Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Quebec's language laws and schools

Quebec’s language laws limit access to English schools for most citizens of the province. This is true...

Yet, if any other Canadian province or American state wanted to offer its linguistic minorities access to the kind of education network Quebec finances for its anglophone minority, every single one of them would have to increase dramatically the number of minority schools and the amount of money spent on them.

For example, if American states were expected to give their Spanish-speaking minority the same education rights that Quebec gives to its English-speaking minority, then New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Utah, Rhode Island, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Kansas – all states that have more Spanish-speakers than Quebec has English-speakers – would have to create a second publicly funded Spanish-language schools system.

Although all Canadian provinces have some minority education rights and schools, no other provincial minority has the vast network of schools, colleges and universities that English-speakers in Quebec have access to. There are in Quebec about 367 English public schools, 4 English public colleges called CEGEPs and 3 English universities.

In fact, if you use the standard definition of a major university as one that has both a law school and a medical school – New Brunswick’s Université de Moncton, the only autonomous French-language university outside Quebec, does not have the latter – then Quebec is the only state or province to fund a complete education system for its linguistic minority.

That’s if you accept the premise that English-speaking North Americans can be considered a minority at all…

Quebec’s dual school system is, in fact, as old as Canada. It was a compromise of sorts between the Protestant industrialists of Montreal and the all-powerful Catholic clergy who agreed that the province would have two completely separate and independently run school systems: one Protestant, one Catholic, which with time morphed into French and English-language systems. The dual school systems were constitutionalised in 1867 and, to this day, Quebec is the only Canadian province constitutionally obligated to maintain "separate but equal" schools.

Putting limits

In 1969, just a couple of years after the United States government had to send in the army to protect black students being integrated into Little Rock, Arkansas schools in spite of the violent opposition of a certain segment of the white population, the municipality of Saint-Léonard on the island of Montreal went through its own episodes of violent riots over the integration of minorities.

The only difference is that in the case of Saint-Léonard, the white, French-speaking majority was rioting against segregation, not in support of it.

Francophones in Montreal had become increasingly alarmed to see the vast majority of new immigrants to Quebec sending their children to English Schools. That situation, combined with the demographic decline of francophones in Canada and the availability of an extensive and totally free network of English schools in Quebec meant that within one generation French-speakers could have become a minority in Montreal.

Quebec’s francophones, representing about 80% of the population of Quebec but barely 2% of North Americans, were put in the position where they had to assist their neighbors in anglicizing immigrants. Not only were francophones being assimilated, but they were paying for it.

In 1977 the government of Quebec adopted the Charter of the French Language, known as bill 101, which made French the mandatory language of primary and secondary education. From that moment on, all residents of Quebec – except the anglophone minority and the First Nations – had to send their children to French schools from the 1st grade through to the end of High School.

Many people in Quebec’s anglophone community and in the rest of Canada were angered by this apparent limit to their freedom to choose their children’s language of instruction. Few noted that Quebec was the only place on the continent where an actual school network made that choice possible at all.

In any case, parents who have attended English schools anywhere in Canada have the privilege to send their children to either school network in Quebec. It is only francophones and new immigrants – those who make the informed decision of living in the French-speaking part of Canada – who are limited to French Schools.

In 1972, before the adoption of the Charter, only 10% of immigrants to Quebec sent their children to French schools. Since the adoption of bill 101 the situation has reversed. Parents who send their kids to private schools can still send them to English schools as long as the school does not receive government funding.

Freedom of choice remains total when it comes to higher education and students can study in English at college-level (CEGEPs) or in one of Quebec’s three English-language universities.

Yes, but it's your own fault!

After the defeat of the Rebellions of 1837-38 and the Act of Union of 1840, the French-speaking nation in Quebec was reduced to a minority status in a manner that shaped its national consciousness. French Canadians began to see themselves as an ethnic group in someone else's country. So, French Catholic schools in Quebec basically ended up as ethnic "French-Canadian" schools in the same sense that Jewish schools in Montreal are for Jews. No one in these schools really thought about or even cared about the integration of immigrants. 

In the 1960s a new national consciousness arose in Quebec which saw a shift from an ethnic model of the nation to a model which is at once civic, territorial, pluralistic, inclusive, and francophone and in 1964 French schools were taken out of the hands of the Catholic Church and secularized.

So saying that French Catholic schools weren't interested in integrating immigrants is not untrue but to pretend that this was the only thing pushing immigrants to opt for English in Quebec is a gross distortion of reality. Although there were certainly cases of immigrants being refused entry into French Catholic schools, this type of exclusion was in no way systemic. From the records of the Montreal Catholic School Commission, we can see that they did, in fact, admit immigrants into their schools, both French and English. We can also see that the demand by Catholic immigrants to Quebec for English schools grew steadily throughout the 20th century. In any case, by the mid-60s all immigrants had access to secular francophone schools but few chose them, preferring English schools instead. 

In a sense, it's an understandable choice. English was the language of money and power in Quebec and it was the language that dominated the continent including Montreal. Francophones earned on average 35% less than anglophones even with the same level of education. But regardless of this, Angryphones like to say that immigrants chose English over French because we were just a bunch of nasty, xenophobic frogs who excluded them from our schools. They conveniently ignore other factors, like the dominance and power of attraction of English as a reason. In any case, we eventually chose not to publicly fund English education for all of our immigrants. I think not making that choice would have been an act of suicide for our nation.

The dilemma

Quebec’s English-speaking minority has a right to its own parallel school system. To this day, anyone who has studied at least one year in an English school somewhere in Canada is allowed to opt out of the majority’s school system.

This, of course, is rationalized on the principal of some supposed right of children to receive education in their own language. That’s interesting because, at least in Montreal, the majority of English-speaking youth are not studying in English at all!

According to the English Montreal School Board as many as three out of four primary school students spend most of their school day in classes taught in French. The so-called “core” program where the majority of classes are taught in English is the least popular of all the school board’s options and is being abandoned by parents who demand immersion and biliteracy curriculum for their children.

Even Quebec’s stuffy English Private Schools that only a generation ago prepared kids in penny loafers to rule the world in English are now falling over themselves to provide rich people with the French the publicly-funded system can’t afford. The students of Westmount’s Selwyn Housenow spend between 50% and 80% of their class time studying in French and have even added a French verse to their school hymn! (Which, I believe, was the number 3 demand in the FLQ manifesto.)

Outside Montreal the situation is even stranger with many English schools having a majority of French students and very few actual Anglos exercising their right to receive an English-language education in Quebec. In Quebec City close to 60% of the students in English schools are francophones. This is possible because French-speaking, or for that matter, any family that has obtained a certificate of eligibility to English schools through, for example, a mixed marriage, can keep passing the privilege along to further generations until the End of Time.

Hey, it’s not that it’s a bad idea for Quebec’s English-speaking kids to take classes in French. What’s profoundly bizarre is the concept of English-speaking children immersing themselves in French in schools with no French kids, two blocks away from an actual French school…

As even the Montreal Gazette reported, the result is technically bilingual kids who don’t know any French people and who are uncomfortable ordering a burger in French at McDonald's.

On the French side there is growing tension between proponents and opponents to the kind of bilingual programs that have become common on the English side. While there is a lot of demand for them, opponents feel that the French schools’ mission of integrating immigrants into Quebec society, especially in Montreal, could be seriously compromised if more English was introduced in the schools.

As a result, many French-speaking families in Montreal are massively abandoning the public school system for private schools that offer, among other things, better English classes. Between 2001 and 2006, the number of students in Montreal’s private schools leaped by 30%.

All this together leads to a profoundly dyslexic school arrangement. Immigrants to Quebec are now integrating themselves into Quebec society in schools with no French-speaking Québécois, while Quebec francophones send their children to private schools. Montreal Anglos are building their own parallel French school network with no French students while francophones in the rest of the province are keeping an English school system alive even though there are no more actual English-speaking students.

Becoming independent will allow us to normalize our school situation as it will normalize many things in our society. It will allow us to break free from the constitutional straitjacket of the BNAA and of the 1982 constitution. Our language will no longer be a regional, minority language and will instead become the national language of an independent country. An immigrant to an independent Quebec will not be confused about which country he is immigrating to and will understand that French is our common language. Basically, independence will allow us to become a country like any other and we will cease to be a people who lives in fear of being absorbed into a larger nation that refuses to recognize our existence.

Based on two articles by Angry French Guy


  1. American guy here. Like most people outside of Canada, there was a time when I had no real opinion on Québec separatism. To be honest, Québec (and Canada) was never even a subject that came up.

    Then I lived in Québec for two years (2009-10), attending a university and picking up fluent French. I dedicated myself to learning all there was to know about Québec history, culture, and politics. I uncovered many truths about Québec (and Canada in general) that many Canadians would rather me not know. To my amazement, I uncovered were the same things you talk about in your blogs (that the Canadiens were second class citizens, that Québec's was more or less forced into Canada, and so forth). Many thoughts that my Anglo colleagues would consider taboo began to enter my head: Was it possible that the Québecois weren't the petulant crybabies that my Anglo colleagues insisted that they were? Was it possible that they actually held legitimate grievances?

    The local Anglos were quick to tell me horror stories of the "racist frogs" and the evil separatists who were hellbent on the destruction of Canada. Those people are the enemy, they told me in so many words. They hate you, and they hate us. Québec would quickly decay into a third world country, they told me, in the event of Québec's separation. It became apparent that the typical narrative was underwritten by a strong paternalistic line of thinking; that the Québecois needed Anglo benevolence to save themselves from self-destruction.

  2. As my French improved I began to immerse myself more and more in Québecois culture. What I saw for myself coming from the "racist frogs" and evil separatists was a drastically different picture than that which my Anglo colleagues eagerly painted for me. The separatists turned out to be rather logical, forward-thinking, and they didn't seem to be stewing over 1759 as they were frequently accused of doing. They were just another group of people - a nation in ever sense of the word - who didn't have their independence. As this realization sunk in, it really changed my view of Canada. Here I was in school every day with Anglo-Canadians who constantly gloated to me about the fairness of a utopian Canada as opposed to the "imperialist" America, while to me it was becoming increasingly apparent that the Québecois who made up 90% of the province were nothing more than a colonial conquest and Canada nothing more than the North American leftover of the British Empire.

    Perhaps the above all most striking thing I noticed was the blatant dishonesty in the English-language news media as these television and radio stations broadcasted to Anglo-Quebecers and the rest of Canada. When the subject of Québec arose, the permanent narrative was that the separatists were selfish villains who had nothing but hatred for Canada. There was no attempt to understand that there could be another perspective other than "Canada #1", it was constantly cut and dry propaganda demonizing the separatists and Québec in general. What was most ironic is that the Anglo-Canadians routinely accused (directly or indirectly) the Québecois of being vile racists. Meanwhile it seemed to me that the Anglo-Canadians routinely disparaged the Québecois as not particularly up to par with themselves, while the Québecois were content to be left alone. I asked myself, who exactly are the real racists here? This was the polar opposite of the francophone media which actually gave separatism a somewhat fair chance to explain itself rather than being immediately branded unworkable. As this dawned on me, it become no wonder Québec is viewed so poorly by Anglo-Canadians and the ROC. If you only speak English and have no access to the francophone media, the image of Québec that you are constantly bombarded with is the image of a group of racist buffoons who can hardly manage themselves without Anglo benevolence yet demand more free handouts.

    I think that you get the gist of experience in Québec now. I am now completely convinced that separation is the logical next step for Québec. It is actually really surprising that Québec hasn't done so yet. It almost boggles the mind. I wish there was more I could do for Québec separatism now that I live back in America again. For now I content myself with spreading the reality of Québec to those who are willing to listen.

    P.S. I want to thank you for making such a fantastic set of articles in English. It is hard to come across anything to show someone in English that isn't anti-Québec rhetoric. I have read every one of your articles and they are absolutely brilliant. You hit the nail on the head in every one of them. Keep up the great work.

    - Mike

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Mike. It is very much appreciated. I hope you don't mind but I took the liberty of posting your comment on my Facebook page.

    2. The reason we are not independent yet is because this paternalistic discourse you speak of has been internalized and many Québécois are now believing it.
      The whole "NO" campaign in 1995 was based on instilling fear that we would not survive without their benevolence. It's like bullying. Eventually, the victims end up believing that they are worthless. This is exactly what has happened here and keeps happening thanks to all the shit being said about us on the web.

    3. @ VeritasEtJusticia - Take all the liberty you need my friend. Keep up the good work.

      @ Nerdy Girl - Well said, Nerdy Girl, I couldn't agree more.

  3. A couple If weeks ago, i was in Hull Québec, where i grew up. Came down from Montréal for a wedding. My girfriend wanted to do a pitstop in Ottawa's Rideau centre for shopping before headding home. I was working at that shopping centre when i was young. Everytime we go in Outaouais, we have to stop there (nudge nudge wink wink). Anyway, like everytime, i was not suprised to see the complete absence of french. Right there, half a kilomètre away from Quebec's border. Like everytime, i start by saying "bonjour" but this time, i can assure you, i'm not beeing dramatic, 100% of the answers were in english. Not too long ago, you could at least expect a "sorry i dont speak french with a smile" but now its like they dont even bother. What breaks my heart is the fact that my friends and relatives living in the "nation's capital region" dont seem to care either. The few them who do care, just swipe the dust under the carpet trying not to stir things around. I dont feel at home overthere as much as i dont feel at home in Burlington or Plattsburg. That is the reality whatvever our federalist friends are trying to deny. Thank you Mike for standing up to the Plate.

    Sorry If my engligh seems lousy i wrote this on an iPhone trying to dodge the french auto correcteur ;)

  4. Thank you all for your refreshing and clear outlook!
    Let's get this country built now shall we?

  5. I did my education also in Quebec (high school & college). I am a born American...and could not agree more it is high time that Quebec stands on it's own 2 feet and become a nation. Enough already. You guys need to unite behind one leader and stop being scared....or allowing to be scared by Couillard.

  6. Thank you Mike. If you never need help in some near future, we will be there !

  7. If we become independent, there will still be an important English-speaking community that will need the right to send its kids to English schools. There will still be immigrants that will need to go French schools if we want to protect the language. Quebec will still be in North-America and French language will still need to be protected. French is already the national language of Quebec. The immigrants are forced to put their kids in French schools, they are not very confused about this... All the language laws will need to stay in place. Your arguments for Quebec's independence are very weak.

    Furthermore, as a son of immigrant, I went to a public school with a majority of francophones, like many of the Quebec french public schools. Pretending that a majority of "Quebec francophones send their children to private schools" is simply untrue.

    1. First of all, independence in and of itself is significant in regards to the French language in Quebec and, I believe, in North America.

      If you had immigrated to the USSR and had settled in the Soviet Republic of Latvia, which language would you have prioritized? Russian was the dominant language of the USSR, Latvian was just a regional language and anyways, you had become a citizen of the USSR, not Latvia. Your loyalty would most likely have been to the Russian dominated USSR, not to Latvia.

      Now let's image that you immigrate to the independent country of Latvia. You're throwing your lot in with the Latvians, your passport says you are Latvian. The people at the highest levels of power in the country you have chosen are predominately Latvian-speakers, not Russians. What do you think the odds are that you will prioritize the Latvian language over Russian?

      Is the Latvian language better off today, now that Latvia is an independent country? I can't think of any independent country that lost its language and culture through assimilation but that happens to minority languages all the time.

      Of course, Quebec will still be an island of French in an English ocean but no one will immigrate to an independent Quebec expecting to send their kids to English schools as was the case for many immigrants here before Bill 101. The reason we have the rules we have today is because of the situation that existed before. You simply declaring that no immigrant is confused about language in Quebec isn't very convincing. There are, of course, many immigrants that understand our situation and are active participants in the defense of French in Quebec but there are others for whom the French thing is a bit of a nuisance, let's face it. They immigrated to a bilingual Canada where they were told that you can choose between French or English...

      By the way, the article does not say that majority of Quebec francophones send their children to private schools. That paragraph simply illustrates the dysfunction system we are stuck with. Again, I believe that independence will allow us to scrap the old rules imposed by the BNAA and Trudeau's constitution and create a system better suited to our needs.

  8. English should be an official language of the City of Montreal, just as it is co-official with Dutch in the Municipality of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.

    1. British Columbia should become a province of China and make Mandarin an official language. This, of course, would mean setting up a complete separate Mandarin education system. Then, at least, it would be possible to make meaningful comparisons between the francophones of the Canadian province of Quebec and the anglophones of the Chinese province of British Columbia.

      Comparing Quebec to an independent country like the Netherlands is fallacious. Dutch is not a minority language in the Netherlands, they can give English a prominent place in their society without fear that their own language will be downgraded to an "ethnic" language in the process and that immigration will become a force for assimilation in their country because of it.

      However, the Dutch (and perhaps this is because of the prevalence of English in their country) are finding it necessary to impose language exams on their immigrants which they must pass or face deportation. No one has ever been deported from Quebec for not speaking french. The Dutch even seem to be abandoning Holy Multiculturalism. Now imagine if the Netherlands was a province (or state) of Germany...

  9. English has been well-established in Montreal for much longer, and to a greater extent, than Mandarin Chinese has been in Vancouver.

  10. Holland is surrounded by nations which speak German, French, Dutch and English. The Dutch give prominence to English because it's the main international language of business.

    Quebec is surrounded by predominantly anglophone areas of the U.S. and Canada, with the exception of tiny, bilingual French-English New Brunswick (no offense to people there). Thus, it's practical and logical that English should be made co-official with French in Montreal, to encourage trade and investment, and to strengthen the Quebec economy. The French language there would benefit as well from that.

    1. Quebec is not a French-speaking country surrounded by anglophone countries. It is a province of an English-speaking country. This is an important distinction that you seem incapable of grasping. The Netherlands is an independent Dutch-speaking country. Your comparisons are stupid.

      If you want to make a comparison that isn't stupid you could compare Montreal to Brussels. Brussels was once a Dutch-speaking city. Today, French is the dominant language (the lingua franca) of that city. Dutch is just a minority language like Arabic. There are some political decisions that lead to this situation but the main reason the superior status French had over Dutch for a very long time. Dutch has gained in stature since then but French is still seen as the most useful language by immigrants settling in Brussels and they're expanding into the Flemish suburbs of Brussels changing the language demographics of these regions. This situation is a major flash-point in Belgian politics today.

      You, of course, would tell the Flemish that they should just make more room for French because it it such an international language. They would probably just give you the middle finger, jacques.

      English is already ubiquitous in Montreal. What exactly would institutionalized bilingualism do for Montreal? First of all, it would exclude unilingual francophones from yet more jobs in the only society in North America where they can exist as unilingual francophones and it would make something that is already readily available required by law. It would therefore make it even easier to live in Montreal without learning French. This could be a legitimate goal if English were, in fact, a minority language but it is not. English is the dominant language on this continent. Its importance and power of attraction is far greater than that of French in North America.

      I've never seen any convincing evidence that French is hurting business in Montreal. That's just Angryphone propaganda. Jane Jacobs makes a convincing argument that being a province of Canada is what is really holding us back.

    2. "They would probably just give you the middle finger, Jacques."

      As a global lingua franca, English has attained a status not even held by such international heavyweights as Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Russian, or Portuguese. It has a huge amount of utilitarian value.

      re: Holland. They not only give a prominent place to English (Dutch students must get at least 60 percent on a final English exam to graduate from secondary school), but they also strongly promote other neighboring languages; for example, about 70 percent of them can speak German, and 30 percent French, along with the 93 percent who can speak English.

      In Quebec in general and in Montreal in particular, what's the point of making it so that every company with 50 or more employees must operate entirely in French? With such larger companies, you sometimes need to use English or other foreign software, or use English and other languages besides French when conducting business.

      I don't mind the idea that Quebec anglophones should have to learn at least basic French; perhaps they should have to pass a final French exam to graduate from high school, similar to how the Netherlands requires Dutch students to get 60% on a final English proficiency test. But, Quebec needs to strongly promote English and see it as a useful communicative tool, rather than as a cultural threat,as it's seen in many quarters there.

      I also deplore the overall lack of good French-language education in most of anglophone Canada (apart from the decent French-immersion programs), and feel that the regular French-language curriculae should be strengthened in places such as B.C., Alberta, Ontario, etc.

      Encore une fois, je vous pose la question: ou avez-vous appris la langue anglaise? (Again, I ask you the question: where did you learn the English language?)

    3. what's the point of making it so that every company with 50 or more employees must operate entirely in French? The law says that companies with 50 or more employees must be able to function in French. I don't know where you gets this "entirely in French" idea but you are misinformed. People have a right to work in French in Quebec. That's the basic idea. I work in a big company in Montreal. All official communications between the employer and the employees are in French and English. Meetings are usually in French until someone whose French is not so good joins, then we all switch to English. I've never seen the opposite happen.

      Again, your comparisons to The Netherlands are completely stupid. The Netherlands is an independent Dutch-speaking country. English is a foreign language there. It's situation is in no way similar to Quebec's. And again, a comparison with the relationship between Dutch and French in Belgium is far more relevant.

      In the Dutch-speaking areas of Belgium, businesses businesses have to use Dutch for all verbal and written communication with their employees and for all official documents. If you look at the details of the Flemish law, it often seems a lot stricter than Bill 101.

      Another example; During the 2006 local elections in Flanders, letters were sent to voters in both French and Dutch, a procedure that by law should have taken place solely in Dutch. Consequentially, the Minister of Interior of the Flemish Regional Government refused to appoint the three mayors. You don't see anything like that in Quebec.

      Where did I learn English? Well, my parents are both Franco-Ontarians and so perfectly bilingual. Maybe that had some effect but I was born in Quebec and we spoke French at home. It's really just by chance that there were a lot of anglophones living on the street I grew up on (I say anglophone but half of them were really of Italian origin). From there, it was really just the dominance of American culture that brought me to watch TV or movies in English, read books in English, etc.

      Quebec does not need to strongly promote English as English strongly promotes itself. It is by protecting French that we can strike a balance that does not lead to the demise of our language. You seem to believe that English all powerful and we all need to submit to it. Resistance is futile! Well, that's your opinion, jacques, and I think it is a stupid one...

    4. "Well, that's your opinion, Jacques, and I think it is a stupid one..."

      No, that is *not* my opinion, and it's rather foolish on your part to jump to conclusions and presume that it is.

      I have never said that English is "all-powerful" or that "resistance is futile." However, it is fairly important as a global lingua franca, that's beyond argument.

      I support the idea that countries and special regions of countries (such as Quebec, Catalonia, Corsica, etc.) should be able to strike a balance and retain their own languages. No argument from me there.

      Nonetheless, nations do tend to do most of their trade with their immediate neighbors, though of course they may also conduct a lot of business with overseas partners (think China and the U.S., for example). Hence, the strong emphasis which Holland places on English, German and French in particular.

      All right, let's put on the "separatist glasses" for a moment and imagine that Quebec does indeed separate from Canada. Then, it really will become an independent francophone country surrounded by mainly-anglophone neighbors (the United States and Canada at least; perhaps even more, if Newfoundland and the other Atlantic provinces decide to go it alone themselves, due to their new geographic separation from Canada).

      Now, how would that situation obviate the need for Quebec to have a high level of proficiency in English, overall? The U.S. would still be the world's largest or second-largest economy, and Quebec would still be conducting most of its business with the U.S. and the somewhat reduced Canada.

      I apologize if I got my facts wrong vis-a-vis the business laws in Quebec; however, that's what I did read in one article, which may have been misleading. I'll try to find it and quote it.

      At the risk of getting my facts wrong again (if they were indeed wrong), I also read an article several years ago which stated that there was broad support for enhancing the ESL programs in Quebec's francophone public schools (perhaps making the programs as strong as those in say, Finland, Holland or the Scandinavian nations), but there was a lot of resistance from some Quebec nationalists, who feared that such curriculae would weaken students' French-language skills, or lead to assimilation into anglophone culture.

      If that was or is the case, I believe that it's short-sighted. You yourself demonstrate that a francophone can possess a good command of English, and yet retain French and use it as his/her dominant language.

      As for Canadian anglophones who believe that there would be no national unity problems if the French language were to disappear from Canada, that is even more short-sighted. There are plenty of unilingual countries which have had unity problems and even civil wars (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Ireland, Rwanda, and others). Language difference can sometimes be a divisive element, yes, but so can religion, race, class, socio-economic status (often linked to class) and other factors.

    5. "it's rather foolish on your part to jump to conclusions"... I'm stating what is obvious based on the many comments that you've left on my blog, jacques, there's no jumping involved. And there is no "if you are wrong", you are wrong, jacques. You've just been listening to too much Angryphone crap...

      "Par application de la règle d'interprétation énoncée à l'article 89 de la Charte, l'employeur peut utiliser à la fois le français et une autre langue dans les communications qu'il adresse à l'ensemble de son personnel"

      Article 98: "Dans les cas où la présente loi n'exige pas l'usage exclusif de la langue officielle, on peut continuer à employer à la fois la langue officielle et une autre langue."

      Did you actually read this article, jacques? Because it mentions the point that you bring up:

      "On the French side there is growing tension between proponents and opponents to the kind of bilingual programs that have become common on the English side. While there is a lot of demand for them, opponents feel that the French schools’ mission of integrating immigrants into Quebec society, especially in Montreal, could be seriously compromised if more English was introduced in the schools"

      And I finish with what I believe is the solution to this dilemma: independence.

      Do you think the Dutch-speaking town of Brussels would have become the predominantly French-speaking city it is today had Flanders and Wallonia become two independent states after their independence from the Netherlands? Religion was what kept them together at the time but French had international prestige then and so their capital, Brussels, began a process of francization.

      But had those two nations been independent of each other, I think it is obvious that Brussels would still be Dutch-speaking, Flanders would not be full of language laws and Flanders' attitude towards language would be identical to the Netherlands.

      Similarly, independence for Quebec would solidify the status of French as our national language, lessen the need to regulate language, and allow more of the bilingual education that many francophones want. Without independence, wall-to-wall bilingualism in Montreal is a road to Brusselsization...

  11. Well, I personally would prefer that Quebec stay in Canada for a number of reasons. If the province separates to become an independent country, then I wish Quebecers the best, though there's going to be a nightmare of "divorce negotiations" to undertake. And, if Quebecers later decided that it wasn't working out, and that they should try to return to Canada, then I wouldn't be adverse to that idea. But, I cannot speak for all anglophone Canadians; there is the potential for a large amount of acrimony on both sides in the event of a split.