Since the election of the Parti Quebecois on September 4th 2012, Anglophones in Quebec seem to be whipping themselves into a frenzy. It may be because of the NDP sweep of Quebec in the 2011 federal elections and certain polls at the time showing that support for sovereignty in Quebec was dropping that Anglos felt that this whole “Québécois” thing was coming to an end. They must have felt that the time was right to start pushing back and getting Quebec back on the path to assimilation. Then comes this minority PQ government trying to impose their new language laws on everyone!?! It was muscle-flexing time. A bunch of Anglos came together on Facebook on a site called “Put Canadian Flag back In Quebec Assembly” (which is kind of ironic because that foreign flag was never actually removed). The owners of this site began seeing themselves as the center of a new Tahrir square movement and they began promising a huge demonstration against these modifications to the language laws on February 17th 2013 .
They were going on about it for months. They kept telling us that thousands had said “maybe”. In the end, barely two hundred people showed up for this gathering. It was a huge failure but the organizers blamed the weather. It's nothing new, even the Nazis blamed the weather for their failures (Wow, it is easy to make gratuitous comparisons with Nazis). But what were that handful of people really doing out there? In their postmortem, they gave a few reasons like:
I have no idea where they came up with this one. I couldn't find it anywhere. I'm sure it was "implied" somehow...
- Bill 14 would give the PQ language minister Diane de Courcy judicial type powers of seizure and the ability to seize personal computers, files, documents and whatever they feel admissible.
The official language of Quebec is French. Public education in Quebec is in French. There are a few exceptions for Anglos and Native people, but why should we make exceptions for grunts? I don't get it.
- Bill 14 would close a loophole that allows francophone military families a right to send their children to English schools.
Governments impose standardized tests all the time. Why should we be shocked about this one? Maybe there are a lot of Anglo graduates who still can't function in French. I certainly know a few.
- Bill 14 would force high school and CEGEP students to have a “mastery” of the french language in order to graduate. Please note high schools and CEGEPS already have french language immersion and requirements to graduate. What the PQ considers “mastery” is unknown at this moment.
Demographics change all the time. When Francophones asked for services in French in English Canada, they were often told that those services incurred costs and that they were only given "where numbers warrant". The fact that Quebec would apply the same standards makes it racist!
- Bill 14 would strip municipalities and their citizens of bilingual status and publications.
We were then given the following stirring words:
They WERE there to express how they love freedom, equality and liberty. They WERE there to tell them they want a Constitution that you may very well take for granted, to apply to them as Quebeckers and Canadians and not just the rest of Canada.
The next time you gauge your pride in your nation by donning a Team Canada jersey, the next time you sew on the flag to your backback before you travel, the next time you hold your head high and think, "I am proud to be a Canadian" you need to ask yourself the following questions:
Ask yourself how would you feel if your rights were being taken away in the most offensive and apparent ways? And what if your fellow countrymen have remained silent and abandoned you for over 40 years?
These Quebecers and proud Canadians who, despite insurmountable odds, threats and acts of violence against them, and regardless of laws that already exist which classify them as second class citizens came out to stand in solidarity.
Francophones, anglophones, immigrants and people from all cultural backgrounds in finger numbing cold and despite every justifiable reason to believe an entire country has forgotten them, today they stood arm-in-arm to say they still love their country. And regardless of the odds, they stood together to say, "We are proud to be Canadians!".
After today, I feel a very strong case could be made for them being the greatest Canadians in the nation. So the next time you take a moment to reflect on what Canada means to you, take a moment to think of them. The Quebec protestors that stood there in the cold for hours and remember that on Feb 17th 2013, they showed the rest of Canada that they DO care.
So please do not abandon them, they have not abandoned you Canada.
I nearly lost my lunch reading that crap. As nauseating as it sounds, these are the terms in which they frame their "struggle". On their site, they have referred to themselves as freedom-fighters and Quebec's language laws are routinely described as the most vile oppression since Nazi Germany. Believe me, I'm only slightly exaggerating. The Facebook page purports to be fighting against language discrimination and is filled with stories about the OQLF's sillier antics, people refusing to speak English in the metro and basically anything negative about Pauline Marois. Recently there were two videos that were highlighted on their page which sheds some light on what is being portrayed as "language discrimination" in Quebec.
The case of Onehundredjobs:
This video is made by someone who is known on Youtube as Onehundredjobs. Ms Jobs starts by tells us of her upbringing in Ontario, going to French immersion school and moving to Quebec, etc. Then she tells us of her dismay at seeing a reemergence of old battles she felt had been resolved in the 2000s. I have no idea what she believes was resolved during the reign of the Charest cabal. I guess to some, a corrupt government in Quebec City that doesn't give a shit about the future of Quebec equals problem solved. Ms Jobs then moves on to the changes to Quebec's language laws proposed by the PQ which she completely distorts. According to Ms Jobs, Anglophone kids will now be forced to go to French daycare. She characterizes this shocking law as FASCIST!
Meanwhile back in the real world, what the PQ are proposing is extending a watered down version of Bill 101 to publicly subsidized daycares. As usual, Anglophones are exempt. Francophones and immigrants have French subsidized daycares available to them. If that is not acceptable, private daycares are available in English or other languages. Fascism indeed!
Ms Jobs then moves on to denounce fictitious laws that demand that shop clerks address customers in French only. No such laws exist but nonetheless, the hysterical Ms Jobs boldly asserts that she will not be EXTERMINATED! Her act of defiance is to refuse to speak French. Of course, she won't be the first Anglophone in Quebec to refuse to speak French... Not by a long shot!
Ms Jobs responds to challenges to her assertions by deleting them and blocking anyone who disputes her version of reality.
The case of Mohamed H. Amin:
This video is made by Mohamed H. Amin. He is not insane, he is a limited edition. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean but Mr Amin seems to think it is quite clever. This is about his visit to the SAAQ. If what he says is true, someone at the SAAQ refused to speak to his wife and him in English. She told them that they are in Quebec and we speak French here. He reminded her that she is NOT in Quebec but in Canada and Canada has two official languages, English and French. It is his choice and since he pays her salary through his taxes, he can choose to speak to her in English if he wants. But she kept on speaking in French.
Then, she hit the "next" button. This humiliated Mohamed in front of his wife and child (the dramatic music stops when he says this... to make it more dramatic). Moe wanted to complain to the manager but his wife said it was useless because the government encourages this behavior. Moe then feared that one day his daughter will be brainwashed by the government and tell him that he has to speak French because we are in Quebec! Discrimination has become a culture in Quebec according to Mr Amin.
Mr Amin clearly does not understand how the Canadian system works. The different tiers of government are a mystery to him. He simply can't get his head around how the federal government can have two official languages but a provincial government can have just one. Yet this is the case for 9 out of 10 provinces. The official language of Alberta is English and their version of the SAAQ is under no obligation to offer services in French. If Quebec and the SAAQ are guilty of language discrimination then so are all the other provinces with the exception of New Brunswick. But the accusation of discrimination only seems to apply to Quebec.
It was suggested to Moe that if he were truly concerned about discrimination, perhaps he should make a video about the plight of the Copts (Christians) of Egypt who face a rather violent form of discrimination. Mr Amin answered that there is no discrimination against the Copts in Egypt. He said it was all just Western lies designed to undermine the Muslim Brotherhood. He then added that the Copts were also guilty of violence against Muslims. So basically, it's all lies and, anyways, they do it, too.
Clearly logic and honesty are not among Mr Amin's virtues. And clearly his video has nothing to do with denouncing any discrimination in Quebec. It is about a personal vendetta Mr Amin has against an employee of the SAAQ. Moe has simply expanded this vendetta to include all Francophones in Quebec.
Quebec's language laws
Quebec's language laws are not about exterminating Anglophones in Quebec as some hysterical headless chickens would have you think. They are not about discrimination and they are not about racism. They are about ensuring that French is the common language in Quebec just like English is the common language everywhere else in Canada. More importantly, they are about integrating immigrants.
Canada has been a demographics battle ground for a long time. After the rebellion of 1837, it was decided that Francophones in Canada should be assimilated through massive immigration from the British isles. At that time Francophones were still the majority in Canada. By the 1850s they had become a minority. By 1900, Francophones made up roughly 30% of the population of Canada. Today, Francophones represent only 23% of the population. There is a certain trend here that is kind of hard to miss.
When the supply of British immigrants ran out, Canada began luring people from other parts of Europe offering incentives to populate Western Canada. This is the same era that saw the banning of French schools throughout English Canada and a surplus of people in Quebec who saw no alternative but to immigrate to the USA. It's not just a trend but a deliberate pattern with a very obvious aim.
Immigration has been used as a weapon against the French-speaking population of Canada for a long time. The counter-attack came in the form of a prodigious birth rate but that is now gone. If the Francophones of North America are to survive they need to integrate immigrants. This is an up-hill battle when you are a minority in someone else's country. Immigrants naturally tend to join the dominant group. Before Bill 101, 90% of immigrants to Quebec ended up as Anglophones.
Quebec's language laws have had some success in integrating immigrants. Now roughly 50% become Francophones. It's still not enough but it is an improvement. However, the language laws are a double edged sword. They seem to have lulled a significant portion of Francophones into a false sense of security. The decline has become slower and more incremental. It becomes easier to pretend that maybe Quebec can exist in Canada. The reality is that Quebec's position in Canada is untenable. Only by becoming a majority in an independent Quebec will there be a real future for the French-speaking people of North America.
Anglophones like those behind the Flag site pretend that there is some kind of equality between English and French in Canada and so protection of one language and not the other is inequality and discrimination. In reality, French and English are not on equal footing in North America. Anglophones are in no way a minority on this continent. Francophones are the 2% minority. Let's get that straight. Calling for institutionalized bilingualism in the province of Quebec is calling for the slow extermination of a culture and I'm sure that these Flagheads know it. Even an idiot can see it: