AngryFrenchGuy

The Glorious Bilingual Montreal of the 1940’s

with 83 comments

The AngryFrenchGuy and his grand-father

Did French and English Montrealers ever live in the same city?

Was there ever a Golden Age when French-speakers looking west and English-speakers looking east had a converging point of view on the history and future of Montreal?

Consider this:

In 1941 the National Film Board of Canada hired my grand-father, Vincent Paquette, as the agency’s first French-Canadian filmmaker and head the embryonic “French Unit”

It is important to emphasize that, as his name does not indicate, Vincent Paquette was as bicultural a Canadian as this country has ever produced. His Franco-Catholic father, Albéric Paquette, met his mother, Eva May Hathaway, the daughter of a Loyalist minister, in Toronto. The couple raised their children in Montreal and in the still very English Sherbrooke, Québec of the 1920’s where my grand-father grew up thinking of himself as an English kid.

“In Sherbrooke I went to French primary school”, he wrote – in French – in his unfinished memoirs. “Since my mother tongue was English, since English was the usual language at home and in most of the streets, it made for a rather difficult start.”

He went on to complete all of his studies in French, studying in Montreal’s Collège Saint-Laurent with such Québec icons as Félix Leclerc.

That said, it is needless to say that his English background had something to do with the NFB’s decision to put a 26 year old with no filmmaking experience in charge of the Board’s first French filmmaking department, a department originally created to translate propaganda films during the Second World War.

In 1942 my grand-father set off to direct a film on the celebrations commemorating the tercentenary of Montreal, which would become the first movie ever shot – as opposed to translated – in Canada’s two official languages.

Even with his Upper Canadian roots counterbalancing his Franco-Catholic education, it quickly became clear that my grand-father’s understanding of Montreal was not what the head office had in mind. Right from the start, serious incompatibility between the English and the French perspectives became apparent and on at least two occasions proper Anglophones were hired to finish the project.

In the end my grand-father would get credits for both versions of the film, but while his cut was used for the French version, the English version followed the storyboard from upstairs.

NFB historian Pierre Véronneau writes about differences between the French and English versions in his PhD. thesis: “It would be quite simple to show that the English version trivializes certain actions or certain situations perceived as important or heroic by the Québécois.”

The French version was anchored around four themes: modern Montreal, French Montreal, Montreal at war and religious Montreal. Véronneau notes that the modern and religious themes occupy more or less equal time in the French version, and that the latter is all but evacuated from the English versions.

The religious images are quite frankly astonishing for someone born after the Quiet Revolution. It is near impossible today to imagine the bishop taking the vows of hundreds of new priests in the streets of downtown Montreal, surrounded by thousands of nuns in black and white and clerics in red and gold. The protestant businessmen of the Sun Life building might have been the future of Montreal, but the Catholics had cooler hats

On the war effort, the commentary of the French version went: “Today, grandiose realization of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve’s dream, Montreal put all of it’s energy and all of it’s resources to the service of peace in plenitude. Concordia Salus.” Véronneau wonders aloud: “Can we see here a covert position? A diaphanous echo to the French-Canadian resistance to any direct participation to the war?”

Athough the metaphore is not quite politically correct, I do note with much relief that my Grand-father had not succumbed to the fascist muses: “Paquette makes the Iroquois of yesterday the German of today, and the determination of the Québécois to combat him, eternal.”

On the question of language, “The English version emphasizes the bilingual character of the city while the French version underlines it’s French character.” Hum… sounds familiar….

Vincent Paquette made a few other films for the NFB before moving on to a career in advertising and the federal public service. Although he never was known as a nationalist, Eva May Hathaway’s son voted YES in the 1980 referendum on Québec sovereignty.

Written by angryfrenchguy

April 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm

83 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. “On the question of language, “The English version emphasizes the bilingual character of the city while the French version underlines it’s French character.” Hum… sounds familiar….”

    In Canada, when someone lauds the bilingual character of a place, it`s actually a code word for: yeah, sure there`s lots of French people around, but don`t be scared off, they all speak English anyway so you won`t have to bother at all with French!

    Acajack

    April 24, 2008 at 9:54 pm

  2. The more I think about it, the more I believe that bilingualism is just a temporary transitionary situation that lead to unilingualism.

    quebecois separatiste

    April 25, 2008 at 4:34 pm

  3. Acajack, I think that’s a bit unfair. I love telling people that Ottawa is bilingual, by which I mean that if you walking through the market you hear a lot of conversations in French. I don’t tell people Ottawa is bilingual to reassure them that they shouldn’t be scared; I doubt it would occur to them. The bilingual character of Ottawa is one of its best assets, IMHO, if only for the prestige value.

    As to Montreal (and is there anywhere else that is touted as bilingual?), I don’t see what’s so wrong about reassuring anglophones that they can be understood. As a type, the anglophone is about the least bilingual person in the world. This is not a deliberate policy, it’s just that English has become the international language of business so there’s no pressing need for the average anglo (by which I mean a farmer in New Zealand or a businesswoman in St. Louis) to learn another language. As our Latvian friend commented, that’s a shame, but it’s a cross we have to bear. (Incidentally, it’s not all sunshine & roses to have your language become a lingua franca . . . IMHO the quality of English is deteriorating rapidly. Of course you, my francophone comrades, probably notice this and not really care, but it is kind of irritating. Fortunately these things only last a couple of hundred years.) Finally, while I realise the English spelling system seems very irrational to foreign eyes at first (or tenth) glance, the face that we’ve lost gender, most cases, all but a sliver of the subjunctive, etc. makes it more difficult for anglophones to learn gender-sensitive / inflected languages. I’m not talking about diehards like me, just the average anglophone of good will. I guess the equivalent for a francophone speaking middling English would be not using the -s on the third person singular (“he say” vs. “he says”), but knowing that you’re screwing up more or less every noun is even worse: you look like a fool; and it’s hard for anglophones to get over that. I know that must sound ridiculous to Latvians who write beautiful English, but it’s pitifully true . . .

    Those films were cool! And I kind of miss having huge masses with hundreds of priests: wouldn’t that be awesome? It would be like the Canadiens winning a series every weekend. Rock on!

    hoo-boy

    April 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm

  4. Is that AFG in the picture, btw?

    hoo-boy

    April 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm

  5. C’est moi. With my finger up my nose.

    And you’re one of the first Anglos, Hoo-boy, to see what I feel is a major handicap of being brought up Anglo: the whole world can access, understand and even participate in Anglo culture (when I read Norman Mailer book or watch Seinfeld, I don’t especially feel I’m doing something foreign), while the Anglos are, often againt their will (you speak French, we answer in English), prisoners of the English language, unable to drink at tthe other fountains of thought and culture…

    angryfrenchguy

    April 25, 2008 at 7:20 pm

  6. “The more I think about it, the more I believe that bilingualism is just a temporary transitionary situation that lead to unilingualism.”

    Well, that’s how its been happening in Québec, right? The difference being, you’ve been trying to legislate it into existence. How’s that working out for you?

    Namoeg

    April 25, 2008 at 7:50 pm

  7. Namoeg:

    Am I reading this wrong or is there a borg-type “Resistance is futile – you will be assimilated” type undertone that’s implicit in your question?

    To directly answer what I believe the question to be, things are working out “so-so” for Quebec on this front. However, your question is based on the erroneous premise that Quebec can do exactly what it wants on the issue when in actual fact there are two competing visions at work here: the Canadian model and the Quebec model. (And the Canadian model happens to be carried by the supreme government entity in the land, so it’s not surprising it often wins out.)

    What Quebec has, when compared to other groups like the French and Italian speakers in Switzerland or the Flemish and French speaking groups in Belgium, is really a half-assed language “safe zone” (the Canadian model being hostile to the idea of safe zones or language territoriality, and has always and fairly successfully fought Quebec’s attempts to implement this). So it’s not surprising that Quebec has only obtained half-assed results in this area.

    With respect the inevitability of assimilation, well I guess that could be said of any group that is living close to another much larger group like all those other groups mentioned above, although all of them seem to be doing fine.

    Acajack

    April 25, 2008 at 8:48 pm

  8. Hoo boy:

    I must admit I was having a bit of fun there, but would submit that you can’t compare Ottawa with Montreal. Ottawa doesn’t have a continental and worldwide reputation for being a French-speaking city. As you said so well, it adds to the “prestige value” of Ottawa, like an unexpected surprise.

    Quebec and Montreal are different, since their francophone character is more “in your face” and more well-known. To Americans, to use them as an example, Ottawa feels pretty much like home, though with a good proportion of people around you speaking another language. In that sense, it’s not very different from any large U.S. city these days (except that the language there would be Spanish rather than French).

    Montreal and the province of Quebec are different, and for many people in the northern U.S. (not to mention a whole bunch of English-speaking Canadians as well), it’s probably the only time in their lives where they’ll ever feel like they’re in a foreign country. (Since there are tons of people out there – perhaps a good majority – who will travel very little in their lifetimes.)

    Acajack

    April 25, 2008 at 8:59 pm

  9. Interesting Dialogue.

    The fact is that the french language outside of Quebec has declined 25% in the last five years…

    You think that the Quebecers that are moving to Western Canada will maintain the langue..not likely..

    In my wifes family….which were Francophones until they entered grade school…do not speak french to each other…at all…since my mother in law and father in law passed away….It is really sad..

    Today my “beau frere” came to my office and I spoke a greeting in French at which he said “cut it out with the french”…perhaps my french is bad and that is what he meant…

    Laws will not protect the culture…people protect a culture. And what I have seen at least in the West they are not particularily intersted in preserving the language.

    So then.. bilingualism as a means to uniligualism may have some validity as others have said on this forum.

    I will continue to study french…against the mainstream.. even though “Je suis juste pauvre anlgo du l’ouest que ja suis.” Pour quoi…j’n cest pas” But I do think its quite “neat” and has opened my mind a bit.

    ABP

    ABP

    April 25, 2008 at 9:24 pm

  10. AFG wrote:
    “And you’re one of the first Anglos, Hoo-boy, to see what I feel is a major handicap of being brought up Anglo: the whole world can access, understand and even participate in Anglo culture (when I read Norman Mailer book or watch Seinfeld, I don’t especially feel I’m doing something foreign), while the Anglos are, often againt their will (you speak French, we answer in English), prisoners of the English language, unable to drink at tthe other fountains of thought and culture…”

    I sense I am going to going to get into trouble with this one.

    AFG, your post brought me back to when I was young adult backpacking around the world. Anyone who’s been on this circuit knows you meet people from all over, particularly at day’s end in the youth hostel common room.

    One thing that was particularly striking to me was how the world (or the western world at least) is divided into two cultural “solitudes” (apologies to Hugh MacLennan): the anglo solitude and the non-anglo solitude.

    So on the one hand you have the Americans, English-Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, British and Irish, and on the other hand… everyone else.

    There you are lounging around having a beer and the conversation turns to, hmmm… Tintin. Now I know a lot of people here probably won’t know him but he is a world-famous Belgian comic strip character, originally written in French but translated into dozens of languages. Anyway, invariably the Brazilians know Tintin, the French of course know Tintin, the Germans know Tintin, the Quebecers know Tintin (as do the Acadians and Franco-Ontarians if you’re lucky enough to be sharing a beer with them), the Danes know Tintin, and so on. But the guy from Toronto won’t likely know Tintin, and the girl from Adelaide won`t ever have heard of him either.

    The same thing applies to non-Hollywood movies like La vita è bella or Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, books by authors like Paulo Coelho or Henning Mankell or music by singers like Cesaria Evoria.

    Now I now that this post is going to attract some angry messages from English-speaking Canadians who are going to say: hey! I’ve got all of Cesaria Evora’s CDs! Or… wait a minute bucko! I just finished reading the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho last night! So yes, I recognize that there are *some* people out there who do take an interest in these things, but the reality is that stuff from cultures other than one’s own is much, much more mainstream in non-anglo countries (and in this sense, I would include Quebec as a non-anglo ‘country’).

    I have often wondered if this wouldn`t be because, given the strong presence of anglo (U.S. and U.K. popular music, and mostly U.S.-produced stuff for everything else) culture around the world, people in, say, Norway, are already used to cultural stuff that`s in another language (most of the time in English), so it`s not really a stretch after that to take in interest in something German, French, Spanish, etc.

    Whereas, in English Canada and the U.S., everyone knows that subtitling or dubbing a movie, even a globally acclaimed masterpiece, is the kiss of death at the box office, and translated books never, ever make it onto the best-seller lists. (To list just two examples from cinema and literature.)

    Acajack

    April 25, 2008 at 9:26 pm

  11. AFG: Well, there are more of us around than you’d think — at least people who would *like* to speak more languages. I guess there does tend to be a certain triumphalism (totally unearned) about the Rise of English (cf. the Globe & Mail comment boards, where some a**hole always manages to intrude something like that when the subject is bilingualism); but then there’s me, a true English-speaker as opposed to somebody whose mother tongue just happens to be English. It relates to Acajack’s point about travel, too: it’s like a week’s hard drive from BC to anywhere that English isn’t totally dominant; in Europe it’s like an hour to get to the next language.

    Acajack: Sorry to miss your irony! How embarrassing : ). It sounds a bit racist to say so, but to white Americans Ottawa would probably seem bilingual if only because Spanish-speakers in the States tend to be visible minorities (or majorities), and often a bit poor, so I think the sight of (gasp!) *white* North Americans speaking furren might astound them . . . But that’s getting a bit desperate as a defense of Ottawa, maybe.

    I wonder what will happen as the United States gradually (over the next generation?) comes to realise it is effectively a bilingual society if not state. Will that “denormalise” unilingualism? And will that affect Montreal anglos? Time will tell . . .

    hoo-boy

    April 25, 2008 at 9:29 pm

  12. My french is really bad…I apoligize.

    J’n cest pas…….j’n sais pas..

    Sorry to the francos. Someday…I might get it right.

    ABP

    ABP

    April 25, 2008 at 9:36 pm

  13. “Laws will not protect the culture…people protect a culture.”

    But laws are passed by people, so a law passed by the people’s elected representatives is precisely an example of people protecting their own culture!

    To be honest, though, nothing protects cultures better than borders, be they internal within a country (“safe zones” as I call them) or international between different countries.

    “I will continue to study french…against the mainstream.. even though “Je suis juste pauvre anlgo du l’ouest que ja suis.” Pour quoi…j’n cest pas” But I do think its quite “neat” and has opened my mind a bit.”

    I would encourage you to continue. I know I sometimes may seem unsympathetic but I do recognize that it is very difficult to learn a new language, particularly in adulthood. But as you said, it does open one’s mind. (Learning another language that is, not necessarily French.) It’s a tremendous personal enrichment, and plus it’s a very satisfying experience to be in a situation where you actually succeed in getting by with the language you’ve worked so hard to learn.

    Acajack

    April 25, 2008 at 9:37 pm

  14. Just to make it clear, when I say Anglos are prisoners of English, I sincerly feel most of them are held against their will.

    I spent most of the winter in Tremblant surrounded by many English-Canadians, Brits and Aussies who were there for the season. Many spoke some French, most were determined to learn and did. But on top of the effort of learning a language it was as if they had to fight to use it. Francos would just constantly speak English to them. Either because it was just more easy or out of habit.

    angryfrenchguy

    April 25, 2008 at 10:02 pm

  15. AFG wrote:
    “And you’re one of the first Anglos, Hoo-boy, to see what I feel is a major handicap of being brought up Anglo: the whole world can access, understand and even participate in Anglo culture (when I read Norman Mailer book or watch Seinfeld, I don’t especially feel I’m doing something foreign), while the Anglos are, often againt their will (you speak French, we answer in English), prisoners of the English language, unable to drink at tthe other fountains of thought and culture…”

    I agree completely. English (american mostly) culture is so pervasive that one can’t help but be at least somewhat familiar with it, while anglos have no such unavoidable influences.

    I consider myself open to other other cultures, y’know I’ve seen a few Fellini films, but the over-whelming presence of anglo culture means I never have to familiarize myself with another. I may choose to at times, but I don’t have to.

    I feel a bit ashamed sometimes when talking with my francophone friends who may or may not be bilingual, and they inevitably seem to be well aware of some anglo television show, musical artist, author etc. and I can’t always return the favour. My ignorance isn’t the result of a deliberate attempt to isolate myslef, its just that, for an anglo, getting to know another culture actually requires effort.

    Rorybellows

    April 25, 2008 at 10:55 pm

  16. Sorry to seem to pick on your examples, Acajack, but I think Tintin is reasonably widespread, or was at least in my childhood — and it’s about to be made into a Hollywood film, which should bring the anglosphere up to speed in any case. But you and Rorybellows are probably right to a certain degree . . .

    The thing is that the USA produces such a huge portion of the world’s entertainment; and anglophones don’t have get a hankering for other stuff “in our own language” as a result. Of course we continue to wage the bitter battle for Canadian culture, but the sheer weight of American production values tends to be overwhelming — you just can’t blow as much shit up on a Canada Council budget, much as you migh like to. Whereas the Fellinis of the non-anglosphere have a built-in advantage in being able to deliver content to local audiences in their own language.

    hoo-boy

    April 26, 2008 at 1:11 am

  17. No problem hoo boy.

    Tintin may not be the best example, although it was usually my “test case” that I used when travelling to try out my pop sociology theories, and usually it confirmed things (yeah, I know it’s weird to do this but that’s the way I am). Could it be that you know Tintin and thought it widespread because you grew up in Ottawa’s Overbrook, which would have been 50-50 franco-anglo around the times you seem to be describing as your youth?

    Anyway, someone who knows a thing or two about comic books once told me that, and here we go again, the comic world was divided into the anglo and the non-anglo world as well. With the anglo world (or perhaps more precisely anglo North America) dominated by soft cover Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Archie stuff, whereas the rest of the world was dominated by large-sized hard cover generally European stuff like Tintin, Astérix (the all-time global best-seller I believe), Gaston La Gaffe, Lucky Luke, Spirou, Achille Talon, Quick & Flupke, Johan & Pirloui, etc., most of which were translated into dozens of languages.

    Quebec has always been in the second category. And the new breed of comic books, still large size hard cover, like Japanese manga books, are also hugely popular here. I can’t say if the Japanese books have allowed this format to make progress in Anglo-America however?

    Acajack

    April 26, 2008 at 8:55 am

  18. Ah, interesting! Yes, I think you’re probably right about me, though I think that more than the neighbourhood it’s the public service connection, which throws colleagues and their kids into a certain cultural melting pot. I loved Asterix — would always claim, to the pique of francophone friends, that the English translation was as good as the original (and it actually is extremely creative). Knew of Achille Talon but never read; never, I fear, heard of the others (actually Gaston La Gaffe and Lucky Luke ring distant bells). So, you can probably locate me fairly well on the pop-sociological spectrum!

    I think I’ve never exchanged enough pop cultural currency with our South American and continental European comrades to be able to imagine my own experiment. Come to think of it, though, if you subtracted the (recent) Hollywood factor, I bet most of their reference points would indeed be unknown to the anglosphere. And, needless to say, except that you say it so well, Marvel & DC entirely rule North America (and I think also Britain).

    Manga, yeah, that’s interesting, eh? It constitutes a dedicated cult in the anglosphere: a bit trendy, a bit subversive, a bit weird, a bit forbidding (to the uninitiated), and (to its adherents) totally gripping. I have maybe three or four friends who appreciate it; but I’m 30 so I can’t speak for more than about the 25-35 group (and as an outsider). I hear they’re great, though. I’d say that maybe in about 5 years time some of them will reach the level of popularity of “Sandman” & such. The barrier is perhaps the style of drawing? While distinctly Japanese, of course, the curviness sort of reminds these anglo eyes of European comics, just as Japanese handwriting and European handwriting seem aesthetically akin . . . Now I’m trying to remember what Québécois handwriting is like, and failing.

    hoo-boy

    April 26, 2008 at 10:24 am

  19. “which were Francophones until they entered grade school…do not speak french to each other”

    You know why? Because the language of education is the language of assimilation. Simple as that.

    That’s why the education restrictions is the most important part of Bill 101.

    quebecois separatiste

    April 26, 2008 at 4:48 pm

  20. amen.

    angryfrenchguy

    April 26, 2008 at 7:45 pm

  21. “You know why? Because the language of education is the language of assimilation. Simple as that.

    That’s why the education restrictions is the most important part of Bill 101.”

    Yes, we must send them to re-education camps before its too late!

    Solidarity

    April 26, 2008 at 10:35 pm

  22. “Yes, we must send them to re-education camps before its too late!”

    Public school: normal in any country in the world, “re-education camp” in Québec…

    This is how far we are coming from. The very simple fact that education is a provincial jurisdiction, as established by the constitution in 1867, is still considered a radical idea by Canadians.

    And you say we live in the same country?

    angryfrenchguy

    April 26, 2008 at 11:22 pm

  23. “You know why? Because the language of education is the language of assimilation. Simple as that.”

    Seems to me that massive amounts of resources (several hundred billion dollars some report in tax dollars) have been spent in Canada to further franco immersion programs which have not resulted in anything but dismal results.

    Canada has tried the experiment into this and it has failed…One has to remember that there must be a reason….It is obvious that outside of Quebec the reason is not of importance to the majority.

    It is doubtful anything will ever change.. But then again..is there anyone outside of Quebec trying to erradicate the Quebecois franchise on french…On the contrary…they have tried to further the existence of the language.

    Someting to consider for those concerned with the french language in NA…Look at the numbers.

    ABP

    ABP

    April 27, 2008 at 12:36 am

  24. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=8fe750ca-bbc4-455e-b429-d9d478371e97

    Check this article out…an interesting editorial and quite factual.

    ABP

    ABP

    April 27, 2008 at 9:49 am

  25. The article is factual, but based on incredibly stupid premises:

    1. That bilingualism is about making every single Canadian bilingual.

    No it’s not. It’s the exact opposite. It’s about making it possible for English Canadians and French Canadians to be UNILINGUAL. It’s so they don’t have to use a second language to communicate with their governement. Canada, the governement and it’s institutions, is bilingual in order that Canadians don’t have to be.

    2. The article is not about Canadian bilingualism at all. It’s about bilingualism in New Brunswick.

    As the only officially bilingual province, only New Brunswick makes it a legal obligation that police officers speak the language of the person they are dealing with.

    Again, agents of the state are required to be bilingual so that ordinary New-Brunswickers don’t have to be bilingual.

    As to why the province still hires cops that are not bilingual, that’s a question for the politicians of New-Brunswick.

    angryfrenchguy

    April 27, 2008 at 11:35 am

  26. To Solidarity and afg
    “Yes, we must send them to re-education camps before its too late!” “Amen!”
    And after we go to consentration camps. We new Quebec immigrants know exactly that you Quebec french speaking people are faschists. Simple as that!

    Les autres

    April 27, 2008 at 5:18 pm

  27. Don’t agree with everything he says, but Dan Gardner’s article is still interesting.

    The one feeling it leaves me with is that all of Canada coast to coast went to all this trouble just because the ”we know what’s better for you” federal government refused to let Quebec freely decide for itself what it needed to do to preserve its language and culture. Ottawa preferred to keep Quebec on a leash, and imposed a Canada-wide solution that no one inside or outside Quebec (except for francophones outside Quebec and anglos inside Quebec, who together were less than 7% of the country’s population) really wanted, and it hasn’t really done anything to reduce the risk of Quebec separating since then, as we saw on Oct. 30, 1995.

    Acajack

    April 27, 2008 at 10:09 pm

  28. ABP:

    You wrote:
    “Seems to me that massive amounts of resources (several hundred billion dollars some report in tax dollars) have been spent in Canada to further franco immersion programs which have not resulted in anything but dismal results.“

    Since the Canadian federal government`s annual budget on average is about $200 billion for every single thing it pays for, I fail to see how it could have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on French immersion (especially when education is chiefly a provincial responsibility) or even on bilingualism in general even since 1968.

    Granted, it might be accurate to refer to hundreds of millions of dollars, but even then I’d like to see someone (other than anti-French groups like Canadians for Language Fairness or Confederation of Regions) back up the figures.

    Acajack

    April 27, 2008 at 10:17 pm

  29. Les autres:

    I think they were *joking*.

    Sheesh, they even made the joke in English, the superior language (perhaps in your mind anyway), and you still didn’t get it!

    Guess francophones can never win, right?

    Acajack

    April 27, 2008 at 10:19 pm

  30. “No it’s not. It’s the exact opposite. It’s about making it possible for English Canadians and French Canadians to be UNILINGUAL. It’s so they don’t have to use a second language to communicate with their governement. Canada, the governement and it’s institutions, is bilingual in order that Canadians don’t have to be.”

    Really, then why is it costing so damn much..Why the French immersion programs in Western Canada which are heavily subsidized and really expenseive…to create more civil servants of which we need less; unless AGF, you are an advocate of larger goverment. Billions and Billions of dollars. Also, keep in mind that growing up in Quebec one is exposed far more to french and english (as some have alluded to with all the American television shows etc) as well as a much higher population and more widespread use of both English and French, such as in Montreal.. In the West we are not exposed to the same level of duality…so therefore making the civil service bilingual as a prequisate everywhere in Canada, is somewhat discriminatory against the people from regions outside Quebec such as in Western Canada.

    I also think the article was written in a broader sense than NB, given the figures quoted regarding the entirety of the nation.. NB is the only official bilingual province in Canada as you know well. Quebec is unilingual and dont try and tell me that Quebecers do not receive federal services in the french language.

    In the end I am a firm believer in Quebec separation as this will end the language debate forever and set both sides free of one another and end the misery of the Quebecois. (If you can call the subsidization from other Canadian provinces to Quebec misery)

    ABP

    ABP

    April 27, 2008 at 10:38 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: