AngryFrenchGuy

In Montreal Liberals Try to Speak French and the Bloc won’t Speak English

with 474 comments

In the last few day there has been a few reports and rumours suggesting that some of the political parties in this fall’s federal election were fielding candidates in Montreal that could not speak French.

Intrigued, the PKP cell of the AngryFrenchMediaLabs lauched a major investigtion revealing that for all their talk of inclusion, the two political parties currently slugging it out for the control of Montreal’s electoral map, the Bloc québécois and the Liberal Party of Canada, are still very much le Parti des Anglais and le Parti des Français.

The Liberals

Very few ridings in Montreal seemed to have an active Liberal campaign at all at the time of the investigation, the week of September 14th to the 20th.  Of the handful of candidates that had a phone number and a website, most were in predominantly English-speaking Western Montreal. Even the Liberal Party of Canada – section Québec’s website has a heavy English accent with phrases such as “Contribuez à ce circonscription

Calls to the campaign offices of the party of Trudeau and Official billingualism were usually answered in English or in bilingual.

In the riding of Mount-Royal – the former riding of Pierre Elliot Trudeau himself – the staffer asked the AFG to speak English because it was too noisy.  Is English louder than French?  Mount-Royal is 21% French-speaking and is represented by former justice minister Irwin Cutler.

In nearby Westmount-Ville-Marie, the riding that includes all of Downtown and Old Montreal and where the party is fielding one of it’s rare Francophone rookie stars, rocketman Marc Garneau, the phone was answered in English.  The staffer was able to answer questions in friendly – if laborious – French.

According to the 2001 census, 37% of the ridings residents are English-speaking and 58% speak French or other languages at home.

One of the few active campaigns out east is Jesus… sorry…  Justin Trudeau’s who is trying to get elected in the predominantly French-speaking riding of Papineau with a weird franglais introduction video.  Despite reports that he also employed unilingual Anglo staffers, numerous calls to the campaign headquarters were always answered in French.

In nearby Honoré-Mercier where former Official Languages Commitee chair Pablo Rodriguez was one of the rare Liberal Francos to survive the sponsorship scandal, staffers spoke French to the caller, but the language of work in the campaign office was quite clearly English, as revealed by this CSI-style enhanced clip:

The Bloc

Well…  at least the Liberals were nice.

Justin Trudeau’s opponent, incumbent Vivian Barbot‘s staffer was able to speak to the AFG in English.  But she obviously didn’t want to.  And was quite rude about it.

Over in Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel, whoever was answering the phones for the Bloc candidate Farid Salem simply refused to speak English.

Both ridings are predominantly Francophone, but also have sizable immigrant communities that the Bloc absolutely needs to win over if it wants to take these seats.  Interestingly, both candidates in these ridings are themselves so-called Nouveaux Québécois.

In Western Montreal, where the Bloc will not win any seats, several campaigns were run from the same office and the English was fluent and friendly.

The NDP and the Conservatives

With the improbable exception of Outremont which could re-elect the NDP ‘s Thomas Mulcair and the West Island’s Lac-Saint-Louis riding, which some say is within the Conservatives’ reach, few expect the far left or right to win anything in Montreal.  Calls to the few operational campaign offices of both parties were answered in fluent French and English without any difficulty… or attitude.

Written by angryfrenchguy

September 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm

474 Responses

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  1. “Please shoot me some text links so I may read them. I’m unable to find them on Provicial or Federal web pages or via common legal reference pages.

    I did however find out that, per Yukon legislation it is unlawful to paint a white wooden ladder red. So if I was able to find that on legal texts you’d have to assume I could find some laws based on language.

    I appreciate your assistance.”

    I sincerely hope you’re not implying that I am making this up. Laws from the 19th century may not be digitized (yet? ever?), but that doesn’t mean they didn’t exist and that people don’t write about them:

    http://mediasphere.onf.ca/E/history/content/manitoba_school_act.epl

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_17

    Acajack

    October 7, 2008 at 12:07 pm

  2. “A lot of English schools have closed and enrollment has gone down in many places so loi 101 can been as discriminatory in the sense that it is weakening an institution that is important to the future of the Anglo/English speaking community in Quebec.”

    Interesting, but I wouldn’t use the word discriminatory in a legal sense. It’s consequence of the law. There is enough school deserving the need of the population, but the population had decreased.

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm

  3. “It’s interesting because when I asked on this blog a few threads back, what would actually be different in an independent Quebec, all the answers you guys came up with related to more regulation regarding language, not less regulation. Which is it??”

    I guess there is as many vision as there is people here.
    The idea is an independant Quebec would be a assertment of its majoritarely french aspect and law would be less or no more necessary.

    My ideal system would be a complete autonomy of the three parts of social life: juridical life, cultural life and economical life. In this systemm there is no place for liguistic laws. But it’s an ideal system I’ll never see.

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 12:27 pm

  4. “But it’s an ideal system I’ll never see.”

    And on behalf of the people that have had their rights as Canadians taken away from them in pursuit of this Fascist, supremacist ideal system based on language and “dream”… thank God for that! Don’t worry, the deferment payments so you all can keep playing “nationhood” will keep coming! Don’t you worry about that. Everyone wil continue to pay the tab. And just continue not funding any Anglophone schools and services and we’ll eventually assimilate, die off or move. One of the basic fundamentals of ethnic cleansing. I’m sorry, as you say, “protectionism”.

    “The idea is an independent Quebec would be a assortment of its majoritarely french aspect and law would be less or no more necessary”

    Again, are you speaking as a province of Canada or this pretend “nation within a nation”? You’ll eventually have to stop trying to have it both ways. Psst…Shhh! Don’t tell people I told you?!? People are starting figuring out the rules to your little nationalist game. Ha-ha!!

    Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian

    October 7, 2008 at 12:42 pm

  5. Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadia were did you learn to read?
    Or is my english writing so bad you understand exactly the opposite of what I say?
    Or maybe you just see what you want…as I noticed many many many times.

    Just let me quote you again:
    ” Boo-hoo-hoo. “Anti-Anglos” this. “Anglos prejudice” that. Bill 101. Boo-hoo-hoo.”

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 12:52 pm

  6. “just continue not funding any Anglophone schools and services and we’ll eventually assimilate”

    Have you lost your mind? Do you still have of any sense of intellectual dignity and honesty?

    But just let me quote you again:
    ” Boo-hoo-hoo. “Anti-Anglos” this. “Anglos prejudice” that. Bill 101. Boo-hoo-hoo.”

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 12:57 pm

  7. “””“The idea is an independent Quebec would be a assortment of its majoritarely french aspect and law would be less or no more necessary”
    Again, are you speaking as a province of Canada or this pretend “nation within a nation”? You’ll eventually have to stop trying to have it both ways.””””

    Do you understand the meaning of independant?
    Where did I try ( me in my writings, not the supposed me you think I am ) to have it both ways exactly?
    You are again just talking to yourselves as a schyzophrenic and pathetic paranoĩd.

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 1:02 pm

  8. Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian

    By the way

    Pride is a very childish feeling used by those who only find their identity in what others think of them.

    Just grow up!

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 1:07 pm

  9. “No, because an independent Quebec would have 100% control over all laws, not just the BNA section 92 laws that provinces have jurisdiction over. This would include things such as immigration and mobility rights.
    Having 100% control over all laws and taxes within your borders as well as the right to enter into treaties with other nations is how a nation is defined. Having such control gives a cultural security that can replace the false one given by Bill 101. There are other ways beside language legislation to protect a language and culture.”

    All of this is true but I still don’t see how any of this would be compatible with a unilingual anglo enclave pretty much in the heart of the business district of the largest city in the “country” of Quebec. If this enclave turned out to be as economically dynamic as you think it would be, uppity francophones would still have to check their language at the door in order to progress economically *internally* within their own country, in addition to checking it at the door, as is normal, in order to deal with the rest of North America. What would be the point of independence under that scenario? The situation of French in western Montreal might actually become worse than it is right now!

    Anyway, all of this is moot because U.S. investors, unilingual or not, aren’t going to be taking up residence in Quebec any time soon. They aren’t doing it now, and they won’t be doing it in the future no matter what happens with Quebec’s political status.

    Besides, these days one doesn’t have to live in a place in order to invest there, even heavily. Everyone knows that.

    Acajack

    October 7, 2008 at 1:08 pm

  10. Acajack writes: “If this enclave turned out to be as economically dynamic as you think it would be, uppity francophones would still have to check their language at the door in order to progress economically *internally* within their own country, in addition to checking it at the door, as is normal, in order to deal with the rest of North America. What would be the point of independence under that scenario? The situation of French in western Montreal might actually become worse than it is right now!”

    Yes, the situation of French in western Montreal probably would become worse.

    So why do it?

    ‘Cause you get your own country in exchange…and the rest of Quebec will be as French as you want it to be.

    The future for Quebec is going to be more and more English for everyone anyway because English is the international language of business and culture. At least with a fully independent nation there will be the protection for French. But, yes, there will be lots of English.

    Acajack goes on to write: “Anyway, all of this is moot because U.S. investors, unilingual or not, aren’t going to be taking up residence in Quebec any time soon. They aren’t doing it now, and they won’t be doing it in the future no matter what happens with Quebec’s political status.”

    I contend they aren’t doing it now because of language laws. They very well may do it in an independent Quebec once there are no more language laws in the, as you put it, the unilingual anglo enclave.

    As for not having to live in a place in order to invest there: yes, that’s true…for LARGE businesses. But about 80% of the private sector is small businesses, not big businesses, and those that invest in small and medium sized businesses usually do live in the area in which they set up those enterprises.

    T.K.

    October 7, 2008 at 1:50 pm

  11. “I contend they aren’t doing it now because of language laws. They very well may do it in an independent Quebec once there are no more language laws in the, as you put it, the unilingual anglo enclave.”

    This is poppycock. I lived in the ROC for most of my life and I can count on one hand (and still have some fingers left over) the number of new neighbours I ever saw who were Americans who just decided to move up to Canada from Syracuse, or Millinocket or Kalamazoo to open a MailBoxes Etc. franchise, a livestock feed operation or graphic design firm here. And there were no language laws in the provinces in which I lived. American economic/investor immigration is negligeable and a non-factor in Canada, both inside and outside Quebec.

    Besides, one of the major goals of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution, whether you look at it from an indépendantiste viewpoint or not, is to give rise to a home-grown business class in Quebec that can manage its own affairs, rather than always have to import business know-how.

    What your proposing is the exact opposite. Whether Quebec is independent or not, why would people from Quebec not be able to build their own economy? Why are they assumed to be incapable of this? Are Bombardier, Quebecor, Couche-Tard, Vachon, etc. not evidence that we don’t need to bring people in from West Virginia to show us how to run a business.

    Now, if people from West Virginia want to come here and set up a business and behave the exact same way a person from Quebec would behave if they were to do the same in West Virginia, then they’re more than welcome here.

    Acajack

    October 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm

  12. Acajack, if you don’t believe anglo investors will come from the States, how about from the rest of Canada?

    As for being capable of doing it on their own, I am sure that they are…but they aren’t. Otherwise, they wouldn’t need Bill 101 to artificially prop themselves up.

    T.K.

    October 7, 2008 at 3:27 pm

  13. Acajack writes: “Now, if people from West Virginia want to come here and set up a business and behave the exact same way a person from Quebec would behave if they were to do the same in West Virginia, then they’re more than welcome here.”

    But they’re not allowed to.

    When Quebecers go to West Virginia, they aren’t prevented from doing business in any language that they choose.

    In Quebec West Virginians would be. They are also prevented from being treated as equal when it comes to schools.

    T.K.

    October 7, 2008 at 3:29 pm

  14. “As for being capable of doing it on their own, I am sure that they are…but they aren’t. Otherwise, they wouldn’t need Bill 101 to artificially prop themselves up.”

    Saying that the existence of Bill 101 is proof that Quebec, as a simple Canadian province with limited autonomy rather than a full-fledged country, is not viable as a unique society, is like saying that Michael Phelps can’t swim because he probably couldn’t stay afloat with his feet cased in cement…

    Acajack

    October 7, 2008 at 3:34 pm

  15. “When Quebecers go to West Virginia, they aren’t prevented from doing business in any language that they choose.
    In Quebec West Virginians would be. They are also prevented from being treated as equal when it comes to schools.”

    Can I file my tax return in French in West Virginia? Can I communicate with the United States Post Office in French in West Virginia? If I get sick, what are the chances that WV hospital staff will treat me in French?

    Sure, there are pie-in-the-sky theoretical freedoms that a francophone would enjoy in West Virginia, but everything Anglo-Quebecers have as far and rights and privileges has to be taken into the equation as well.

    Otherwise, the discussion enters the realm of absurdity. OK…it might be too late to avoid that here.

    Acajack

    October 7, 2008 at 3:38 pm

  16. Don any of you people have jobs??? Or all you all retired by the amount of time you have to spend on this blog.

    ABP

    ABP

    October 7, 2008 at 3:39 pm

  17. “Don any of you people have jobs??? Or all you all retired by the amount of time you have to spend on this blog.”

    Don’t you know we are all living on canadian subsidies?….LOL !

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 3:41 pm

  18. Sacré Kriss! J’allais justement écrire la même chose à notre ami ABP! ;-))

    Acajack

    October 7, 2008 at 3:46 pm

  19. That wouldn’t surprise me.

    ABP

    October 7, 2008 at 3:46 pm

  20. “Sacré Kriss! J’allais justement écrire la même chose à notre ami ABP! ;-))”

    Pour quoi pas, vous pensez les meme choses. Vous resemble deux pois dans le gousse. :)

    Excusemoi, je doit retourner avec mon travaile..J’ai les grande “taxes” pour aider les belle province. ;)

    ABP

    ABP

    ABP

    October 7, 2008 at 4:11 pm

  21. “Don any of you people have jobs??? Or all you all retired by the amount of time you have to spend on this blog.”

    Nope. I’m a nationalist’s worst nightmare. A pissed off, 30-something, Anglo from from Verdun, who now has a lot of money and a whole bunch of spare time.

    “Don’t you know we are all living on canadian subsidies?….LOL !”

    …and the truth shall set you free! LOL

    Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian

    October 7, 2008 at 5:19 pm

  22. “Pour quoi pas, vous pensez les meme choses. Vous resemble deux pois dans le gousse. :)”

    Well, no man! Acajack doesn’t want independant Quebec and I do. You cannot accuse him of being a blind separatist, ( me neither by the way ) He has another point of view tha makes him so interesting. He tempers all of your exagerations and put a sense of reality in that too many loose here.

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 5:19 pm

  23. ” I’m a nationalist’s worst nightmare”

    Ha Ha Ha!

    Again, you’re believing yourself too much man. You just sound ridiculus. Nothing scary about it. More like a Haunted House for kids, catually.

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 5:23 pm

  24. Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian

    Actualy I would like to discusss with you as with anybody else put you seem in your own world. Too bad.

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 5:34 pm

  25. Kriss writes (about Proud Angry — Proud Canadian): “Again, you’re believing yourself too much man. You just sound ridiculus. Nothing scary about it. More like a Haunted House for kids, catually.”

    Proud Angryphone is the only reasonable person on this forum…and fully justified in feeling the way he does.

    What I hope to do, however, is convince him that he should drop the “Proud Canadian” part of his moniker by showing him that Canada — contrary to the promise of Confederation — is the entity most responsible for the horrible situation of anglophones in Quebec today. Canada is the problem, not Quebec.

    T.K.

    October 7, 2008 at 7:09 pm

  26. “I’m a nationalist’s worst nightmare.”

    This is said by someone who calls himself: Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian…

    angryfrenchguy

    October 7, 2008 at 8:00 pm

  27. “He tempers all of your exagerations and put a sense of reality in that too many loose here.”

    What exagerations “mon ami”?

    ABP

    October 7, 2008 at 8:44 pm

  28. “who now has a lot of money and a whole bunch of spare time”

    Spare time…have you considered doing some work for a charity….I understand Quebec residents have one of the lowest rates of charitable donations in Canada…Maybe you could change this with your spare time.. Doubt you will change anybody’s feelings on this blog…

    Good way to vent and blow off steam, however.

    ABP

    October 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm

  29. “What exagerations “mon ami”?”

    Just an example:

    ” ABP:
    “I guess this will come as a great revelation too you…most in the ROC want you to leave and get on with our poor anlgo lives.“

    Acajack:
    “No they do not. There has never been a single public opinion poll on this that has shown more than 10% support for Quebec independence in the ROC.”

    First you make a declaration of rethorical effect, which is more an emotional impression or a wish than a fact; then he replies with a fact.

    Very interesting.

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 9:08 pm

  30. To his answer all you answer yourself is:

    “As in sales, they haven’t bought yet..because they need more information…And that is what the ROC needs, the knowledge of the situation”

    Pas fort! Coudn’t you say the same thing about the project of an independent Quebec?

    “Majority Quebecers hasen’t bought in 1995…because they needed more information etc…”

    Kriss

    October 7, 2008 at 9:13 pm


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