Dying in a foreign language

with 7 comments

My grand-mother, a small woman who grew up in an east-end Montreal Catholic convent and her husband, a doctor’s son from Québec City, sent their kids to English schools. They stepped out of Québec’s Great Darkness and raised their sons to be equally comfortable on either side of Montreal’s two solitudes.

Last year my grand-mother died at the Montreal General Hospital. From her death bed she was still the one reaching out to the other side as one unilingual English-speaking nurse and orderly after the other came and went in her room. Right to the very last moment. Until the unilingual doctor pronounced her dead. In English.

TVA just aired a story about Quebecers unable to receive health care in French.

It really is happening. Sick, scared and grieving patients and their families, even highly politicized like myself, are in no mood to start fighting with the people who quite literally have their lives in their hands.

Although English-speakers are only 8% or 9% of Québec’s population, the McGill University Health Center was awarded 50% of the budget to build one of two new university hospitals in Montreal.

You really believe in bilingualism and the equality of all Quebecers? Really? Then you don’t need your own separate hospital, do you?

Put our tax money where your mouth is.

Written by angryfrenchguy

January 23, 2008 at 10:08 am

7 Responses

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  1. Hi guys,
    I think that getting in a new society and being an effective part of it is the real concept of citizenship, and as a result of integration in this new place, one’s language develops like technology . What make this possible is meeting people everyday and dealing with different issues of life . For instance, immigrants to Canada seem to be original canadian after living in some city for a satisfied period .
    In conclusion, I just want to say that we are not supposed to consider the language as a restriction against anyone, not only in North America but also all over the world .
    Thanks a lot . I hope to see you again .

    Omar Alharras

    January 26, 2008 at 6:16 am

  2. Racist anglos. These type of things do not happen in normal country. The current propaganda and bullshit going on is that since bill 101, all anglos are now bilingual. BULLSHIT ! Like in Ottawa I suppose. This is the type of shit we have to live with even in 2008. You could call it the return to the good old days of “speak white”. Arrogant sun of a bitches from McGill University. And as a francophone in about any job, they ask you to be bilingual.

    Marc Authier

    April 11, 2008 at 7:55 am

  3. Marc touche un point sensible la.


    October 17, 2008 at 7:11 pm

  4. Anglos? Racist? Let’s see: 50% of Montreal’s population is made up of immigrants and anglos, but you have perhaps 1% of people on French television from these ethnic groups.

    Jenny Addams

    January 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm

  5. French Canadians have to be racist in order to save their own skin.

    Jenny Addams

    January 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm

  6. Every other word spoken by a French Canadian hillbilly seems to be a Catholic profanity. Is it any wonder, most people don’t want to integrate into pure-laine society.

    Jenny Addams

    January 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm

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