Thursday, September 7, 2017

Bill 101 Can't Save Quebec Culture

Quebec sovereigntists, language militants and French firsters live with the fantasy that Bill 101 has and will continue to safeguard Quebec language and culture. But 40 years later they are forced to admit that while you can lead a horse to water, you cannot make him drink.

For them, forcing immigrants to adopt French would hopefully transform Africans, Asians, Caribbeans and South Americans into model Quebecers who mimic their hosts not only in language, but also in thought and demeanour.
It hasn't worked before and isn't likely to succeed in the future.
While many foreign communities have adopted Quebec as their new homeland, they largely have kept much of their traditions and culture, something that irks militants to no end.
Some communities have integrated on the English side of the language equation, some on the French side and some split, but whether on one side or the other, most of these communities have kept up their traditions, values and religious affiliation much to the chagrin of purists who demand that speaking French isn't enough and that adopting Quebec 'values' is necessary as well.

Years ago I watched with amusement the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodations and as Premier Charest said a the time, it was the best entertainment on television featuring many crackpots and racists.
But perhaps the most poignant moment for me came when this statuesque Black Quebecer, an obvious immigrant from Africa complained in excellent French that 'they' (whoever that may be) are demanding that she eat poutine and maple syrup, an allegory that rightly explains language militants expectations.
A little later on in the hearing a North African complained comically that there wasn't enough foot(soccer) on television, again underlining the clash of cultures.

From a solidly white/Catholic Francophone society with a minority English community tucked away in western Montreal, Quebec is moving to a pluralistic melting pot, at least in the greater Montreal area, due to massive immigration and a precipitous fall in the birth rate.
Here language is irrelevant to those who see the 'barbarian' invasion as a threat to what Quebec used to be and blame the immigrants for staying true to their heritage, culture and religion, something bad when it comes to 'les autres,' but something good when applied to Quebecois de souche (old stock)

Generations later, these immigrant communities have stubbornly held onto their own set of values, infuriating language and culture purists who had assumed that these people would lose their religion, taste for ethnic food and cultural mores over time.

While Bill 101 forced these immigrants to adopt French, it cannot transform them into the image of their hosts, crashing the dream that Quebec could be multi-ethnic yet French and culturally homogeneous.
Language extremists are faulted for claiming that the sky is falling, but are largely correct. While Quebec is becoming more and more French, it is becoming less and less Quebecois in culture.

The stark reality is that the only way to stem the cultural derivation of Quebec society is to increase the anemic birthrate among Quebecois de souche, something that even the most strident language militants dare not suggest.
What language purists propose instead is unrealistic, placing the onus on immigrants to reinvent themselves.
Bill 101 was and continues to be popular among Francophones because it relieves them of the responsibility of safeguarding their own language and culture. It remains a convenient cop-out.

Support for safeguarding Quebec language and culture among francophones is strange in that the majority of Quebec francophones (57%) want to strengthen Bill 101, yet a majority (53%) want to be able to send their children to English schools. Over 63% of francophones want the right to an English CEGEP education. It's hard to make head or tails of those statistics.

And so the die is cast.
Unless Quebecois de souche increase their birthrate, Quebec will evolve where historical Quebecers and their society will have to share the province with those who speak French, but who are more religious and who hold different values, customs, food and traditions.

Bill 101 can't save Quebec from going down that culturally diverse road, only a dedicated effort to have more babies can, and that gentle reader, you and I both know it isn't going to happen.

14 comments:

  1. "What language purists propose instead is unrealistic, placing the onus on immigrants to reinvent themselves."

    Definitely there's too much reliance on the "neo"-Quebecois.

    Editor, do you have any information on the Allowance below? This sounds like a good idea for the Qc government to do given the decline in numbers, but the link to the reference is broken. Was this law passed? Is it in effect? I don't recall getting 8,000$ from the Qc government when my son was born.

    In 1988, the Quebec government introduced the Allowance for Newborn Children that paid up to $8,000 to a family after the birth of a child.[7]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_bonus#cite_note-7

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    1. There was an idea to encourage Quebec parents to have a third child with an $8,000 payment but it fizzled when they realized that it would be ethnics who would be rewarded most, since they already have larger families.
      It reminds me of the program to allow students from France to attend Quebec universities at local tuition rates to encourage French people to come to Quebec. Problem was that half chose to attend English universities here in Montreal, an outrage and betrayal of the program. The problem could not be fixed as you can imagine.

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    2. Mr. Sauga here: Philip, it goes beyond the fact there were 3rd child bonuses. $8,000 is absolute peanuts when one realizes how much it costs to raise a child from birth to age 18, and often beyond esp. when they go for post-secondary education. I'm confident those families that were eligible to draw the $8,000, unless they were brain-dead, didn't take that mere pittance into consideration, or where so, saw it as a little icing on the cake.

      I've said it before and I'll write it here again: "Those who live by «La Revanche des berceaux», die by «La Revanche des berceaux»! These ignorant Franco Catholics were led down labyrinthes upon labyrinthes of false doctrines for at least 200 years and the likes of Abbé Lionel Groulx and politicians like the despotic Maurice Duplessis who exploited that ignorance to the limits they set. The baby machines have been turned off. Too bad for the Old Guard and its followers.

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  2. Why would anyone in their right mind want to take on "the values" of a society that IMHO is a sociological basket case? https://murraymakingadifference.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/poor-monsieur-peladeau-met-a-pit-bull/

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    1. "As long as the Quebecois do not enjoy the personal satisfaction of doing good things, they will never rid themselves of having the dubious distinction of being the least charitable group in Canada/USA."

      A huge stretch in making a connection between not making "charitable donations" and not wanting to do good things.

      besides, charitable donations is a well known scam amongst the Anglo rich as a way of getting tax deductions and hiding income.

      I'm surprised that Paladeau even replied to this, let alone by calling and leaving a message. Probably never happened.

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    2. Making a legitimate charitable donations is never a scam to avoid paying taxes. When a taxpayer makes an eligible donation he or she is able to offset it from declared income for tax purposes.
      If someone is in the 50% tax bracket makes a $100,000 donation, he or she gets half of it back in reduced tax owing, but is still $50,000 poorer.

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  3. Recall when Lucien Bouchard was roasted for suggesting Quebecois people should have more babies when he was Premier back in the 1990's. The Nationalists have always wanted immigrants and Allophones to do the heavy lifting with regard to "saving" the French language in Quebec while completely ignoring the pathetic Quebecois birth rate. The reality is, it's nearly impossible to maintain a comfortable family lifestyle in Quebec without two solid incomes. Women need to work, ergo they can't have that third or fourth kid. Fast forward to 100 years from now, Montreal and Quebec will look and sound vastly different. Quebecois culture as we know it today will be an interesting curiosity, akin to many native cultures that have come and gone. People will have no connection to the historical grudges les Quebecois have towards English speaking people and Quebec's notorious hate based law, Bill 101 will be stricken from the books.

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  4. Excellent post, Philip.

    You write:

    "Bill 101 was and continues to be popular among Francophones because it relieves them of the responsibility of safeguarding their own language and culture. It remains a convenient cop-out."

    Too true. I have always maintained that Bill 101 has the effect of making the francophone population inactive as opposed to being pro-active when it comes to their language. The sign law is the perfect illustration of this: if a store owner puts up a unilingual English sign and offers English-only service, the onus then shifts to the marketplace -- and the individual buyer with consumer dollars that the storeowner wants -- which requires individual francophones to refuse to shop there, depriving the storeowner of his money. This is the motivation for a storeowner to give service and signs in French, NOT a law requiring French on signs. Thus, francophones lose the incentive to be pro-active on a daily basis to preserve and protect the French language...believing that the sign law is enough to get the job done.

    Sadly, the Supreme Court of Canada agrees with those that support Bill 101 and the sign law. Obviously -- and I am not the only one to observe this; virtually all political pundits have said this -- the "marked predominance" decision back in '88 was politically motivated. It had nothing to do with the application of the law. The Court lost the opportunity to point francophones in the right direction as regards being pro-active with their language. Only a full freedom of choice for sign laws would have achieved the goal.

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  5. Excellent commentary! It is worth noting that when Bill 101 was drafted even some members of the PQ, including René Levesque, felt that there was a real danger that this law would eventually lead to a collective complacency in the francophone community. (Source: Denise Bombardier mentioned this when being interviewed on the French/France TV show l’invité)

    It’s been stated a thousand times but I will say it again; Bill 101 is all about suppressing English and very little about encouraging French. Even more disturbing the language law (Bill 101) has exposed huge class divisions in the Francophone community at large where Francophones with money can afford to send their children to “French” private schools that offer Enriched English programs that are nothing more that cleverly disguised English Emersion programs. Effectively, when it comes to education, the law applies to Francophones who can’t afford to send their kids to private institutions.

    When it comes to recently arrived immigrants, let’s face it they consider history in Quebec as starting the day of their arrival. Yes, the Quebec government tries try to teach them, immigrants and the children of immigrants, about Quebec history going back to Jacques Cartier but the recent immigrant files this under “Folklore” and answers the questions on the test then promptly forgets about it. The only examples of oppression in Quebec the immigrant sees is Law 101 and Quebec Francophone elites (in both the PQ and PLQ) trying their best to erase the Anglophone community. Immigrants aren’t stupid, many of them see Law 101 exactly for what it is – A mechanism for Ethnic Cleansing

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  6. Mr. Sauga: Marc, I believe I wrote on another subject you seem relatively young, but that's OK. I don't know if you were around when the first PQ cabinet was announced, but it consisted of at least one Rhodes scholar and a host of others who attended English language educational institutions outside Quebec, such as the London School of Economics, Harvard, M.I.T., Cambridge, Columbia, U. of Philadelphia and even that decaying bigot consumed by the vitriolic hatred within himself, Camille Laurin, studied at the Boston U. Hospital.

    In Mordecai Richler's book Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!, Richler mentioned he was speaking with Levesque about Laurin at some kind of mixer at Harvard U. Levesque retorted he couldn't stand the man, and Richler snapped back that Laurin was his appointee in cabinet. Levesque then did his famous shrug and walked away. He obviously didn't have an answer to appointing someone he couldn't stand. I imagine there were

    What irks me to this day is these rogues were all appointed by Levesque, yet everybody saw Levesque as the pragmatic one. While there may be SOME truth to this, it was HE who had the sole discretion to choose, shuffle and change his cabinet, and it was always containing these rabid racists. He therefore was as guilty as the rest of them were and deserved NO credit for his pragmatism.

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    1. "when the first PQ cabinet was announced, but it consisted of at least one Rhodes scholar and a host of others who attended English language educational institutions outside Quebec, such as the London School of Economics, Harvard, M.I.T., Cambridge, Columbia, U. of Philadelphia and even that decaying bigot consumed by the vitriolic hatred within himself, Camille Laurin, studied at the Boston U. Hospital."

      The fact that all the people were academics in the US may seem odd but not if you consider that US intelligence services target people in universities for potential employment.

      Levesque, on the other hand, is tied to the US military. As a war correspondent he was embedded within the US army.

      https://www.henrymakow.com/jacques_morency.html


      "He obviously didn't have an answer to appointing someone he couldn't stand."

      What if he didn't have a say in these matters? What if his handlers were deciding these things?

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  7. Mr. Sauga here: Adski, I think you're looking to be a s--t disturber, and if I recall correctly, that was your role prior to Philip's hiatus. I don't see what Lévesque's journalist career has to do with where his cabinet obtained their credentials, and besides, you're missing the point altogether...unless this is your intention.

    First of all, the London School of Economics AND Cambridge U are located in England, not the U.S. Too, it's completely paradoxical that those people all were able to go to English instruction educational institutes of higher learning yet they did their darnedest to ensure those in following generations were oppressed from and discouraged to learn English altogether.

    Second of all, in doing this, on the one hand, they were economically oppressing their students from being bilingual and on the other hand, therefore making them prisoners in Quebec because not knowing English in the rest of North America puts these people in a ghetto - Quebec!

    Finally, the premier of a province or territory and the Prime Minister of Canada have sole discretion in whom they choose for their cabinet positions. They may have advisors recommending certain people, but Levesque always had the last word, and I imagine he knew his personnel VERY well.

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  8. "the premier of a province or territory and the Prime Minister of Canada have sole discretion in whom they choose for their cabinet positions"

    According to one view of the world.

    According to another, all these prime ministers are just the front men for the deep state.

    I don't preclude the existence of a deep state. It's possible that all those pequistes were recruited in the US in the 1960s and parachuted into Canada to weaken Canada so NAFTA could be rammed through, and Canada possibly broken up and its pieces absorbed into a North American superstate controlled by Wall Street.

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