CFN – It seems that a large core of Quebecers are determined to bring language issues to the forefront in Quebec.
CTV in Montreal reported on a new documentary about the issue. LA LANGUE À TERRE, directed by Jean-Pierre Roy and Michel Breton essentially floats that Quebec should only have French spoken with only French on signs and that by having a bilingual presence in Montreal it’s a death knell of the French Language.
Their synopsis paints it a bit kinder, but still is pretty clear showing the same xenophobic and frankly mentally and emotionally insecurity that plagues so many Quebecers and has pushed the province to the point where many Canadians wish it would separate compared to 1995 when the country came to Montreal to clearly say that Quebec should stay.
Is Montreal a Francophone or a bilingual city? A difficult question to ask without generating a heated debate, and the recent controversies about language confirm the deep malaise that polarizes Quebec society. But a fundamental question arises: more than 35 years after the passing of Bill 101, what is the situation of French in Quebec? Is the bilingualism of its metropolis a threat to the survival of the language in Quebec?
Frankly anyone that complains about a sign stating that the consumer loves Italian is an insult to Quebecers needs therapy at this point.
Bill 101 is now 35 years old. The cost to Quebec as their bridges crumble and sink holes open up in downtown Montreal is clear. Eradicating the true heritage of Montreal and the contributions made by non-Francophones is something shameful. Ironically its the very deed and actions that language nazis like Mr. Roy is worried about. Eradicating a culture and society based on language.
But in 2013 it is very clear that Canada and its government have not made any attempts to do such a thing to French across our nation. It’s quite the opposite as official bilingualism has spread across Ontario; New Brunswick is officially bilingual, and you can’t get a good job or advancement in the Federal government or most agencies in Ontario without passing a French as a first language test while in Quebec it’s unilingual Francophone time with no real accomodation for non Francophones. Compare civil servant population ratios in Quebec vs Ontario for example.
No, Quebec doesn’t need more laws. Quebec needs one on one therapy for people like Mr. Roy to overcome their insecurities and realize that their words and actions are the death knell of French as they’d like it simply because it’s a total turnoff to their own people.
Nobody wants to be forced to do or be anything that they don’t want to be. Forcing people what language to speak doesn’t work. And frankly it’s not up to English Canada to save the French language.
Isn’t it time to say “ENOUGH” to people like Mr. Roy? Isn’t it time for our Canadian government to protect all Canadians including English speakers in Montreal?
And maybe isn’t it time for Canadians to have a National dialog across the country and decide if the cost of official bilingualism is really what people want?
It’s time for Quebec to respect the rest of Canada in the manner that it’s been treated which most reasonable people would agree has been really really well. It’s time to push that pendulum back so it could swing in the centre.
While nothing will happen overnight Quebec makes its choices by whom it elects and how tolerant they are of some of the hate crimes committed against Anglos, from forcing people to speak French on breaks to how the public is treated by service providers.
Maybe; just maybe, it’s time to fix the roads and build bridges instead of trying to chase another generation of its young people away in the hopes of winning another referendum?
Jamie Gilcig – Editor – CFN and Former Montrealer.
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