Quebec’s Efforts to become 30% English
Many people this week were upset at the news that the Québec government was giving lifetime access to government services in English to new immigrants.
According to a report in Le Devoir, as many as 27% of the 48 000 immigrants Québec welcomed in 2009 were designated as Anglos in the State databases, even though only 3,5% of them claimed English as their mother tongue. According to Québec laws, government services in English are a privilege of Québec’s historic Anglo community, not a right of all citizens, even though any one can decide they are Anglo any time they want.
According to the numbers published by the daily, many as 30% of these new members of Québec’s historic anglo community don’t even know how to speak English!
In other words, the Québec government was now in the business of teaching English as our common and business language to immigrants.
And why not?
The future of Québec’s English-speaking community is, as everyone knows, in peril.
Québec’s Anglos, live in near isolation, a whole 45 minute drive from the biggest and most powerful English-speaking nation on earth where the fragile English language media is drowning in a sea of French media imperialism that leaves them without HBO.
Québec’s 607 165 English-speaking souls, 8,2% of the population, struggle to keep a community and a network of institutions alive with only 25% of Québec’s entire Health-care budget and a mere 50% of the money ear-marked to build two new University hospitals in Montréal.
In Montréal, where as many as 20% of the population is English-speaking, they have to make do with only 45% of the povince’s higher education budget and 57% of all university professors in the city.
There comes a time, as Angela Mancini, president of the English Montreal School Board said, when Anglos have to start thinking of themselves…
It’s only a small gesture, but maybe, just maybe, by giving up 30% of it’s immigrants to the English-speaking community, Québec can help save English in North America…