AngryFrenchGuy

Bill 104: The Supremes Got It Right

with 364 comments

Bill 104 quebec langauge law

The Bill 104 case was not about language. It was about fraud. The plaintiff’s represented by Brent Tyler were not contesting the articles of the Charter of the French Langage that say they couldn’t send their children to publicly funded English-language schools in Québec. They went to court to protect a right to cheat.

The Court has already examined the articles of Bill 101 that say only a child who has himself, or who’s parents have, received the majority of their schooling in English somewhere in Canada can go to public English schools in Québec. They ruled them to be just fine.

This case was not about that at all. This case was about parents who had found a loophole in the law by which they could buy their children a spot in a public school by sending one child to an unsubsidised private school for one year and then claim that their six year old child had received « the majority of his schooling in an English school in Canada. »

This case has nothing whatsoever with these parents’ right to choose the language of education of their children. They have that right. They exercised it when they paid for the private school.

This case was about my obligation to pay for the English-language education of the children of people too stupid and disoriented to find the English-speaking part of North America or too cheap to send them to summer camp at the Y.

Christ, doesn’t Tim Horton’s have a program or something?

The justices ruled that Bill 104, the law passed to close the loophole, was unconstitutional (not that Québec has ever signed that constitution) and contrary to a Charter of Rights and Freedoms purposely designed to open up such loopholes in Québec’s language law. Aware of all this, and of the political mess their ruling would probably cause, the justices suspended the application of their judgement for one year while the Québec City government lawyers find another way to patch the loophole.

The justices decided that an unconstitutional law should stay on the books for one whole year. In other words, they said the intent of the law was the right one, but that it was badly formulated, and gave Québec a year to fix it.  I’d say that’s quite a statement on the moral legitimacy of Brent Tyler and his gang’s cause.

Now, of course, it’s on. Pauline Marois is going to claim that the Charter of the French language is peril and that only independence can save the French language. The Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste will say something terribly old fashioned about the Québec Nation and Patrick Bourgeois will make veiled hints at violence.

The Liberals are going to act very upset, lest they get labeld as week on language.  Spaceman Marc Garneau might even take a crack at the posturing.

And, of course, Anglo Righters are going to claim the court gave every parent the moral right to find a way to send their kids to public English schools and you can expect a steady stream of angry and factually incorrect letters in all major English language dailies.

They’re all wrong.

Only the Supremes got it right.

Written by angryfrenchguy

October 22, 2009 at 7:48 pm

364 Responses

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  1. ABP, Montréal est une ville francophone: les gens de l’extérieur de la grande agglomération de Montréal ( 50 pour cent du Québec ) l’apprécient bien, sauf les résidents de la ville de Québec, qui sont plus conservateurs et qui depuis toujours furent jaloux de la métropole. Étant donné le succes économique de Québec depuis quelques années, c’est moins le cas maintenant. Cependant, c’est le cas typique de la petite ville envieuse de la grande, de la capitale vis a vis la métropole. Ce phénomene existe a plusieurs endroits dans le monde: on n’a qu’a demander aux résidents de Lyon ce qu’ils pensent de Paris. Montréal est le centre du Québec et ce n’est pas pret de changer…Question politique, les plus souverainistes sont montréalais, les moins sont résidents de la jolie ville de Québec ou de la beauce..

    midnightjack

    November 20, 2009 at 1:56 am

  2. @Tony—Two well known “old stock” American families with partial Indian ancestry that I know of are the Houstons (best known member: Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas) and the Jeromes (well known members: William Travers Jerome, District Attorney of New York County, and his daughter, Jennie Jerome, mother of Winston Churchill).

    A good many blacks here claim Indian ancestry, too. The prizefighter Joe Louis apparently had some Indian forbears, as did the writer Richard Wright.

    littlerob

    November 20, 2009 at 11:36 am

  3. ABP “Yes, I think this has merit.
    Quebec the province dislikes Montreal (apres tout, des maudit anglos) …but.. Quebec is nothing without Montreal, which in the end drives the economy of Quebec.
    Intersting condundrum they face.”

    This is very typical of metropolis vs. hinterland relationships.

    People in Canada outside the GTA just love Toronto, don’t they?

    There is of course an added dimension because of the language issue in Quebec, though it is a bit exaggerated. Montreal is not really an “anglo city”, it is just too anglo (and too allo perhaps) for the liking of many people from the other regions of Quebec.

    And I would tend to agree with the post in French that anti-Montreal sentiment is mostly a Quebec City thing.

    There is not so much anti-Montreal animosity in the other regions. In Gatineau, Montreal is popular in many ways (though it has some detractors as well), and Montreal sports teams are generally more popular than Ottawa clubs here. People from Gatineau will sometimes go to concerts at the Bell Centre in Montreal rather than in Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, for example.

    Acajack

    November 20, 2009 at 11:45 am

  4. Just my 2 sous on the ancestry of the Québécois: In my experience in QC (which is limited to Montréal and the 450), I have seen an astonishingly large number of faces that are nearly identical to faces I have seen a million times before in Irish neighborhoods in the US. I don’t know what the connection is, but nobody can convince me that one doesn’t exist.

    littlerob

    November 20, 2009 at 12:13 pm

  5. “Just my 2 sous on the ancestry of the Québécois: In my experience in QC (which is limited to Montréal and the 450), I have seen an astonishingly large number of faces that are nearly identical to faces I have seen a million times before in Irish neighborhoods in the US. I don’t know what the connection is, but nobody can convince me that one doesn’t exist.”

    Yeah, not too many redheads and freckle faces in France. At least not compared to how many you see in a francophone Quebec schoolyard.

    Conventional wisdom in Quebec is that just under 50% of the population has some Irish blood in them. I don’t know how accurate that is but my own family tree suggests I do as well – via the name Johnson, like one of the kids in that video.

    Conventional wisdom (accurate or not) also suggests that between 50 and 70% of the francophone population in Quebec has at least some aboriginal blood in them as well.

    Of course, no large-scale DNA testing has ever been done and like the comments about aboriginal blood in white Americans, generalizations are anecdotally based on testing done here and there.

    I have heard anecdotally that almost all DNA tests done on old-stock Canadian francophones reveal aboriginal genes, and that tests done on English-speaking Canadians (in Quebec and outside the province as well) reveal fewer occurences of aboriginal ancestry and higher percentages of European origin.

    But the Irish presence in francophones in definitely there. There is a totally francophone family that lives across the street from me where both parents have Irish surnames.

    Irish surnames also show up among my kids’ classmates, as do Scottish ones. And this is not counting all the Irish, Scottish and English surnames that were Frenchified and are now invisible.

    With the Irish getting all the publicity, the Scottish presence in Quebec is also often overlooked, but there are many as well: Fraser, Reid, Blackburn, Aylwin, MacDuff.

    Many of the Scottish francophones are descendants are from the Fraser Highlanders, who ironically were the soldiers who won the Battle of the Plains of Abraham for Britain. After their victory, most of them stuck around Quebec, married francophone women, and their descendants 250 years later are all French-speaking.

    Acajack

    November 20, 2009 at 12:48 pm

  6. Acajack writes:

    I have heard anecdotally that almost all DNA tests done on old-stock Canadian francophones reveal aboriginal genes, and that tests done on English-speaking Canadians (in Quebec and outside the province as well) reveal fewer occurences of aboriginal ancestry and higher percentages of European origin.

    Again, this very well may be a function of the fact that an “English-speaking Canadian” is a Greek or Italian or whatever those ancestors emigrated to Canada less than 100 years ago and came to urban areas where there are few Indians. Whereas “old stock” English-speakers who ancestors date back to the times, like the francophones, when there was greater contact between the aboriginals and the Whites would probably have the same percentage of Indian blood as francophones have. Francophones up until recently didn’t “mix” much with immigrants, this would explain why their aboriginal DNA would be higher than English-speakers in general.

    Tony Kondaks

    November 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm

  7. “Francophones up until recently didn’t “mix” much with immigrants, this would explain why their aboriginal DNA would be higher than English-speakers in general.”

    This is very true.

    Acajack

    November 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm

  8. BTW, by saying that francophones seem to generally be more likely to have aboriginal blood and more of it than anglophones, I am not at all implying that anglos were more racist and declined to interbreed with natives because they saw them as lesser peoples.

    One of the main reasons for so much mixing between francophones and natives was that in the early days of New France there were relatively few women in the colony. This was especially true outside of the (few) towns that the colony had, where there were almost no women from France.

    Anglo settler groups in North America were somewhat more balanced between males and females.

    Acajack

    November 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

  9. “People from Gatineau will sometimes go to concerts at the Bell Centre in Montreal rather than in Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, for example”

    Given the choice, Montreal would get my vote. Ottawa/Gatineau is a nice place but Montreal is much more cosmopolitain and interesting, at least in my opinion.

    ABP

    November 20, 2009 at 7:23 pm

  10. “Question politique, les plus souverainistes sont montréalais, les moins sont résidents de la jolie ville de Québec ou de la beauce..”

    Yes, that is interesting. Perhaps it is because there are more anglos in Montreal than in the more rural areas and thus the “perceived” threat to the french language is much less visible and therefore not viewed as such a large issue.

    Mercie pour ton pensees sur cette pointe.

    ABP

    November 20, 2009 at 7:33 pm

  11. Disons que c’est a Montréal qu’on peux vivre le choc des mentalités, c’est-a-dire le point ou apres avoir tout fait pour trouver une vision commune ( entre anglos et francos ), nous devons convenir en tout respect que nous ne pensons pas pareil et ne partageons pas les memes valeurs sur bien des points.Ceci étant dit, nous devons souligner aussi que des deux cotés personne ne semble pret a faire des concessions. Les deux visions sont simplement irréconciliables, comme on le constate souvent sur ce blog. En aucun cas je dis que la discution est inutile: en plus de nous faire comprendre la mentalité de l’autre, elle amene jusqu’a un certain point des nuances et contribue a la destruction de certains mythes. Mais le mur invisible existe bel et bien..

    midnightjack

    November 21, 2009 at 12:38 am

  12. désolé, j’aurais du écrire: discussion

    midnightjack

    November 21, 2009 at 12:46 am

  13. “désolé, j’aurais du écrire: discussion”

    Likely the two will never agree “eye to eye” It would appear that the separitist issue is again gaining some ground in Quebec with the recent language debate regarding 104 and the old politician Parizeau releasing his book of his “ancien idees”.

    I watched a program on CBC this evening regarding walls that countries are constructing in the US and in Europe to restrict access. Hard to imagine but I can see the polarization between Quebec and Canada resulting in a wall (perhaps not physically but I believe the sociological wall is already constructed) to divide the two groups.

    It will be too bad if this happens but with the stiff jaws on both sides I doubt it will be avoided.

    As I have said before, the two don’t for the most part trust or share any mutual admiration for each other. Frogs, tete carrete, blokes etc etc.

    Sad perhaps but I believe the wall is inevitable. Ottawa is but a catalyst in the struggle and will lose out in the end.

    Bonne chance.

    C’est a voir, qu’ont le gagnant. Likely no one.

    ABP

    November 21, 2009 at 2:48 am

  14. L’idee du pays n’a jamais disparu. L’enthousiasme a fait place a la morosite apres 1995. Le militants esperent que quelqu’un relancera le projet de facon déterminante, dans le bon temps. Mais l’espoir a toujours été la…Une aspiration aussi forte ne disparait pas comme ca: ce serait comme demander a une femme de ne pas vouloir d’enfant..

    midnightjack

    November 21, 2009 at 3:16 am

  15. Many anglos and francos works together in Montréal. The
    movie industry brings together the two solitudes, the music scene also. It would be impossible without a minimum of respect. It is possible as long we don’t speak politics, so everybody lean to choose the place and the moment for that kind of conversation.

    midnightjack

    November 21, 2009 at 3:22 am

  16. learn..instead of lean..sorry for the mistake, i will take care…

    midnightjack

    November 21, 2009 at 4:01 am

  17. Puisqu’on parlait de ville, j’ai une question pour vous tous mes amis. Comment les anglos de Montreal percoivent ils Toronto ? Comment les gens de Toronto voient-ils Montreal?

    midnightjack

    November 21, 2009 at 8:58 am

  18. Tchèque it out! Allophone started his own blog!

    http://www.parkavenuegazette.com/Introduction_page.htm

    angryfrenchguy

    November 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm

  19. “Tchèque it out! Allophone started his own blog!”

    Lots of information on that one :)

    ABP

    November 21, 2009 at 8:22 pm

  20. Dégoutant!

    midnightjack

    November 21, 2009 at 11:49 pm

  21. “Degoutant”

    Oui, Je d’accorde avec toi.

    ABP

    November 22, 2009 at 1:09 am

  22. “Puisqu’on parlait de ville, j’ai une question pour vous tous mes amis. Comment les anglos de Montreal percoivent ils Toronto ? Comment les gens de Toronto voient-ils Montreal?”

    Anglo-Montrealers I have known generally consider Toronto and Ontario in general to be boring and colourless. Perhaps it is part of their defence mechanism to resist the inner urge to move there…

    People in Toronto don’t generally think of Montreal or have a rivalry with it (unless the Habs are doing much better than the Leafs). Toronto’s eyes are turned south – and southeast even more precisely, towards New York.

    In its mind, Toronto doesn’t really have rivalries with other cities in Canada.

    As for Franco-Montrealers, they don’t really think about Toronto much. Their focus is on New York and Paris, or Paris and New York depending on who you talk to. And their “national” rivalry is with Quebec City, not Toronto.

    Acajack

    November 23, 2009 at 10:20 am

  23. “People in Toronto don’t generally think of Montreal or have a rivalry with it (unless the Habs are doing much better than the Leafs).”

    uh-uh…

    https://i1.wp.com/farm1.static.flickr.com/28/57198622_fca5cea6fd.jpg

    angryfrenchguy

    November 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm

  24. LOL!

    Great photograph!

    But I have to assume the rivalry was much greater in the ’60s when I was a kid: only 6 teams and the Habs would play the Leafs on a Saturday night and then take the train to Toronto and play them on Sunday night. And they did that several times a year!

    Tony Kondaks

    November 23, 2009 at 7:38 pm

  25. “And their “national” rivalry is with Quebec City, not Toronto.”

    Go Nords Go :)

    John

    November 24, 2009 at 7:57 am

  26. “unless the Habs are doing much better than the Leafs”

    —that would be about ninety percent of the time in the past forty years, wouldn’t it?

    Have the Leafs really amounted to anything since the halcyon days of the ’60s, when Bobby Baun scored that overtime goal to tie up the Stanley Cup final series against the Red Wings despite having been decapitated by Bill Gadsby’s cross-check early in the third period?

    OK, so I’m exaggerating a little.

    littlerob

    November 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm

  27. I can’t resist on the Leafs recent record.

    Had friend who had his rental care broken into last week in Toronto. Apparently he had a couple of leaf’s tickets in the gold area resting on the dash board. The intruder left two more beside them.

    Apparently they are giving out leaf’s tickets at the arrival deck at Pearson Airport. Why, to deter muggings in Toronto.

    Bad jokes NON…

    Facts

    Talking with a freind from Niki in sales a few weeks ago. Top merchandise (jerseys, hats et.) sales are with the Maple Leafs. Second place the Saskatchewan Roughrider nation. Hard to believe but apparently the way it is.

    Heh AFJ and the autres, you want to bet a bit on the the game next Sunday.

    ABP

    November 24, 2009 at 8:39 pm

  28. Not hard to believe at all. Leaf fans (myself included) are everywhere. And despite the decades of losing we’ll continue to support our team.

    John

    November 25, 2009 at 7:43 am

  29. No takers on the bet al’s vs Roughriders.

    ABP

    November 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm

  30. No. But Go Als Go anyway. :)

    John

    November 26, 2009 at 7:55 am


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