Things Canadians don’t know about their own country # 736

with 40 comments

The next time you call the customer service line of TD Canada Trust, Telus, Air Canada or most other Canadian companies and hear the familiar "Press One service in English.  Appuyez  sur le 2 pour le service en Français" and feel all happy and proud that you live in a multicultural and bilingual country where all citizens are equal and live very close to a Tim Horton’s, think about this:

Those of us who press two wait twice as long as those who press one to get an answer because there is only one bilingual agent in the entire Mississaugua call center.

When you finally get an answer it’s in English because the bilingual guy doesn’t work on Tuesdays/weekends/Ramadan.

If you happen to reach the bilingual agent, you end up speaking English anyway because he was hired by someone who did not speak French and he actually has a hard time handling complicated concepts like, say, numbers, in French.

Very often, the system simply hangs up on you anyway.

Press two for Second Class Citizens, Canada!  

Written by angryfrenchguy

January 20, 2008 at 11:03 am

40 Responses

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  1. Who are these “Québécois de souche” you are talking about?

    The President of the PQ, François Rebello is the son of an immigrant. The “language and identity” spokesperson of the PQ, Pierre Curzi, is the son of an immigrant. The former Canadian Heritage critic of the Bloc Québécois, Maka Kotto, is an immigrant himself. He was replaced by Vivian Barbot, an immigrant.

    The first black member of the National Assembly was Jean Alfred, a Parti québécois member elected by the people of Gatineau in 1976. He was an immigrant.

    1976! The first black Liberal elected to the national assembly, Yolande James, wasn’t born yet!

    I’m going to tell you a secret: the Ottawa Citizen and the Montreal Gazette are telling you francophones are racists and that they hate you so you will never ever vote for the same party as them.

    If you can’t read the french media, you will never know that this “Québécois de souche” idea is a fiction, a lie invented to scare minorities and make sure they always, always take the English side against the French.

    But I’m not worried. We have bill 101 that makes sure your children will go to French schools and are not brainwashed like their parents. In a few years, they will be the ones explaining all this to you.


    April 13, 2008 at 11:06 am

  2. No comments! Everything is lie. AFG you cannot convince us because your ideology is archaic and useless. But thank you for the tribune!

    New Quebecer

    April 13, 2008 at 12:07 pm

  3. Who does know this situation? When a QDS is arguing to you and is lack of arguments – he usually says: “Go back to your country!” I know many cases like this and not from the English newspapers. From the real life. May be it is time to say: “ Go back to France!”

    New Quebecer

    April 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm

  4. Financial gain, not politics, motivates francophone migration from Quebec
    1 day ago

    MONTREAL — When Christian Verrier boldly struck out from Quebec into the great unknown of Western Canada 16 years ago, he was a young man searching for a fresh start.

    “Right off the bat it seemed like an adventure and I said, ‘Let’s go for it’,” said Verrier, who lives in Victoria with his wife and two young children.

    Verrier, now 35, left for a new beginning but seems intent on staying, largely for the good jobs, low taxes and warm lifestyle of the West Coast.

    It’s well known that thousands of anglophones have left Quebec since separatists first came to power more than 30 years ago, but francophones have also quietly trickled out of the province.

    Some are lured by the chance at a new start, a few are annoyed by the politics of the province, but most seem to seek big bucks and low taxes out west.

    Statistics Canada says close to 238,000 francophones packed their bags and left Quebec over the past 30 years. During the same period, 209,000 francophones moved to Quebec.

    While it’s a net loss of almost 30,000, the numbers illustrate that many French-speaking Quebecers feel an inexorable pull back to La Belle Province.

    Jonathan Bouchard set up a website called to help fellow francophones who want to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers to leave the province.

    While the politics of separatism were a driving force behind much of the Anglo flight from Quebec after 1976, Bouchard says it’s clear from the messages on his site that economics spurred most francophone migration.

    “There was testimony from some businesses, particularly in construction, who moved out because they felt choked in Quebec,” said Bouchard, 32.

    “They wrote on the site that they felt they weren’t getting their money’s worth here in Quebec.”

    Philippe, a 25-year-old Quebecer who moved to Edmonton last year, described in a typical message on the site last month how his income rose simply by moving out of his home province.

    “What I have realized is how high taxes are in Quebec,” Philippe wrote.

    “I’ve increased my net salary by 50 per cent in large part because of lower taxes.”

    Sylvie Lafreniere, a senior analyst with Statistics Canada, says a lot of factors have affected the movement of francophones over the years.

    “I can’t say whether or not it’s only political because there’s market, there’s jobs, language, there are all sorts of factors that have to be taken into consideration,” she said in an interview.

    But the Statistics Canada numbers show years of hot economic growth in the West tend to mirror upticks in migration from Quebec.

    “In the 2006 census we did see a lot of movement towards the West, throughout Canada,” Lafreniere said.

    Money may be a big draw, but Bouchard says the fear of cultural isolation still holds back many francophones. One of his main goals in setting up the site in 2005 was to help people overcome that hurdle.

    “It’s really to remove the fear of Quebecers who want to leave,” said Bouchard, who almost left his home in Quebec City – until his website took off.

    Verrier, who teaches French at a military base near Victoria, admits he misses Quebec culture. But he says francophone life in the West isn’t as bad as most Quebecers believe.

    Verrier was surprised to learn after his move that he could work and live at least part of his life in French.

    Verrier’s wife teaches French at an elementary school, while he teaches the same subject to military personnel.

    They have two boys, aged six months and 20 months, who will attend one of the French schools that have flourished since the western provinces established francophone school systems in the 1990s.

    “We know that our kids are going to go to a French school and we know that they are going to be perfectly bilingual and that’s something which wouldn’t be a given in Quebec,” Verrier said.

    Verrier says getting to ride his bike all winter rather than watching his car rust away in the harsher Quebec climate makes up for some of the French cultural loss he feels.

    He’s also saving money on everything from winter tires to parkas and heating.

    “For (municipal) taxes for my house, I pay so much less than my brother does,” Verrier said.

    “There’s a huge difference and our houses are worth so much more.”

    Verrier’s mother and father lived in Victoria for a few years. After his dad died, his mom moved back to Quebec.

    She occasionally tries to talk him into moving back home.

    “I would consider it, if there’s major incentive,” Verrier said.

    “But it would be a big sacrifice to lose everything we’ve built here.”

    New Quebecer

    April 13, 2008 at 1:01 pm

  5. C’mon people! Why are you silent? Nothing to say?
    Do you undersdand what is going on in QDS country?

    New Quebecer

    April 13, 2008 at 1:11 pm

  6. What’s your point NQ?

    The Québécois are not allowed to emigrate too? Québec is not a reservation.

    I’m allowed to live in any goddam country I want to.

    But when I go, I will choose a place I like and will be respectful of the people who welcome me to their land.


    April 13, 2008 at 4:14 pm

  7. Allo AFG,
    Your forum is a great idea. It provides a release valve for all of the pent up frustration and anger that most of the Quebec population has been suffering thru for the last 40 years.

    Hopefully, we can finally correct the backwardness and close mindedness that is prevalent in too much of our Quebec nation.

    How are we as a people are ever going to be able to survive with so much squandering of our precious ressources whether that ressource is:-
    1) our abundance of natural commodities which we have greatly mismanaged ,

    2) or the huge supply of new Canadians currently residing in Quebec, who might be slow to recognize the beauty, value and nobility of our unique culture or respect us fast enough to stay here before they are made to feel unwelcome and not desired and move away…how ungrateful.

    3)or our youth in our wonderful unilingual public schools where we are seriously short changing them and our future with a perverted sub standard education which can only poorly serve them anywhere else except in our nation, where we can only hope that our almost great politicians will make the rest of the world and marketplace conform to our common language and culture or else we will be royally focked.

    4)or the vast majority of the young of well educated kids graduating from the les autres group that reside in Quebec who leave our once beautiful province upon graduation from college. I never understood how our nation benefits by making the kids from les autres group feel so unwanted that they move away upon graduation, after the Quebec nation has invested so much in their education that just when we could be profiting from their participation in our wonderful society that they would choose to move away from their families and us? It is bizarre n’est pas?

    AFQ , everyone residing in Quebec is either an immigrant or comes from past immigration, as a born in Quebec individual whose
    shares this place with all other who have arrived after me or before me.
    I relish and savor their differences. I really would not like to see them become more like we are. We are really not so extra special or even good. we really do not have anything to teach or show most people who might have made the mistake and chose to resettle here in this, our once belle province…oh lala … je me souvien .. non excuse moi…j’oublie.

    AFG, please explain to me again… so that I can then explain it to les autres what is so great about us and our culture, really I have forgotten.
    Is it our cuisine, or the way that we express ourselves or the sentiment that we exude as we embrace those newcomers and les autres who are slow in seeing and appreciating our warmth which we only extend to those who are willing to make a moral and social contract to be just like we are, eat what we eat, talk we talk, think like we think, live like we live. It is confusing to me what is taking them so long to realize to return our very warm embrace.

    What greatness awaits them if only they would take the time and the effort to be like us and stop being who they are!!

    Or is it the fantastic way that we govern our selves and devise new ways and words for taxation.

    Is it our cleverness in building design from Olympic stadium (thank god we finally paid that off..on time and on budget) to our Grand Bibliotheque Nationale…(careful do not walk too close to it and make sure that you do not look up as you run in or you might learn something nasty) or overpass construction or our quite archaic but historic crumbling unmaintained infrastuctures.

    Or our record of being the worst either in North America or the developed world regarding the funding of our schools, hospitals, libraries, parks, health care, environmental protection (action not legislation), our health system and social networks.

    Or is it our 5 dollars a day daycare that costs 47 dollars a day which we can not afford but sounds great when we say 5dollars a day (imagine daycare for only 5 dollars a day but really costing 47 dollars a day. We should be really proud of this since only in our Quebec nation and nowhere else in Canada or America or the world can someone get 5 dollar a day daycare but really costing 47 dollars a day… most place will cost between 20 to 30 dollars a day, no wonder everyone else in Canada is jealous of our system, but they will never really admit it). Is thatwhich makes us special and desirable.

    Or is it the ever increasing annual deficit that our most ingenious government incurred while maintaining that the budget is balanced.

    Please just remind me again in clear concrete examples so that when I meet some of les autres I can tell them and then they will be able to marvel at how lucky they are to residing among us. Some of les autres are showing signs of not being worried or upset that we might one day find the right arguments or PR company to properly explain our projet nationale to the point where we could finally win a referendum when asking everyone in Quebec what they think. Some of les autres have even asked me what they could be doing to help us win so that we could enter our own country as soon as possible. See, not all les autres are terrible. Why do most of those people keep giving the wrong answer? It would be nice just once that when we could be a winner because I keep feeling like a loser. Maybe if we changed the question a bit and got some other people who actually look and sound like they are nice to promote it, things will turn out better. This same old group of old warriors do not seem to have a good effect any of les autres. Honestly you would think that our old warriors were not really nice people.

    AFQ, it is really comforting to know that of all the problems and challenges that we face today in our nation that most of us are focussed on the most important one like language and culture because if we would not like to wake up one day and not be able to speak too each other in our common language or be suddenly forced to culturize differently from our past. Thank god we will continue to expend our energy and imagination on these priorities. When these are settled then our fanastic ploitical leaders can start on those secondary matters such as a strong economy, medicare, education or healthy enviroonment. All lot of us get mixed up thinking sometimes that the well being of the common language speaker is more important than the well being of the common language. Thank god our politician have been vigilant in this regard and that our limited resources are being squandered properly.

    Anxiously awaiting your insight and inspiration. God speed.


    April 19, 2008 at 8:34 pm

  8. AFG…great topic!
    If there ever was a group of people..let say a nation of people…who are ignorant of the rest of our country…we are them.
    Did you know that we of the quebec nation are co- owners of all of Canada. Tabarnac..c’est vrai. Also Quebec is owned by everyone in Canada…Tabarnac again! We just get to run the place…sometimes..if we are lucky. Thank God that does not happen to often because we do not do a great job…eh a good job often…sometimes eh eh occasionally, by accident.
    I get confused when our great national leaders in our local nation here says that we can not trust others to make the right decisions for us…how do we expect les autres who live among us to trust us to make the right decison that concern them if they followour sound logic?
    Also, I am really confused when hearsay and rumor and wishful or hateful thinking gets passed around and accepted as fact. It is very dangerous for a nation too try to find their proper way if the road signs are false or misleading. It gives me a sick feeling in my stomach…how about you?


    April 20, 2008 at 10:35 am

  9. To angryQuebecperson

    We just hate you ! Don’t you know this?

    New Quebecer

    April 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm

  10. poor baby,whaaaa.shut up.

    andy richardson

    June 7, 2008 at 9:42 pm

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