Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Quebec Government Sheds Crocodile Tears Over Anglo Community Destruction

Credit: Aislin-Montreal Gazette
Last January, a senior Quebec Minister Jean-Marc Fournier, wrote to Ottawa, over the Quebec Liberal government's new-found concern over the destruction and assimilation of the Quebec Anglophone community outside of Montreal.
"The Couillard government is "concerned" with the survival of Quebec's Anglophone minority living outside Montréal, fearing that it will be assimilated by the Francophone majority.

In a letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, received by the QMI Agency last January, Jean-Marc Fournier, Minister responsible for La Francophonie, said that English-speaking communities in Quebec's regions are often " isolated, "making more difficult the transmission of their language and culture ".

"Their geographical dispersion, their low demographic weight and the aging of the population are a major factor in their vitality," Minister Fournier also wrote."
Absolutely no mention of the anti-English language policies by every single Quebec government both federalist and separatist over the last 45 years as a contributing factor.
It reminds me of the old joke whereby a son who murdered his parents asks the judge for leniency because he is now an orphan. 
Fournier is actually asking for money from Ottawa to somehow reverse the situation that he and his government artificially created, like a burglar who robs a home and then appeals to the neighbours to  help re-furbish the home. Talk about chutzpah!

The language policy first imposed by the Parti Quebecois' chief Anglophobe, Camille Laurin, in Bill 101 was less about protecting and promoting French and more about destroying the English community in an effort to cull our numbers and diminish our power. If French was promoted and expanded as a by-product, and more importantly used as an excuse to attack English, all the better.
But make no mistake about it.  Laurin was a separatist fanatic who hated the English and viewed the community's destruction as a necessary step in the march towards sovereignty. So extreme was the original text of Bill 101 that René Levesque blanched when presented with the document. When observers inside the PQ pointed out that many of the clauses were patently illegal under Canadian law, Laurin explained that those clauses when ultimately overturned in court would serve to inflame separatist sentiment as the courtroom defeats would be characterized as an attack on Quebec jurisdiction and a collective humiliation of francophone Quebec.

When Levesque finally accepted the final draft of Bill 101, he did so with a profound sense of sadness, he was to his credit an honest and inherently decent human who felt for the Anglophone community. Not so, the rabble of anglophobes in the PQ led by Laurin, who viewed Bill 101 not  as the saviour of the French language, but rather the instrument of the destruction of the Anglophone community. Great fun!

At any rate anglo apologists like Noah Sidel writing in the Gazette must be embarrassed by the Fournier pronouncement that anglophone communities are dying.
Sidel wrote this in his piece denouncing those of us who don't accept our marginalization and humiliation;
"That doesn’t mean we can’t live here and thrive both in our own communities as well as in the larger Quebec reality
Hmm......Not according to the Quebec minister, who tells us exactly the opposite, that English communities outside Montreal can’t live and thrive and ultimately survive.

Mr Sidel begins his attack piece complaining that;
Robert Libman’s June 6 opinion piece “Quebec anglos, Bill 101 and Yosemite Sam” is centred on the old angryphone argument that our community is marginalized because of Bill 101.
And so gentle readers using the 'angryphone' pejorative in describing my good friend Robert Libman is certainly going to elicit an unkind response from myself.
So let the fun begin.......

First a word about Mr. Sidel, a failed CAQ candidate in the last provincial election in NDG, a decidedly Liberal stronghold. Mr. Sidel is disparagingly described in French political jargon as a 'poteau'(pole), a person who runs in a riding and cannot possibly win, but runs to show a party presence by placing campaign posters on poles.
Mr. Sidel could not even beat the Quebec Solidaire candidate and barely came ahead of the PQ candidate with just 1,500 votes, or about 5%. Now 'poteaus' usually run because they are wildly motivated and wish to enter the political game early and seek the experience of actually running, or they run in an impossible riding because they are looking for a political payoff, like a job, should the party they represent actually win. I'll let readers decide on Noah Sidel's motivation.

For Noah Sidel, the slow erosion of English and anglophone rights hasn't touched his personal space because he remains safely ensconced in the anglo friendly environs of NDG and Cote-Saint Luc, two  remaining bastions of English and anglophone vitality in Quebec.
But like the Romans living in a bubble as the empire crumbled far away, (but advancing inexorably,) the realization that the writing is on the wall is hard to appreciate from the vantage point of privilege. The truth is that as long as Bill 101 exists and English and anglophones are treated as a foreign language and community, we are doomed
Sidel goes on to say this;
"Our school system — in particular the English Montreal School Board — is upside down not only because Bill 101 drained our pool of potential students from the immigrant population, but also largely because we’ve disengaged as a community from managing it by entrusting it to commissioners elected by the few and responsible to no one".
Really, I don't know where to start in dissecting this idiot statement. Is he joking?
In 1971 260,000 students received English language instruction in Quebec and today that number is 110,000.  English school after school, after school, after school has shuttered over the years, not because of mismanagement or disengagement by our community, but rather because of diminished enrolment, a direct result of the relentless attack on the English community, not only through Bill 101, but also with the unremitting enmity and disdain focused on us by hostile governments (both federalist and sovereigntist) that chased our best and brightest children out of the province.

At any rate, Mr Sidel seems a bit two-faced, running for the CAQ, a party that wants to strengthen Bill 101, not exactly in keeping with his spoken beliefs.
This is what he wrote on his blog back in 2012
"The PQ is the party of Bill 101 – probably the most restrictive and oppressive law in all Canada, in any context."
How about this pearl from also from his blog;
"I refuse to accept the way the Parti Québécois has aggressively attacked our community for a generation".
Ah, Noah, the Internet's a bitch, where there's no erasing what is published.

After complaining in the Gazette piece that the political system fails us not because of Bill 101, but rather because anglophones send the same people (read:Liberals) back to Quebec City one election after the other, with no accountability or responsibility.
Mr Sidel should remember what he wrote about those hated Liberals in his blog back in 2012.
"Overall, I think Charest did a good job in ushering in a decade of stability in a province that hasn’t really seen stability of this nature probably since just after the Quiet Revolution took hold and just before the Parti Quebecois first took power." Link{fr}
But the above doesn't jive with this 2016 Tweet;

Jean-Marc Fournier's letter to Ottawa is a sad admission of the Anglo reality in Quebec. Those English speaking communities that still exist outside Montreal won't for long.
While we remain safe for now in western Montreal, it is the erosion of our language rights over decades that will ultimately see our community dwindle until the ghost of Camille Laurin and his descendants succeed in doing what they promised, all with the pitiful acquiescence of useful idiots like Noah Sidel.
In closing let me offer one other quote from his blog;
 I’m starting to feel like a PQ government might actually go as far as to start posting those signs "No dogs, no Anglophones " and forcing us dirty Anglos to wear a big A on our sleeves. I’m not even kidding – I don’t take Nazi comparisons lightly. It’s impossible to believe the PQ would ever try to kill anyone, so you can’t go too gar with the comparison… But it’s not hard to imagine a PQ-governed province in which the English language is simply banned.
Oh those archives......
 And so I gather from the last paragraph that Mr. Sidel has a passing interest in this blog so let me tell him directly his smarmy attack on those that seek to defend anglo rights is unappreciated and his name-calling unseemly. His article in the Gazette is no attempt at clarity but rather just another pitiful attempt to ingratiate himself to the leadership of the CAQ, a public affirmation of his fealty and loyalty and public confirmation that he is willing to tow the party line on language.

Like all poteaus, Sidel is to be taken with a grain of salt and his contention that English is doing just fine in Quebec, a lie, sadly confirmed by Jean-Marc Fournier.


  1. It's "poteaux". How bad is your French? (I'm anglo)

    1. Sigh.....POTEAUX is the PLURAL of POTEAU

      Un poteau est un organe de structure d'un ouvrage sur lequel se concentrent de façon ponctuelle les charges de la superstructure ...

      And yes my French is better than yours....

  2. Timeline error >>> It was NOT the PQ that started this ... You state "The language policy first imposed by the Parti Quebecois' chief Anglophobe, Camille Laurin, in Bill 101 was less about protecting and promoting French and more about destroying the English community in an effort to cull our numbers and diminish our power." This was 1977.

    It was the Quebec Liberals (Lesage) that formed the OLF (Now OQLF) in 1961 ... And Union National Introduced the First language law, Bill 63 in 1969, Followed by the Liberals (Bourassa) again with Bill 22 (1974) Which Eliminated Freedom of Choice in Language of Education... Obviously a political move by Bourassa, to prove He was more French Nationalist than other Parties, while he insisted he was a Federalist publicly.. But He didn't go far enough, so the PQ won the Next election... And the Liberals swore that they would never be outflanked by any other Party in "defending" the French Language again.... NEVER, Not Even Once, Doing anything that would weaken or repeal ANY Law restricting English.

    On Language, the PQ have been More Honest than the Liberals!!!

    1. PS... OTTAWA has done Even Less to help our Community!!!

  3. You Wrote >> "At any rate, Mr Sidel seems a bit two-faced, running for the CAQ, a party that wants to strengthen Bill 101, not exactly in keeping with his spoken beliefs. "

    Please educate Me... WHICH Quebec Party wants to Weaken Bill 101??? They will have My Vote !!!!

    (BTW... Even Robert Libman, these days has been known to show some support for Bill 101, when it was politically Expedient, Including Running as A Federal Conservative candidate in the last election... a Party, under Harper, which explicitly Supports Bill 101 and was the party to Recognize Quebec as a distinct Nation, within Canada!!!... Pretty Hypocritical of him, wasn't it??? )

    1. "WHICH Quebec Party wants to Weaken Bill 101??? They will have My Vote !!!!"

      that's odd. why would you want to weaken bill 101?!?