And so I'm presenting this post, which I wrote a while back for just such an occasion. It concerns the vast campaign of disinformation being waged by Franco-supremacists in order to brainwash the masses into believing that they are a sad, exploited and put upon nation, living in imminent danger of having its values, culture and language destroyed by the evil Anglos.
Lie # 1
Quebec Anglos are the best treated minority in the world
I've started out with this oft-repeated bit of nonsense because it is without a doubt the easiest to refute.
Every time I hear a Franco-supremacist repeat this bit of drivel, I ask but one question....
"What about the Natives?"
Hmmm.... That has them backpedalling fast, but no matter, Anglo-Quebecers aren't even the second best treated minority in Canada, that would be of course French-speaking Canadians.
It boggles the mind that this ridiculous myth has any legs at all.
Let us remember that on an Air Canada flight between Victoria and Vancouver (in a province where less than 1.6% of citizens are French,) a passenger has the absolute right to be served in French, while on a city bus driving between Montreal West and Hampstead, (where 80% of citizens are English-speaking,) the driver is protected by law from answering any question in English.
From coast to coast, Quebec Francophones seem to be oblivious to the protection afforded their language by the federal government and official bilingualism.
I flew into Montreal a couple of nights ago on a Westjet flight from the United States where the cabin crew barely spoke a word of French but had at least one member of the crew who did speak some French, because the law demanded that it be that way.
Whether in a Via train in Saskatchewan or a Westjet flight to Montreal, French is under the judicious protection of the federal government.
That is why a box of corn flakes or a bottle of ketchup is bilingual, even in Nunivat.
An international conference sponsored by the federal government in Toronto will be forced to be bilingual and the cost of this national bilingualism is borne largely by English citizens across Canada, who in reality have little or no use for French, other than respect.
For Francophones who don't understand, imagine the benefit to Spanish culture if the United States government imposed the same official language act that we live under in Canada, in that case, in favour of Spanish.
Them's the facts.
Quebec is Anglicizing
How is it that the PQ government can make the startling claim that the province is Anglicizing without a shred of evidence?
There exists not one bona fide study or report prepared by any reputable organization that so much as hints that Quebec is becoming more English.
It is in fact one of the great lies of Franco-supremacists that English is on the upswing in Quebec.
Every single report that I've seen, maintains that after decades of decline, the best the English community can hope for is to see their numbers stabilize. This even includes those immigrants who are absorbed into the English side of the linguistic equation.
As for the 'pernicious' growing influence of English in Montreal, it really has to do with altered perceptions, where the sight of one English or bilingual sign sends militants into convulsions. The overreaction is based in fact on how well the city has been sanitized.
As for the other complaint that workers are being asked to speak English as well as French on the job, a fate worse than death, there is no documentary evidence that this is on the increase.
In fact, it is more likely on the decline, a view every bit as valid as those that believe that bilingualism is on the upswing, because, once again, there is ABSOLUTELY NO DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE.
Looking back 150 years, there is no period of time where English had less of an influence in Quebec than today and I defy anyone to present documentary evidence to the contrary.
As for the idea that any perceived increase in the use of English by francophones will lead Quebecers to abandon their culture and language, I would ask any of our militant commenters whether anyone in their family has turned into a tea-drinking, Queen-loving Anglo turncoat because they learned to order breakfast in English.
Even those highly educated francophones who speak flawless English, like Jacques Parizeau or Jean-François Lisée don't seem to be in much danger of abandoning their roots and so I must conclude that according to them, it is only weak-minded Hoi-polloi who are in danger.
These cries that French is in danger is nothing more than a separatist ploy to whip up support for sovereignty through fear, and reminds me of the folk tale of Chicken Little who falsely propagated the hysterical and mistaken belief that the sky was falling, all because an acorn fell on its head.
Anglos stole the 1995 referendum
Once more a case of wishful thinking.
The argument is that Ottawa and murky underground anglo groups illegally funded anti-sovereignty activities in direct contravention of the referendum law, with the famous pre-referendum Unity Rally in Montreal, which became known as the infamous 'Love-In' serving as the best example.
There is no doubt that forces outside Quebec spent money, but the referendum law that prohibited these acts was itself found overly restrictive by the courts and those charged with contravening the spending aspect of the act saw the charges against them dropped.
If anyone tried to steal the referendum it was the PQ with its ridiculous referendum law which they knew could never stand a legal test.
Their thinking was that the referendum would be over before a court challenge could ever be resolved and in this respect their thinking was bang on. Separatists are angry because some of us refused to play by their crooked rules.
I distinctly remember our group receiving at least two private legal opinions before the referendum that the law could not be upheld and that spending by outsiders was perfectly legal.
Separatists who complain that Anglos stole the referendum remind me of a bank robber who complains that his partner in crime divided up the booty unfairly. Tough noogies!
After the referendum, the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec, Pierre F. Côté, filed 20 criminal charges of illegal expenditures by Option Canada and others on behalf of the "No" side, which were dropped after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that parts of the referendum law were too restrictive on third-party spending. Wikipedia
The other complaint by sovereigntists is that new immigrants had their citizenship applications allegedly speeded up by Ottawa to make them eligible to vote in the referendum."All the big fuss is based on two fallacies : First, that it was illegal for Ottawa to spend money defending federalism, unless it was authorized by the Non umbrella committee. Secondly, that private citizens or companies from outside Quebec could not spend money on a trip to Montreal unless it was also authorized and included in the spending permitted by Quebec’s Referendum Act.
In fact, during the 1980 referendum on sovereignty-association, federal government spending was challenged before the Referendum Council, set up under the Referendum Act. The decision rendered May 16, 1980, in Boucher vs. Mediacom, written by Chief Justice Alan Gold of the Quebec Superior Court was that the federal government was in no way bound by the spending restrictions imposed by the Referendum Act. "No law affects the rights of the Crown, unless they are specifically included, or again unless (the Crown) accepted it, which is not the case here, so that even the government of Quebec is not bound by the Referendum Act, 1978, Chapter 6. A fortiori, the government of Canada is not bound by the Quebec legislation unless it has accepted to be bound, which likewise is not the case." Read more by William Johnson
The other complaint is that students from outside the province voted illegally, both groups tipping the balance in favour of the NO side.
Even if this was true, which it was not, the numbers just don't add up to 54,000 votes, enough to tip the balance and in fact only 32 students were ever fined for voting illegally.
Also forgotten in all this is the 10,000 votes that were stricken from English ridings by scrutineers chosen by the PQ.
Lie#4"Controversy arose over whether the scrutineers of the Chomedey, Marguerite-Bourgeois and Laurier-Dorion ridings had rejected numerous ballots without valid reasons, mostly by being overly strict on what marks voters could use to indicate their choices (for instance, rejecting ballots with check-marks or "X"s that were crooked, too large, made with a pen instead of a pencil, etc.). In these ridings the "No" vote was dominant, and the proportion of rejected ballots was 12%, 5.5% and 3.6%. In the riding of Chomedey, an average of 1 of every 9 ballots were rejected. Thomas Mulcair, member of the Quebec National Assembly for Chomedey, told reporters after the vote that there was "an orchestrated attempt to steal the vote" in his riding. Wikipedia
Quebec pays more to Ottawa than it receives
This pearl is laughable because only those who with the mentality of someone who believes in the tooth fairy or a flat Earth can muster the blind faith to adhere to a precept so patently false.
A leading Quebec economist has reported that for every $1.00 Quebec contributes to Ottawa, it receives back $1.45.
One of the more interesting ploys of Quebec separatists is to harp upon the programs where Quebec is short-changed, never willing to add up the total benefits/contributions of all the programs to come to a fair conclusion.
Every time you hear Pauline or other separatists rail against Ottawa's over-contribution to the shipbuilding programs in other provinces, or support for auto workers in Ontario or tax breaks for the Oil sands, you are seeing the dishonest process of cherry-picking.
Most Quebecers know in their hearts where the truth lies and the fact that they don't really believe in this lie is in fact, the biggest impediment to sovereignty.
If it were true that Quebec was a net contributor to Canada's finances, the province would have been independent long ago.
Imagine if Alberta's Oil Sands were located in Quebec. Arggghhhh!........
Quebec's poor financial state is overstated
Separatists will always find a way to deny reality, especially when that reality is unpleasant.
Quebec's poor financial situation is one area that they have been working overtime to cherry-pick and massage data to create an alternate universe.
My favourite is the case made that Quebec's debt is not so serious because assets that would appear on a corporate balance sheet, mitigating debt, are not considered by the enemies of Quebec.
In other words it is unfair to say Quebec's debt is high if one doesn't consider it's assets or to put it simply, it's like considering a house mortgage as a liability without offsetting it by the value of the house.
And so we are told that Quebec's relative debt is really much, much smaller because of the massive asset that is represented by Hydro-Quebec, valued by militants at over $100 billion. To them, when considering the province's indebtedness (which is about $150 billion,) one needs to subtract the value of Hydro-Quebec.
It's a neat argument that sounds good but one that fails on many grounds.
Firstly, you can't count the value of the cow and the value of it's milk production at the same time. It's one or the other.
The $100 billion valuation for Hydro-Quebec is vastly exaggerated, the state-run power agency only produces about $3 billion in profit which would place the real value on the market at a lot less unless electricity fees would be allowed to rise to market rates, not likely.
Anyways, Quebecers have been brainwashed into believing that Hydro-Quebec is a national treasure and there is no scenario that can realistically envision it being sold off.
Secondly, almost half the profit generated by Hydro comes from power obtained cheaply from Newfoundland and with the deal set to expire in twenty-five years, investors, especially institutions would discount the value of the company substantially.
Thirdly, electricity prices are collapsing in the USA, Hydro's main export market, due to conservation efforts and the vast pools of shale gas coming to market, undercutting the cost of power from Hydro-Quebec for the first time ever.
Hydro-Quebec is fast becoming 'old expensive power'
Each year Hydro-Quebec contributes about $3 billion to the Quebec budget and if it were to be sold, that money would have to be replaced. Quebec would pay less interest as it paid down the debt with the proceeds of the Hydro-Quebec sale, but it wouldn't be much farther ahead.
|Evolution of Equalization payments to Quebec in billions of $$|
Think of the proverbial aristocratic English family, living in an expensive-to-run castle that has lots of expensive heirlooms and paintings, perhaps worth millions of pounds, but without selling them off there is not enough money to pay the bills.
Between public service pension obligations that are skyrocketing and an over-bloated public service, coupled with a Cadillac entitlement program, Quebec is not generating enough funds to pay for it's spending.
Over the last two decades the shortfall in revenue has been filled by public borrowing and an increasingly generous bailout program from Ottawa via equalization payments, now standing at $8.5 billion a year. It is only a matter of a few short years before Quebec reaches its very own fiscal cliff.
To believe that Quebec is in decent financial shape is a case of whistling through the graveyard.
Montreal is a French city
Not to put too fine a point on it, Montreal was built by the English and Scots, with most of the heavy lifting done by the Irish.
It is a historical fact, evidenced by the almost exclusively English-named streets that crisscross the downtown core.
Again to quote French militant numbers, Montreal has only 49% French speaking citizens with French as mother-tongue, with most of them living in the inconspicuous wasteland of the East end.
Parts west of St. Denis, including the dynamic downtown core, the university districts and the artistically creative neighbourhoods, and in fact anything of interest in Montreal, lies in what may be the most bilingual city in the world.... Montreal, west of St. Denis.
When I say bilingual, it is because you can find Francophones, Anglophones and Ethnics, perfectly comfortable speaking English and French.
If you visited Montreal from Canada or abroad , I'm sure you'll attest to that fact.
Montreal's bilingualism makes it one of the most dynamic and exciting places to live in North America and it's no accident that the serendipitous mix has led Montreal to remain the creative capital of Canada and in fact one of the most influential centres of culture, art and music in North America.
To French language militants, the success of McGill University, Arcade Fire, Montreal smoked meat and world famous bagels are humiliations, rather than sources of pride.
To them all I can say is Bah, Humbug!
Quebec's English population makes up just 8.5% of Quebec's population.
Here is another neat trick employed by militants to alter reality, by claiming that Quebec's Anglo population is only 8.5% while Statistics Canada pegs that number at 13.5%
How do the separatists justify the lower number?
By cleverly using the mother-tongue argument to sidestep reality.
It is indeed a fact that only 8.5% of Quebecers have English as a mother tongue, but many Quebecers without English as a mother tongue use English day to day, making them Anglophones by fact.
Let's go by the numbers provided by militants themselves, who claim that Quebecers with French as a mother-tongue has fallen to 79% of the total population of Quebec .
Add the 79% number of Francophones 'de souche' to the 8.5% English 'de souche', (numbers that these militants themselves offer,) and it yields a total of 87.5% of the total Quebec population.
That leaves the remainder, or 12.5% of Quebecers as those with neither French or English as a mother tongue.
French militants have long complained that close to half of 'les autres' (45%) are integrating into the Anglophone community. (these are their own numbers, not mine) and so about 45% of the 12.5% or 5.65%, align themselves with the English community and the other 6.85% align themselves with the francophone majority.
Do the math, even separatists can do their sums when they want to..
8.5% Anglophone English speakers, plus 5.65% Ethnic English speakers yields 14.15% English speakers in Quebec.
Hmm.... that number corresponds closely with what Statistics Canada tells us!
Every time you hear the separatist talking about English as a mother tongue, it is just another device to lower the numbers of those who prefer to speak English.
Statistical manipulation and cherry-picking, lies and outright bullshit is stock in trade for Franco-supremacists.
Remeber these few facts when confronted with their cruel attempts to mislead.
That's it for now, I've got a lot more but have run out of time.
Have a great week-end!
Bonne fin de semaine!