On the eve of Quebec’s latest election, the chances of the Parti Quebecois led by Pauline Marois coming to power are great. What does this mean for the future of Quebec? Furthermore, what of the treatment of this province’s minority populations? Moreover, what does this mean for the rest of Canada?
This is really what we should be focusing on here with this election now isn’t it? What does this election mean for the rest of us? I have pondered once again this issue of Quebec Nationalism that haunts the Quebec public consciousness every few years. If the Parti Quebecois are elected, will they extend the power of ethnocentric laws such as Bill 101 that extremely limit the English language?
What about the rights of ethnic minorities? The ‘kirpan’, ‘veils’, ‘turbans’ and other religious symbols would be outlawed in Quebec and the only religious symbol that would be recognized in secular Quebec is the ‘cross’. This would be the “exception because the cross is a symbol of Quebec culture, and not a religious symbol” as Pauline Marois has stated before. ( Taken from:http://www.thespec.com/
Sure thing, Madame Marois! Ask the 2.2 billion Christians on Earth whether their symbol is cultural or religious. Remember this. A culture is made up of many religions and Quebec is a society whose culture is made up of more than one religion or culture. Not to permit other religious symbols is going beyond ethnocentrism and entering the field of totalitarianism.
Pauline Marois has already stated her intention to make French the only language of communication in Quebec for companies with 10 employees. The current Bill 101 regulations account for this Draconian language policy with companies of at least 50 employees. However, this French only policy in regards to communication is only the tip of the iceberg with Quebec’s Bill 101. As of today, parents who wish to send their children to an English school in Quebec need to jump through hoops in order to do so. Legislation in Quebec does everything possible to make it difficult to both live, work and even learn the English language. Why is this so? Proponents of these policies simply state that the French language is in decline and that the laws are reflective of what needs to be done to curb this trend. If this is the case, then why punish practitioners of the English language? This is tantamount to saying that the best defense is a good offense! So, I guess what is being said here is that in order to prop up my case, I need to demonize yours? Folks, this is exactly what is being done in the Province of Quebec! Our Canadian media is saturated with more and more negativity about the soap opera that has become Quebec’s daily existence. Each and every day there is more bad news from that ‘belle’ province.
To think that this cannot happen in Ontario is foolish as I wish to inform you that it already does. Coming soon to an airport near you are the language police that will ensure that French clientele are being served in the French language. Now, come on, what of this?! Every single time we hear of bilingual policies it really should read, ‘French’ policies as that is what it really entails and what the subject matter is really concerned with. Proponents of bilingual policies are really just pushing a French agenda. What are the benefits of ushering language police to Canada’s airports? I would argue that this will do nothing but alienate an already upset Canadian population who have had enough of Quebec-style politics and this subject of ‘Official Bilingualism’
We have already experienced the results of bilingual policies in hiring practices in both the civil service and private sectors that see a trend in the favouring of hiring Francophones over Anglophones. Now, however, we see a push as well in places of Ontario to ensure that signage is in both official languages. It is one thing for government offices and traffic signs to be bilingual and quite another to force independent business owners to display their signs in both official languages. But this is exactly what is occurring in Russel Township. This is akin to social engineering, plain and simple. And this does in fact fall under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 2b. It is not offensive to display signs in any language and the people of Canada should have the freedom to do so. Remember folks, the displaying of any language is not offensive but what really counts is what is written in those languages that makes the difference. How can it be classified that displaying or not displaying a sign in a particular language be offensive to others? If you don’t like it or agree with it, then simply don’t shop there!
Pay attention to what is currently occurring in the Province of Quebec with this upcoming election. Because the ties that bind us are more impactful than what you may believe. If there is another referendum on the issue of Quebec sovereignty and once again the vote indicates a willingness for Quebec to stay within the Canadian Confederation; then it’s quite overdue for that province to earn it’s respect amongst the other provinces and territories. This means abolishing that Draconian Bill 101, treating it’s minorities as equals, allowing for the displaying of religious symbols and tackling a host of other prejudices that affect that province as a whole.
If Quebec cannot play by fair rules than perhaps it’s time for the rest of Canada to hold it’s own Referendum on whether or not we wish to have Quebec remain within the Confederation. Perhaps as Canadians we need to decide if the time has come to sever the ties that bind us?
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)