AngryFrenchGuy

Bill 104: While English Canada Obsesses Over Language Mafia Takes Over Montreal

with 94 comments

bill 104You know how the English-Canadian media is always lecturing the Québécois on how their language issues are distracting them from the real important stuff, like economic developement and roads?  And how the separatist obsession with language is killing Montreal and has been causing it’s decline?

Two stories broke in the news yesterday.  One involved language, the other one about…  hum…  just something about the Mafia running the City of Montreal.

Loi 104 LabontéThe three French-language dailies in Montreal headlined with the Mafia story.  Only le Devoir even mentioned the Supreme Court ruling on bill 104 on the first page.  The Montreal Gazette went for the language headline and gave the story about the former of leader of the opposition and former executive council member Benoit Labonté’s allegations that the City of Montreal’s administration is hostage to organised crime a whopping 1/40th of the front page.

Inside, the Gazette gave the language story more that 4000 word, including the main editorial.  The City Hall scandal?  332. Eighteen less words that this post.

The National Post also headlined with language.  No national daily in Canada mentions the fact that Canada’s second major city is in the midst of a major corruption scandal one week from a general election.

A Google.ca news search for bill 104 on the 22nd and 23rd of october returned 167 stories in English.  A search for  Labonte returned ony 21 articles.  A search in French netted 84 stories for Labonte as opposed to only 47 about Loi 104.Loi 104 Journal de Montreal

Vigile.net, the ultra-nationalist clearinghouse for all things language and separatism-related in the Québec media lists 50 stories on Bill 104 and 90, almost twice as many, on the City Hall scandals.

Even those language-obsessed separatists of the Parti Québécois are reported by Radio-Canada not to have mentioned language, the Supreme Court or Bill 104 for the first 20 minutes of question period!

Meanwhile, the “Top court strikes down Quebec English school law” is the most active story of the day on CBC.ca with 1170 comments and growing.  The four stories on the Montreal situation, stories that just might be the answer to the eternal question as to why Montreal has so many potholes, have a total of 94 comments.

Written by angryfrenchguy

October 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm

94 Responses

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  1. “7 % of anglos in greater Mtl can’t speak French-2006 census, % of allos is lower I believe, don’t know where Acajack got his 15 %“

    I got them from Stats Can and they are for the City of Montreal, not Greater Montreal.

    In any event, you are mistaken when you say 7% of the anglos in Greater Montreal can`t speak French. It`s 7% of the entire population of Greater Montreal that can`t speak French.

    As for the anglos (as measured by language spoken at home), close to half of them can`t speak French: 262,000 of 592,000. Again, according to Stats Can.

    Acajack

    November 2, 2009 at 6:29 am

  2. “And most Quebec civil service jobs are in Quebec City, whereas most anglos live in Montreal.”

    That’s an interesting point because I have read a number of times on this site how the Quebec is being discrimanated against by having a majority of federal government jobs located in Ottawa and not Gatineau. So is the Quebec government discriminating against Anglos in the same way?

    AM

    November 2, 2009 at 10:04 am

  3. “As for the anglos (as measured by language spoken at home), close to half of them can`t speak French: 262,000 of 592,000. Again, according to Stats Can.”

    Could you tell me where exactly you find these figures? By looking at the Montreal community profile and the figures for Quebec next to it, I see 576,000 as people with English as their mother tongue in the province (close to what you have). Where do you get the 262,000?

    AM

    November 2, 2009 at 10:07 am

  4. “Also, even in the 70% or so of Anglo-Quebecers who self-identify as bilingual, even though most of them are pretty good at speaking it, most couldn`t write in an e-mail in French to save their lives, let alone a government policy paper in that language.”

    True, but that is also going to be true (that they can’t write English) for a good number of people in Toronto and Vancouver as well:

    “In hyper-diverse Toronto and Vancouver, the percentage of people who can’t speak English is in the 6% range.”

    AM

    November 2, 2009 at 10:11 am

  5. “That’s an interesting point because I have read a number of times on this site how the Quebec is being discrimanated against by having a majority of federal government jobs located in Ottawa and not Gatineau. So is the Quebec government discriminating against Anglos in the same way?”

    I have rarely heard such a thing, at least not here. There is a political issue in Gatineau that comes from the fact that the feds have always boasted quite loudly that 25% of the public service jobs are in Gatineau, which is a boon to that city. So people were calling them on something they were claiming credit for but not living up to.

    And BTW, Ottawa and Quebec City *are* the capitals of the respective entities. It’s not abnormal that most government jobs be located in or near these cities.

    Acajack

    November 2, 2009 at 10:25 am

  6. “Could you tell me where exactly you find these figures? By looking at the Montreal community profile and the figures for Quebec next to it, I see 576,000 as people with English as their mother tongue in the province (close to what you have). Where do you get the 262,000?”

    It’s all under the Stats Can web site under Community Profiles.

    Note I said English as language spoken at home. This is a different measure that English as a mother tongue. I don’t have time to look up the exact figures but there are very roughly 150,000 more people who speak English at home than there mother tongue anglophones.

    The 262,000 is the number of people in Greater Montreal who say the only Canadian official language they speak is English. If you take the number of people whose main language is English (ie those who speak it at home), then that’s just under half who only speak English. They may speak Italian, Greek or Yiddish in addition to the English they have as a home language, but they can’t speak French.

    Acajack

    November 2, 2009 at 10:29 am

  7. Acajack,

    Are you saying that the city of Mtl stats are more appropriate than Greater Mtl ? Is there a Colgate invisible shield between St-lambert and Mtl ?

    I stand corrected on my 7% , its 7 % of the population that can’t speak French, hardly earthshaking and dangerously high ?

    Dave

    November 2, 2009 at 11:15 am

  8. “Are you saying that the city of Mtl stats are more appropriate than Greater Mtl ? Is there a Colgate invisible shield between St-lambert and Mtl ?”

    The only reason I used the City of Montreal as a statistical universe is because we are talking about the city proper’s municipal administration.

    “I stand corrected on my 7% , its 7 % of the population that can’t speak French, hardly earthshaking and dangerously high ?”

    Did I say anything of the sort? If you go back to the original question, it had to do with a perceived lack of quality staff at the City of Montreal.

    I pointed out that Montreal was missing out on some valuable human capital because a larger share of the municipal population there cannot speak the administrative language as compared to Ottawa, Toronto or Vancouver.

    Sure, the % of people who can’t speak French drops by half if you spread things out over the entire metro. But that’s also true if you do the same for Ottawa (Ontario side only), Toronto and Vancouver, since especially the outer fringes of a metro tend to be whiter and have fewer immigrants, and hence fewer people who don’t speak English.

    Any way you want to slice and dice the stats for Montreal and region, you’re always going to find more people there that don’t speak the main local language (French) as there are in the other cities.

    Acajack

    November 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

  9. “You are assuming that everyone working in the anglo high schools are anglo. Likely not the case. I know from experience that the teachers in one of the english schools I am familair with, were in great number francos.”

    Yes, there are many francophones who work in anglo institutions in Quebec. However, it is impossible that the entire Quebec public service (ministries) plus all the anglo schools, universities, hospitals would only employ less than 400 anglos in total.

    There are about 350 anglo schools in Quebec. Does this mean that almost everyone employed by the anglo schools is a non-anglo? Anyone who has been to an anglo school (or looked at their Web site) knows this is impossible.

    Though ridiculously few anglos are employed by the Quebec public service, many thousands of anglos are employed by Quebec’s para-public sector which are schools, colleges, hospitals, etc.

    Acajack

    November 2, 2009 at 1:23 pm

  10. “True, but that is also going to be true (that they can’t write English) for a good number of people in Toronto and Vancouver as well:”

    My personal experience has been that many immigrants in the ROC are generally pretty good in English.

    Certainly much better than anglos and anglicized allophones in Quebec are in French. Though this is thankfully changing… albeit slowly.

    Acajack

    November 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm

  11. @Baltazar,

    There are more and more blacks in the NHL, we don’t have the same picture I guess.

    Tym Machine

    November 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm

  12. In response to AM’s comment…

    True, but that is also going to be true (that they can’t write English) for a good number of people in Toronto and Vancouver as well:”

    …Acajack wrote:

    My personal experience has been that many immigrants in the ROC are generally pretty good in English.

    When I read AM’s words, I actually didn’t think he was referring to immigrants whose first langauge wasn’t English per se but to regular Canadians with English mother tongues!

    I think there’s a big chunk of the population that can neither read nor write their own mother tongue language properly. Indeed, I knew two individuals in McGill law school back in the ’90s — one was an immigrant and one was an anglo Canadian — who had such atrocious writing skills I couldn’t believe that they had been accepted to law school! But there they were…

    Tony Kondaks

    November 2, 2009 at 9:09 pm

  13. “sure, the % of people who can’t speak French drops by half if you spread things out over the entire metro. But that’s also true if you do the same for Ottawa (Ontario side only), Toronto and Vancouver”

    eh, ever been to Richmond BC or Richmond Hill ON both outer suburbs and both overwhelmingly Asian, the West end in Vr is way more white sliced bread than North Vancouver, Richmond or Surrey.

    Dave

    November 2, 2009 at 9:43 pm

  14. Dave,

    Ever been to White Rock, Maple Ridge or Mission, BC? Or how about Clarington, Innisfil, Caledon or Bradford in the GTA?

    This is getting tiresome.

    Acajack

    November 2, 2009 at 10:34 pm

  15. I just wanted to wish the Mafia a hearty congratulations on their resounding victory in the Montreal Mayoral elections.

    At least one group is making the City safe for “Families”.

    Edward

    November 2, 2009 at 10:59 pm

  16. You’re posting really good stuff here these days Edward.

    Acajack

    November 3, 2009 at 9:34 am

  17. Edward might be right.

    Actually, 8 out of Tremblay’s 38 elected city councillors are of italian origin. That’s 21%, more than 1 out of 5 :

    Miranda, Farinacci, Venneri, Forcillo, Zambito, Calderone, Magri, Teti-Tomassi.

    Balthazar

    November 3, 2009 at 2:37 pm

  18. Miranda (first name Luis) sounds more Portuguese than Italian to me.

    Of course, if you ask me, people shouldn’t be automatically associating people with Italian names with the mafia. You often hear this and it really bugs me. And I am not even Italian.

    Acajack

    November 3, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  19. “You often hear this and it really bugs me. And I am not even Italian.”

    Correct…ethnic profiling or stereotyping…just like all Quebecois are separatists according to many in Canada’s anlgodom. Just ain’t the way it is pardner.

    ABP

    November 3, 2009 at 7:51 pm

  20. Actually Balthazar (from your name I am going to assume you’re Phoenecian, but for the sake of general comprehension I’ll translate the message from Hittite to English.), given that Montreal’s population is in fact 16% ethnic Italian the appropriate balance of city councillors out of 38 should be 6. Given that Miranda is Portuguese, that means that Union Montreal had one whole extra councillor of Italian ancestry than he should have. This is a scandal, again overlooked by the Gazette’s crack reporting staff. That last position should have gone to an ethnic Phoenecian.

    Edward

    November 3, 2009 at 8:38 pm

  21. Luis Miranda was indeed born in Portugal. That’s why he went there on vacation with his “entrepreneur” friends like Antonio Di Lillo, Florindo Baldissin and former city counillor Vincenzo Rotiroti… and not to Italy. He also met with Accurso a dozen times, but did not go on his Yacht because “he’s sea sick”!

    It got me all mixed up.

    Of course, I agree with you that we shouldn’t be automatically associating people with Italian names with the mafia. But I did not associate (automatically) ANY Italians with the Mafia. We should not be naive when these “italian named people” happen to have a lot of money, power and common interests in municipal projects and politics.

    Crime is ofted organized on an ethnic basis. And there is a good reson for that: you have better control on who’s in your “famiglia” and who’s not.

    So, guess who is cashing in on our political correctness?

    Balthazar

    November 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm

  22. I don’t wanna upset AFG, but it looks like someone is obsessing over language issues and the elction this week…and it ain’t the Gazette!

    It’s the return of the filthy ethnic vote! Who gave them an equal vote anyways?

    RoryBellows

    November 5, 2009 at 11:55 am

  23. Well, since y’all are getting all tangled up in identity politics I might as well throw this one in: Go have a quick look at the municipal parties’ websites before they go off line.

    Team Evil Xenophobic Separatists (http://www.visionmtl.com/):

    12 visible minority candidates.

    Team Crazy Hippy Conspiracy Theorists (http://projetmontreal.org/):

    13 visible minority candidates

    Team Multiculturalism and Rigteousness (http://www.uniomontreal.com/):

    … 4, yep, one, two, three, four visible minority candidates!

    Thank god Tremblay can claim the support of a couple of East End anglos with italian last names or Union Montréal’s claim to be the party of Montreal’s “Cultural Communities” would not have been as credible, now would it?

    angryfrenchguy

    November 5, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  24. “12 visible minority candidates.”

    sell outs.

    Anonymous

    November 5, 2009 at 4:32 pm

  25. “I just wanted to wish the Mafia a hearty congratulations on their resounding victory in the Montreal Mayoral elections. ”

    It’s unfortunate but sometimes the choice is not between good and bad, but between bad and worse. As in this case, where we had a city administrator embroiled in a corruption scandal, versus a devoted ideologue.

    The people made their choice and chose the lesser evil.

    -allo

    Anonymous

    November 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm

  26. Seriously man, if you gotta find it a bit funny that one week ago, you were wrting this piece about anglos obsession with language issues and then boom, like clockwork, your angry french bretheren are tearing their shirts off over those scummy anglo voters.

    Even Pierre Curzi, mister “in an independant Quebec, we’d have more teeth to deal with anglos” has chimed in with another brilliant idea, to have the state somehow ensure that the Quebecois not leave “their” city for the ‘burbs. Please. please, please elect this guy as your party leader next.

    RoryBellows

    November 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm

  27. …”your angry french bretheren are tearing their shirts off over those scummy anglo voters.”

    Right. And it is Harel and Vision Montréal that made this election about language…

    https://angryfrenchguy.com/2009/03/17/montreal-mayor-gerald-tremblay-bets-re-election-on-race-card/

    https://angryfrenchguy.com/2009/03/13/the-ignoble-character-assassination-of-louise-harel/

    And who is it exactly that spent months describing a woman who speaks four, yes four languages: French, English, Spanish and Catalan, as an “unilingual sovereigntist” http://www.vigile.net/Harel-will-have-a-polarizing just because she does not happen to speak ENGLISH like a native speaker?

    angryfrenchguy

    November 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm

  28. So, you’re denying that just about every Quebecois blogger is obsessing over a language issue? Cuz that was the point you made a week ago, that the Quebecois don’t do that. Remember?

    Of course the Gazette sank her from the start, and now the journalists on your team are letting their bias out. I, for one am enjoying it.

    RoryBellows

    November 5, 2009 at 6:07 pm

  29. “So, you’re denying that just about every Quebecois blogger is obsessing over a language issue? Cuz that was the point you made a week ago, that the Quebecois don’t do that. Remember?”

    No I didn’t. Although I certainly enjoyed pointing out how much the Anglo media totally gets off on language, I certainly never claimed the Franco media didn’t do it too.

    The difference is the the Anglos media claims they don’t, yet totally do. Capiche? Do you need me to start writing a “Simple English'” version of this blog?

    angryfrenchguy

    November 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm

  30. You’re not really enjoying this are you? You have to admit there is a lot of talk about the Anglo and ethnic votes in French language media.

    “The difference is the the Anglos media claims they don’t, yet totally do.”

    I hope you’re not serious about this statement. Show me one article/quote or anything to this effect. The media are going to report on anything that they believe will sell newspapers or attract viewers. Why would they choose not to address the language if it sells?

    AM

    November 5, 2009 at 7:20 pm


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