|Canada's provinces are 78% English. Quebec is Canadian a province...therefore.|
The document was largely ignored by the media, it contained a lot of gibberish and gobbledygook with the media featuring the one tidbit that would grab readers attention, the fact that it argued that francophones were subject to a 'soft-ethnocide' whereby Canada is slowly wiping out the French fact.
You can download the document and read it for yourself, but I assure you, it is as tedious as it is long.
DOWNLOAD THE PDF
After sniffing around, the media gave the document the short shrift, the news conference held by Conseil de la souverainete du Quebec, an embarrassing bust;
"A pro-independence organization held a news conference to unveil a new study that identifies 92 ways in which the Canadian federation hinders Quebec's development against the interests and values of Quebecers.I read the complete document, or rather I should say I got through it, a painful exercise in endurance, considering that it is a blend of fact, fiction and fantasy, chock full of nonsense, the reading of which actually made my brain hurt.
But the Montreal event generated little media coverage.
There were eight panellists at the news conference. There was only one question from a French-language media outlet. Daniel Paille, leader of the long-dominant Bloc Quebecois, didn't get a single question." Link
Perhaps I can best describe the document as a foul attempt at deception and manipulation, or as they say in French 'poudre aux yeux.'
I wouldn't say that the document rises to the level of the Procotols of the Elders of Zion, but clearly the authors let their imagination get the better of them.
If you read it, consider the pervasive use of dishonest logical devices meant to deceive.
As I said, I've gone through the study and would like to apprise readers of some of the faulty, distorted and downright dishonest conclusion offered.Cherry-picking. "the Canadian government awarded the contract to build its navy ships in Atlantic Canada, therefore Quebec is always disfavoured."
Using facts selectively or without context.Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. ("After this, therefore because of this.")
"It has been proven that all heroin addicts smoked marijuana in their youth. Therefore, smoking marijuana leads to heroin addiction"
Actually heroin addicts probably started on mother's milk....Appeal to Ignorance: "See that door move, must be ghosts!"False Comparison: "The City of Vancouver doesn't require employees to speak French, so the city of Westmount should not demand bilingualism."
The two cities have different circumstances.Red Herring "Alberta is richer than Quebec, therefore federalism hurts Quebec"
Alberta's wealth has to do with oil, not federalism..Concurrence Fallacy: "The country has gone downhill since religion has been taken out of school"
Two things happening at the same time need not indicate a causal relationship.Faulty conclusion "In Quebec, there are proportionally more English television networks than French networks, thus penalizing francophone viewers."
A reduction in the amount of English networks will not increase the number of French networks.
Read more about faulty logic from the source
Here's just a glimpse, I could find fault in just about every single conclusion offered, but considering that the document is being given the weight it deserves, I'll content myself with a few examples.
"The last census informs us that in Quebec, citizens with French as a mother tongue fell to 79.1% and in 49% on the island of Montreal"
(Le dernier recensement nous apprend (à propos du Québec cette fois) que le poids des citoyens de langue maternelle française a chuté à 79,1 % au Québec et à 49,0 % sur l’île de Montréal.)
|"Hmm...these readings are off the chart!"|
There certainly isn't a large influx of non-French mother tongue Canadians invading the province from Canada.
The reality is that Quebec is welcoming about 50,000 new immigrants a year, a relatively new development meant to fill the void caused by a low birth rate.
Of those arriving immigrants, almost none, as one would expect, have French as a mother tongue.
If Quebec separates, but still allows immigration, how will the downward direction of the mother-tongue statistic change?
In a section entitled; "Culture and media under the federal control", the authors make some at some startling conclusions. They complain about the CRTC, a federal institution having jurisdiction over television and radio.
"Quoiqu’ils ne représentent que 12,9 % de la population métropolitaine (8,3 % au Québec), les anglophones, grâce aux choix du CRTC, ont accès au tiers des stations de radio (31 %) et à la moitié des six chaînes de télévision. Ils sont desservis par deux quotidiens : la Gazette de Montréal et le Record de Sherbrooke, dont le tirage atteint 17 % des ventes totales du Québec. De plus, ils disposent également d’une vingtaine de journaux dans les régions."The authors complain that just 8.3% of anglophones benefit from having one third of the radio stations and half of the television stations in Quebec and then complain about the language of newspapers.
At any rate, there are three problems with the statement.
First: A misleading statistic is offered concerning Anglophones, that is the fact that Quebec is comprised of no more than 8.3% of people with English as a mother tongue. It is here that the mother tongue issue is used to distort.
According to StasCan 13.1% of Quebecers use English day to day, regardless of their mother tongue. In other words, 13.1% of Quebecers read English newspapers, watch English TV and fill out income tax forms in English. Making allusions to Mother tongue is irrelevant, it conveniently ignores immigrants who have adopted either English or French as their language of choice.
Second: Newspapers are not controlled by the government and if free citizens decide to read the Montreal Gazette, how is this a problem and how is this the fault of Canada. Do the authors maintain that an independent Quebec will control the number of people who can have access to English newspapers or the number of newspapers allowed to be sold?
If the authors are complaining about the availability of English newspapers, how about books? Is it also Canada's fault that more English books are available than French?
Language militants will never, ever, mention the subject of books when discussing limits on English culture. They will never, ever propose that like Hollywood films, books be embargoed in Quebec without a translated French version.
Even they understand how dangerous and humiliating is the subject of book-banning..
Third: The fact that there are a lot of English television stations available in Quebec, doesn't mean that a reduction thereof will lead to more French stations, the market of which is already saturated.
Considering how few francophones actually watch English television, the analogy is irrelevant.
Do the authors contend that an independent Quebec will limit access to English networks from Canada or the United States a la North Korea?
Quebec as a net contributor
Throughout the study, the authors complain that Quebec is shortchanged in various federal government programs and intimate that they are over-contributing.
Fully one third of the study, the part that complains that Quebec is not getting its fair share of federal programs can be debunked by considering one incontrovertable fact..
That is, that when it is all said and done, Quebec gets more from Ottawa than it pays in.
In 2009, of the $215 billion that Ottawa took in, Quebec contributed about 39 billion dollars, about 18.5% of the total. Note that this contrasts with the authors who fudged Quebec's contribution, claiming that the province contributes over 20%
Considering that Quebec's population is about 23.5% of Canada's, it means that Quebec makes a significant under-contribution to Ottawa's budget.
Now of the $241 billion Ottawa spent that year, (there was a deficit,) Quebec received benefits totaling $53 billion, a difference of over $13 billion from what it contributed. Link
For the authors of the report to cherry-pick the various programs where Quebec receives less than its fair share, without balancing against the programs where it receives more, is just plain dishonest.
Here' a couple of other tibits;
Reason 20....Quebec suffers because Canada didn't respect the Kyoto Accords.
Had Quebec been an independent country and signed and respected the accord, the effects would have been devastating on the economy. Even without Alberta in the picture, the emission reduction required to conform, would have crippled the economy. It is fantasy to believe that Quebecers are prepared for the sacrifices, its just easier to blame Canadians for their failure.
Reason 39....Quebec suffers because Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the related spending there, hurts Quebec
The idea that Quebec is short-changed here fails to consider the fact that francophones are over-represented in the federal civil service, an inconvenient fact.
"Today francophones, who represent 24% of Canada's population, occupy 31.5% of jobs in the Public Service of Canada, including 30% of management-level jobs." WikipediaReason 40....It is the federal government which favours Toronto's Pearson airport over Montreal.
Of course market forces have nothing to do with it and in an independent Quebec, market forces won't exist...
Reason 44...Ottawa is hindering the development of a high speed train in the Windsor/Quebec corridor
Anybody who has studied the issue will tell you that the project is a pipe dream, horribly expensive and completely impracticable considering the load factor. After all, how many people woke up this morning in Windsor with plans to travel to Quebec City?
Aside from all that, why would an independent Quebec need a high speed rail hike to Toronto as travel between the two cities will likely collapse as the two countries sever ties.
Reason 47...As the Montreal port reaches it saturation point, Ottawa is directing business to Halifax
I'd like to know what scenario in an independent Quebec would lead the port of Montreal to increase its business.
Surely shippers who had product destined to Canada would ship to Canada, not Quebec. In fact the business in the Port of Montreal would probably be significantly reduced as shippers react to the new realty, wherein Montreal is not in Canada, to where the bulk of these shipments are destined.
Reason 45...Ottawa has shirked its responsibility in allowing Air Canada to close its maintenance facility in Montreal
In what altered universe would Air Canada maintain an overpriced and over-regulated facility in an independent Quebec. Now if you're thinking that a new airline like Quebecair will rise to replace the mighty Air Canada and do its maintenance in Quebec, you might want to ask where Air Transat does its overhauls.
Reason 48...Ottawa has reduced its financial support to universities.
I thought that education was a provincial matter, that is what the militants always remind us.
In an independent Quebec, do the authors expect Ottawa to continue funding Quebec universities?
Reason 51.. Quebec has contributed $15 billion of the $60 billion spent on research.
("En recherche, entre 1994 et 2008, sur un total de 60 476 milliards $ (dont le Québec a défrayé par ses impôts au Canada quelque 15 milliards $)
Now the authors change their math. Their earlier reference to Quebec's federal contribution of 20% has now risen to 25%. ($60 billion divided by $15 billion= 25%)
They should be reminded of the bullshitter's golden rule, which is to remember your own lies and stick with the same story.
Reason 55...Ottawa has robbed the Employment insurance by confiscating billions paid by workers and placing the money in the general fund.
Ottawa may have done exactly so, but they weren't robbing Quebecers, they were actually robbing other Canadians.
In re-routing contributions to the general fund, Quebecers are big benificiaries because they take out more than their fair share of the general pie. The bigger the pie, the more they benefit.
In fact Quebec contributes less than 20% of the total of EI funds revenues, but takes out about 40% in benefits.
It means that each year, aside from what Ottawa takes out of the fund, Quebec receives about $700 million more than it puts in.
If I lived in the rest of Canada and heard a separatist politician demanding that Canada repatriate the program to Quebec jurisdiction, I would wish that politician good luck and ask him or her, if by chance, they'd be interested in repatriating some spent nuclear fuel rods as well!
Reason 70/1: Canada spends $5 billion in foreign aid, of which Quebec's contribution is 20% (now we're back to 20%) which according to the authors is not enough. I don't exactly understand the point the author is making in pointing out Quebec's contribution. Are they actually telling us that a broke-ass independent Quebec will raise the amount spent on foreign aid?
Then the authors complain that francophone countries are being systematically denied Canadian foreign aid, perhaps forgetting that the largest beneficiary of Canadian largess is Haiti, at over $300 million.
In conclusion, a lot of these 92 reasons are really nothing more than bitching and moaning, an exercise in cynical spin and deception, so it's lucky that the document is a bust, something that only dedicated sovereigntists will bother with.
If this is what we are to expect in the new campaign to promote sovereignty, we are going to witness an exercise in futility
And as Shakespeare put it, it is just;
Sound and fury...signifying nothing.