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Montreal: Beware of Languages Unknown

“Bonjour-Hi!  What can I get you today?”  You’re fired.  Or at least, you could be if the Parti Quebecois wins a majority government in the looming election.  As Pauline Marois, leader of the PQ, revels in an unprecedented spike in the polls—naturally in her favour— she has called an election for April 7. I’m sure that this sudden desire for an election has nothing to do with the upcoming hearing that looms over Marois with regards to charges of some sketchy investments… shhh.

Now, you may be wondering what a PQ majority would mean?  PQ minister Diane De Courcy has that covered: the eradication of bilingualism.  You heard me.  Recently, De Courcy warned business leaders that a “slide into institutional bilingualism” is creeping across Quebec, and she specifically targeted Montreal as one of the major perpetrators of such an appalling example of linguistic practice.

This dreaded bilingualism is responsible for many life-ruining afflictions such as improving candidacy for jobs, facilitating travel, increasing appreciation for other cultures, and making it easier to learn even more languages.  Obviously, the PQ is concerned about the health and emotional well-being of its population, and seeks to shelter them from the horrors that wait in the pages of a French-English dictionary.

Bilingualism is fine behind closed doors, De Courcy says, but it is absolutely not fit for public eyes (think of the children!).  She says, “There is a difference with what is institutional and it must be without mercy.”  She also attacked opposition parties for their failure to support Bill 14 (which would have banned English within businesses with as few as 25 employees, and further kept Francophones out of English schools). This, on top of claims that the French language is under threat.

I will be first to say that Anglophones present a threat to Quebec society, and a rather dangerous one at that.  Unfortunately, the PQ got the statistics a little bit backwards.  See, the Anglophone threat isn’t one that revolves around us staying in the province and infecting everything with our little Anglo words like “shopping” and “hot dog” (if you say them with a Quebecois accent though, they become French, don’t worry), it’s one that comes from the threat of us leaving.

That’s right.  We, the Anglos, are a highly movable people who, if pushed far enough by an unreasonable slew of propositions that violate our rights as human beings, can pack our bags and leave for one of the twelve other provinces and territories.  Quebec, you’re not that special.

 

Wait...both of those roads lead further into Quebec! Curses!

Look everybody, they’ve given us two ways out! Lucky for us, we’re bilingual, so we know where we’re going. Now let’s just find some English signs to throw them off our trail.
Emmanuel Huybrechts

 

One might say that this is what Quebec wants – get rid of the Anglos, take a sharpie to the history books to scratch out all mention of English speakers, and rule in a self-contained bubble of ignorance and umm….solidarity, yeah, that’s the word.  The problem with this plan, however, is that living in a self-contained bubble only really works in fantasies because, much to everyone’s chagrin, nothing is free in life.  And, shockingly enough, when we leave, so too does our money.

Wait?  I thought only the Francophones had money.  Since when have Anglophones and Allophones been making money?  Did you know about this?  How much money are we talking about here?  This has really been going under our radar… we’ll have to get someone on that immediately.  We’ll pay for that investigation with our taxpayers’ money – oh.

This development must be rather unexpected for Ms. De Courcy who thought the only function of Anglophones was to bastardize the French language by including such revolting turns of phrase as “Bonjour-Hi.” We might find ourselves in a bit of an awkward situation here.  Montreal is Canada’s second largest city, but its growth has been about half that of Canadian cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary over the last twenty years.  Now, of the entire province, Montreal accounts for about 65% of provincial tax revenues.  Let’s take a look at some numbers from Statistics Canada.  As of 2011, of the nearly 4 million people in the Greater Montreal Area, 37% of census surveyed respondents indicated that their mother tongue was a language other than French.  Even with my despairingly poor math skills, I can already tell that this doesn’t look good for a government that desires to banish us to the tundra of English-speaking Alberta.  Assuming a uniform contribution, non-Francophones from Montreal contribute approximately 24% of Quebec’s total tax revenue.  Representing 1 out of every 4 Quebec dollars, all those taxpaying Anglophones quickly add up, especially in a province with a hefty deficit.

But just giving numbers of how financially dependent Quebec is on non-French speakers doesn’t actually mean there’s a threat.  The proof, however, comes in the shocking revelation that 51% of Anglophones and 49% of Allophones have seriously considered leaving Quebec over the past year.  Hell, even 11% of Francophones have deliberated about jumping ship.  Maybe the PQ doesn’t realize what it’s doing just yet, but when they suddenly turn around to find a legion of their population off spending money in Toronto, they might just reconsider the wisdom of such a promise to protect French.  And, though they might not miss our language, they’ll certainly miss our money.

Of course, the way they’ll defend their position to a poor, disgruntled (but pleasantly French) population is that it’s our fault for making them so dependent on our money in the first place.  (Obviously, Alberta’s oil money, doesn’t count as dirty English money since it’s a fundamental right of the Marois government.  Right?  Right.) With 33 days to go until the elections, we’re sure to hear promises, pandering, and all kinds of hatred in an attempt to determine this year’s margin-of-error victor. The games have begun, but let’s hope everyone can be a part of them. Otherwise, the number of Quebeckers that leave will just keep going up.

  • Steve Endicott

    Well said Alex,BRAVO,BRAVO!!! They don’t have a leg to stand on!!

  • Joanne Bilodeau

    I’m a French Canadian bilingual woman. I left Québec with my French Canadian husband and our two French Canadian children for Southwestern Ontario in 2002. Now we are a happy bilingual Canadian family. :)

    • Derold Collins

      Madame Bilodeau….you are living proof, which I always believed that not EVERY Francophone in this province believes in this Mad woman and her party’s policies!!! I commend you for your comments. :-)

      • Joanne Bilodeau

        Thank you Derold, you’re very sweet. I do like to think I am not the only one. In fact, I know I’m not. There are many more where I came from !

        • Vanessa Noreau

          You are not alone! I am French Canadian and perfectly bilingual. I do not encourage this mad woman and I am actually starting to be embarrassed to say I live in Montreal Quebec. We are the joke of Canada!

      • Charlie

        In Toronto we speak English no??

        Why should it be different here and speak french?!?

        Because english people always think is in right to impose his language!

        .

        • kenworthy

          There’s no laws prohibiting the use of French in Toronto.

    • Charlie

      .

      Génial Johanne! Mais ce genre de commentaires est pas très solidaire et fait une peu “nananère”… bof

      • Joanne Bilodeau

        Hahaha … premièrement CHARLIE, dans la minuscule phrase que tu as composée, le mot “commentaires” ne prends pas de “s”, le mot “nananère n’existe pas dans la langue française, et mon nom c’est JOANNE pas de “h” ! C’est franchement pas drôle ! Non seulement tu n’est pas capable d’écrire comme il faut en anglais, tu es même pas capable d’écrire le français, ta langue maternelle, comme il faut. Ça doit être la faute des anglais !

        • ohwell

          “Tu n’es pas capable” Je suis, tu es, il est

    • Lapoche Deraie

      “And my grandchildren won’t even be able to speak french with us, isn’t it wonderful guys!?” You are basically a P.E.T. wetdream.

  • Sarah

    I have one thing to say: NO. Why should WE have to live OUR city because of HER? Fuck that. I intend to stay in Montreal and protest and speak English. I refuse to give her what she wants. I will not go quietly. Le Printemps Érable is nothing compared to the shitstorm that will hit Montreal if she wins a majority.

  • Europe

    Easier to redraw a line on a map than to uproot millions of people from their homes. Montreal and points West stay in Canada.

  • Pam Hanley-Kearney

    I am beside myself right now. The biggest problem is not that Marois w

  • Pam Hanley-Kearney

    I am worried that Marois will get her way, but at the same time I have faith in the Anglos, Alos, Francos, a select few want to separate and most intelligent people understand the consequence of doing so. My main problem is what happens to us after the vote. Everything stays the same and the same is not acceptable. My kids speak both languages, but with a last name Kearney, its unlikely they will get a good job, whether they are qualified or not. That is the truth here, we are second class and that will never change, that is the problem. We are always going to have some idiot that believes they can make us separate, but the truth is nothing will change.

  • tanya

    Screw her and her beliefs ,i live in quebec and shes going down this time no one believes in her crap maybe a select few!!the only reason she got elected was because she lied to the students who voted for her , now she made everyone so mad cant wait to see the embarrassed look on her face when she loses

  • Mauricio Farinelli

    It is easy to understand their strategy: Eliminating Anglos and Allophones, they will have free way to probably always keep winnign in Quebec, even in a new referendum.
    So, they are doing all they need to “remove” us from here, to keep our kids away from english…
    But dont worry. Everybody votes and she is out!

  • François Boudreault

    You guys make it sound like you’re Jews in NazI Germany. Jesus….

    • Ryan

      And if you listen to some of the french people in this province, it would seem like Steven Harper and the rest of Canada is crushing the freedom of this poor french province.

    • JoannaJaguar

      Well, with our religious and cultural freedoms in jeopardy, the only thing missing from that analogy is that we haven’t YET been forced to wear yellow “A”s on our coats.

      • François Boudreault

        You’re religious freedom in jeopardy? You mean, you can’t impose your invisible man in the sky to the masses, who by the way, clearly don’t want hear about it in the first place.

        • kenworthy

          Wearing a turban in a public building is hardly “imposing your invisible man in the sky to the masses”.

        • PriyaVassi

          No one is imposing anything on anyone except for a bunch of reactionary ultra-nationalists who don’t know how to mind their own business. The fact is, there is one group of people in this province that won’t rest until everyone in the world subscribes to their personal beliefs system, and those people are the PQ supporters!

  • JS

    Quebec already looks absolutely ridiculous to the rest of North America with its corruption and racism that has been publicly showcased recently. If she gets elected that would be the icing on the cake and a clear indication that the majority of Quebec is ignorant, afraid and insecure.

  • Charlie

    .

    Really
    it is quite disheartening to read such things, I do not know what you
    read as a journal , I do not know if you’ve ever loved franco-québécois
    your life. I do not know if you still understood our struggle for our own
    community , but also easily read comments violent and racist towards us
    is a bad response to the situation !

    Need we remind our fight for our minority every day that God made ​​! ?

    Really pathetic to see you compared to a minority abused ! You have the best universities, the best hospitals , it is not enough you ?

    Let us live in French is our language, you do not care about ANY of
    francophone minorities in the rest of the country that they are in a
    situation ten times worse.

    In short, you play the victim when you are the rulers of the situation.

    This is typical of the man who beats his wife to prevent her from living her life!

    Abuse , violence, bullying , victimization , in short , the worst of
    humanity, you express it with such ease that it is dangerous!

    Damage.

    • TrueNorthTimes

      Easy, now. This isn’t the comments section of the National Post or Globe and Mail. Personal attacks aren’t cool.

    • Hi Charlie,

      I love Québécois culture. I love the music, from Maneige to Harmonium and Offenbach and the hundreds of quality musicians we have produced. I love our beer, from Unibroue to Dieu du Ciel!, St. Ambroise, and so many more. I love the people and the festivals and the energy in the air at any event. I even love the French language.

      What I do not like is the laws coming from the National Assembly. The strict language laws that force me to speak in a specific language, or send my children to only certain schools. The dislike of anglophones, evidenced by Ms. De Courcy’s comments about the dangers of bilingualism.

      Charlie, in this article there is no abuse, violence, or bullying. You are free to go to the same institutions as anglophones, any hospital will speak to you in French, and every English university allows students to submit work in either of Canada’s official languages. It is the current government that wants these institutions to change or shut down, and to only serve people in one language, not both.

      The point of this article was not to “play the victim” or ask for special privileges. All it asks is for anglophones to be able to open a business in whichever language they choose.

      I hope this gets through to you, and you realize that far from being evil oppressors, us anglophones just want to live in this province like you do; working together to make it ever better.

  • hesthatguy

    Just leave already. You keep your taxes, we keep our transfer fees. You do whatever it is you want with quebec and we’ll ship everything through the states to the maritime provinces and back. Thanks for coming out, you have what you wanted.

  • Charlie
  • Lapoche Deraie

    Sometimes, when i read most comments about us silly frogs coming from you people of “Anglo-Saxon culture” , (which has centuries of violent conquests and a lot of blood on their hands) i realise that the sole fact that we still speak french in North America really gets under your skin. Désolé…

    • PriyaVassi

      LOL and the French have no history of violent conquests…. OMG you really got me with that one… hahahahahahahaha tu m’as dead

      • PriyaVassi

        Dis-le aux Sénégalaises, Marocains, Vietnamiens, Algériens, Syriens, Camerouniens, etc……….

  • Julia Sabrina Eldridge

    For all those who believe in the notion of Quebec becoming it’s own country…ok…I’m willing to give that to you. You want to seperate, that is fine…I speak both languages. In fact, I work in french. But the link I’m about to post here brings up some very good questions. If any of you Parti-Quebecois enthusiasts have a similar link with the answers to these questions, I would be forever greatfull (not that I am expecting you to). https://www.thesuburban.com/article.php?id=2793&title=An-Open-Letter-To-Queen-Pauline