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Old 12-07-2013, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,775 posts, read 27,190,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliss2 View Post
Have you ever sat down and read real arguments about this issue from the francophone perspective? I assume you are bilingual since you grew up in Montreal, so I don't see why you can't even slightly consider how they feel at threat of losing their culture.
He's already said on here that he doesn't need to inform himself about the francophone perspective because the anglophone perspective informs him perfectly well. He also has never given any insight into whether he is bilingual or not.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,775 posts, read 27,190,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty07 View Post
But here's a question. I read that some of the justification for the strong pro-french legislation and limits on bilingualism were because, in the past, many Anglos and immigrants wouldn't bother learning French... because everything was translated for them. So is there possibly a "silver lining" to this, especially in the area of education, in that most Anglos and immigrants now speak and understand French? And would going back to the old way, with everything bilingual and free choice in education un-do all this? Surely, some Anglos and immigrants must feel that it's nice to be bilingual, even if you had to get there somewhat via coercion!
The positive in a person always seeks to give the benefit of the doubt but it's hard to not see how coercion and political pressures have played a role in the increase in the bilingualism of anglophones in particular.

In 1970, Quebec anglophones were about 25% bilingual. Today it's around 70-75%.

The period from the 1960s until the turn of the century was one of tremendous social debate and reflection in Quebec, mostly about language. Since then (until very recently anyway) things died down considerably and a consensus in some circles was that the language issue was settled and that separatism was dead, and guess what happened?

To everyone's surprise, the last Canadian census reported an increase in the number of anglophones who speak only English in Quebec. And there was even an increase in unilinguals among young anglophones.

It was the first time in 50 or 60 years or more that the number of unilingual anglophones in Quebec has increased from one census to another.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,775 posts, read 27,190,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
I find the worst comments do come from outside the province from random bigots, most often for typically Canadian regionalist nonsense like being a Westerner who resents Easterners on principle (common), or being a Conservative who doesn't like Quebec's voting record, or who is offended about equalization payments, or just doesn't like having to have French on his cereal box. Actual Quebec Anglos are very passionate, but our views are typically much more nuanced, informed, and goal oriented. There's definitely a paranoid garrison mentality, but this can be justified by there legitimately being a campaign to wipe out our culture and get us to all move to other provinces as has been suggested. Alot of people don't want to give into that. They don't consider other places to be home and for the most part bilingualism is very high in the community, especially amongst younger generations. The fight is mostly an ideological one, a desire to be recognized as a valuable and legitimate Quebec community. The feeling of being disrespected hurts because they care about Quebec, and the resentment that causes sticks in the communal craw and makes people angrily lash out because of hurt sometimes.

For myself, I did leave the province, but it was a huge sacrifice. It meant becoming separated from a huge, close extended family since my mother had six siblings. It meant leaving behind a tight knit social network of friends, many of whom had stuck with my through elementary school, high school, CEGEP and university. It meant moving away from the culture I had grown up in to one that is nice but frankly isn't the same one. Anglo Quebeckers, as much as we are defined in opposition to french Quebeckers, have alot in common with them and English Canada is a big culture change. I still often feel half a foreigner and I miss where I came from. I understand wanting to preserve that culture, to preserve something that alot of us feel enriches our communities culturally and makes them stronger. Really, the extra language legislation is opposed not as much for practical means, but symbolic ones, because it feels like they're flipping the bird at us and are telling us once again that we are not welcome and need to die as a community. Some people move, but alot just resent the message, adapt, and do not want to give in.
Just wanted to say that I fully understand and sympathize with how people like BIMBAM feel.

That said, I am originally a francophone from the minorities outside Quebec. I was for a long time a booster of minority language rights in Canada (French outside Quebec, English in Quebec), but after getting to know the anglo community in Quebec once I moved here, I kind of noticed they weren't after the same thing. A fair segment of them unfortunately is still pining for the good old days when they were a dominant minority (in the pseudo-colonial sense) or perceive French as a temporary inconvenience that they hope will go away eventually if they pick at it and hold out long enough...

It's very unfortunate for people of good faith like BIMBAM because the anglo leadership in Quebec is sorely lacking in people that are precisely of good faith who are focused on what the community truly needs. On the one hand you have the radicals who want the return of a wall to wall bilingualism (which means they won't have to deal with French as much) and on the other you have the conciliatory ones (like federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair) who don't really espouse the cause of the anglo community for whatever reason - probably because there aren't many political points to be gained by doing so.

Last edited by Acajack; 12-07-2013 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,775 posts, read 27,190,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty07 View Post
Sorry I seem to have started something. But this is kind of what I was talking about.... however the real language "war" is even worse elsewhere: I've noticed when an article about the Quebec language issues is posted on a Canadian magazine, newspaper, or news web site, there are dozens and dozens of very hostile anti-French comments posted underneath. Whether or not these are racist, is debatable but they are certainly hateful. I also read French well and do not see anywhere near the same level of hate from the French side, on the French web sites.
Yup, I've noticed that too. I have also pointed it out on here but it's always been denied. Glad to have someone else point it out.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,775 posts, read 27,190,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty07 View Post
Sorry I seem to have started something. But this is kind of what I was talking about.... however the real language "war" is even worse elsewhere: I've noticed when an article about the Quebec language issues is posted on a Canadian magazine, newspaper, or news web site, there are dozens and dozens of very hostile anti-French comments posted underneath. Whether or not these are racist, is debatable but they are certainly hateful. I also read French well and do not see anywhere near the same level of hate from the French side, on the French web sites.

All I am saying is: if some Anglos really hate the French language so much, why stay in Quebec? I'm not saying that Anglos have no historical right to stay in Quebec - I'm saying for own physical and mental well-being, if you feel as passionately anti-French as some of these posters do, why stay and upset yourself so much? Do you honestly think French Quebecers will want to go back to bilingualism in Quebec, when the rest of Canada won't go for it? Do Quebec Anglos feel they need to "hold the fort" (occupy Quebec) because you won the war 200 years ago? It just seems to silly to put up with something you hate so much when there are other places to live in Canada. Wouldn't it be fair to the French Quebecers, one of the 2 "founding people" in Canada, to let them have Quebec the way they want, while Anglos have the rest of Canada? Just sayin'!

I don't know what all this comparison is with Spanish in Florida? The U.S, has a completely different history, with no bilingual / bicultural tradition. Even though Miami for example is very Spanish-speaking, English is still the only official language there. But yes, to many Americans, the Spanish-speakers have "taken over" Miami and I honestly wouldn't live there unless I learned Spanish. But that is the reality today - people move and things change - it doesn't pay for Americans or Canadians to look too far back in history and we will see that Europeans were not the original people. So I was just saying - TODAY the situation in Quebec is a French majority, who has nowhere else to go - they are never going to accept the bilingualism of the past - so why keep fighting over this?
Your outsider's point of view is quite refreshing. One good observation is about francophones having nowhere else to go. I like this criteria when there is a debate over two or more cultures on a given territory.

The questions I often ask are:

1) Does one of the cultures not exist anywhere else?

2) And if not (which makes it unique), does it have the numbers? I.e., are most people living on the territory living in that culture?

If both these answers are yes, then I know whose side I am on when push comes to shove.

That's why I would totally favour restrictions on French in parts of Quebec with endangered aboriginal languages in order to allow them to survive.

Now, as BIMBAM pointed out, Anglo-Quebec culture is also unique in a way, and different from mainstream North American anglo culture. But of course, the reason it's unique is because it's evolved in a francophone milieu. So preserving the francophone character of Quebec is actually an indirect way of preserving Anglo-Quebec culture. Take away the francophone influence and what makes Anglo-Quebecers different from people in Ontario?
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,694 posts, read 8,454,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post

It's very unfortunate for people of good faith like BIMBAM because the anglo leadership in Quebec is sorely lacking in people that are precisely of good faith who are focused on what the community truly needs. On the one hand you have the radicals who want the return of a wall to wall bilingualism (which means they won't have to deal with French as much) and on the other you have the conciliatory ones (like federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair) who don't really espouse the cause of the anglo community for whatever reason - probably because there aren't many political points to be gained by doing so.
Is it really the case that leadership is bad faith though? I don't really see much in the way of any kind of community leadership, just isolated grassroots commentary by disorganized randoms. I mean, entities like Alliance Quebec and the Equality Party all died decades ago, the closest thing we have to leadership is the Quebec Community Groups Network which seems extremely moderate and level headed. I'm also not sure why you think that Thom Mulcair would espouse an anglo perspective. One of my family members is his accountant, and as far as I understand it he thinks of himself as a Francophone, not an Anglophone, and he has typical Francophone cultural points of reference and views on such matters.

Last edited by BIMBAM; 12-07-2013 at 08:36 PM..
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,775 posts, read 27,190,919 times
Reputation: 8567
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Is it really the case that leadership is bad faith though? I don't really see much in the way of any kind of community leadership, just isolated grassroots commentary by disorganized randoms. I mean, entities like Alliance Quebec and the Equality Party all died decades ago, the closest thing we have to leadership is the Quebec Community Groups Network which seems extremely moderate and level headed.
Perhaps I do not express myself properly. I don't think that the leadership of the anglo community is all of bad faith. Although some of them are - and they seem to be the only ones asking for stuff. The ones who are of good faith don't seem to ask for much at all.

So there doesn't seem to be much of the ''right mix'' that combines good faith and revendication (asking for stuff).

The community is definitely in a leadership vacuum or even crisis if you ask me.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,775 posts, read 27,190,919 times
Reputation: 8567
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
I'm also not sure why you think that Thom Mulcair would espouse an anglo perspective. My mother is his accountant and as far as I understand it he thinks of himself as a Francophone, not an Anglophone, and he has typical Francophone cultural points of reference and views on such matters.
Mr. Mulcair is free to self-identify linguistically as he wishes but he's still arguably the highest profile and most powerful anglo politician from Quebec at the moment. He was born of one anglophone and one francophone parent, lived part of his childhood and adult life outside Quebec in English, seems to have done all of his schooling in English, worked for anglo school boards and colleges, and his French is spoken with a very, very slight anglo accent, whereas his accent in English has no hint of a franco accent.

That said, it may very well be that he is now more of a francophone in his everyday life, and it is true he's never espoused the anglo cause much at any point in his political career, even when he was a provincial minister.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,775 posts, read 27,190,919 times
Reputation: 8567
To the OP. A good example of the extremes some people can go to in order to assert their right to use English in Quebec.

Bilingual dad, francophone paramedic. Daughter having life-threatening seizure. Dad tries to get paramedic to switch to English for him in an emergency situation (where every second counts) because he's more comfortable in English (even though he also knows French). Not couched in those terms in media reports of course...

are teachers in quebec bilingual?

Absolutely pathetic

Last edited by Acajack; 12-07-2013 at 09:09 PM..
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:48 PM
 
1,316 posts, read 2,025,347 times
Reputation: 1132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty07 View Post
Whether or not these are racist, is debatable but they are certainly hateful.
Uh, they can't be racist. French is a language, not a race. Similarly, French Canadian people are but a subset of Canadian people, and not an identifiable or a discrete race.

Last edited by maclock; 12-07-2013 at 10:50 PM..
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