AngryFrenchGuy

Does Montreal need more immigrants?

with 61 comments

That’s the fascinating and highly controversial question a small but determined group of scholars have been debating in Québec newspapers lately.

49 000 new brothers and sisters. That’s how many new immigrants the Québec government decided to recruit for Québec in 2008. That number, which is proportionally much higher than the immigration levels in the United States and most of Western Europe, will be increased to 55 000 in 2010.

The standard justification for this high level of immigration is that it necessary to compensate for the low birthrate in Québec, to maintain the province’s demographic and economic weight in the federation and simply because we need the workers.

Last week demographer Marc Termotte publicly denounced the Québec government for not publishing his study–that the same government had commissioned–demonstrating that French was declining in Montreal at least partly because Montreal Francophones were having a hard time integrating an always increasing number of immigrants.

In a December 28th letter to Le Devoir (google’s robot translation), demographer Guillaume Marois takes another look at Québec’s seldom questioned immigration policies and concludes that immigrants already in Québec will be among those who have the most to lose with a more ambitious immigration policy!

Pointing out that in Québec, as in Ontario and the rest of the Western World, immigrants move to urban areas and stay away from far away regions, he argues that increased immigration will do nothing to solve the shortage of workers in Rouyn and Alma.

The true question is not, according to him, if Québec need more immigrants, but:

Does Montreal need more immigrants?

“In December 2007 the unemployment rate in on the island of Montreal was 8,5% while it was only 7% for Québec as a whole. How are immigrants doing? According to the latest ISQ (Institut de Statistique du Québec) compilations, more than 10% of immigrants are unemployed…”

So if there is no worker shortage in Montreal, why are we bringing more people in, Guillaume?

“We often hear that “immigrants don’t steal our jobs, but occupy jobs that Quebecers don’t want because of bad conditions”. But if working conditions are staying bad, it is precisely because employers find in the immigrant community people who are ready to take these jobs. Employers don’t have to raise salaries or improve working conditions.”

“Although immigrants are generally better educated than average Quebecers, they are over represented in menial and manual jobs. They’ve been promised a lot of nice things but, in the end, they have to go towards this type of employment for various reasons (not recognized diplomas, false promises, etc…) or be unemployed. A good proportion of immigrants who are here will pay the price of an increase in immigration.”

More immigrants means lower wages for poor working-class Quebecers. Guess who are the poor working-class Quebecers of 2008?

That’s right! Immigrants.

Written by angryfrenchguy

February 4, 2008 at 11:22 am

61 Responses

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  1. Dude, stop spamming our Facebook group. I’m assuming you don’t go to Concordia or McGill, or any of the other groups you’re spamming. Maybe you could spell check before you spam our groups? Our city is called Montreal not Montral. Thank you. God, I hate spam on the internet.

    Not going to bother reading your article because it’s obviously biased, but yes I have no problems with immigrants. I enjoy multiculturalism. I’m also not racist.

    Melissa R

    February 4, 2008 at 12:42 pm

  2. Awesome Melissa. Without reading my post and basing yourself only on the fact that I’m an angry French guy you are able to determine that I’m biased, have problems with immigrants, oppose multiculturalism and that I’m a racist.

    Wow. How do you call people like that again? Gee, I have it on the tip of my tongue….

    Regis, can make a phone call?

    -Go ahead, young man.

    Dring…

    -Yo!

    -Hey Dad, you’re smart and shit. How do you call it when people judge you on the basis of who you are instead of your words and actions?

    -Prejudice.

    -Yeah, that’s right! Pre-judging people. Prejudice! And how do you call people who pre-judge people on the basis of their language or culture?

    -Bigots.

    -Thanks Dad, miss you.

    Yeah Melissa, so my Dad says you’re a bigot and I believe him ’cause he’s real smart and went to McGill, you know.

    By the way, you got one thing right: I didn’t get my education at McGill or Concordia but my French-Canadian tax dollars certainly are paying for yours.

    So the the least you could to when one of us tries to engage our fellow Montrealers in a debate or discussion is listen to what we have to say.

    Oh, and by the way, it’s not Montral or Montreal. It’s Montréal.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm

  3. I really like how you reply to her! X-D!

    Continue your good work, We need angry people like you to laugh a litle bit for somes and understand what is really happening right now…

    thanks!

    N.Lemay

    February 4, 2008 at 11:04 pm

  4. Montreal does not need more immigrants because there is a real danger that something like Paris or London may occur here. Large pockets of underemployed, un-integrated immigrants stick together in a neighborhood, which eventually leads to drugs and violence. A British prime minister, when visiting a Muslim section of London was actually approached by an angry young man and was asked “How dare you come to a Muslim area?”. No to mention the drain on social resources.
    Unrecognized diplomas are a huge problem for immigrants, my father was an engineer and a lawyer in Bulgaria but could never hope to amount to much more than a cab driver here, so he went back. My mother on the other hand is a brilliant chess player and she was part of the Canadian Olympic Chess team in 1994. So there are individual success stories but the overall trend seems to sadly be what we have seen in Paris. The last thing we need are violent riots, the STM strikes are bad enough.

    Allophone

    February 5, 2008 at 10:40 am

  5. AngryFrenchGuy wrote: “I didn’t get my education at McGill or Concordia but my French-Canadian tax dollars certainly are paying for yours.”

    This is at least the second time I have seen a reference by you to “French-Canadian” or “Quebec” tax dollars paying for a government service that English-Quebecers receive.

    Using that logic, AngryFrenchGuy, what would we call the net positive equalization payments and transfer payments that flow TO Quebec FROM the rest of Canada which are in the billions annually and have been net positive for the past 30+ years? These billions of dollars come from the federal government via the taxes paid by taxpayers in the other 9 provinces. I don’t have to remind you that the other 9 provinces, in total, are composed of less than 3% francophones.

    How would you feel if the shoe were on the other foot and I were to say to you that the Quebec government services that you and French-speaking Quebecers receive are heavily subsidized by English-Canadians?

    Wouldn’t you, too, feel insulted? Because that’s the way I feel as an English-Quebecer when you make the comments, cited above, that you do.

    I would also remind you that English-Quebecers also pay taxes to the Quebec Treasury. Indeed, if it is true that English-Quebecers earn more than French-Quebecers (as we are continually reminded in the media and by the separatists and nationalists), then it is fair to conclude that English-Quebecers pay MORE in taxes than French-Quebecers to the provincial government. And it would therefore be true to say that in addition to English-Canadians OUTSIDE of Quebec subsidizing provincial government services for French-Quebecers, it would also be true to say that English-Quebecers do, too.

    So, please don’t go down that road, AngryFrenchGuy, because the consequences of being consistent with that line of logic will put you in an even more uncomfortable position than the one you attempt to put English-Quebecers in.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 5, 2008 at 11:17 am

  6. I am going down that road Tony, and I’m way ahead of you.

    I support Québec’s independence. That means I am willing to forfeit equalization payments. See my mouth? See my money? Same place.

    A provincial government spends more than half it’s budget on Health Care and Education. Every year about 50% of the doctors trained by McGill and the MUHC leave to work outside Québec. I think an argument could be made that through equalization payments the 9 other provinces are, among other things, training their own doctors.

    Anglo-Quebecers, at least because of past discrimination in the workplace, are still today bigger earners than Francophones. That means they pay more taxes. Agreed.

    Does that mean that because they pay more taxes they should be allowed to get better schools, universities and hospitals than their fellow citizens? Does the inequality and injustice of the past give them the right to perpetuate that inequality into the future? Not agreed.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 5, 2008 at 12:55 pm

  7. The article is excellent. I agree with you 100%.

    Kyle Nufrio

    February 6, 2008 at 9:39 am

  8. It is Montreal in English, Montréal in French. I’m bilingual, I can use whichever I want, and that I do. I tend to use them interchangeably, which probably isn’t a good thing. I should stick with one. It’s definitely NOT Montral. I guess with your haste to spam up our boards you missed the E. :)

    The purpose of having a Concordia Facebook group is so that people from Concordia can talk about our school. I would have NO problem if you actually went to Concordia and were discussing this, though usually the it is for school-related topics. But the fact that you are spamming our board and also McGill’s… it’s a cry for attention. I do get that this is your point (to get the message out there), but it’s rather annoying. Spam is usually what I try to get rid of on the internet. It’s like getting a spam e-mail except I can’t delete it.

    If you don’t already have a group, you should make your own. Then you can go ahead and recruit people, send invitations on Facebook, whatever. Have a ball! You can even send an invitation to me though I probably won’t accept ;), heh. I just get annoyed with spam, you can understand that, can’t you?

    Wait, I’m prejudiced? Oh interesting, please read all of your articles and then get back to me on that. Try not to be so one-sided when you’re arguing about this kind of stuff. I have read some of your articles before. You make your point, but you don’t discuss it from both sides, which I dislike. You conveniently withhold information that makes your point invalid. So me saying that this article is probably like the rest makes me prejudiced? Oh really. I’m so sorry. Is this an article where you suddenly change your view? Then I guess I’m prejudiced. But I have reason to believe it is just like all the others. I guess I’m a horrible person, heh.

    I’m not saying all of your points are invalid because I do agree with some… to a certain extent. The way you go about it is wrong. You seem to be very narrow-minded.

    Do you ever stop to think of things from someone else’s point of view without trying to argue against it? It’s nice to see things from both sides. I would actually enjoy your articles/blogs/rants if you did so. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

    Think about it.

    I’m not trying to fight you verbally or anything, You may have thought that, judging by your defensive stance, but I’m really not.

    Have a great day, AngryFrenchGuy.

    Melissa

    February 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm

  9. Sorry, did a little typo.
    “though usually the it is for school-related topics.” is supposed to be “though usually it is for school-related topics.”

    Melissa

    February 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm

  10. In my haste I did exactly like you did!!!
    *WAILS*

    But hey, listen to my other points please ;)

    Melissa

    February 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm

  11. Melissa said:

    “You make your point, but you don’t discuss it from both sides, which I dislike. You conveniently withhold information that makes your point invalid.”

    This is a blog, an editorial, an opinion piece, not a meta-analysis of all empirical data.

    That said, to make a convincing essay or editorial you must address all possible objections to your point of you and all act that might seem to contradict your reasoning.

    I think I do a pretty good job of that. If you do think you’ve got any information that makes any of my points or observations invalid, there is a very conveniently located comment box right under each post for you to correct me. I believe you’ve used this comment box quite a few times already.

    And not once have you used it to enlighten us with any information that I “withheld”.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 6, 2008 at 3:37 pm

  12. I think it is pretty funny that the only answer Tony could find to a separatist saying that his “french-canadian tax dollars” are paying for english people’s services is that english canadians are not in general very happy with all the money they send to québec ( i.e: Paiements de péréquation) for french services. ( small notice: in general, they don’t really go over 300 millions, which in a multi billion budget is not that much. The only exception is Harper’s attempt to buy Québec with a huge pile of money last year, but blame your Canadian government for that.)

    Well, just to let you know, if both parties are not happy with paying for the other one, why the hell is anyone fighting separatism? If you have so much money, keep it for yourself ! Angryfrenchguy doesn’t mind, and actually nobody here does.

    I think though that the argument that says english québécois ( merci beaucoup, quebecker c’est laid) make more when they shouldn’t is completely stupid. If the guy has english clients ( welcome to the real world) and a better diploma, well maybe you should’ve worked harder french guy.It’s only normal that he gets a job that a québécois pur laine who barely speaks english couldn’t get. Blame the educationnal system for not teaching good english. And blame the government for making french courses “an option” to immigrants.

    Personnaly, whatever school you attend, I think it is totally imbecile that anyone would come here and not have to learn french at some point. Canada’s a bi-unilingual country, and here it is certainly not the right place to be a unilingual english speaker with no intention of learning about what Québec is really like, i.e: French. There’s a full continent of people that learn only one language and are happy with it, ok. But here is the last place we Québécois can call home, have the decency to un-ghettoize yourselves.

    :) feels good to let it out

    Guillaume Charette

    February 7, 2008 at 2:26 pm

  13. Immigrants to Québec should not be required to speak two languages in addition to their own native one (assuming it is not already French or English).

    As a person who as emigrated from Quebec to Alberta, I know how difficult it is to integrate a new society speaking a language foreign to you. I cannot imagine how it would have been like if I had needed, for the sake of finding a job (an absolute necessity in other words), to speak Spanish in addition to English.

    Is it so hard to understand that the situation in Quebec is unacceptable?

    Mathieu Gauthier-Pilote

    February 7, 2008 at 8:32 pm

  14. Guillaume:

    1) You wrote that I said that “english canadians are not in general very happy with all the money they send to québec ( i.e: Paiements de péréquation) for french services”.

    But I did not say that. What I said was that if we extend the same logic employed by AngryFrenchGuy to English Canadians, then we could equally say that English Canadians, through equalization and transfer payments, could claim that they subsidize French Quebecers. I was attempting to show AngryFrenchGuy how his argument was groundless by turning the tables on him. Whether English Canadians are happy or unhappy with all the money they send to Quebec is not something I said, I don’t know whether it is fact, and quite frankly I don’t care.

    2) You wrote that “in general, (equalization payments) don’t really go over 300 millions, which in a multi billion budget is not that much. The only exception is Harper’s attempt to buy Québec with a huge pile of money last year.”

    You are badly misinformed. Annual equalization payments to Quebec average about $5.5 billion per year.

    In 1998, they were $4.6 billion to Quebec and in 2005 they were $4.7 billion to Quebec (see http://tinyurl.com/2g8fhh ). Last year they were $7.1 billion to Quebec (see http://tinyurl.com/yqds52 ). Your figures were so off that I didn’t bother to take the time to research any other years.

    If you care to do the research you will find that, taking inflation into consideration, others years are consistent with the above figures.

    And, of course, we haven’t even touched on transfer payments.

    Please get your facts straight before you make claims as you do.

    3) The rest of your post is based upon and a response to arguments I didn’t make, so I have no response to them.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 8, 2008 at 8:39 am

  15. Mathieu,
    I think the point is that when you CHOSE to immigrate, you have to adapt to the local culture and if that means a new language, well, then you either have to learn it or chose to go somewhere where you don’t mind the language. Immigration is a choice, at least the destination country is a choice and when you chose, you should take that into account instead of trying to change things when you get there.

    Guillaume,
    I agree with you about education, English classes in my French high school were a joke and it was a semi-private school with only the International Baccalaureate program offered. I can’t begin to imagine what a regular school would’ve been like. If I hadn’t learned English independently, I never could have mastered it based on the classes we had. Of course, the opposite is true, my neighbor went to an English high school and he can’t speak a word of French.

    Allophone

    February 8, 2008 at 10:49 am

  16. Regarding immigration

    It is a misconception that immigration is generally a choice. Westerners have a very unrealistic view of the immigrant whom they portrait as a single individual, unattached to a community, who chooses to leave point A for point B to improve his condition. That person is in fact a rare occurrence.

    Basic principle : when people, anywhere on Earth, are happy where they were born or wherever they grew up and have the means (the liberty) to live decently (and if they have children later on, raise a family) in the same place, they do not move to another country where they will have to become another person.

    Immigrants move as part of networks and massive immigration is caused, as a general rule, by poverty. This was true in the 19th century, the 20th century, and has never been more true in the present century.

    In history, immigrants to America left a country or region where they figured they had no future. In the mid-19th century, the Irish were being expelled by poverty created by the criminal laws of the British Parliament in their country. The case of the Irish was not unique, rather it is the historical norm for all massive waves of immigrants.

    In Quebec, the massive waves of Jewish immigration correspond exactly with the Pogroms going on in the former Russian Empire. Then there was the immigration caused by the Nazi regime, but the racist Dominion in fact did not welcome many of them, unlike the racist-but-more-jewish-friendly USA.

    Quebecers massive emigration to the USA between 1840s and 1930 corresponds to a deep political crisis inherited from the Lower Canada period when speculators in England gained ownership of some much of the Crown lands which French Quebecers were traditionally in the habit of just clearing and settling for little to nothing. The children and grand-children of these people became the cotton mill workers of New England. None of those sons and daughters of farmers had chosen to be there.

    The immigrants Quebec currently gets in great number from former French colonies since about the 1970s, are, for the greater part, people who would have naturally preferred to be economically free in their home country than in a foreign country that reaches -40 degrees in the winter. The disastrous political situation in Haiti, so many countries of Africa and the Middle-East, is the reason why for every accepted immigrant, many more are refused.

    There is only between rich countries (let’s say between Canada and England) that you often see free people freely chose to move to another part of the world just for the cash and experience.

    Regarding the bilingualism of Francophones workers

    Francophones workers are disproportionally able to speak English to a high degree. There are many more than common sense would require to maintain good trade with the English-speaking neighbours of Quebec.

    When Quebecers are free, normality with regards to language of work will return, and we will see that the bilingual ones will become those who do not speak the language of the majority, French, while Anglo-Quebecers will naturally take up all the important jobs where daily business communication between Quebecers and Ontarians or Americans requires highly paid workers who are equally fluent in French and English.

    When, after a few generations of being free to speak French only at work (like Ontarians are today free to speak English only at work), Quebecers will look back at their ancestors, they will find pretty ignorant and foolish all those French-speaking people who used to brag about their good English allowing them to work INSIDE THEIR OWN FRENCH-SPEAKING COUNTRY.

    Our history books will speak of “colonial mentality” as did Fela Kuti, Nigerian human rights activist, anti-colonialist politician and Afro-beat Jazz pioneer!

    Mathieu Gauthier-Pilote

    February 8, 2008 at 11:57 am

  17. I agree with you that historically, immigration has been a different issue, for example, my parents moved to Canada because of the fall of communism and the inherent political instability that followed. It was however still a choice, it’s always a choice because countries are never emptied of their inhabitants.

    I also stated that the country of destination is a choice. I suppose you could argue that immigrants go to whichever country accepts them but that is even more reason to respect the adoptive society. I am not saying that all cultural identity should be relinquished upon arrival, but to demand unreasonable accommodations is just rude.

    I’m all for Quebec being free, because, as I’ve stated in a previous debate on this blog, it’s an entirely different place for the rest of Canada that I’ve seen and also because I can’t understand why a country would want to keep a province against its will… But English is a reality every country has to deal with. There just happens to be more historical animosity between the two languages here. Much like French was once the diplomatic language and was internationally required, English is now the business language and is pretty much necessary. You may not be happy about it, you may try to shield against it somewhat but it is inevitable. Bilinguism is your best bet. In fact, if you want to stay one step ahead, I suggest you pick up Mandarin.

    Allophone

    February 8, 2008 at 1:15 pm

  18. Mathieu:

    I read your post with great interest, particularly the last three paragraphs. But I’m not sure I understand them completely.

    I note the following when you said: “When Quebecers are free…Anglo-Quebecers will naturally take up all the important jobs where daily business communication between Quebecers and Ontarians or Americans requires highly paid workers who are equally fluent in French and English.”

    Mathieu, are you saying that in an independent Quebec, there will be a GREATER need for English in the business world than there is today in a Quebec-within-Canada? Because that is how I understood your words; indeed, you even used the words “normality with regards to language of work will return” to describe the situation.

    I am understanding you correctly? If so, this suggests to me that, to you, the CURRENT situation in Quebec in which Bill 101 legislates French the language of business and commerce is NOT “normal” and that in an independent Quebec Bill 101 would not be needed.

    Please tell me if I am understanding you correctly.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 9, 2008 at 8:48 am

  19. Yeah, that actually confused me a bit as well, Mathieu, are you saying that you welcome having an income discrepancy between “Anglo-quebeckers”? I may be alone in this belief but isn’t speaking more languages an asset?
    We live in a global economy, the more languages you speak, the more marketable you are and the greater your chances for advancement. Shouldn’t we be striving for 100% bilinguism? Or trilinguism? In Europe, people speak 5-6 languages without losing their cultural identity…

    Allophone

    February 9, 2008 at 10:10 am

  20. Let me expound upon Allophone’s recent, excellent post about the benefits of individual multi-lingualism being an asset for Quebec, not a hindrance.

    And I’ll do it by being politically incorrect: Quebec is situated in North America where, with the exception of Mexico and St. Pierre and Miquelon, the langauage of commerce is English. Over 300 million affluent, entrepreneurial UNILINGUAL mobile anglophones who surround Quebec should be attracted to come to Quebec to live, work, invest, and use their expertise and know-how.

    But very few will come if language laws discourage them from living in unilingual English…that is, if they are required by law to RESPECT the language of the majority.

    They will come to Quebec to benefit us if they can come and live here in unilingual English.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 9, 2008 at 2:16 pm

  21. I personally find the fact that Québec needed to pass a law before corporations respected the right of Quebecers to live and work in French quite humiliating.

    A French Québec can only survive if Quebecers demand respect and the right to live and work in their language. The Charter of the French Language gives them legal recourses to fight centuries of discrimination, but no, i don’t feel it is something that is “normal”.

    It is, however a necessary evil, the same way that affirmative action was needed to correct centuries of discrimination against blacks.

    These, in my opinion are meant to be temporary measures and the same way that some black leaders are starting to feel the time has come to move on and that affirmative only adds an unnecessary asteriks next to black achievements, a day would come when the language laws of Québec are superfluous.

    I can’t see that happening until Québec is an independent country.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 9, 2008 at 6:57 pm

  22. “But very few will come if language laws discourage them from living in unilingual English…that is, if they are required by law to RESPECT the language of the majority. They will come to Quebec to benefit us if they can come and live here in unilingual English.”

    Ok, well… how about no?

    Take a bold step beyond the English language T. and you will find there are BILLIONS of other people just as entrepreneurial as your redneck buddies, many of whom would be quite happy to find a home base for their North American business that is NOT just like the rest of America.

    And for those who cannot tolerate any type of diversity and hint of cultural difference there will always be Hampstead and Beaconsfield where they can pretend that they are living in New Jersey.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 9, 2008 at 7:10 pm

  23. AngryFrenchGuy:

    1) “Redneck” is usually a term used to describe someone who discriminated against others based upon some characteristic like race or ethnic origin or…language. I find it interesting that you use that to describe my friends within the context of a posting in which you mention Bill 101. Bill 101, a law you support, is characterized by giving special considerations to one language group over others.

    Bill 101 is, therefore, is truly a “redneck” law, one that discriminates in favour of members of one identifiable group (those that speak “French”) over other groups.

    In Quebec, therefore, “Redneck” more aptly describes those that support race laws such as Bill 101.

    AngryFrenchGuy, you support Bill 101. Indeed, you admitted such in the very post we are talking about. Even more interesting is that you acknowledge the racist and hateful nature of Bill 101 when you wrote that such a law is not “normal”.

    2) Regarding your comment that Quebecers have the right to live and work in French:

    Of course they have that right. But it should be no more or less a “right” than for others who speak any other language to have a “right” to live and work in their own language. And in fact that is confirmed by the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms which prohibits discrimination based upon language.

    Yet Bill 101 puts French in a superior position to other languages and imposes non-French people to live and work in French. This is discrimination. This is why Bill 101 is in violation of Quebec’s own charter of rights, Canada’s charter, and numerous international covenants and charters on rights.

    3) Regarding your comment that Quebecers “demand respect”. You are aware, I hope, that laws that demand respect are usually only found in totalitarian regimes, such as Cuba. Laws that require or legislate respect have no place in free and democratic countries.

    4) You write: “(Bill 101) is, however a necessary evil, the same way that affirmative action was needed to correct centuries of discrimination against blacks.”

    Both the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (ss. 86-92) and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (s. 15.2) contain provisions which allow for derogation from charter rights based upon situations in which affirmative action would be needed for members of identifiable groups.

    But in order to justify abrogation of rights on the basis of affirmative action, there are specific standards and requirements that have to be met. These are all spelled out in the charters, AngryFrenchGuy, if you care to look at the sections I have cited.

    Yet, curiously, in all the instances in which Bill 101 was challenged in court, not once has the affirmative action defense been used by the Quebec government to defend Bill 101.

    Why?

    Because it is such an absurd proposition. Quebec would have to put forth a defense that a group comprising 80% of the population, that has since the inception of Canada had full voting rights, needs affirmative action. Quebec would have to show that there existed through history a pattern of discrimination against French-speaking Quebecers, something that they know they could never, ever prove. To even try would be laughable.

    The Quebec government has never used that defense, AngryFrenchGuy, and neither should you.

    What you should do, AngryFrenchGuy, is continue to be humiliated with Bill 101, as you said you were. But your humiliation should be for reasons other than you give.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 10, 2008 at 10:55 am

  24. In response to my assertion that Quebec needs to encourage more unilingual anglophones to come and work, live, and invest in Quebec, AngryFrenchGuy writes: “Take a bold step beyond the English language T. and you will find there are BILLIONS of other people just as entrepreneurial as your redneck buddies, many of whom would be quite happy to find a home base for their North American business that is NOT just like the rest of America.”

    My response to you, AngryFrenchGuy, is:

    1) after 30 years of Bill 101, where are they?

    2) last year, Quebec received over $7 billion in equalization payments and billions more in transfer payments. Quebec has been a net RECEIVER of equalization payments for about 3 decades. When the day arrives that Quebec is a net GIVER to other provinces of equalization, that will be the day when I will say that the race law Bill 101 is working.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 10, 2008 at 11:00 am

  25. Your first question: We are here. Your 19th century terminology notwithstanding, the Québécois are not a race or an ethnic group.

    The problem is not getting them here, it is the discriminatory assimilating forces of the workplace that still force workers to work in English far more often than the actual work requires and the grossly over-financed institutions of English-Montreal that are:

    a. still far to often unable to offer services in French as they are required to do and;

    b. perpetuate the illusion that Montreal is far more English-speaking than it actually is.

    When Québec becomes an independent country those who want to come here will come here and those who want to live in Pickering will go to Pickering.

    2nd question: When Québec’s school system is no longer expected to train the rest of Canada’s doctors, lawyers and Civil Servants, maybe the net balance of equalization and transfers will not be as big…

    angryfrenchguy

    February 10, 2008 at 1:18 pm

  26. And about your first post Anthony:

    1-Bill 101 gives special privileges to one group based on language: English-speaking Montrealers.

    These privileges were necessary because of another piece of legislation that gives English-speaking Quebecers special privileges above and beyond those of other Canadians: the British North American Act and the Constitutional Act.

    Those privileges were re-enforced by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms that gives special privileges to two different language communities: the French and the English.

    I agree that no group should have special privileges based on their language. For that reason I think Québec should become an independent country that functions in the language of the majority and abolishes all special privileges given to arbitrary minorities.

    That is what you had in mind, right Antoine?

    ps: “Quebec would have to show that there existed through history a pattern of discrimination against French-speaking Quebecers, something that they know they could never, ever prove.”

    You have to be kidding, right?

    angryfrenchguy

    February 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm

  27. AngryFrenchGuy writes that the BNA Act “gives English-speaking Quebecers special privileges above and beyond those of other Canadians.”

    But AngryFrenchGuy, again, has his facts wrong. There is another group that the BNA Act gives even MORE special privileges to above and beyond those of other Canadians and that is the Fench-speakers of Quebec.

    The BNA Act gives French Quebecers:

    1) the right to use the civil law in Quebec;

    2) the right to use French in parliament and the federal and provincial courts;

    3) the right to Catholic schools in Quebec (and elsewhere in Canada);

    4) the right to French schools in Quebec;

    5) the right to use French in the Quebec provincial assembly.

    In addition, the 1982 patriation of the Constitution gave Quebec alot (as Pierre Trudeau pointed out, Quebec got alot in 1982 but never said “thank you”):

    1) the only province not to have s. 23.1.a of the Charter apply to them unless opted into by Quebec;

    2) jurisdiction over natural resources;

    3) various applications of the amending formual (such as the one for education which Quebec used about 10 years ago to create French and English school boards and do away with Catholic and Protestant school boards);

    4) access to the “notwithstanding” clause of the Canadian Charter.

    Non-constitutionally, Quebec got special treatment from Ottawa in many areas:

    1) the only province to tax and collect provincial income taxes;

    2) the only province to have its own version of the federal pension plan;

    3) administration over many, many federal jurisdiction programs, such as the Indian Act.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 10, 2008 at 6:54 pm

  28. AngryFrenchGuy writes: “I agree that no group should have special privileges based on their language. For that reason I think Québec should become an independent country that functions in the language of the majority and abolishes all special privileges given to arbitrary minorities. ”

    You are in disagreement with the Parti Quebecois, AngryFrenchGuy which is on record as saying that there will be constitutional guarantees for what you refer to as “special privileges”.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 10, 2008 at 6:59 pm

  29. AngryFrenchGuy quotes me saying: “ps: ‘Quebec would have to show that there existed through history a pattern of discrimination against French-speaking Quebecers, something that they know they could never, ever prove.’

    He then says: “You have to be kidding, right?”

    No, I’m not.

    There are alot of myths that you appear to have been fed, AngryFrenchGuy, but I work on facts, not fiction.

    Fact: as I mentioned, the Quebec Attorney-General in all of the challenges to Bill 101 has not once ever invoked either the Quebec or Canadian charters’ provisions regarding affirmative action that would have allowed abridgement of human rights in those charters.

    Yet you, AngryFrenchGuy, claim that Bill 101 is like affirmative action.

    So instead of asking me rhetorically if I am kidding, why don’t you tell us exactly how French-Quebecers have been discriminated against in Quebec society since 1867, the year of Canada’s birth?

    Tony Kondaks

    February 10, 2008 at 7:04 pm

  30. Tony said: “There are alot of myths that you appear to have been fed, AngryFrenchGuy, but I work on facts, not fiction(…) So instead of asking me rhetorically if I am kidding, why don’t you tell us exactly how French-Quebecers have been discriminated against in Quebec society since 1867, the year of Canada’s birth?”

    Fact: In the 1960’s Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Bicultuarlism presided by André Laurendeau and Davidson Dunton published a series of studies, one of them notoriously demonstrating that among 14 “ethnic” communities in Québec, francophones were 12th in terms of income.

    The commissioners also demonstrated that factors such as education, experience and age could not account for the tremendous income difference between Francophones and Anglophones.

    The study even demonstrated that in Québec, the LESS French someone spoke, the MORE he earned.

    The only explanation was discrimination.

    Second:

    You seem to be utterly confused on the nature of a federation. Canada was designed with a two-tiered government giving provinces jurisdiction on such issues as civil law and education. All provinces had the same division of power. That 9 out of 10 chose the Common Law system is their prerogative. Québec got no privilege.

    Québec Anglophones, on the other hand, got constitutional protection for their right to provincial laws, trials and education in English. No linguistic minority in Canada got any comparable constitutional protections.

    Third:

    Oh yeah, and you’re god damn right I disagree with many of the positions of the PQ!

    angryfrenchguy

    February 11, 2008 at 12:31 pm


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