Make Your Own Bill 101

with 431 comments

So you think you know a better way of protecting the French language in Québec? You’ve figured out how to balance the rights of 7 million French-speakers gasping for air in a sea of more than 300 million English-speakers while respecting the rights of a historical English-speaking minority, natives and newly arrived immigrants? You’ve figured out the precise spot where one person’s right end and another’s freedom begins?

Do it!

Today AngryFrenchGuy introduces Make Your Own Bill 101, a fully public Wiki where Purzédurzs and Angryphones can work together, hand in hand, to create a better language law for Québec.

If my past attempts at fixing bill 101 are any indication, you bitches only enjoy whining and you don’t have many actual alternatives offer.  But I’m giving it another shot anyway.

MYOB101 begins with the Charter of the French Language as it stands on March 31st 2009. In the spirit of Wikipedia, Make your Own Bill 101 makes the French Language Charter Open Source. Anyone can change it, tweak it, fix it, add rules and remove rules. It was inspired by, a make-your-own-language-law wiki created by Hywel Williams, member of the British House of Commons to design a language law for Wales.

To get things started, I’ve already made a few changes to the law myself.

1.  From now on, a minimum of three complaints against a business or commerce will be required before the Office Québécois de la Langue Française can begin an investigation and potentially issue a fine.

2.  To discourage vigilantes, persons filing complaints with the OQLF shall provide proof that they live, work or own property in the same postal code, or in a postal code adjacent, to the business against which the complaint has been filed.

3. Businesses will no longer be required to have a French name.  That is silly and useless.  (English-only names are cheesy, tacky, and unimaginative.  But we can’t start having laws against that…)

4.  fines for repeat offender will be tougher.

You have a better idea?  Please be my gest.

Written by angryfrenchguy

April 6, 2009 at 2:32 pm

431 Responses

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  1. “I think that the chances that such a school system would pass constitutional muster are zero, not to mention the fact that the idea has no support among either Anglos or Hispanics.”

    In California it would violate voter passed iniatives, ok I agree.

    But it wouldn’t violate the equal protection clause so long as no one is excluded who wants to attend. So what exactly would stop it from coming about?

    I agree that nobody supports — and shouldn’t support — such a system in the US. And if anglos created the system to remove hispanics and dump them, sure you’d have a lawsuit saying that hispanics were being denied the right to equal opportunity. But as you rightly pointed out above, Americans want immigrants to learn English.

    So it would have to come at the request of hispanics, which would be ok so long as everybody could attend who wanted to.

    I’m just taking issue with your claim that it would violate constitutional rights. The US constitution says nothing about language or education.


    April 25, 2009 at 7:24 am

  2. Hey Angry, please read the link:


    April 25, 2009 at 7:36 am

  3. True, the constitution is silent on this issue, but there is a truckload of case law since Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka to the effect that you cannot legally set up public schools that segregate. Compare the law in Canada/Québec, where separate English- and French-language school systems are the rule! The difference in traditions is like night and day.


    April 25, 2009 at 7:55 am

  4. Let me clear: I definitely agree about the difference in traditions, no argument there.

    However, as Edward reminds us, there are publicly funded magnet schools and charter schools. They are given room to “segregate” based on a focus in science or math or bilingual immersion, etc.

    In our hypothetical situation, the Spanish-only school is simply a school that operates under a different language and is open to all. Hispanics would be free to attend or not, based on their parent’s educational goals. Nothing unconstitutional about that.

    Not a good idea, but that’s another matter.


    April 25, 2009 at 8:19 am

  5. > My issue is with the existence of the English school board. I think it is
    > bullsh*t to have a separate but equal system just for Anglos in a province
    > where French is the official language. BUT for some reason you guys
    > generously provide it only to a limited segment of the population. This
    > is not the way public services should work.

    Edward, you grew up in the US, so obviously you are more familiar with individual rights than collective rights. This individualism and emphasis on individual rights, responsibilities and freedoms is what your country of birth is famous for, after all. But collective rights do exist as well. And you shouldn’t think of English-language public education as an individual right Quebec citizens enjoy. It is a collective right granted to the anglophone Quebec community because of its historical presence and importance in Quebec. And how this community is defined is a matter of debate.

    And johnnyonline, if you’re reading this, I don’t know if you saw, but I’ve answered (partly for now, but soon completely) a long post of yours to me a few pages back. It was on page two of this thread.


    April 25, 2009 at 8:38 am

  6. > Perhaps Quebec should get their own airline (Air Quebecois) and designate
    > it uniligually french (joual) so everyone could make a choice. I am sure
    > you could get a subsidy from Ottawa; for such a worthwhile endeavor!

    What is it with this anglo obsession with francophone Quebecers not speaking “real French” but some sort of brain-damaged attempt at it called “joual”? Yes, I know, some francophones also think that, but anglophones seem to have majorly picked up on it. But Quebec has never tried to claim that its language is anything other than standard French, completely mutually intelligible with every other French dialect out there.

    Yes, I know that French Canadians don’t have a reputation for great intelligence (one of the reasons why I usually don’t use this term to describe me), but come on.


    April 25, 2009 at 8:43 am

  7. “Do you tolerate earing french when you visit your daughter in Montreal? Or you become sick and search your earplugs…I’m sure you are not that kind of intolerant guy, that is surely the perequation thing that obscess you..”

    Mais non, mon ami, Je ne suis pas offenser par le francais sur les avions et en fait, Je parler francais un peu avec mes petit-enfants quand je suis a Montreal. Avec d’autres aussi comme les couchetards etc. quand leur acceptez mon tres tres pauvre francais.

    Just think it a wast of time on flights where there is no need such as in the West. Of course Canada is a bilingual country ;), so we must “all” maintain the image.

    Voici un pilote de l’air quebecois.


    April 25, 2009 at 2:30 pm

  8. I think Anglo Canadians speak funny too (since Brooklyn-ese is the only pure North American English), but there’s no derogatory word for it to my knowledge.

    As for so-called “Joual”, fuggetaboutit!
    It ain’t too pretty, but at least it’s got heart and soul.


    April 25, 2009 at 5:47 pm

  9. As if hearing for the 194th time about how your seat cushion can be used as a flotation device in the unlikely possibility of a water landing on a transcontinental flight is not a waste of time for anyone already in one language.

    On the other hand at least they don’t charge extra for it.


    April 25, 2009 at 5:51 pm

  10. “C’est la guerre”
    But I’m a lover not a fighter. I think we can find solutions that don’t involve sticking your thumbs in your ears and sticking out your tongue.

    Marc. Your point about collective rights is well taken, but usually collective rights are conferred to undo some past injustice That is not what Bill 101 does in its (amended) protections of the Anglo community. Instead I think it is more like a tit-for-tat deal where we Francophones get all the extreme changes that we want and you Anglophones can have a few extreme concessions too — just keep the supreme court out of our hair please.

    As for the rest of y’all, there’s too many martyrs around here already so shut up and do something for the rest of us for a change.


    April 25, 2009 at 6:10 pm

  11. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just bitter because I’m accustomed to being the rich white male who gets to make the rules to mandate and rationalize forcing others less powerful than me to do my bidding. I find it’s no fun to be the powerless minority puppet of those with power.

    I don’t begrudge the French their language, or the English their comfortable Westmount cloistered lifestyle. Knock yourselves out guys, just don’t start barking orders telling me what I have to do to protect your own selfish interests.


    April 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm

  12. Sorry I go too far. I just met with the accountant this afternoon, so I’m a bit hypersensitive to being asked to sacrifice for others.


    April 25, 2009 at 6:23 pm

  13. Yes, no charge for the extra effort with the safety announcements…not like baggage these days where last week I had to pay for checking baggage on United.

    Oh the days of ore when airline travel was not such a chore.


    April 25, 2009 at 6:49 pm

  14. Sorry to get off topic but ABP’s post reminds me of this:


    April 25, 2009 at 9:13 pm

  15. Je suis content que votre fille ait decide d’apprendre le francais, c’est une bonne chose. J’espere toutefois qu’elle ne l’apprends pas en ecoutant les tetes a claques..


    April 26, 2009 at 12:19 am

  16. I think he is talking about Air Canada staff, who are not federal public servants. Though AC is I believe the number one target of federal official language complaints (though they are private and have been for some time, they still have an obligation to provide bilingual service, although they seem to have a tough time at it.)

    BTW, I’ve been on flights in the US where safety announcements were in English and Spanish where I didn’t overhear a single person on board speaking Spanish, and of course in spite of the fact that Spanish has no legal status in the US.

    Federal official language laws or not, Quebec in Canada or not, it’s likely that French will retain some practicality (especially for safety concerns) in the most northern half of North America for quite some time.


    April 26, 2009 at 4:12 pm

  17. AFG: “I, and most sovereigntists, agree that the current arrangement leads to a very arbitrary “genetically” passable right to a separate school system that will inevitably lose with time any relation to the English-speaking population of Montreal.”

    One of the most interesting things said on this thread but no one has responded to it. I think the English school system has already lost of much of its relation to the community it is supposed to serve, and the decline of its relevance will continue and even accelerate. We are headed for a time of reckoning on this issue, and perhaps a “moment in time” that should be seized when it happens in order to lead us to a unified school system for Quebec.

    Other provinces will also face similar upheavals, most notably Ontario that offers full public funding to schools of the Catholic faith but not to schools of other religions. Hard to justify in the 21st century, even if it is in the Constitution.

    Hold on to your hats people.


    April 26, 2009 at 4:28 pm

  18. Thanks for clarifying your thoughts Edward. As I suspected, we absolutely agree. I just don’t know if you understand your beef is not with Bill 101, but with the Canadian Constitution.

    And as far as I’m concerned, my opinion on the Canadian constitution is: Burn that bitch!


    April 26, 2009 at 5:49 pm

  19. “And as far as I’m concerned, my opinion on the Canadian constitution is: Burn that bitch!”

    But AFG, as I understand you are an indpenediste (separatist) or whatever you wish to call yourself. Why would you even involve yourself with the Canadian constitution when your objectives are obvious to all.

    It should not be a factor in your life!, n’est pas.

    Maybe “burn that bitch” for your opinions but others have their opinions as well which are not aligned with yours.


    April 26, 2009 at 6:27 pm

  20. Mais oui, je pense que notre fille fait un bon choix avec le francais en Montreal. Et pour notre petit-enfants aussi.

    Deux langue ete milleur avant une.

    a plus tard


    April 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm

  21. Of course the Constitution concerns Angry French Guy. Indépendantiste or not, the Constitution of Canada is in effect and largely governs life in the part of the world where he lives. Whether he likes it or not.


    April 26, 2009 at 9:58 pm

  22. That’s my opinion view of QE2.


    April 26, 2009 at 10:11 pm

  23. Perhaps you can join him and predicate something that is good for both of you.


    April 26, 2009 at 10:25 pm

  24. as long as the pitchforks and torches are coming out…

    “Laissez faire! — Je commence par dire, pour prévenir toute équivoque; que laissez faire s’applique ici aux choses honnêtes, l’État étant institué précisément pour empêcher les choses déshonnêtes.

    Cela posé, et quant aux choses innocentes par elles-mêmes, comme le travail, l’échange, l’enseignement, l’association, la banque, etc.; il faut pourtant opter. Il faut que l’État laisse faire ou empêche de faire.

    S’il laisse faire, nous serons libres et économiquement administrés, rien ne coûtant moins que de laisser faire.

    S’il empêche de faire, malheur à notre liberté et à notre bourse. À notre liberté, puisqu’empêcher c’est lier les bras: à notre bourse, car pour empêcher, il faut des agents, et pour avoir des agents, il faut de l’argent.

    À cela les socialistes disent: Laissez faire! mais c’est une horreur! — Et pourquoi, s’il vous plaît? — Parce que; quand on les laisse faire, les hommes font mal et agissent contre leurs intérêts. Il est bon que l’État les dirige.

    Voilà qui est plaisant. Quoi! vous avez une telle foi dans la sagacité humaine que vous voulez le suffrage universel et le gouvernement de tous par tous; et puis, ces mêmes hommes que vous jugez aptes à gouverner les autres, vous les proclame inaptes à se gouverner eux-mêmes!”

    ~ the broken window guy


    April 27, 2009 at 1:19 am

  25. marc,

    danke unt bon voyage –



    April 27, 2009 at 1:42 am

  26. afg: “And as far as I’m concerned, my opinion on the Canadian constitution is: Burn that bitch!”

    afg, take a deep breath, count to ten, and repeat after me:

    “I, AFG, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. So help me God.”

    If this doesn’t solve your issues, then I’m afraid I can’t help you.


    April 27, 2009 at 8:50 am

  27. Native-born Canadians like AFG almost certainly is don’t have to swear allegiance to anyone or anything in order to obtain citizenship.


    April 27, 2009 at 9:31 am

  28. He is a loyal subject of Her Majesty the Queen nonetheless. Reciting the pledge of allegiance to our beloved Queen Mother might be good therapy for him.


    April 27, 2009 at 10:08 am

  29. As I have written here before I have no problem with the monarchy (although swearing blind allegiance to anyone is not my style). I actually think an independent Québec should keep that good old Betty on as head of State.


    April 27, 2009 at 1:40 pm

  30. agf – truly – you are a shocking personality and full of surprises.

    “I was informed that Quebec taxes my wife, who works in NY, on her US income even though she is neither citizen nor landed immigrant here. Her only link to Canada and Quebec is that we’re married.”

    and can somebody call their accountant and get edward a second opinion on tax liabilities? i can’t believe that’s possible. what’s next – ritual sacrifice?


    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm

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