today:

    "Il suffit que les souverainistes fassent la promotion de l’identité québécoise pour que certains médias du Canada anglais paniquent. Xénophobe ! Anglophobe ! Les insultes habituelles. C’est terriblement lassant, mais ce n’est pas grave. On s’habitue. Et on continue de marcher."

    Insults, Mr. Bock-Côté? C'mon man, it's not an insult if it's true.

  14. Ça sent la nervosité et la peur chez nos "squatters" angryphones.Poussés à voter pour des nationalistes Québécois afin d'éviter l'indécence.

    1. Basically there are 2 scenarios that will work for me: 1. Charest wins and you're fwcked. Whole PQ movement will suffer like Bloc did last year... 2. Marois wins and you're fwcked. You will have your referendum BUT you will not win, hence see no. 1 ...
      Either way you are's a mission failed since the beginning.

      And if we want to talk SF, if you win your referendum you're fwcked even worse than real life. Why? I don't think you have the necessary brains to understand why...

    2. Yeah, because so many vote for PQ not to support the independence but to get rid of the Libs. A vote for PQ doesn't mean a vote yes in the referendum. The separatists fail to understand that.

    3. Ce qui est important pour l'instant est de

      1.Rétablir la loi 101 et son extension au collégial.

      2.Contrôler davantage notre immigration afin de mieux intégrer nos nouveaux concitoyens.

      3.D'aller chercher certains ministères d'ottawa dont l'assurance emploi.

      Nous verrons par la suite pour un référendum.

    4. Catherine, No Sugar Added - please do not feed the troll.

      S.R is the resident flame-baiter here and is very disgusted by the idea
      of a multicultural Québec where people have the freedom to choose and so
      arguing with him is pointless.

      Oh, and Catherine, he already knows he's fucked, that's why he does what
      he does.

    5. "I don't think you have the necessary brains to understand why..."

      Vous avez raison,ma cervelle de mouton est très limitée...Madame Lamb.

    6. I can only hope the pic of the woman in the dunce cap above wins, because finally, finally, finally, the issue will come to a hot head, and either the 65% of the Francophones will affirm separation, or they won't and separation loses again. We know which way the wind blows for the minorities, or at least about 92% of them.

      If they win, great! They can take their debt, their corruption, their lazy-assed and underproductive work ways with them; besides, I've said it before and I'll say it again: Quebec believes in the rights of the collectivity, not the individual. The late Claude Ryan wrote this in the PLQ Manifesto back in 2004. This goes against true democracy, or at least the plurality policies adopted by the RoC. It's obvious the majority will always be a tyrant in Quebec, so who needs Quebec? They can kiss their equalization payments au revoir!

    7. I almost forgot: Pauline Marois does have a point in that pic: it's under her hat! Too, somebody forgot to write the word DUNCE on it!

  15. Une majorité à la portée du PQ !!!

    Et avec raison :)

  16. Now this makes me very happy:

    This is a constructive way of dissolving the sovereignist movement.

    By teaching our youth how to build their own businesses and creating greater wealth for themselves, we are eroding the separatist base, which depends on the uneducated redneck vote.

    When you help someone achieve personal sovereignty through commerce, they no longer feel inclined to split up the country with the false belief that a sovereign Québec would solve their personal problems.

    After that, the only people left in the sep camp will be champs like S.R...who posted this earlier on:

    "Ce qui est important pour l'instant est de

    1.Rétablir la loi 101 et son extension au collégial.

    [Translation: "I can't speak or write English, so you shouldn't either"]

    2.Contrôler davantage notre immigration afin de mieux intégrer nos nouveaux concitoyens.

    [Translation: "A white Québec is a better Québec"]

    3.D'aller chercher certains ministères d'ottawa dont l'assurance emploi.

    [Translation: "In being unemployed, I want to get all the money I can."]

    Nous verrons par la suite pour un référendum."

    Notice how all of his priorities hinge around cultural control?

    1. Harvey Dent,

      Do you notice that one of the top priorities for S.R is to get better E.I. from Ottawa?

    2. Correction, he doesn't want "better" E.I., he only wants to strip away Ottawa's power base.

      As you can see in his post below, he's clearly out of touch with reality. His party's slogan is "A nous de choisir," yet S.R wants to tell adults in what language they are to study in.

    3. There's a counter argument to be made, according to which a rich Quebec will not receive financial support from Canada and therefore will stop fearing the consequences of seperation.

    4. Harvey Dent,

      Thank you for the correct translation.

      Voters who support the idea of Quebec's managing its own EI clearly do not understand how an insurance scheme works. Insurance works better with bigger pot. An administrator who works with bigger pool of money have more flexibility of assigning the money to those who need. Should Quebec manages its own EI, I am pretty sure that the program can not be as generous as it is now.

      There is example for this. In the U.S. the unemployment is managed by individual states. The amount they pay is generally less than EI. While one may argue that socially the U.S. is not as beneficial as Canada, other argument may be that for smaller states they simply do not have enough pool to play with.

      Example, for someone who has been making $80k for at least a year, EI pays around $1000 after tax every two weeks. With the same parameters the state of Indiana pays around $300.

  17. @Harvey Tooth

    Vous réagissez plutôt bien au troll que je suis pour quelqu'un qui vient de conseiller l'inverse aux intervenants précédents.

    Faites ce que je dis et pas ce que je fais?

    Bravo monsieur liberté de choix.

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

    1. J'avoue que le choix de réponses à ma question était plutôt embarrassant.

    2. Harvey est en faveur de la disparition des feux de circulation sur notre territoire.

      La raison: Ça brime notre liberté de choix en tant qu'individu super intelligent.

      O...K ?!

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

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

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

  19. Ça c'est une belle job de photoshop:

    1. This is what happens when you don't have to work for a living because you receive a big check every have too much time to bang pots, to manufacture red squares and to complain about your entitlements...

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

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

  20. Wow. I mean wow.

    See guys, this is why I don't waste time answering to S.R

    But once again - wow.

  21. I do find it curious why the PQ wants to extend bill 101 to english cegeps. My wife is french and I'm english. I have no issues with trying to encourage french, but in the end, it should be the citizens of quebec who decide individually what their culture should be.

    Have a bill 101 that applies only to new arrivals for a period of, say, two generations, up to high school. Afterwards, they have the right to go to englihs or french school.

    After two generations, a forceful bill 01 has done all it can, and i believe you can more than safely call them quebec cigtizens by that time, with the right to choose the educatio of their children.

    And most importantly, french quebecers should all have the choice of the education of their kids. Let them choose what they feel is best for their kids in this ever more integrated world.

    Frankly, i suspect we would see a huge surge in bilingual schools, where english and french will mix, and frankly, create a more inviting society, where both culture thrive and encourgae one another.

    French is unlikely to disappear, unless french people want it to. This cannot be the case. It has lasted almost 5 centuries so far. The frech culture-fear-mongers should have more confidence in themselves.

    With no bill 101 for the french, culture will evolve into something truly unique. Two side-by-side cultures that actually respect, encourage and learning from one another.

    I know this happens in my relationship with my wife. I had no interest in the french culture until i met her. Since her, my life ia beautiful intermixing of the two cultures and my son is perfecty bilingual and flows smoothly through both cultures.

    Forcing people to be french by preventing english education has perverse effects and meanings

    1. It actually discourages education (learning english). This is a bizarre notion in any country in this century. Quebec is the only anti-education jurisdiction i can think of in the western world. Which govt actively discourages learning, going so far as to ban it ?

    2. the world is becoming ever more integrated and english is the lingua franca of the world. By preventing people from learning english, you are essentially tying unilingual francophones to quebec. So in bad times, they are tied to this place without the abilities to move and function elsewhere in north america. It's kinda like the old seigneurial system, they are tied to their seigneury via preventing them from learning the skills necesary to thrive elsewhere (ie english).

    3. It shows a lack of confidence in your own culture. If you need to force your own people to keep their culture, what does it say about that culture ? It's almost insulting to yourselves.

    Culture is evolutionary. You cannot just freeze it. You actually just hold them back by doing it, which in time creates prejudice, anger, lack of confidence, insecurity.

    Allow people to evolve. Have true confidence in yourselves. Lighten bill 101 to allow the french to choose the schooling of their kids. It'll open everyone's minds.

    1. I'm unsure as to the origin of this myth, that Quebec is somehow anti-learning because it insists that immigrants attend the school system of the official language. Surely you must realize that Quebec is more effective at teaching English in its French schools than virtually any constiuancy i can think of succeeds in teaching q second language? Look at the success rqte for core French Programs in the ROC where presumably French isn't "banned" and tell me who is anti-education.

    2. Actually you‘re using the assumption that most francophones pick up english from school. Thats probably false.

    3. I always ask whether the fact that 50%+ of Quebeckers have a command (of varying degree) of English is thanks to, or in spite of, their elites. I think it's in spite of: a case of people defying implicit yet obvious suggestions (nothing is ever said directly, ambiguity is the key) coming from the top.

    4. Granted, its possible. I picked it up from school and from english TV concurrently. People in Quebec are exposed to less English media though, so it would make sense that schools play a bigger role.

      Will you meet me half-way and admit it's impossible to know for sure on current information?

    5. "Look at the success rqte for core French Programs in the ROC where presumably French isn't "banned" and tell me who is anti-education."

      The truth is that neither the RoC nor QC have great programs to teach the second language. The reason why Quebeckers show some success in acquiring En while the RoCers don't reciprocate for Fr is simple - English is what it is in today's world, so it ends up high on many Quebeckers' agendas, even for those Quebeckers who are politically anti-RoC - they're simply able to get over their bias and separate politics from language pragmatism.

      The analysis of second language acquisition in the RoC and QC can be spun in many ways, including claims that the RoC is anti-education, or that QC is pro-education, or even that QC is pro-English (absurd as it is, it can still be argued). But what's closest to reality is something that is not very flattering for Fr language enthusiasts - Fr just isn't that high on people's agendas these days and the motivation to learn it is lacking.

    6. "I'm unsure as to the origin of this myth, that Quebec is somehow anti-learning because it insists that immigrants attend the school system of the official language. Surely you must realize that Quebec is more effective at teaching English in its French schools than virtually any constiuancy i can think of succeeds in teaching q second language? Look at the success rqte for core French Programs in the ROC where presumably French isn't "banned" and tell me who is anti-education."


      although I cannot speak from my experience, I can take in consideration some of my friends' experiences with English in the Fr school system. The friends i am referring to are all 'Allo' and enrolled their children in public school. The only children that speak a decent English are the ones whose parents have gone the extra 50 miles and made sure their children will speak English. From what i have been told so far, they tried to surround their children with otheR children that spoke En on a regular basis, tried to speak only En in public themselves, all movies, games, etc were in En). They've always complained about how badly En was taught, but their children now are trilingual. Which is why I'll make a huge financial effort and will send my child to a private En school - if I can afford it when the time comes. If not... oh well - there's always ON.

    7. Just to be clear, you do learn english in french scools, but only starting in grade five, and only quite a limited level. Hardly a fully functioning level.

      By anti education, i mean that francophones who would choose to send their kids to an english, or bilingual, school are legally prevented from doing so. Why prevent parents from deciding what they feel is best for their kids?

      I always found it odd that rather than fight a clear intrusion in their liberties, francophonefind it not only onlyh normal, but some strive tomake it more stringent .

    8. Yannick, im not suggesting allowing news arrivals go to englidh. Im suggesting allowing the french pure laine choose. For new arrivals, I agree with trying to enforce french, hence my two generation suggestion. But I strongly believe long time quebecers should have choice in the education of their children

    9. Donnez leur le choix entre la pizza et le brocoli tant qu'à y être.

    10. Great post anonymous.

      I believe that most francophones don't share Marois' fear of the nasty anglos. They don't see English as threat. As long as they speak french, they language won't die.

      However, if we want french language/culture to thrive, french can't only be spoken by "pur-laine". Or else Quebec would just become like NB or Ontario, a canadian province with a decent size francophone community.

      I know most people here don't like this idea but there needs to be some kind of protection (whether it's called bill 101 or something else) due to the complexity of our geographical and social situation. I'd say that, without Bill 101, approximately 75%-80% of my anglo or allophones friends wouldn't have gone to French school. If they don't learn it at school, where are they going to learn it? Certainly not at home!

      So this idea of two generations going to french school before having the right to make a choice seems like a good compromise.

    11. I agree wholeheartedly with all of the above. Thanks for the additional comments TS and Anonymous.

    12. Guillaume Legare,

      Over the centuries many languages have come and gone. It is part of the natural order of things. What you find desireable is to deprive parents and their children of their right to be taught in the language of their choice, which is English, in order to selfishly and artificially increase the number of French speakers. Your anglo or allophone friends would not have attended French schools by your account. If that was their natural desire it was because the French language was not sufficiently attractive to them. Legislation to compel persons to learn or speak French does not enhance the attractiveness of a language and in the long term can only have negative consequences.

      I have many relatives and friends who are in mixed francophone - anglophone marriages. Their children have attended French schools and, in some instances, subsequently have gone on to English cegeps. The end result is that their fluency in English is not equivalent to that of an educated anglophone and I doubt that any of them could do well on an SAT English exam. They are handicapped in the sense that they would have difficulty competing in fields where true fluency in English is required. This is not to suggest that they lack intellect; it is just the result of the process to which they have been subjected.

      In any event, my point is that the anglophone and allophone communities and parents in general should not have an obligation assist francophones who want to preserve their language by being compelled to do so by the so-called will of the majority which, in effect, is really an assortment of politicians who are willing to do anything to perpetuate themselves in power, including pandering to a group of fascists.

    13. @John Krug

      La maladie et la mort font aussi partie de processus naturel.

      Abolissons les hopitaux!

      Vraiment stupide comme raisonnement,n'est-ce pas?

    14. "In any event, my point is that the anglophone and allophone communities and parents in general should not have an obligation assist francophones who want to preserve their language by being compelled to do so by the so-called will of the majority which, in effect, is really an assortment of politicians who are willing to do anything to perpetuate themselves in power, including pandering to a group of fascists."

      Et c'est nous les fascistes o_O

      Ça va pas la tête Johnny?

    15. "Over the centuries many languages have come and gone. It is part of the natural order of things"

      Well that's the thing! Why should Francophones let their culture and language die?

      If someone wants to immigrate to Quebec, he should be aware of the social reality of the province. It's a question of respecting the society that welcomed you. If I didn't speak English and I decided to move to Japan, Germany or Italy, what language should I learn first, English or the local language? Learning french first doesn't imply that you can't learn English.

      Also, I'm not sure why you are complaining about your friends' children learning french. You are acting as if learning french was completely useless. In the end, isn't it better to be bilingual then unilingual?

      To conclude, I can tell you that learning french at school was a good thing for my allophones francophones. It allowed them to master three languages and it gave them better job opportunities. It surely wasn't a loss for them.

    16. *In the last paragrah, it should be "my allophones friends" and not my "allophones francophones".

    17. And besides, who ever said that it's the right of people to choose the language of education of their children? Name me one jurisdiction in the world that grants that right!

    18. À ma connaissance aucune juridiction ne le permet,aucune société occidentale en tout cas.
      Johnny est un rêveur...

    19. "he should be aware of the social reality of the province."

      What about the social reality of the city they're moving to, the social reality of the country, the social reality of the continent? Why does it have to be the reality of the province and province only, to the exclusion of other realities? There is no one single reality, other than in politicians' heads who simplify the complex, or complicate the simple, when it's politically expedient. Often, at a cost to the population, whose chances are curbed to the benefit of those above.

      "If I didn't speak English and I decided to move to Japan, Germany or Italy, what language should I learn first"

      This is simplifying something that is more complex. The fact that Japan, Germany, and Italy are nation states, not province states (which is both an advantage and a disadvantage - as a nation state you get away with more, but you don't get money wired to you from the federal capital for example). Another is history - English is an intricate part of QC's history, but it isn't in the case of the other 3 countries. More importantly, the institutions in question (English schools in this case) do exist in QC, whereas in the other 3 cases they would have to be built. So despite the fact that the end result is the same (immigrant to Germany or QC does not get to go to an EN school), the underlying reality is different. In one case it is a physical issue (absence of such an institution), in the other case it's a political issue (access to the institution is restricted or forbidden). And being a political issue, it is open for criticism and controversy, and cannot be as easily dismissed as for example in Tokyo, where you could say with a straight face that it is ridiculous for an immigrant to ask the officials to build an EN school for the immigrant kids. In QC on the other hand, to demand to be admitted to an existing school is not so absurd. Thus, the controversy will continue. It will never go away. QC is bound to be marred in this "debate" for a long time, since arguments are there on both sides.

    20. Another complication that the political "simplifiers" of the situation have to grapple with and be ready to counter is of course the fact that EN is spoken by a segment of the local population in QC, not just by visiting tourists as in Germany, Italy, or Japan. And they have to be ready to have the contradiction thrown at them: as when they claim that Quebec s'anglicise (as when asking for tougher legislation), and also claim that QC is French only and to think otherwise is a distortion (as when making a demographic case). Nobody likes people who want to have a cake and eat it too, thus such contradictions will be pointed out as this "debate" continues.

    21. I completely agree with Adski.

      Guillaume, Yannick, and S.R.: it is wrong to promote the fallacious argument of "Quebec is a nation" and therefore completely obscure the vital importance that English plays in virtually everything that surrounds us.

      If anything, Quebec would be best served by churning out fluently bilingual children from its public education system. There is no excuse for long-established Quebec anglophones not to speak French fluently, just as there is no excuse for long-established francophones not to speak English fluently.

      Slippery slope to assimilation? I think our first loyalty needs to be toward the overall benefit and well-being of all Quebecers. Not to something inanimate like a language (incidentally, that's why I'm so much in favor of bilingualism -- everybody makes it a lifelong commitment). If either (or both) languages eventually die out, it'd be sad, but so be it. It's nowhere near as tragic as the slaughter of millions of people.

      No Quebec nationalists weep for the hundreds of thousands of us who are the product of assimilated English, Irish, and Scottish settlers, but they're the first to whine about assimilated French-Canadians in New England and in the RoC. If it's the natural order of things, let it be. Live and let live. Die and let die.

    22. Harvey Dent believes in a REAL Québec choisirSaturday, August 11, 2012 at 1:39:00 PM EDT

      "If either (or both) languages eventually die out, it'd be sad, but so be it. It's nowhere near as tragic as the slaughter of millions of people."

      I share this point of view exactly. But the trouble is that far too many people are emotionally anchored to their language and unable to accept that it only makes up a minor component of one's individual identity.

      There's an analogy that I like to use to describe how the approach nationalists in this province take to "protect" their language.

      Is this how they date women? How many relationships would they be able to get into by forcing themselves on potential partners as they do with non-francophones?

      "Either do this or else!" - Not exactly the approach of the cultural casanova.

      The challenge is simple...

      ...if you want non-francophones to embrace the French language, you must charm them and seduce them. Not threaten them into submission, imposing unreasonable conditions and abrogate their rights.

      With that being said, Québec has to seriously re-evaluate its stance on culture, especially with the recent proclamations by Pauline Marois that she would prevent foreign takeovers, which will effectively close Québec off to outside investment.

      The more the nationalists place emphasis on the NOUS card, the closer it will come to a second grande noirceur.

    23. We could go on and on. I won't convince you. You won't convince me

      What's ironic is that I made those comments after agreeing with a proposition made by an anglophone about this Bill 101 being applied for two generations.

      Then I reacted to this comment made by John Krug who was promoting English supremacy and saying that learning French was useless. It's basically that franco extremists discourse but in reverse.

      Anyway, I saw all your arguments about the fact that Quebec can't be compared to other nations or the facts that Bill 101 restricts individual rights. However, there is one thing that you guys haven't replied to. I've grown up in Montreal with a bunch of children "affected" by the law 101. They learned French at school and it didn't prevent them from learning English also. Now they speak 3 or 4 languages and it gives them an edge on francos and anglos. In the end, being forced to go the French school did them more good than harm.

    24. However, there is one thing that you guys haven't replied to.

      I most categorically disagree; I advocate changing the constitution to allow a bilingual school system that doesn't make apologies for any Quebecer not becoming as bilingual as Jean Charest.

      Keep your anglo or franco heritage if you wish, but there's no excuse for not being functional in the language of either our province OR our country's majority.

      This linguistic mental stranglehold the PQ has put up and fed off of is the true Deuxième Grande Noirceur. I'm sure we'll look back on the last forty years of Quebec history one day and think "wow they really thought they created something different from what they left behind".

    25. Shouldn't this apply to all Canada?

    26. Guillaume, this is applied more broadly than you might think. The Toronto area has a large span of French schools open to both sides of the solitude.

      And guess what?

      It's not just transplanted Quebeckers that put their kids in those schools, plenty of unilingual parents put their Anglophone kids in these schools to give them the leg-up you mentioned earlier.

      The difference between French schools in Ontario and those in Québec is that enrollment is voluntary and that's why these schools are a success. They're not being forced on anyone and as a result, tons of Anglos are entering college and university FULLY bilingual.

      Does that help?

    27. "PLENTY of unilingual parents" and "TONS of Anglos are entering college and university FULLY bilingual."

      I'm not buying that. Go past Ottawa, the number of Anglos that became fluent in French is quite low. They may be making some progress but the proportion is still marginal.

    28. + Functional Bilingualism is in a much better state in Quebec than in the rest of Canada.

    29. "Now they speak 3 or 4 languages and it gives them an edge on francos and anglos."

      I don't think it gives them an edge over bilingual francos, no matter how poorly bilingual they are. Let's not forget that QC is an ethnic state that favors one ethnicity. A unilingual franco might be edged out for a job by a trilingual allo, but put a moderately bilingual franco and a perfectly trilingual allo up for the same position, and you know whose CV ends up in the trash.

      The sad thing about QC is that "integration" is an illusory thing. Allos are kept in Fr institutions not to integrate, but to be kept away from the alternative. Essentially, immigrants are suspended in a limbo between culturally supremacist francos and "inaccessible" anglos. This is one of the reasons that the spread of 101 is resisted by allos - because the "targets" of 101 know well that these measures are not applied for their benefit, they're applied for the purposes of sequestration and containment, not for bringing people together and creating "social cohesion".

      "Shouldn't this apply to all Canada?"

      Do you want reciprocity? Fine. The Canadian Office of the English Language begins tomorrow. On Monday, the COEL cops are fanning out all over NB and ON to search out Franco communities and issue warnings and fines. How you like them apples?

    30. "Shouldn't this apply to all Canada?"

      Did you even read the past comments? You took it completely out of context. I was referring to Apparatchik's suggestion to apply bilingualism everywhere in Quebec.

    31. "I think our first loyalty needs to be toward the overall benefit and well-being of all Quebecers. Not to something inanimate like a language (incidentally, that's why I'm so much in favor of bilingualism -- everybody makes it a lifelong commitment)"

      Correct, but I assume what's in the bracket applies to QC only, where well-being of QC residents is definitely affected by the inability to speak English. These people should be helped by their govt, or at least not hindered as they try on their own. Or even better, the QC society should stop looking at Fr unilingualism like at a disease. The culture should change. Bilingual francos should stop stigmatizing uniligual francos. Such stigmatization radicalizes about half the population of this province and keeps afloat the PQ which thrives on a revenge vote.

      I assume you don't mean commitment to bilingualism in the RoC, where En uniligualism is not tied to a dip in well being? Or would you also proselytize such a commitment in the RoC? If so, it wouldn't be related to well-being, would it? On what grounds would you do it?

    32. "I'm not buying that. Go past Ottawa, the number of Anglos that became fluent in French is quite low. They may be making some progress but the proportion is still marginal."

      Of course you're not buying it.


      Because you haven't experienced it. You're talking about what you don't know anything about.

      You want to believe the fallacy that the invasive nature of Bill 101 is somehow justified.

    33. Like it or not, English might never been on par with French in Quebec. (French clearly isn't on par with English in the ROC, anyway). If you want them to be at the same level, you should allow Franco-Ontarian and Franco-Manitoban to have the same rights.

      Outside of Montreal, over 90% of the population is francophone. I mean if you don't speak English in Chicoutimi, Trois-Rivières, Côte-Nord etc., it doesn't affect your well being.

      Making Quebec an officially a bilingual province, is the best way to tell outsiders/immigrants that they don't need to speak french to live in Quebec. It's the first step of assimilation. Like I said before, Francophones are not going their own culture die.

    34. This comment has been removed by the author.

    35. @Harvey Dent

      I've traveled outside of Québec many times and the number of Anglos that can hold a conversation in French past the "Comment allez vous?" was quite marginal.

      It's pretty funny that your reply comes right after your friend "adski" said that learning french was basically useless for Anglos of the RoC, since it's not related to their well being.

    36. Un conseil Guillaume :Ne perd pas ton temps à essayer de convaincre un Elvis Gratton.Harvey Dent a perdu son âme depuis longtemps et le plus triste est qu'il en est fier et essaie de convaincre les autres qu'il est dans le droit chemin.Au fait,il essaie de nous convaincre ou de se convaincre lui-même.La diversité linguistique le fait chier.

    37. Adski has his point of view, I have my experience.

      Guillaume, the point is, whether you see it or not, French is happening in the Anglo community. I know this because after my family relocated from Québec City to the GTA, our parents kept us in French schools in the Mississauga/Brampton region.

      Most of the kids we studied alongside of were fellow Québécois, but at least 35% right up to 40% were Anglos from uniligual-Anglo homes whose parents wanted to broaden their horizons.

      Seriously, there really is nothing to fear. Québec can maintain a French-speaking society without buckling down on others to do it. It just has to start by making peace with its global reality.

    38. Je sais c'est peine perdue. Je pourrais leur dire que certains de mes amis ainsi que leurs parents m'ont dit que c'était un richesse pour eux d'être aller à l'école francophone.

      Ils vont probablement me répondre que j'ai tort que dans chaque petit immigrant ou fils d'immigrants se cache un haine viscérale du PQ, du nationalisme québécois et de la loi 101 dès la naissance.

    39. "the number of Anglos that can hold a conversation in French past the "Comment allez vous?"

      An adult way to get back at these anglos (since it's obvious that it bothers you) would be to reciprocate symmetrically - to learn nothing beyond "how are you?" of their language, and remain completely unfazed and un-bothered by it. Essentially, to show the kind of indifference to their language that they show to yours.

      A silly way to get back at these anglos is to learn their language yet spend the rest of your life railing against them for the fact that they didn't reciprocate in knowledge, in interest, and worst of all, in discomfort felt by your unilingual franco compatriots.

    40. @Harvey Dent

      Good for them, I guess. That's still only a small part of Canada.

      In my mind, Quebec is still miles head of other provinces in terms of bilingualism. You can get served in English basically everywhere from Gatineau to Québec. Not everyone is bilingual but they'll at least try.

      I understand that some of the language laws are too strict and that OQLF is annoying, but still getting some services in English in Québec isn't an issue at least 80% of the time.

      I don't see why you should institutionalize bilingualism. Outside of Montreal almost no one speaks English at home. If those people don't want to learn English, well too bad for them, but still it won't affect their well being.

    41. S.R - "La diversité linguistique le fait chier."

      Uh, quoi?

      Guillaume - "Je pourrais leur dire que certains de mes amis ainsi que leurs parents m'ont dit que c'était un richesse pour eux d'être aller à l'école francophone."

      T'as raison, notre discussion vas vraiment nulle part.

      Adski, Apparatchik - fire away. This just goes to show what happens when you try to reason with the nationalist mindset.

      As for S.R's typically referring to me as Elvis Gratton - doesn't bother me...but it goes to show the mindset that is killing our province.

      BTW, S.R, just thought you might want to know that Falardeau came from a wealthy family. Yeah, I's an inconvenient truth, isn't it?

    42. In my mind, Quebec is still miles head of other provinces in terms of bilingualism.
      Agreed, but there's no reason we can't return to a pre-bill 101 legislative framework and replace it with something more organic or at least more even-handed.

      You can get served in English basically everywhere from Gatineau to Québec. Not everyone is bilingual but they'll at least try.
      Not sure I agree with that assessment 100% of the time, but I agree Quebec is slightly more ahead of the bilingualism curve than much of English Canada. At the same time, I think that with just about a fifth of Canada's population and a fiftieth of North America's, we can't afford to be cavalier French-language supremacists. We need to be the more conciliatory ones to begin with. Our knife-to-the-throat strategy to the rest of the country hasn't paid off and at least if we change course now we might be able to ally ourselves with equally open-minded pro-bilingual people out there both in Quebec and in the RoC who aren't yet bilingual but at least support the project as a generational one.

      I understand that some of the language laws are too strict and that OQLF is annoying, but still getting some services in English in Québec isn't an issue at least 80% of the time.
      I would posit that it's more of an issue getting English service in "French" Montreal than it is getting French service in "English" Montreal.

      I don't see why you should institutionalize bilingualism. Outside of Montreal almost no one speaks English at home. If those people don't want to learn English, well too bad for them, but still it won't affect their well being.
      Unilingualism is a luxury Canada can't really afford, and Quebec can't afford in particular. Might doesn't necessarily make right. If we think it's legitimate to force our francophone will on immigrants to prove who's the boss in this province, then there's nothing stopping a future federal government from forcing its anglophone will on francophones to prove who's really the boss in this country and on this continent.

      Our provincial language laws were and are aimed at changing what is fundamentally a municipal phenomenon. Quebec outside Montreal has changed little and the idea was obviously to not just replace anglo dominance with franco dominance, but to even stifle any anglo resurgence whatsoever. Nationalists can celebrate 101 all they want but the fact is all it did was replace Montreal as the anglo business center of Canada with Toronto. All it did was drive the "English dominance" away geographically. Better French and poor than rich and anglo-assimilated? SAYS WHO?

      The latest tidbit I find particularly rich in this regard is how numerous head offices left Montreal in the wake of bill 101 but now the SSJB and CAQ are protesting the Bell-Astral merger with existential zeal, claiming that we need to stem the flight of (now mostly French) head offices to Toronto.

      What goes around comes around. Montreal's overboard language "reconquest" was a false god and the hippie separatists who hailed it as a victory will be cursed by a future generation who will see it for the setback that it really was.

      Let's not forget how many southern U.S. whites saw Jim Crow laws as necessary to protect them and their 'way of life' after losing the Civil War. I'm pretty sure a lot of existentially fearful Whites genuinely bought into legalized segregation as a good thing, only to have fraudulent notions of "separate but equal" come down during the Civil Rights era.

      I've watched the hatred and vitriol of the last few years calling for a tougher bill 101 and while publicly my argument remains staunchly in favor of strongly encouraging us to produce bilingual citizens, privately it turns me off protecting anything related to my own French-Canadian ancestry. And yours too. And that's the part I find saddest.

    43. Well, as for Garvey's story, one needs only to remember that bilingualiam amongst the youngest cohort has been decreasing. Annecdotes are misleading.

    44. Apparatchik, we're not necessarily talking about Jim Crow laws here. We're talking about immigrants being compelled to take schooling in the official language of the sub-national political jurisdiction, something that is the norm all over the world but is apparently the worst thing since Nazi Germany according to the all the whining about it I hear on here. I'm not sure what is so objectionable about that other than failing to live up to your ideal of personal bilingualism coast-to-coast.

      There's a lot with 101 I don't agree with; compelling immigrants to take part in the majority-language education system is not one of them.

    45. If i can make a suggestion, i believe many of you are arguing from pre-established points of reference. If your goal is to promote ideas that truly aim to make a better world (our part of the world is Quebec. so we focus our attention here), then before you promote an idea or policy, do this little thought exercuse first.

      Imagine a Quebec into which we have not yet been born. So, we do not know what we will be: english, french, allophone immigrant, rich, poor, educated, non-educated, handicaped, and so on. We do not know. It could be any combination of the above.

      Then, let us face the reality of quebec now: 80% french, 15-17% english, 3-5% other language, with natives. The entirety of north america, outside of Quebec is english and this creates a genuine and understandable insecurity in the french. We are a relatively wealthy jurisdiction. Large debt. Deficits every year. An economy that is based on work, innovation, etc. Large natural, yet sometimes utapped, natural resources. So on and so forth. The realities of our current system and state.

      Now, when you propose ideas, propose them within the context of the realities. But, most importantly, propose them to make them fair to all people, based on the premise that you do not know what you would be when you are born. So what you propose would be fair and just and be seen as such to all, no matter who you will be when you are born.

      If people did this, we may all understand and respect each other quite a bit more. We may also develop ideas that can help create a world that can be better than our current incarnation.

    46. Plus ça change mon Bob...Heu...Harvey.

      Un classique qui n'a pas vieilli:

    47. we're not necessarily talking about Jim Crow laws here.
      I think we necessarily are. There are at least two groups here vying not to be at the bottom of the barrel, and all the angst, insecurity, and petty status-driven jealousy that goes along with it.

      We're talking about immigrants being compelled to take schooling in the official language of the sub-national political jurisdiction, something that is the norm all over the world but is apparently the worst thing since Nazi Germany according to the all the whining about it I hear on here.

      You're either unwilling or unable to see the implications of giving free choice to only a small proportion of taxpayers on the language of public education their children receive. And even as things are now, it's done with grumbling acquiescence and treated as a token concession (with its magnanimity amplified). This is not the work of an enlightened people anywhere. It is the chauvinistic imposition of the supposed will of some arbitrarily-defined majority. And in Quebec specifically, it translates into francophone nationalists imposing onto immigrants a demographic responsibility that old stock citizens are unwilling to do themselves. I find that insulting as an allophone, as an anglophone, AND as a francophone.

      I would be much more sympathetic if we did away with our school system based on language and gave ALL Quebec children an exemplary schooling in both of Canada's official languages. Separated or not, Quebec is still a minority on this continent, and pretending to "preserve" French by stifling what would otherwise be very organic growth (much of which would likely happen in English) is not the price I think we should be paying to perpetuate France's failed colonial enterprise. If we still were as religious as we were half a century ago, I suppose we would also find it acceptable to force immigrants here to become prolific Catholics too, since that was an equally important part of the "culture" we had to "protect" from the evil Protestants.

      Seems awfully jealous, arbitrary, and whimsical how we've decided to draw the lines in the sand.

    48. Guillaume : ''Quebec is still miles head of other provinces in terms of bilingualism.''

      It could be the other way around : Québec is behind other provinces in terms of assimilation. That is closer to the truth because all populations of Canada and Acadia used to be French speaking (or some autochtone language, of course).

      By the way; this is my first comment here. I wanted to join because, despite the usual stupidity written written here - like in most political blogs and forums -, I have read some very interesting and stimulating comments; way above average.

      Pour plus de détails à mon sujet, voyez mon site personnel :

      Mes respects,

    49. It would be wrong to describe most provinces other than Quebec "originally French speaking" - everything West of Montreal was almost entirely uninhabited until the coming of the loyalists, and of course ethnic cleansing was used to clear out the populations of Nova Scotia, PEI and New-Brunswick.

      Of course, what French minorities existed in the other provinces was quickly dealt with by massive immigration from Britain in the 1800's and by banning or not financing french education in the other provinces until the mid 1900's - but by then those areas could not really be described as "French-speaking" anymore.

    50. @Apparatchik : You're trying to convince me that education rights for a minority language being only available for that minority language is some kind of infamy when I'm telling you that it's the norm.

      What you see as drawing lines in the sand, I see as the way everyone deals with their education system around the world : require everyone to go to the official language one, some provisions for minority languages.

      I really don't see the chauvinism, I don't think you're doing a very good job portraying it.

    51. À Yannick : Why did the occupation governements in all Canadien provinces and territories outside Québec needed to regulate against the use of French if there weren't any French speaking populations there ??

      The fact is that, except for the East Coast, America has been French - from Cap Breton to the Rockies and from Hudson Bay to the Mexico Gulf -.

    52. Parce que les anglophones sont insécures, même en majorité?

      Comment auraient-ils pu bannir l'instruction du Français à moins de dominer entièrement la politique locale par le poids du nombre?

    53. Il a fallu plusieurs générations avant que les anglos ne dominent par le nombre. Et ça n'a pas pu se faire par les taux de natalités.

      Alexis de Tocqueville a laissé quelques descriptions de la présence francophone hors Québec en 1831. Entre autre : ''The sixth of August early in the morning we entered the village which bears the name of Sault Ste. Marie. ... Everybody at Ste. Marie speaks French. ''

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

  23. You can repost your comment under another screen name.
    I warned you before that "ADMIN" was deliberately misleading as if you are somehow involved in the administration of this blog.
    I won't warn you again.

  24. Editor, "CAQ sitting member of in the National Assembly" and "while Mr. Lutfi's unacceptable anf was Mr. Roy asked to resign?" are not a statements I understand. I think you should check your spelling and review your facts, especially after pointing out mistakes made by others (Bock-Côté).

    Also, Claude Roy was not a "sitting member of in the National Assembly" or whatever that is. He was defeated in the 2008 elections. He is an independent candidate and he has no affiliation with the CAQ, therefore the CAQ has no excuses to make.

  25. Marois has been trying to drum up fear with francophones by repeatedly claiming this week that it is important to vote PQ because “it’s difficult to be served in French in restaurants in Montreal”. Does anybody know what in the world she’s talking about now?

    Someone wrote a letter to the Gazette yesterday saying it would be interesting to get a list of all those restaurants that have refused Pauline Marois service in French. He suggests that she is making this up and challenges her to confront these outlaws by naming them publicly.

    Lesley Chesterman, the Gazette’s restaurant reviewer, also had something to say about this on Twitter and on the CBC. She has written over 700 restaurant reviews over the past 14 years and says that only once in all that time can she recall someone ever having trouble communicating in French and even then, she was trying to speak French, certainly not refusing to speak French. She implies that the PQ is actually worried about people who speak French with an accent or who stumble over words, not people who can’t speak French.

    Does this kind of phoney fear mongering actually work on francophones?

    1. I wrote about this some time ago. If we are talking about service in French, it does not have to be 60% French 40% English or even 90% French 10% English. Many (virtually all) establishments in downtown Montreal are 100% French and 100% English. Just because restaurants have English look (Irish Embassy, The Keg, Joe Beef) does not mean they can not be 100% French to their patrons.

      Why does the French - English discourse need to be a zero-sum game?

  26. Sorry for the extra "a" in front of statement. I don't have the possibility to edit my posts as opposed to the publisher of this blog.

    1. It's ok S.R, we're well aware that English isn't your first language.

    2. By using your logic, English isn't the first language of the editor because he made a few mistakes.

      Also I'm not S.R.

    3. Fine, let's put it another way - you tried passing yourself off as the owner of this blog in order to get more co-operation from readers of this blog.

      Simply put, whether you're S.R of not, you're a liar.

    4. @ A.D. Minh

      By using your logic, English isn't the first language of the editor because he made a few mistakes.

      Native English speakers rarely write "I don't have the possibility to edit" instead of "I can't edit". "By using your logic" instead of "Using your logic" or "By your logic" sounds like a mistake that a native French speaker would make. In fairness, I would probably make more mistakes if I were to try typing in French.

    5. TS (not a native English-speaker)Friday, August 10, 2012 at 8:25:00 PM EDT



    6. @Edward J. Cunningham

      What type of english speakers says :
      CAQ sitting member of in the National Assembly" and "while Mr. Lutfi's unacceptable anf was Mr. Roy asked to resign?"

    7. @A.D. Minh

      To be honest, it just sounds like a mistake. Your post looked like something you were trying to literally translate into English what you would normally write in French. Which brings me to another point--"english." In French, nobody writes "Anglais" or "Français" if those words do not occur at the beginning of a sentence. But in English, all languages are capitalized. That you typed "english" instead of "English" suggests you are a native French speaker.

      Perfect English is not required to post at this board. (If that were the case, the Editor himself would not have been able to make that post you have pointed out.) Indeed, many posts and arguments are conducted in French. But after Harvey Dent suggested that your English was imperfect because you were the francophone S.R. typing under another alias, you ducked the question by pointing at the Editor's mistakes. If you are French, but not S.R., a simple explanation like "Yes, I'm French---but so are many others here! Must everyone who disagrees with you be S.R.?" That would have put Harvey on the defensive. Maybe you just didn't think of it, but I think that maybe Harvey's accusations hit too close to home. I think you have something to hide, and I don't accept your explanation that you simply "happened" to receive "admin" by Google. I think you have something to hide.

      P.S. If I am completely wrong and you are simply self-conscious about your English, you shouldn't be. Your English posts are much better than many native English speakers who don't even bother to spell correctly.

    8. Even if I had something to hide, it's not like I did much damage under the name of admin.

      You can click on my former username, it's linked to a blogger profil.

  27. I'm no liar my comments are based on facts.

    I was given this name (admin) by default by blogger or google because I own a blog.

  28. @ A.D. Minh,

    And what is the name of your blog? It would be interesting to see some more of your so-called fact based comments.

    1. I opened up an account on blogger and they gave this admin name by default. I never bothered posting in the blog though.

      By the way, why did you called my comments ; "so-called fact based "? Claude Roy wasn't part of the national assembly for the CAQ. Check. The editor made some structural mistakes. Check

      That's all said. I didn't issue any political opinions.

    People on sites like this make a lot of errors and typos. Especially when some of it is done after midnight or a hard days work.
    Our friend Minh is trying to make a case out of these trivialities. This is bullshit. Make a point or at least don't try to detract from another man's point by pointing out he missed a
    Ed Brown

  30. Here's an interesting article in the Ottawa Citizen, though the online version has been truncated from the print version.

    1. It's unfortunate and predictable that people would get hung up on that video the morons at Quebec Solidaire came up with. What to expect but sheer lunacy from a party that wants to do away with Capitalism? I think it's wrong to see in that some kind of message coming from Quebec as a whole.

  31. I find all the reasoning in these comments somewhat backwards. It is even more advantageous for a Montreal Anglophone to learn French than a Francophone to learn English. It is quite simply to your own advantage to learn French if you want to live here.

    In the same way that Norwegians tend to speak good English (without threatening Norwegian) because if you want to work in any business that sells to export markets, such as say Holland, you need more than Norwegian ... learning English for a Norwegian pays literally in higher earnings. Learning French when you live in Monteal pays. Literally. As does learning English for a Francophone.

    When I arrived from Australia, I spoke not a word of French. Couldn't even read a menu. I got descent work in the West Island, but a step down on what I had been doing at home. Now I work in a Francophone environment (although everyone is bi-lingual), and earn more. The meetings and internal communications are all in French. If I loose my job, I know I can find another about as good that pays about the same. Because I speak French. When I was a unilingual Anglophone my work situation was far more precarious.

    It frankly baffles me when I meet Anglos here who speak French worse than me. I mean how is it possible? You just pick the language up since you are surrounded by it. All the signs are in French. All the advertisment. It is written on the products you buy. People speak to you in it when you walk into shops, are asked directions on the street, everywhere you go. It is written in the same roman alphabet that I already know (unlike Chinese). It is built from pronouns, verbs, nouns just like English. It is not really all that different to English. It is not that hard.

    And learning it pays. Not just in earnings, but also in being able to walk into any establishment in Quebec, the province you live in, and feel at home. It allows you to laugh at the humour, to partake in the life.

    My point is that French is not threatened. You don't need to compel people like me to learn it, we will do it on our own. Anybody who moves here, falls in love with the place and wants to build a life here will learn French. Because society literally pays you to do it. Simple economics dicatates that all immigrants will learn French. Bill 101 is punitive and unnessesary.

    1. You paint a slightly rosy picture overall, and not one I fundamentally disagree with idealistically because it puts paid to my argument about Montreal being allowed to shine as an organically bilingual place, and its citizens (especially younger ones) going beyond minimal fluency in their second language.

      Your view of 101 as punitive and unnecessary resonates very much with me, but it does not respond to the complexes and longer-term fears, concerns, realities, or necessities that many francophone Quebec nationalists have with regard to English. Conversely, it doesn't say much about the equally faulty language dynamics that realistically occur elsewhere in Canada. Lastly, it doesn't comment on either the Quebec nationalist view that as a sub-national entity/"quasi-country", Quebec should pursue a unilingual French course; or alternatively whether we have the luxury to be so inward-looking and/or linguistically protectionistic.

      You haven't stated how long you've been here, although your thoughts on both would be interesting to read, I'm sure.

    2. It's nice to read your comment, Australian Montrealer. Thank you.

      I would just want you to know that, before Bill 101, this city was mostly English in shops, workplace, sign, etc., a unilingual francophone could not make a comparable living to a unilingual anglophone and more than 80 % of immigration were switching to English. For the French majority population, something had to be done.

      Best regards,

    Hi Aussie Mtler.
    It's good that you learned another language so easy
    but not everyone can do that. Different people have a knack for different things. I know two little girls raised speaking hebrew who after six months here speak three languages. On the other hand they tried to learn piano and could not tell a high note from a low note. People who start late in life have more trouble. Learning is easier when we're young.
    Also is the fact that people born and raised here feel that using their language is not hurting anyone (or at least should not be). Ed

  33. Let me dispel a common myth, if I may. Speaking French, even fluently mastering it, does NOT gain you acceptance and the ability to excel in this province. The rifts here are NOT caused by mere language barriers, it is a mentality of us-versus-them, a deeply rooted xenophobia and racism towards "Les Autres" (The Others). If you were not born white, Catholic and French, then you are not accepted here. Period. That is what is at issue here, nothing else, and this raw human prejudice has soaked into this society for decades now, poisoning most of the population.

    Nothing burns me up more than being told, "Well, if you learn French you will have no problems in Quebec". Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy, but trust me, it is not.

    Quite frankly at this point, after all these decades of thing continually getting worse, I would rather see the Parti Quebecois get back into power this third and final time, call a referendum and win. The real winners of course would be Canada, a place as racist and backwards as Quebec has no place within Canadian federation. Or North American for that matter.

    1. Apple IIGS,

      BTW, is it not time to move to iMac or Mac Pro already?

      After a while in Quebec, I have to agree with you. For some pur laine quebecois, if one is not born pur laine (white , Catholic, francophone), one can never ever be 100% accepted as "quebecois". Look at the way some separatist groups treat Michaelle Jean, particularly on the fact the she is, well, black. Look at how they treat Michael Sabia even though he is the one (according to Hugo Shebbeare) who saves the Caisse.

      One example I want to bring up is how some of them like to pound the fact that Jean Charest was born John James Charest. No matter how much it is explained, that point is always brought up, insinuating that since he is really a John James, he is not worthy being a leader of Quebecers. If it is not a form of racism, I do not know what it is. Therefore, even if they were born in Quebec and spoke perfect French, people like Alberto Fujimori, Ujjal Dosanjh or Barack Obama could never be Premier of Quebec.

      Here, one of my favorite writers on, brings up yet another post about Premier Charest's English given names.

      In a related note, while I do not know exactly what his reason is, our friend Mississauga Guy also likes to keep on bring up the subject. I hope that his motive is different with that of the separatists.

    2. Think you might be referring to me with the "Mississauga Guy" tag, though I don't live in Ontario (not yet...).

      Not quite sure what motive you're putting into question.

    3. Harvey Dent,

      Just be patient. Mississauga Guy will make his comment momentarily. There is no way he will let his name be called out unanswered.

    4. Troy : ''insinuating that since he is really a John James, he is not worthy being a leader of Quebecers''

      Québec francophones - have elected and supported politicians named Johnson, Ryan, Mulroney, Mulcair and so on. The name is no an issue. The problem with John James is that he did change his name hoping to improve the percetion on him. That stinks to us for two good reasons : First, it is hypocritical. Second, it implies that he believes we are racists.

    5. Apple IIGS : The way you say people are depends a lot on the way your threat them and on your own bias. I am not saying that you look for trouble or are dishonnest but I have heard more than once people blaming other or racism while they have deserved it.

      Anyways, just look at the way we are called and treated just because we want to stand up for our dignity, there is a lot of racisme right there. Do you ever complain about that too ??

    I remember going to Moncton (Dad's home) as a boy back in the fourties. My uncles and cousins all spoke fluent French. We are a totally English family. That was long before they legislated NB as a bilingual Province.

    1. Moncton in the fourties was notoriously hostile towards francophones, unfortunately. :(

  35. Yannick,

    I hope that my explanation about Quebec losing the foreign talents game satisfies you.

    1. I'll have to scroll upwards and look more carefully to find your explanation to Yannick, but in the meantime I have a question to ask about this subject.

      Is France or the Suisse Romande in Switzerland having any trouble attracting highly talented foreigners. If not, what is the difference between them and Quebec?

    2. @Troy - I see your point but still don't agree completely. I don't like generalizing that East Asian immigrants are "better" than africans, even if there's a statistical argument to be made.

      @Edward - I think one of the main differences is that when one immigrates to France or Suisse Romande there is no question of obtaining English education, so people who emigrate there don't feel like they are being deprived of a service.

      When people emigrate to Quebec, I'm guessing they think of it as a part of Canada which is primarily an English-speaking country, so that they are genuinely surprised to learn that they don't have access to English Education and that they are expected to learn, receive services and work at least partially in French rather than in English only.

      Those countries usually have control over their citizenship, and they will simply push down the requirement to learn the official language as a condition to receive citizenship rather than as a condition to immigrate. Quebec does not have that option; they are forced to look for immigrants who already speak French rather than get the best ones and then make French a condition to receive Canadian citizenship.

      Someone immigrating to France also doesn't have the opportunity to immigrate to a non-French place and subsequently move to a French place or vice-versa, though I'm told that immigrants mostly immigrate to Quebec then move out than vice-versa. One can imagine that this could become a concern to Quebecers if for some reason in the future the economy of Quebec would be better than other places in Canada.

      Incidentally, when some of the PQ talked about instating a Quebec citizenship requiring the acquisition of French, they got called fascists and racists even though most European countries (including the UK, I believe, though they are talking about substituting Welsh for English for that requirement in Wales) have the exact same requirement.

      To sum it up, the difference between Suisse Romande/France in Quebec isn't in the availability of services or the laws, which are actually superior in Quebec; it's in the muddled status of Quebec/Canada relations, responsabilities, rights, and prerogatives. This is why the separatists actually have a point when they say that it would be easier for them to handle immigration/naturalization as a sovereign country.

    3. Yannick,

      It is fine for you to disagree, of course. However, empirical evidence does not seem to be in line with your opinion. Do you have any evidence or argument that suggest otherwise?

      E.J. Cunningham,

      France generally receive immigrants only from its former colonies. Switzerland never cares about immigration. In general, European countries are not very open for immigrants. Immigration to select big European countries usually done through education or family ties. The only exception was during the internet boom in 2000s. In that era, Germany opened its doors for those with specific skills.

      It is also worth noted that a number of big companies in Germany operate in English. SAP, Daimler-Benz, VW to name a few. EADS also operate in English. Its operations are all across Europe with one major subsidiary, Airbus, having final assembly line in Toulouse, France.

      Trivia: do you know that one can get good job in major companies in France with fluent English and beginner's French?

      Also, there are flaws in Yannick's argument.

      Incidentally, when some of the PQ talked about instating a Quebec citizenship requiring the acquisition of French, they got called fascists and racists even though most European countries (including the UK, I believe, though they are talking about substituting Welsh for English for that requirement in Wales) have the exact same requirement.

      While some countries in the world legally define sub-national citizenship, its obtainment is achieved simply be residence. Nowhere in the world that a sub-national citizenship can override rights granted by the national one. And of course, there is no such thing as Scottish or Welsh citizenship. To get British citizenship by naturalization, one must meet competency standard in English, Gaelic or Welsh. Just like to get Canadian citizenship by naturalization, one must meet competency standard in English or French.

      In conclusion: yes, PQ's Quebec citizenship is indeed racist and fascist; no, it is wrong that "most European countries" have sub-national citizenship requirement.

    4. "It is fine for you to disagree, of course. However, empirical evidence does not seem to be in line with your opinion. Do you have any evidence or argument that suggest otherwise?"

      We're not having the same discussion.

      You're saying that immigrants from Africa, etc... have lower education and are of "poorer quality". I'm saying that pointing that out and drawing conclusions about immigrants is racist. It has nothing to do with facts or arguments and everything to do with generalizations about ethnicity/culture/gender/sexual orientation being wrong.

      Docteur Mailloux went on the air to explain how black people score lower on IQ tests than white people, which is entirely factual and true and racist, which everyone pointed out. How is saying the same about immigrants from Algeria any different?

      I'm not going to get dragged down and discuss the finer points of immigrant value with you, because I don't think it's a discussion worth having. I'm just going to have to acknowledge your argument and agree to disagree.

      "In conclusion: yes, PQ's Quebec citizenship is indeed racist and fascist; no, it is wrong that "most European countries" have sub-national citizenship requirement."

      What I meant is that most European countries make language a prerequisite of naturalization and the obtaining of citizenship, not citizenship for sub-national entities (which there are precious few in Europe, seeing how most jurisdictions are unitary).

      The only place I can think of that really has a strong federation going and is multilingual are Belgium and Switzerland. In Switerzland, you must obtain three different citizenships : Municipal, Cantonal and Federal all of which have widely differing requirements but usually demand that you speak the local official language, which can be an issue in the Romanche areas. Belgium seems to be closer to Canada as there is no formal requirement to show you've learned the local language, only to show that you've "integrated" with language offered up as one of the examples.

      Of course there are no sub-national citizenships in the UK, I was just commenting on the fact that English was not the only language that could be used to naturalize yourself; one can also use Welsh in Wales or Gaelic in Scotland.

      So what I was doing was not comparing QC to other subnational entities, but to other countries which I agree is not a fair comparison other than in the area of alleged racism. I posit that if it's racist for a "Quebec citizenship" to require learning French, then most "citizenships" are racist, including Canada's since it requires one of English or French. What it is, if not racist, is arrogant and flying in the face of Ottawa/province power distributions and the spirit of Canadian federation as a whole, but I have an idea that separatists would take that as a compliment.

  36. "Look at the way some separatist groups treat Michaelle Jean, particularly on the fact the she is, well, black..."

    Et elle a animé le TJ de Radio-canada pendant des années?

  37. I obviously simplify. I am also well aware that I get a free ride because I am Australian. People are amazed at my French (or more often amazed when they find out I am Australian), and am complimented on it until they learn that I have been here for 7 years. Then it makes sense.

    I am concious of, and prefer not to be, confused for a Montreal born Anglophone. In English I have an accent that marks me as Australian, in French it is not that obvious. I like to tell people I just met I am Australian when speaking French, but obviously you can not interrupt every conversation every time a new person enters your group to let him / her know, nor is it worth it with salemen, waitresses, beaurocrat, etc. so I wear the mistaken identity often enough to know what it is to be a Montreal Anglophone with accented French.

    I was at a BBQ a couple of weeks ago. There was a Russian girl there thinking about moving to Quebec and worried about the French. This Anglo from Westmount who works in Pharmaceutical sales and thus speaks French all day every day was big noting himself about his accented bi-lingualism saying "They are all so appreciative that me, the Anglo, speaks French. They really embrace you for making the effort.", to which I replied that I did not find it so. We were all bi-lingual there including me and a Ontarian. After he left, the Quebecois at the table shook their heads about him saying "He was born here. He is not like you from Australia. You expect him to be able to speak French."

    So Apple IIGS, I know where you are coming from, but disagree that it is around race and being pure-lain. First, obviously, many Francophones have English last-names. It is simply a fact that nearly all of them have at least some Irish blood. Second, in the same way that there are many Francophones with accentless English that could be mistaken for Anglos, there are many Anglos with French that is Quebecois. I work with them and are friends with them. They are taken as Quebecers move as effortlessly in French society as in the English. Thirdly, those like pro tennis player Alexanda Wazniak from Blainville are embraced by media and all as Québécoise despite her Polish background. It is because of how she speaks French.

    So what I am saying is that being Quebecois is about how you speak French ... joual and all ... rather than race. I feel I am given all sorts of free passes for being Australian, but they like me, the Quebecois. Guenuinely offering their friendships. In general they are interested in me and have not really met too many Australians before.

    But I need to work on it too. Not confusing my messed up order for the waitress doing it on purpose because I am English, etc. The way I see it is this: Lets imagine there are 2 guys vying for a girls attention at a dance. First goes up to her and says "Would you like to dance?"
    "Sorry, but I have been dancing all night and my feet are sore" she says. And the guy slinks back to his corner of the room muttering under his breath about how they are all bitches.

    Second guy goes up to the girl ... "Would you like to dance?"
    "Sorry, but I have been dancing all night and my feet are sore"
    "Thats OK, I'll sit down here next to you while you rest your feet. So what is your name?"

    Given the same experience, the guy who is successful with women sees the world through a lens of optimism, and the unsuccessful through pesimism, and it changes their outcomes. In my experience, you need to meet the Quebecois in the same way and misinterpret xenophobia for curiosity.

    1. Australian Montrealer, I don't know many (in fact, any) allos or anglos who do not speak French, at least at a conversational level. The hordes of uni-lingual anglos is the official lie (probably peddled in the environment in which you hang, if your friends here are mostly Quebecois).

      The lie diverts from a sadder reality - the fact that being bilingual (anglo) or trilingual (allo) doesn't really help that much. See Apple IIG's comment from earlier today. I made a comment along these lines yesterday (put a trilingual allo and a bilingual, or sometimes even a unilingual franco, up for the same job interview, and whose CV ends up in the garbage?). Troy touched on the issue from another angle - say you're a Quebecker but you're name is James John...already a strike against you...

      Yes, you get a pat on the back for "trying", but so what? It means nothing in the grand scheme. Absolutely nothing. And those few allos and anglos who (despite their knowledge of French) turned their backs on the French community, we can look at it two ways. One way is to marvel at the fact and ask: are these people crazy? They don't know how much they're missing. Another way to look at it is to say: maybe they're smart enough to have come to a conclusion that what's the point.

    2. See, that is something I would like to see tested. Take an identical resume written in French, write on the top of one copy Kevin Smith, on the top of another copy Kevin Levesque, on the top of a 3rd copy Jean Levesque, a 4th Jean Smith, a 5th Adam Goldberg, a 6th Chan Nguyen, a 7th Harjinderpal Singh Ghuman and send it out to 1000 job postings and count the replies. Then do the same in English with an English resume to English jobs and do it also in say Calgary for comparison. There has to be a good masters level thesis in such a test. The results would be interesting, and I believe not nessesarily as simply racist as you think.

      From my experience, I have had 3 hiring managers here who are Francophones who really enjoy speaking English. I realise this is an extremely squewed data set since it only includes hiring managers that hired an Anglophone, not those that rejected my resume. However all 3 of these managers have worked hard on their English and are proud of it. They like having a real native Anglophone working for them. I think there might be some prestige to having an Anglo on your team too.

      I don't want to sound pompous but Allophones, bi-lingual francophones and those uber bi-lingual Anglohones who grew up speaking both languages don't speak and write English as an eloquent native speaker who grew up unilingually does (they might not use the word "pompous" for example even though the word is similar in French because they are just not sure about it, you know?). Their word choice and syntax is colored by the other languages they speak. If deals and business proposals need to be negotiated and written for American suppliers or customers Franco-Quebec companies like a real native Anglophone doing it.

      I had one manager who said to a co-worker to whom I spoke French "Speak to him in English. We need it to keep our own English sharp and we cant do that by speaking English to each other."

  38. And Apparatchick, I agree with you. That whilest we are all incentivised to learn French in the same way that having a deposit on beer bottles incentivises people to not litter them or smash them on the side-walks ... because of the incentives you don't need a law outlawing the smashing of beer bottles.

    It still frustrates the living hell out of me that Revenue Quebec communicates with me in French for my Canadian incorporated company that I have. Technical French with big specialised words about accounting and profits and losses and cash-flows and assets and forms and deadlines and the such. It is an administrative headache enough as it is. Why do they do it to me? I have ticked every box saying that I want English. But they refuse for corporations out of some sort of petty nastiness. It is just so mean.

    The whole thing is unnessesary. Which Anglo would have a child in 2012 and not ensure that child speaks fluent French? The battle is won. French is secure. It pays more to speak French, and that is the only thing that was ever needed to make English speakers learn French. If it had been the case 100 years ago, the English would have been learning French back then. It is true now. It makes the whole conversation redundant.

    1. I really enjoy your comments Australian Montrealer. It's good to see that you have an open mindset toward the francophone community and Quebec's culture in general.

      However, in 2012, there are still some young people in Quebec that don't speak French. I was raised in the western part of Montreal. I did all my studies in French so I've been to school with many of those "children of bill 101" and I can tell you that the will to learn French isn't present in every individual. For some of them, the only place where they would speak French was at school and even then, they wouldn't really mix themselves with the franco (from all ethnic origins) kids.

      For them, French is basically a pain in the ***, once they are done with high school, they can go to an English CEGEP, live the rest of their life in English and leave French locked somewhere in a drawer. Maybe they'll open the drawer later in their life, maybe they'll just leave to locked.

      Then, there is the children that weren't affected by Bill 101. They learn English at school, they speak it with their parents and their friends. They don't see the necessity to learn French. Most of them will likely learn it and one point or another, but some of them won't.

      Like I said before, I don't want to generalize those facts to the entire anglophone population of our province. I know that most of them learned French and they take pride in speaking it. However, the fact remains that there is still a non-negligible proportion of young Montrealers that doesn't deem it as important to learn French.

    2. I don't want to generalize those facts to the entire anglophone population of our province. I know that most of them learned French and they take pride in speaking it. However, the fact remains that there is still a non-negligible proportion of young Montrealers that doesn't deem it as important to learn French.

      I am one of those non-101 children, Guillaume. Through one of my parents, I inherited the right to attend English school, which I did. I also attended French School. And then I attended University. Once in French, and once in English.

      I fundamentally believe (not simply idealistically) that bilingualism is the best personal and societal state for us to be in. The problem is, I see both a small handful of closed-off West Island anglos and a shitload of young péquiste supporters who applaud the new an improved 101 and I think the problem cuts both ways.

      Unilingualism is a luxury neither side in this province can continue to afford. A little "speak White" and a little "en français!" are both necessary to break both unilingual sides out of their delusion. But from my point of view as a critically thinking francophone observer myself, outright state-sanctioned anglophobia is not the way of the future. Yes, telling francophones and allophones that they don't have the necessary maturity to attend anglophone institutions and still know french is not just insulting to the allos and francos, but it also constitutes anglophobia. Perhaps if we killed the insecurity gene planted in our collective minds and actually worked toward building bilingual institutions in a bilingual Montreal, the politicians wouldn't be able to even TRY to play divide-and-conquer with populist rhetoric such as Pauline's.

    3. It is time as anglophones or allophones that we need to stand up to this racism and attempt to crush our fundamental rights in a free country called Canada. I urge everyone to call their MNA and MP to tell them you object. We need to act as a group, we are nearly 900 000 people we have a voice and it needs to be heard.

    4. Ben oui...

      Vous allez avoir de sérieux problèmes à réunir tous ces gens (pour la plupart très individualistes) qui n'ont qu'un seul point commun:

      Le globish

  39. So Legault this week-end seems to be asking for Ottawa's environmental powers in Quebec. So, basically he says no referenduum for the next 10 years, but we'll still be dealing with Quebec trying to strip Ottawa of it's powers in Quebec.

    I had considered the CAQ as a possible option for my vote. And now, I just can't. I hope some of those CAQ guys do get elected. Like Barrette, and Ducheneau (spelling). But, I as a Montrealer would worry if the CAQ got into power.

    As for Mariois and the PQ. They are a very dangerous bunch.

    1. I'm watching RDI En Direct and they just had a piece on PQ's electoral campaign. Marois announced her plans in regards to expansion and reinforcement of 101. The usual stuff: Cegep, more funding for the OQLF, extension of 101 to companies of 11-50 employees, etc...Nothing new. I was about to dose off when the RDI reporter came on and added this: in corporations today someone is on the phone with the US or Asia or what not, the conversation is in English. But when the phone is put down, the internal conversation between employees may continue in English, according to the reporter, so the PQ is planning to put a stop to it.

      My question is how. As someone who works in a corporation and knows how private and air-tight they are, I can tell you that this plan is pure fantasy. Only those who never worked in a corporation (public sector employees, the self-employed, the unemployed, the students) can buy this.

      I'm especially interested in the methods Marois is thinking of using to micromanage employee-with-employee conversations, and to punish offenders.

      I must add that I'm no fan of the modern day corporation (they are effectively fascistic structures with heavy handed top down management and no tolerance for even minute dissent), so in a contest between a potential govt run by pequiste fascists and the fascist corporate institution I have no stake. All I'm saying is that low level micromanagement of corporation that the PQ is announcing is impossible. That battle is already lost. It's empty words for hyped-up pequiste voters who have no idea what is involved here.

    2. Adski,le même principe s'applique aux policiers qui patrouillent sur nos autoroutes.Ils ne peuvent sanctionner tous ceux qui dépassent les limites de vitesse mais quand ils en attrapent un...Ça lui coûte cher.

    3. @Adski - the irony here is that some of Marois' workplace 101 proposals could come into a legal clash with another piece of Québec's workplace code:

      Hmmm...think I'll pass that on to Brent Tyler.

    4. Brent Tyler?

      Pas très impressionnant comme feuille de route jusqu'à maintenant.Je crois que les angryphones devraient engager une équipe d'avocats de talent si ils veulent marquer des points.De plus,le pauvre Brent doit commencer à sentir l'épuisement :)

    5. Anyhow, I'm not going to get all huffed up about Queen Marois' beefed-up 101 laws yet. After all, we still have over three more weeks left in the race.

      If anything, Queen Pas-lean (sorry, had to step in and call the kettle black) keeps shooting herself in the foot. Say whatever you want against Legault and Charest...if you backtrack to the beginning of the election, neither of those two candidates shot themselves in the foot as many times as Marois has.

      Remember how just four days ago, she was practically offering drive-thru BJs to federalists and the English community, and now we're right back to the lowest common denominator...or should we call it... the SR-vote.

      So for S.R's sake...who clearly is too busy rummaging through Youtube's archives for vintage Elvis Gratton footage to take note of where Marois' campaign is going:

      1. All Francophones will have to study in French (brain drain)

      2. All immigrants must have mastered French before arriving (Pur Laine preservation)

      3. Foreign investment in Québécois companies will be controlled by the state (The other "R" word)

      Marois' the Titanic. Voter common sense is the iceberg.

    6. Barrette's the titanic.Voter common sense is the laitue iceberg.

    7. I had considered the CAQ as a possible option for my vote.
      A distant second. And only if there's no federalist group.

      - Legault keeps reminding me of the absentee out of touch father who can't control his kids (e.g. Duchesneau)
      - La Castafiore (a.k.a. Marois) keeps behaving like a prima donna and even if I were a post-101 nationalist I'd be scratching my head about her suitability to run this province...

      - My boy Charest, warts and all, almost seems to win by default.

    8. "le même principe s'applique aux policiers qui patrouillent sur nos autoroutes.Ils ne peuvent sanctionner tous ceux qui dépassent les limites de vitesse mais quand ils en attrapent un"

      So the QOLF will police corporations, and conduct raids, sting operations, or stake-outs inside offices? Assuming that these "policemen" would get past the reception (they wouldn't), what would they do then? Sneak around cubicles with tape recorders and eavesdrop on employee conversations?

      Or would it be a "complaint-based system", as with the sign law? The "whistle-blower" would send a tape to the OQLF with a conversation in English, after which the OQLF will open a file? Given that a tape is poor evidence (you can't prove the place of the conversation, nor the time), maybe video proof will be required? In which case the "whistle-blower" would need to smuggle a camcorder into the corporation and plant it in someone's cubicle or in a conference room. Or use an iPhone, but that you can't plant anywhere. You'd have to stick it in someone's face, which would obviously kill the secrecy factor. And all this effort (and risk - if you're caught you're out) just to catch Patel and Chang discussing database design in (broken) English.

  40. Is there any lawyer aboard?

    The concept of ne bis in idem, or commonly known as Double Jeopardy, prevents legal action to be instituted twice for the same course of action. I think it mostly applies in criminal law. How about its application in legislation? Can pieces of laws that have been ruled illegal be instituted by the legislators over and over?

  41. I don't know any numbers, yet I've certainly met many anglo Montrealers who don't speak even conversational French.

    I consider bilingualism a real gift and I don't understand their lack of interest; I'm sure it is complex and detailed.

    JBG wants a detailed explanation why some Quebecers don't speak French. It' not complicated J. They are English people who respect their own language and see it as good enough. If they feel they don't need French, why should they learn it? It's called freedom. Thankfully, we have not lost that yet. Ed

  43. This is completely off topic, and I will understand if th Editor wishes to delete this post since it has nothing to do with Montreal or Anglo rights in Quebec, but I wonder what Expos fans here think of the success their former team is having seven years after they left?

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