Sunday, September 8, 2013

Preserving French in Quebec: The Elephant in the Room

There is a certain freedom that blogging independently affords, there are no editors to tone down your piece because it isn't politically correct, or advertisers who can exert pressure, regardless of the truthfulness or veracity of your contentions.

And so here goes, a no holds bar assessment of the current situation in regards to Quebec's failed policy that attempts to cure its declining population through an ill-conceived immigration program that focuses on language instead of quality.
Regardless of political affiliation, most Quebecers (and probably you) understand the policy to be a failure, yet there doesn't seem to be a realistic alternative.

It remains that we can either accept high quality immigrants who don't speak French and are likely to assimilate into the English community or we can accept unqualified French-speaking immigrants, who while fulfilling the language criterion, are unproductive, as well as difficult to assimilate into the French milieu, because of religion, culture and social upbringing.
It is a classic case of being firmly positioned between a rock and a hard place (entre l'arbe et la corse,) the first choice leading to either a demographic rise in the dreaded English community or alternately, economic mediocrity and social cleavage.
Not an appetizing choice for francophone Quebecers, who don't like what is happening, but remain powerless (or so it seems) to change the dynamic.

Quebec has made the choice of what it perceives as the lesser of two evils, accepting religiously orthodox, French-speaking immigrants from the Maghreb, who through no fault of their own, are extremely hard to assimilate, lacking the skills and temperament necessary for success in a modern western democracy. These immigrants come from a society that is fundamentally different from ours, where religion trumps everything, where women and children are treated like chattel and where human rights and freedom of speech are concepts as strange and alien as poutine in Benghazi.
As we've seen in country after country in Europe, the policy of entering North African Muslims has been disastrous and has led to economic decline and social upheaval.
It doesn't even have anything to do with language. Despite the fact that immigrants from the Maghreb speak French, they haven't assimilated in France any better than those living in Germany or Scandinavia.
My apologies to the 70% of Maghrebiens who have done well here and assimilated, they remain the majority, but alas not enough statistically. A 30% unemployment rate is unacceptable in a functioning and successful society.
Plus it doesn't take more than a tiny percentage of fundamentalists to create havoc.

If the PQ really believe that Quebec can and will be more successful than the rest of the world in assimilating these immigrants, they are as we say, quite off their rocker.

Unfortunately, the worldwide French-speaking immigrant pool is exceedingly shallow, after all, 95% of the world doesn't speak French and choosing from the remaining 5% makes for some slim pickings, considering that the French from France and Belgium are not keen to emigrate here.
And so Quebec accepts thousands of unskilled, orthodox Muslims from the Maghreb each year, those who fulfill the language criterion, but little else.

Now before I offer a solution, one that can perhaps change the dynamic described above, I want to put forward a notion that nobody in the mainstream press is willing to discuss, namely whether Francophones really care about saving their heritage or language and  if they do, why are they unwilling to sacrifice for it.

There is of course the simplest of solutions to the demographic problem, the elephant in the room, the answer to the problem that Francophones refuse to consider or even discuss.

....have more babies.

It wouldn't take much effort, if half the francophone population committed to just one more child per family, not one immigrant would be required.

This fact is not lost on anyone in the debate, but remains taboo, a topic decidedly off limit.
So why don't the Mario Beaulieus, the Gilles Proulxs, the Jean-Paul Perreaults and the rabidly separatist minions on advocate for a higher francophone birth rate?
How come this solution is off the table?

Is it because the militants understand that the idea is laughable in a world where small families are de rigueur and Quebecers (like all Westerners)  are not willing to give up vacations, leisure and financial security in favour of a third child.

So much for the preservation of the French language and culture in North America, nationalists are unwilling to do what they must do, preferring to put the onus on Anglos and immigrants to protect French.
Slice it however you want, francophones want Anglophones and ethnics to sacrifice their heritage and culture so that French may persevere, while francophones themselves refuse to lift a finger to preserve their own identity.

Let us remember the immortal words of US President John F. Kennedy who said; 
"...ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

...and paraphrase it as such;
"Ask not what Anglos and Ethnics can do for Quebec, Ask what Francophones can do for themselves."

And so I put the question to Quebec language militants;
Why should we sacrifice, if you will not...

I defy those who oppose my views to make a cogent argument that avoids deflection or the traditional ad hominum attack.

Hmmmm......Let's move on.....

I've given a lot of thought about the problem of the preservation of the French language in Quebec with an eye to coming up with a solution.
Somewhere buried in a statistical report by the department in charge of immigration is a breakdown of the languages spoken by immigrants upon immigration.
Of course some speak French to varying degrees, some English or some English and French, again to varying degrees, but most interestingly about 20% speak neither English or French.

And then I had my eureka moment.
I call it the Tabula Rasa solution.

Instead of demanding more immigrants speak French ( a failed policy) think about those that speak neither English or French.
Now English may dominate the world, but the number of people who speak no English towers above those who do speak French. All of a sudden the pool of potential immigrants expands exponentially.

Let us concentrate on quality immigrants from countries or cultures that do not have a historical affiliation with the English community in Quebec, but who possess other traits that more closely resemble our society and from this pool, select those that speak absolutely no English.

From here it becomes a challenge to assimilate these immigrants into the French side of the language equation and this can be done by making it a condition of immigration that they attend a formation school for between six and nine months that will forge them into citizens more comfortable in French than English.
This immigrant school can be fashioned after the Israeli ' Ulpan' experience, where Jewish immigrants  to Israel, who don't speak Hebrew or are unfamiliar with the culture are given an intensive and comprehensive schooling into the culture of Israel and the language of Hebrew.

These immigrants would contract to remain in Quebec until they become Canadian citizens, as well as having their citizenship conditional on learning French.

It would be expensive, but cost less than having immigrants remain on the dole for years, the important element that those selected be high quality 'winners.'

The idea may be novel and the solution outside the box, but frankly, nobody has offered anything better, so giving it a try merits the effort.

As for forcing immigrants to assimilate into the French side of the linguistic equation, I cannot be against the concept.
Given the attractiveness of English, there will always be enough bleed over to the English side to keep things proportional.

To those who accuse me of always being negative, I thus present an interesting alternative to our present immigration fiasco.

Don't say I didn't try.....


  1. Careful, Editor, you're giving in to what Pauline Marois wanted in her proposed Bill 195 where Quebec citizenship is contingent on FLUENCY (faggedabout simple proficiency) in French.

    That proposal is perfectly fine when that irritant called Quebec separates from Canada and stays the hell away from the rest of us. It is at that point the fun will begin when the real Canada watches Quebec invent its own currency not worth half a buck Canadian.

    The economy will completely collapse with substandard immigrants and substandard UQAM graduates run the place. There is no goddamn way on God's green earth I'd tolerate such a proposal with a Quebec within Canada, and I'm surprised you didn't think that far ahead.

    Not tolerating English with Quebec in Canada never was, is not now, nor ever will be acceptable. Your proposal is a big, fat failure, like Jacques Parasite, the mongrel of a family that carried a pedigree until he came on the scene. Failure, failure failure!

    In all fairness, I agree with another point you made: "Ask not what the minorities can do for French Quebec, but what French Quebec can do for French Quebec!

    The good-for-nothing bums that make up the majority currently did so by listening like good little Catholics to their priests, curés, monseigneurs, archbishops, cardinals and popes, getting into the bedroom and getting busy. «La revanche des berceaux» was what got them their majority and their lack of willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to keep their population intact will unravel the process. You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

    Do I worry about civil war? What, me worry? Nahhhhhh...

    I've written it before and I'm writing it again: Quebec will form a military when the enlistees form a union against the officers filing endless grievances and spending more time processing the grievances than fighting. Québécois are very good at one motto: "Do as I say, not as I do", i.e., they expect the minorities to do all their dirty work for them.

    If you idiots in the minority community don't protest on this one, you'll get what you deserve as sitting ducks. There has been too little activism. You've all chosen to stay, and as a representative of Quebec expatriates, I am not your keeper. I saw the writing on the wall going on 40 years ago, so I invested in completing my dirt cheap education (why not--my parents paid plenty of taxes to this loser state) and left for the real Canada the day after my university convocation. I have zero regrets in doing this, and as time goes by, my resolve of the day is proven increasingly correct.

    As the Bekins moving company's old slogan used to go, "It's the smartest move you'll ever make!" I concur with Bekins 100%.

    I defy Quebec to separate. I dare and double dare Quebec to separate. Quebec won't separate because the entire population is too bloody yellow to do so.

    Y'hear dat? Y'all too yella!

    1. EI update for the Gapésian and Magdalaine Islands maggots who perpetually live(ed) on the fed's EI largesse: Remember this edition of No Dogs from late April?

      On my commute home the Harper Government announced they're freezing EI premiums for both employees and their employers for the next three years.!

      By cutting back on the maggots making up 40% of the bloodsuckers, i.e., perpetual Québécois beneficiaries and their sense of entitlment, the rest of us, including Quebeckers who work for a living (mostly the minorites), are the most deserving beneficiaries.

      For the rest of you perpetual lazy-assed maggots: GET TO WORK!

      The above is intended for those who constantly collect benefits. For those of you who have worked a long time and have had the misfortune to lose your jobs, I wish you luck and hope you find work before too long. Don't give up hope, keep up the search.

    2. Mr. Sauga, why are you so miserable if you left 40 yrs ago?

    3. If I had to venture a guess, it is probably because he never mastered French and felt he was pushed out without really having a choice in the matter. And 40 yrs later, still holds a grudge.

    4. "you idiots in the minority community don't protest on this one, you'll get what you deserve as sitting ducks. There has been too little activism. You've all chosen to stay, and as a representative of Quebec expatriates, I am not your keeper. "

      I beg your pardon? It is because of idiots like you who at the first sign of trouble bailed...40 yrs ago down the 401...that today..WE are a minority community. How f.......dare you? We r still here facing the music while you sit there with righteous indignation pointing your bloody finger in reproach. Screw you.

    5. Hear, hear! It is galling that after all these years of exile, this nincompoop has the audacity to pontificate to us and think that we care about his opinions.

  2. LordDorchester

    Why should Anglos and Allos do the heavy lifting for les Quebecois as far as demographics is concerned? Its not our culture that will vanish in the next few generations. Their language and culture has been here for 400 years and yet drive an hour west or south of Quebec's most populous city and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that can say hello or goodby en francais. Is a culture with a diffusion rate of near ZERO really worth keeping alive at all costs? I don't know. What I do know is that relying on immigrants to keep your culture and language alive is a recipe for failure. That kid from Bangladesh isn't going to save the Quebecois culture (especially if you tell his mom to drop her religion and customs or get lost). Do a quick search of what Quebec's population pyramid looks like. It's what is known as a contracting pyramid. You'll notice the Boomer generation are by far the largest cohort in Quebec and are mostly to blame for the impending population collapse of les Quebecois. They failed to have that "third" child and thus they're in the pickle they now find themselves in, demographically speaking. These Boomers are in the midst of transitioning from tax paying workers to retired fixed income pensioners. The big question in Quebec should be, who will support them financially and pay for their healthcare if there are fewer people paying taxes? Immigration is the only tool we have to avert the impending disaster. Unfortunately, two of the main political parties in Quebec are anti-immigration, a short sighted and foolish position that appeals to the ignorant and the racists. The Liberals are the only party that favours beefing up Quebec's immigration numbers.

  3. Considering the abysmal drop out rate in Quebec sure the "procreate like bunnies" plan would solve the French language issue, though I'm not sure it'd do the economy any favors. It's also a bit too late, all the new births would line up so that there's a young population explosion that has yet to enter the work force and requires a huge amount of funds in terms of education etc at the same time as all of the boomers are retiring and needing lots of healthcare dollars. It would be the perfect storm! I mean sure Quebec will just whip out Canada's Visa card and say add it to my debt, but eventually all that will need to get paid off some time.

    The second suggestion involves way too many big brother elements to it, sure Quebec would probably be fine with it, but the rest of Canada probably wouldn't be fine with forcing people to live in a certain area, and go to forced ReNedification centres. I'm all for bringing over more talented immigrants but the solution should be to use the carrot instead of the stick, offer free french classes (maybe add in a tax write off or deduction for completing them) have employers help develop French instead of just enforcing that French is used, create compelling entertainment in French that people from targeted immigration areas are more likely to want to watch etc. Make it something they want to do, rather than something they have to do.

    1. "Considering the abysmal drop out rate in Quebec sure the "procreate like bunnies" plan would solve the French language issue, though I'm not sure it'd do the economy any favors"

      There is a labour shortage in the Quebec City area. The drop out rate is misleading because people do eventually go back to school and get a high school degree. There is also a lot of College Degree inflation. I suspect that any injection of young workers would be a good thing.

    2. Actually, according to the late Mordecai Richler and his book "Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!", it was procreating like sows.

    3. Suanna, where will we find the "young workers"?

      The kids running around with pots and pans and little red squares arn;t actually "workers". They are all waiting for their no-work union position.

      Few of them would be capable of working in the private sector beyond a few months.

      They are unemployable by anyone except the Quebec govt.

      What kind of company would want some agitating red square type around their company? Constantly complaining about the wages, work hours, their "rights".


      Employment in quebec is all ass backwards now. It's all about the "rights of the employee" to work in french, to work this way, to work that way etc.

      The idea they have an obligation to their employer to do a good job or work hard in an cultural artifact from 50 years ago.

  4. Don't say I didn't try.....
    True, Editor. You did try.

    But the fact that you're even claiming to believe in forcing immigrants to assimilate to ONE side of the linguistic equation rather than both -- in a province that for economic and geopolitical reasons can ill afford more linguistic and cultural unilinguals -- is irresponsible, and in my view, unacceptable. Both to those immigrants as much as it is to our society.

    This is even more the case when you consider that many of these newcomers will settle in an already cosmopolitan Montreal. By entertaining the hypothetical "solution" you describe, you're effectively kowtowing to the French-Canadian nationalist narrative about Quebec being a French-only society. And in so doing, you become a willing participant in perpetrating the (PQ-passed) self-serving and equivocal interpretation of section 1(2) of the City's Charter that provides that Montreal is a "French-speaking city". So much for your previous discussions about who really put Montreal on the map and about where -- and what -- the issue at hand is really about.

    You disappoint me.

    Now, it may have been a playful thought experiment. And it may be one in a series of several hypothetical "solutions" you might plan to explore in writing on this blog. But it's certainly not the progressive one this city needs. Even the Ulpan experience -- much like French-Canadian nationalist slogans on the topic we hear today -- foists all the "integration" effort onto newcomers with comparatively little transformative self-reflection on the part of the receiving society. The fact that Sephardim were severely (and in somewhat isolated instances, still are) looked down upon by Israel's Ashkenazi elite, despite the Ulpan system, is echoed in our province's current immigration quagmire. The idea of bringing in people from Arab countries as a key demographic counterweight to an existential "enemy" is as evident in Quebec's immigration policy as it was in Israel's. And the subsequent effects (30% Maghrebi unemployment, you say?) aren't without their disturbing similarities.

    1. Consider also how many of the Sephardi emigrants were largely encouraged by the Ashkenazim to shed their native Arabic language and customs, and what a loss this represents when considering the potential bridging effects the cultivation an authentically "Arab Jewish" identity within Israel might have had in the wider context of evolving Arab-Israeli relations. It reminds me of the same binarisms of identities advanced by the French-Canadian nationalists, and indeed exemplifies the petty tribalism of insecure and competing nationalisms themselves. Ulpanim (like COFI) are not without their positive aspects, to be sure. But on the whole, I have to wonder whether manufacturing a "correctly" assimilated immigrant by co-opting him (whether unwittingly or through a not-so-subtle message of subordination) into an ongoing self-serving narrative is a globally beneficial thing. Especially when the narrative is of a supposedly embattled minuscule minority surrounded by 300 million "savage subhumans" despite being demonstrably more than equipped to handle the battle against and the subsequent peace with much larger neighbors. Especially when that embattled minority visibly clings to improvised exercises in nation building in a desperate bid to assert some legitimacy in a wider existential debate. Truth be told, I'm not that encouraged when I see that same supposedly embattled minority lending itself to collectively-inflicted, insidious, petty, and divisive tactics against its "enemies".

      I guess I'm longing for the impossible. Rather than have both sides admit to their respective numerous and massive narcissistic shortcomings and undertake to right previous historical and tactical wrongs through genuine transforming contrition and ultimate coming together, I suppose we're doomed to watch humans be reduced to mere statistical pawns and raw demographic units to be bought and sold at the altar of amorphous collective national jealousies rather than be viewed as living, thinking, rational parts of multiple wholes.

      To think outside these boxes and view humans as something other than pawns in petty demographic wars, I suppose, is to recognize the failure of nationalisms themselves. In an era of nation-states, I'm probably asking for too much...

    2. L'éditeur joue l'avocat du diable. Bien que croyant lui-même à l'auto-détermination des individus, il sait néanmoins que le PQ et les paranos ne seront pas content à moins que les immigrants s'"intègrent" (s'assimilent) à la majorité francophone du Québec.

      Il propose alors une alternative qui est, avouons-le, plus attrayante que la situation telle qu'elle existe.

      Néanmoins, disqualifier un immigrant parce qu'il connaît l'anglais, c'est se tirer dans le pied. La plupart des gens qui s'éduquent pour quitter leur pays apprennent l'anglais de nos jours, donc on se retrouve à faire le tri dans le rebus.

    3. The Editor is playing the devil's advocate. While he himself believes in self-determination of individuals, he nevertheless knows that the PQ and the paranoid will not be happy unless immigrants "integrate" (assimilate) the francophone majority in Quebec.

      He then proposes an alternative that is, admittedly, more attractive than the situation as it currently exists.

      Still, disqualifying an immigrant because he knows English is shooting oneself in the foot. Most people who educate themselves in order to leave their country learn English these days, so we would be left to pick through the leftovers.

  5. There is another possible solution to this issue which 1) doesn't involve going abroad in search of immigrants, 2) would cost relatively little and 3) would require only a minimal amount of adjustment for the newcomers. This solution involves attempting to attract the thousands of Canadians who, since the 1980s, have been wholly or partly educated in French immersion outside Quebec. Many of these people will have had parents or grandparents who emigrated from Quebec, and will still have relatives and therefore living family ties there. Most of these individuals are also still a long way from retirement age and would be able to enter the job market immediately. Additionally, those who decide to pursue their higher education in Quebec (at franco or anglo institutions) should be on the receiving end of intensive efforts to keep them in the province after graduation. There are several reasons that this has yet to happen (outlined by Graham Fraser in his book "Sorry, I Don't Speak French"), but the most salient one is surely that this would attract too many of the 'wrong' kind of francophones (in the opinion of the usual suspects, that is). In other words, too many bilingual or multilingual people with ties to the rest of Canada (many of the people I knew who did French immersion were second generation 'allophones'). They would presumably swell the 'unacceptable' ranks of those who are capable of working and even sometimes living in French but also of working and even sometimes living in another language (most frequently English, obviously). It's not unusual in Calgary to see posters trying to lure people away elsewhere (usually to either Lethbridge or Regina). Surely the City of Montreal, if not the province of Quebec, could try a similar ad campaign. In addition, many people who've received and benefited from being educated in French immersion would be open to the idea of their kids receiving an education wholly or partly in French once settled in Quebec, while legally still being able to educate their children in English should they so desire.

  6. Forbidding people who know any English from immigrating to Quebec… really?

    So that would leave who, exactly? And this would this improve the intake quality how, exactly?

    This idea does not at all compare to ulpanim. For one, unlike English, Hebrew is virtually unused anywhere outside Israel, and for another, their purpose is not to exclude anyone for having too much knowledge or education. Imagine for a moment if Denmark were to forbid immigrants who spoke no Danish but knew some English. The idea is laughable. Not even French citizens have no knowledge of English.

    The Editor has been giving a free hand to nuisance posters to mock his blog for quite some time now. I suppose it was to be expected that he should eventually try his hand at mocking it for himself next.

    1. It would essentially leave (1) those people who have never before expressed any interest in learning the world’s most important language in their whole lives but who would suddenly be eager to learn French, (2) those who have not had any higher education (the professional here or there who somehow managed to avoid picking up any English in his lifetime notwithstanding), and (3) those who are so happy with their native culture that they have somehow remained sheltered from the world outside their birthplace, but who now would suddenly wish to drop everything, move abroad and be eager to start learning French and integrating into a foreign culture while completely abandoning their own.

      That doesn’t really sound like a terribly large nor a terribly desirable cohort to pick from.

  7. I'm English and an immigrant and I really think Quebec should be focusing on getting immigrants with valuable skills rather than weighting French skills so highly. I have a Masters degree in Geology and came to Quebec in late 2011 with a B1 French score, which is probably closer to C1 now. Language skills are easy to pick up and the process happens quickly when immersed (as in Quebec) so why give so many points for language skills when education and family in Quebec (adaptability) are perhaps more useful indicators of successful integration?

    1. Catherine the issue is you will be bilingual and speak english at home as your mother tongue.

      Pragmatic logical people like most reading articles on the internet in english are incapable of understanding the PQ mentality.

      You arn;t understanding that few immigrants can be molded to socialist views, 100% unilingual francophone speaking french at home, dissociate themselves from their previous country/culture totally, and dedicate yourself to navel gazing issues you can never be an accepted citizen of the PQ Quebec.

      Just by being bilingual risks introducing impure thoughts in the province.

      What if you were to use your "English heritage" to preach such disgusting anti-quebec values as personal freedom?

      It's a deep hole of ideas and thought the PQ supporter could learn about.

    2. If only the PQ and the other paranoids were happy with a fluently bilingual anglophone such as yourself. Alas! The statistics they use to scare each other is, as cebeuq says, the language spoken at home.

      They don't just want to "integrate" immigrants, they want to flat-out assimilate them. And so we see articles about how 101 needs to be extended to the Cegep, because allophones will find partners there, and those partners should speak french so that their children grow up speaking french at home. We see the million and one ways in which governmental services will try to avoid communicating in English, to try and force you to ask for French next time, etc...

  8. The Quebec Huffington Post - against the PQ Govt Charter of Quebec Values:

    1. And now, to promote separation on Quebec TV, all donations received by the PQ will go to TV ads until October 15 2013. Here we go - Hoping that the Charter of Quebec Values will get enough support to hold a referendum as if we didn't know what they were up to:

  9. Editor,

    There is a major flaw in your logic. Vast majority of the at least moderately successful people in the world, who are willing and have the means to leave their countries, who have tangible and intangible assets to live in the new country, whose mindset can be aligned to the Western culture, speak English already.

    Let us concentrate on quality immigrants from countries or cultures that do not have a historical affiliation with the English community in Quebec, but who possess other traits that more closely resemble our society and from this pool, select those that speak absolutely no English.

    I believe that the talent pool from which you can find those meeting your criteria is extremely small. Or maybe you could provide realistic example of regions or groups of people that fit that criteria?

    1. Troy, you got it exactly..

      Don;t tell the PQ about this logic. Doesn;t fit with their world view. Hands over your ears Simon. "Nananananananananna, I can;t hear this".

      “One quality that’s a really bad indication is a CEO with a strong foreign accent. I’m not sure why. It could be that there are a bunch of subtle things entrepreneurs have to communicate and can’t if you have a strong accent. Or, it could be that anyone with half a brain would realize you’re going to be more successful if you speak idiomatic English, so they must just be clueless if they haven’t gotten rid of their strong accent.”

      Aweful lot of fucking clueless in Quebec!

      The person who said that is a multiple entrepreneur in silicon valley. The antithesis of state run mother Pauline Quebec.

      Quebecers without any ability to employ themselves, grab some patramonie and demand union museum jobs and cultural festivals in response as job creation.

  10. Toujours aussi surprenant de constater à quel point les anglo-cnadians sont racistes...Vraiment pathétique.

    1. Yeah, I bet a French Canadian wouldn't make a sweeping generalization about a whole group of people. (waits for the irony to be lost on SR)

    2. Du moins,l'échantillon qui écrit sur ce blogue.


    What legal police force in Quebec exactly is going to do something about the perpetual fire bombing of restaurants in montreal?

    Absolutely none of them!

    They don;t want to anger their friends in the mob and biker gangs.

    Y, Montreal "has turned the corner on corruption".


    1. JF

      If you don't pay off the mob's extortion "protection" money, your restaurant goes up in flames. This is how business is done in Montreal and has been the case for years.

    2. Actually it's more like who you buy your Cheese! Cheese! from that gets your place burned down.

      The pasta! pasta! market isn;t as controlled by bad people.

      Of course nothing beats the lock that "gelato" has in montreal.

      Since these people all already worked in the restaurant business they obviously all knew they had to make payoffs. Either they thought with Charbonneau that they could escape it, or they paid protection tot he wrong "protectors".

  12. FROM ED
    Editor, having carefully studied your words above, I have drawn the conclusion that the answer is bilingualism. The Binle says "No man can serve two masters. Our situation is exactly what that means. Loyalty demands a single love like a dog develops for the master of thehouse.
    n any war you must choose a side, fence sitters create nothing helpful. Pierre Trudeau said, "Two solitudes cannot work together" To me the answer is one master, bilingulaism. People who can rteach both sides can lead and will do more for our lives than any one else. Ed

  13. Photo prise lors de la première conférence de presse donnée par le ministre iranien des affaires étrangères

    Oh boy!

    1. @ SR

      It seemed about as relevant as your photo.

    2. Mais non...Ces femme ont le même statut que leurs chiens : Couché fido!

  14. "Instead of demanding more immigrants speak French ( a failed policy) think about those that speak neither English or French."

    This post topic is very interesting, and there would be a lot more to say about it.

    There is a problem with selecting immigrants who speak neither french nor english : they are the ones who have the greatest economic integration difficulties. And as Troy said, where would we find these people?

    The ones who best integrate our economy are the ones who already speak french (which contradicts the idea of the skilless african french speaker).

    Yes, perhaps we should select english speakers because this is THE pool in which we find the best and the brightest and the only people who are really worthed something (the careful reader will notice the sarcasm...). But the english speakers who do not speak french do not integrate to our economy as well as those who already speak french.

    I am not saying that english speakers are not the best and the brightest, I am saying that due to the french nature of our society, they do not integrate our economy so easily. (Perhaps we should change the nature of our society and become english but, I am afraid that woud be some kind of socio engineering that so many of you despise...)

    1. "where would we find these people?"

      Well, there are only about 6 billion people who don't speak English so that's a start. Further there are plenty of countries like Japan, Brazil, China, Russia with a highly educated work force have populations that do not speak English at all or do not study it as a second language.

      Personally, I find the editors proposal intriguing. Essentially, just pick the brightest as intelligence can't be taught whereas language can.

    2. M. Patrice,

      Let us talk about reality here. The biggest immigrant "exporters" globally are China and India. Makes sense I think, as both are the most populated countries in the world by wide margin. China has plenty of new-money people who are looking for better political climate and more individual freedom. India has plenty of highly educated people with good technical expertise who are looking for better living standards and compensation.

      The question then, besides their own languages, what other language do they speak? What is the language that is common among them? If you ever say French, you are ridiculing yourself.

      Now, you can be all sarcastic and say, "...the pool in which we find the best and the brightest and the only people who are really worthed something." My question for you will be, realistically, where do you find the pool of French-speaking people who are:

      1. Educated and/or have applicable knowledge.
      2. Have enough of assets.
      3. Have the desire to move.

      Please just give me the geographical location or the group of people where one can find potential immigrants with those traits.

    3. Josef K.,

      Well, there are only about 6 billion people who don't speak English so that's a start.

      Where do you get that number? World population is about 7.1 billion and the number of English speakers (first, second, foreign language) is around 2 billion.

    4. Troy,

      Wikipedia lists the number as 1.2 billion, broken down by country. The reference you provide is somewhat imprecise, what is the difference between second language and foreign language, if anything isn't the former a subset of the latter so why add them? So the reference you provide has 375M native and 750M foreign for roughly the same figure.

    5. Troy,

      I am simply saying that immigrants who already speak french integrate our economy better than those who don't. Those who speak english but not french do not integrate as well but they still integrate better than those who don't speak french or english. Those who speak neither french nor english have the most difficulties integrating our economy. (I guess that those who speak both french and english integrate the most easily...)

      The Editor's proposal was to select immigrants who "speak neither English or French", and this is the group that is less likely to succeed on the job market. So I don't think that it is a super good idea.

      "India has plenty of highly educated people with good technical expertise [...]"

      Those highly educated people in India speak english. But the Editor's proposal was to select immigrants who "speak neither English or French"

      "What is the language that is common among them?"

      I have this feeling that you are suggesting that this common universal language would be english. But The Editor's proposal was to select immigrants who "speak neither English or French", so no, it is not english because we are talking about people who do not speak french or english.

      "My question for you will be, realistically, where do you find the pool of French-speaking people [...]"

      The pool of french speakers is of course small. France would have the largest pool of well educated potential immigrants and it is a small pool. That is not the point.

    6. Troy,

      You write, "The Editor's proposal was to select immigrants who "speak neither English or French", and this is the group that is less likely to succeed on the job market."

      I would dispute this statement. Knowing of many cases of immigrants who could speak neither English nor French; however, being engineers and after a period of transitioning (after say 2 years or so of underemployment) were after to find jobs related to their fields. I personally know of many (from eastern Europe and China), with limited language skills, fitting this profile who nonetheless have been highly successful in this country.

    7. Joseph K.,

      I did not write that. Please do not put words on my fingers.

    8. Apologies T., my previous comment should be directed to Michel.

    9. Josef,

      Of course, you know people who thrive with limited language skills. But, on average, those who have limited language skills struggle more than those who don't. Just like there are people who achieve great success without much education, nevertheless educated people tend to make a better living than those who don't.

    10. "But, on average, those who have limited language skills struggle more than those who don't. "

      That's wrong. Asian people tend to have more communication problems than, say, Arab, Latino, Black people... but they are much more successful in US than other groups.

      The point is, knowing French is not the most important thing. I would choose a hard working unilingual Asian immigrant over French speaking any day.

    11. Michel,

      You are implicitly equating education with knowledge of either English or French. This is often not the case. The ideal immigrant who is highly educated and knows French simply does not exist. Thus by removing the requirement for French or English one can choose highly skilled immigrants and then integrate them into the French culture through an intensive language program. That is the point of the editor.

    12. @Josef

      Nevermind Michel - he might appear moderate, but he's a proven narrow-minded separatist.

      It only takes a special combination of "magic words" until the real Michel Patrice surfaces.

      You'll see.

    13. I can vouch for that.

  15. The policy of selecting people who already speak French fails pathetically as the writer of this blog points out in many posts but Michel still don't get it! There are still many people who don't speak French but WILL integrate well in the economy if they come here. The problem is, they WILL NOT be fooled by PQ and that's what PQ scares most. Anyway, a slowly dying economy with Canada welfare money is not too bad, especially for the separatists like Miss Piggy, or even better, because it's their raison d'être.

  16. “(Perhaps we should change the nature of our society and become English but I am afraid that would be some kind of socio engineering that so many of you despise...)”

    Why? You wouldn't despise it? And isn't THAT…what YOU are already doing ….in so many ways??

    The problem with those of YOUR mindset is that you just don't get it and I am convinced you never will. Even when eventually you find yourselves living in the sewers of Quebec, broke and still won't dawn on you. It will still be someone else’s fault, but not your own and never your own.

    This insidious insistence on protecting your Language (at all costs), is a direct result of your complete and utter lack of identity and sense of inadequacy, as we’ve re-iterated so many times, and WE all have to bear the burden. Not to mention, your insidious hatred and racism for what is different from you just keeps growing exponentially without refrain. There have been entire races in Humanity, that were threatened and nearly exterminated. Some had to wondered the earth for thousands of years without a piece of land to call their own and survived… through Holocausts, through persecutions, they survived it all. WHY? They knew who they were. THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE, their sense of identity strong and unfaltering.

    Go figure it out …WHO and WHAT you are. THEN perhaps you can bring something to the table. Then perhaps we can have a conversation. For decades now you’ve thrown your weight around this province and this country, for Pride, for Prejudice, you’ve ruined Quebec, most especially a city that was at the height of its glory and WAS a Contender 40yrs ago, utter stupidity yielding more stupidity, 40yrs later, one dumb-ass law after another. Enough already.

    1. What's wrong s.r., was that an OUCH?

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

    3. @anetote

      you seem disapointed by french canadian's "complete and utter lack of identity". so you wish it was stronger?

    4. I wish they would heal from this we can ALL get on with our lives.

    5. @anectote

      what do you think will change if french canadians "heal" and end up with a real strong sense of identity? what will happen to support for independance?

    6. @anectote

      dude i don't understand your last comment.

      my question was clear and directly related to your previous comment.

      why do you pull out the most worn out diversion ever and dodge an opportunity to share what is without a doubt a very thorough thought process mate?

    7. Why should we wander the earth for thousands of years? Just to be proud survivours? We already have our land.

    8. I see the trolls are out in droves. Someone quick....get me a fly swatter. You are not fooling anyone pinstripes and clearly I have hit a huge nerve, now go find a corner and sulk about how the big bad world has kicked your arse again. (Lordy...there's 2min of my Life I'll never get back!)

    9. @serge, I am guessing what I said went completely over your head, are you dumb or actually playing dumb? I have to ask because troll comprehension is usually nil not to mention they like to waste everyone's time by being a nuisance. Right now I just don't give a damn whichever it might be. In any event you should be proud to call your Land Canada, though judging by your total lack of respect, they should be less proud to call you a citizen.

    10. J'adore quand vous frappez sur mon gros nerf :)

    11. Au moins une chose est grande chez vous! Lol mdr

  17. FROM ED
    "But the english speakers who do not speak french do not integrate to our economy as well as those who already speak french.."
    What economy are we talking about that the Englsh don"t fi ino.. It's t he English that built the economy. While Francophones are destroying what little we've got left
    Integration is a an absollutely zero topic We don't eed any language to integrate. After the war we were flooded with peple that could notspeak French or English. We accomodated them. We helped them find their way and when need be searched for someone that could transalate.
    These people are all living happily today or happily dead but either way they were happy to be here. To clarify thwy were alive when they got here. Ed

  18. More on Secularism in the Quebec Huffington Post

    1. I realize this is a bit dated (2009) but it's a scathing report on immigration from France to Quebec and well worth reading:

    2. @cutie003

      editor quoted this 2009 thing a few posts ago cutie003. don't you read the editor's articles cutie003? anyways just a small correction, it's not a "report", it's a nasty quebec bashing rant.

    3. 2. Le racisme anti-français n’existe qu’au Québec, pas dans les autres provinces. Pourquoi ? Parce que les québécois considèrent souvent les français comme arrogants, prétentieux et donneurs de leçons, ce qui n’est pas toujours faux. Cela dit, les français installés au Québec ne sont pas en reste : Ils considèrent le plus souvent les québécois comme incultes, superficiels et ultra-matérialistes, ce qui n’est pas faux non plus.

    4. "incultes, superficiels et ultra-matérialistes"

      Bienvenue en Amérique du Nord!


      1:00 - Cet employeur qui a recu le CV de [French immigrant's name] affirme que c'est plutot une question d'attitude.

      1:05 - Ce que je cherche dans un camionneur c'est une personne qui connait la region de Sherbrooke et puis y a travaille physiquement

      Immigrants beware: get ready for a load of bs excuses, the ambiguous and undefinable "attitude" being a frequent one.

      1:19 : on a perdu cent milles dollars.

      Immigrants beware: you might be victims of a scam perpetrated by L'Etat Quebecois.

    6. "Bienvenue en Amérique du Nord!"


      But here's the interesting bit: Quebec prides itself on being the more egalitarian socialistic part of North America, which is total bunk.

    7. Date de publication de la vidéo : 26/4/2006

      Avez-vous fait le suivi de cette histoire?De plus,combien de Québécois "de souche" se font refuser ou perdent leur emploi pour les mêmes raisons?

    8. adski,

      Here are three interesting posts about this francophobia that only exists in Québec :

      (The Bill Maher on France video in the first posts is worthed watching... I laughed.)

    9. Michel Patrice, the Canadian Reindeer project is under way, and the picture of Northwestern Territories landscape just makes me lose my breath.

    10. Note to seppies (read racist hold-outs) you've just been beat.

      C'est done les amis.

    11. Rather than seeing it as an opportunity either to refute or to learn from, even the mildest rebuke of any Quebec policy is now often dismissed with a haughty wave of the hand as being “Quebec-bashing” by separatists such as student and his ilk. This is their ham-fisted way at attempting to shut down any criticism of Quebec’s problems, even when it is clearly warranted.

      As soon as you see the words “Quebec” and “bashing” appear together side-by-side, you will know that the one who wrote them has exhausted his arguments. It has become the go-to, knee-jerk reaction from feckless separatists.

    12. Nazis,fascistes,intolérants,consanguins,etc.Sont sans doute des marques d'affection pour vous R.S ?

    13. Guess what, Cinderella? If the shoe fits… ;)

      Heheh! LOL! MDR!


    1. Good Old Chantel Hubert's take on the PQ desperation:

    2. Meanwhile the PQ haven't put a stop to bonuses for their civil servants:


  20. Tomorrow the PQ will table its Charter of Quebec Values.

    I'm predicting tha doctors and nurses and other medical personnel will be left out, because that is a minefield with serious repercussions.

    1. Nope, the PQ is apparently going full retard with this thing.

    2. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTTuesday, September 10, 2013 at 1:21:00 PM EDT

      It's only in public services from the quebec government. Only pur laines get hired to work for the quebec government agencies such as hospitals, SAQ, surete du quebec, etc. Never seen a QPP with a turban... yet! This Charter of Values will not forbid the wearing of religious symbols in public.

    3. So it's fine to pass a discriminatory law because it only applies to sectors that are discriminatory and only hire people that are not going to be discriminated against? I consider government buildings to be public places, and government workers to be people.

  21. Hate to quibble, but your graphic highlighted in yellow uses the phrase: "Principle countries of birth". That should be: "Principal countries of birth".

    Hadn't anyone else noticed?

    The Rationalist

    1. I noticed immediately but this entire post is so chock-full of spelling, grammatical and punctuation mistakes that it seems the Editor (and his wife) have given up entirely on editing his posts. This one in particular has some howlers in it but it hardly seems worthwhile to point them out anymore, given that the Editor seems to be making such a minimal effort that it appears he doesn't care about these things. It’s a pity, given that he’s expending so much more effort on thoughtful content than he initially used to, yet is so sloppy about presentation. This might also explain why he refuses to use a more contemporary blog interface that would allow us to edit our own posts.

  22. Une centaine de moutons égorgés en Montérégie

    Tout pour se faire aimer :)

    1. How can anyone consider this to be acceptable in a modern society?
      Will anyone get punished for this? Surely not.

      I must be intolerant, forgive me.

    2. Pourquoi la SPA n'intervient pas ?

  23. In other happy news

    88% of the money goes to Quebec. Worse it goes to support anti Canadian elements of Quebec society. Unions.

    Canada saves money
    Quebec is cut off from unfair levels of funding
    Funding supports unions that overwhelmingly support the PQ

    No reason for Quebec to complain really. It's Canadian tax issue. They need to find ways to do this in the new separate Quebec economy. Oh wait, there's actually no cash? That's the real problem!

    Canada sends cash to support the PQ and now it's getting cut off!

    Harper, thank you!

    google +1

  24. "From here it becomes a challenge to assimilate these immigrants into the French side of the language equation and this can be done by making it a condition of immigration that they attend a formation school for between six and nine months that will forge them into citizens more comfortable in French than English.
    This immigrant school can be fashioned after the Israeli ' Ulpan' experience, [...]"

    The problem with francisation classes is that immigrants are not much interested in taking those classes, they prefer to find a job right away and start earning money right away (who would blame them?) and learn the language on their own.

    To get/to keep them in francisation classes, we would have to pay them at least the same amount as they would earn working. A recent immigrant (between 25 and 44 years old) earns on average about 20,000$/year.

    Now, they get paid 115$/week for 11 weeks. Paying them 20,000$/year for six to nine months would greatly increase the bill.

    And here is something very interesting about the Ulpan experience : "A government study has shown that even after five months of intensive Hebrew study at ulpan, sixty percent of new immigrants over the age of thirty cannot read, write or speak Hebrew at a minimum level. The situation amongst the Russian immigrant population is even more dire with seventy percent of immigrants not being able to understand the Hebrew television news." (Wikipedia)

    To put it simply, you just don't learn the language within six to nine months.

  25. FROM ED
    As a matter of note. The reason Francophones have less children now is because for a while child support was coming through the Quebec welfare and the maximum they paid was for two children. When the Feds took over paying for children they cared whether some went hungry so they paid for all. That's when the French discovered Plattsburgh beach. Having large families is not good for the country or the family. A taxi driver with six children cannot afford to educate them. They simply grow up to be more welfare cases. When Franncophones were having large families the drop out rate for boys going into high school was 80%. In Verdun we had three protestant elementary schools and one high school of 1000 sudents right to grade twelve. English catholic had two elementary and one high school. French Catholic had seven elementary and one high school that went only to grade ten. When a French boy hit fourteen or fifteen he would be usually be on a bike delivering groceries for a depanneur. Grocery delivery boys don'ty pay taxes. They barely make enough to keep them selves in cigarettes. Ed

    1. I'm not sure how it was in Quebec, since Francophones there actually controlled the levers of power, such as it was, but in NB I know that taxes were collected and spent on a per-county basis. Poor, rural counties which comprised most of the francophones could not afford high schools. My grandfather had to join a monastic order to get his high school education, and then run away afterwards, before getting a B.Sc. at the university of Moncton. Depressing times.

    2. FROM ED
      Interesting Yannisck, In Quebec Franophones controlled the system building schools whereever the Catholic Churcch felt there were numbers for it. Most of the outback regions didn't care, they felt Elementary grad was enough. Which is why today we're dealing with a bunch of Mortimer Snerds out there. The protestant school had the same rate as the other religions but built their own schools. My Grandfather sold school bonds to build Verdun High school, which the Seps control now as if they built it for us. Ed

  26. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTTuesday, September 10, 2013 at 1:17:00 PM EDT


    "....have more babies."

    I have been saying this for quite a while myself. quebec nationalists should hammer home that notion if a "pur laine" society wants to thrive. Very telling that quebecois would shoot themselves in the foot...

  27. Anyone reading the comments section here?:

    Proof that anyone who supports this bill is one insidious fuck.

    This is what disgusts me about Quebec.

    The people take pride in supposedly being anti-conformist by comparison to Ontario's Anglo's and born freedom-lovers, but just reading a few comments in that thread reveals that all it takes is convenient government-sanctioned permission to let out your pent-up racism and it's off to the races.

    Hang your heads in shame.

    You failed the test.

  28. Bravo!

  29. And so we start with the headlines again:

  30. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTTuesday, September 10, 2013 at 5:40:00 PM EDT

    Le bien petit quebekistan est ET restera toujours francais, recule et a l'ecart du reste du monde.
    C'est comme le roman que j'ai lu recemment intitule "Sur la 132", de Gabriel Anctil. Un bouquin plutot sympa qui revele que les quebekistanais sont tous-tes des terreux qui sont ivrognes les jours du B.S. au bas-du-fleuve.

  31. New survey suggests growing support for Quebec secular charter

    Says 66% want religious symbols banned for civil servants

    1. S.R,

      Congratulations, obviously the respondents are your peers, particularly on point 3:

      The survey found support for the proposed Quebec Values charter ​​is higher in the following segments of the population:

      > Quebec Internet users who live outside of Montreal or Quebec City (70 per cent);
      > those 45 to 54 years old (72 per cent);
      > those with less formal education (no degree or equivalent to the high school diploma: 70 per cent);
      > those who have French as their mother tongue (71 per cent).

    2. Voulez-vous insinuer que les Québécois de 45 à 54 ans ne possédant pas de doctorat sont démunis d'intelligence?

    3. @Simon

      > those with less formal education (no degree or equivalent to the high school diploma: 70 per cent);

      That is what we call a welfare state/

      You're welcome/

    4. Exhibit A... Insecure and no sense of self. I rest my case.

    5. S.R,

      You did not read the link that you posted yourself, did you?

    6. Je crois avoir frapper sur un nerf sensible,non?

      ToTo,Trouille et Jeannot le pourri sont des importations...Je m'en doutais!

    7. "Je crois avoir frapper sur un nerf sensible,non?

      ToTo,Trouille et Jeannot le pourri sont des importations...Je m'en doutais!"


      "You guys beat me, I've got nothing else"

      Yeah we knew that, Simon.

    8. Ah Simon...last time I checked we were ALL imports troll face, but you ...are the Flag bearer par sweet dreams lol

  32. Laïcité et accommodements: les fonctionnaires appuieront Drainville


    1. I'm not surprised based on my dealings with the front end public servants in Quebec. I am white, (lapsed) Catholic, and speak French, but something in my last name, my accent, or the fact that in my dossier it says English his my preferred language, makes these people look at me like bulls look at red. I can't begin to imagine what kind of looks the blacks, Arabs, Asians, Indians, or people who only speak English get.

      To that you can add the cold, sterile feel that these offices of L'Etat have. It makes me wonder how much these people make. I'd have to be paid a lot to work in any of these locales with these zombies.

      Whenever I'm there, I stick to the point, get things done and quickly scurry out... after making the required payment of course.

  33. FROM ED
    I don't know if anyone got the point from my earlier post. Simply that French having more babies does not help the economy because they grow up and land on welfare which is more of a drain. Educated immigrants is the answer. Ed

    1. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTWednesday, September 11, 2013 at 6:19:00 AM EDT


      Your biased thought process has all franco people growing to be on welfare. You should revive the KKK in Montreal. Very racist of you. I am not on welfare.

    2. FROM ED
      You are also not in Quebec. Thankfully. Ed

  34. Now we see where Pauline gets her talking points.