Quebec’s Efforts to become 30% English

with 144 comments

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…

Written by angryfrenchguy

December 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm

144 Responses

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  1. Tony : «Marc, if you want to have a rational discussion with people, you have to put forward rational arguments and present facts from the planet Earth.»

    Tony, fyi, Earth is that tiny blue planet you see in your telescope.


    December 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm

  2. Kondaks just outed & discredited himself like no one could possibly have done. Nothing he says merits any consideration.


    December 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm

  3. Here in LA I listen to Montreal via WiFi radio. I like CBC One Montreal 88.5 Homerun program and C’est la Vie. Both shows are hosted by Bernard St Laurent.

    I keep tuned to Espace Musique all day long in my office (also via WiFi) which I truly believe is the very best in music radio this world has to offer.

    I bookmarked both CBC ONE & ESPACE MUSIQUE on my laptop; especially to get the playlist of songs…
    But there is an apartheid between the FL websites and the EL websites at CBC; meaning that one cannot access CBC stations in French from CBC stations in English and vice versa.
    Perhaps this is a small matter to which I am reading in too much. Perhaps it was never contemplated that there are some who staddle both languages. Or perhaps there is just the assumption that one CBC audience could never or would never want to link to the other language on radio/tv/or on CBC websites.

    Scott Edwards

    December 17, 2009 at 6:59 pm

  4. “Si le Quebec était un si grand désastre, pourquoi les fédéralistes, en complicité avec les milieux d’affaires canadiens ont-ils TOUT FAIT, que ce soit légitime et légal comme illégitime et illégal, pour EMPECHER A TOUT PRIX le Québec de quitter la fédération?”

    Midnightjack, I don’t think it as “at all cost”, but think about it. Quebec independence is not a good thing for Canada. While it MIGHT NOT eventually make a big difference, sovereignty would certainly bring some risks with it: Canada would be split in two which could lead to further disintegration of Canada; a decline in Canada’s international standing; the possibility of a good portion of Quebec’s population becoming dual citizens and perhaps fraudulently getting access to Canadian social services (health, pensions etc.); getting sucked into a conflict between Quebec and communities who wish to stay Canadian (First Nations).


    December 17, 2009 at 7:05 pm

  5. Marc writes:

    Kondaks just outed & discredited himself like no one could possibly have done. Nothing he says merits any consideration.

    That’s an easy way to not have to answer your critics with facts, of which Marc is in short supply.

    Tony Kondaks

    December 17, 2009 at 9:53 pm

  6. “That’s an easy way to not have to answer your critics with facts, of which Marc is in short supply”

    Or when they make absolutely no sense! Quebec is doing well as Marc portrays in his comments from

    “And last I checked (today), Québec is extremely successful”

    Seems some don’t agree. Of cousre Marc will make a case for higher you pay any taxes Marc? If you don’t then of course it is a moot point for you.


    December 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm

  7. “Or perhaps there is just the assumption that one CBC audience could never or would never want to link to the other language on radio/tv/or on CBC websites.”

    Well, really they don’t want to interact. They don’t really like each other all that much. Sure , others will tell you its one big happy family up here but of course that is rubbish.


    December 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm

  8. jacqsminuit, 2009 at 4:16 am

    “la lutte aux gaz a effet de serre”

    the scientific scandal of the century broke ground a month ago and you discuss language with emotion and rationality. and in the name of bogus fraudulent unscientific climate change – the monster robert mugabe stood up in copenhagen and demanded money.

    as for src/cbc – they need to move closer to a business model on this planet — like itunes….
    one cent of my money for either is one cent too many – the sooner i am rid of both, the better.

    no offense intended scott – but you could always subscribe.


    December 17, 2009 at 11:17 pm

  9. “the monster robert mugabe stood up in copenhagen and demanded money.

    You can add Chavez and the idiot from Iran who have centre stage at this meeting of the idiots.


    December 18, 2009 at 12:58 am

  10. For ABP: you should read the power corporation opinion today in La Presse: Lysiane Gagnon agree with you, we Québécois should shutt up because the tar sands gives us money with the perequation system. My wish? They should abolish this perequation system : the ones who gives are always unhappy and tries to make feel guiltythose who receive. It is not good for anybody..Instead of taxing too much and redistribute with an obscur formula, creating jealousy, the federal should lower his taxes, leaving every province the opportunity to tax more.


    December 18, 2009 at 1:21 am

  11. johnny: je n’aime pas les consensus fabriqués, les idéologues fanatiques, ainsi que les mouvements moralisateurs quels qu’ils soient, et dans le cas des changements climatiques je n’ai confiance en personne: tout le monde défend ses propres intérets. Quand on incite tout le monde a penser absolument de la meme maniere,je manque d’air. Les bonnes intentions sont utilisées par des mouvement dont nous ne connaissons pas parfaitement le fonctionnement ni la finalité. Ca devient comme une religion…


    December 18, 2009 at 8:43 am

  12. Je n’ai pas plus confiance a Al Gore qu’a Saint- BONO ou a British Petrolium.


    December 18, 2009 at 8:49 am

  13. “Lysiane Gagnon agree with you, we Québécois should shutt up because the tar sands gives us money with the perequation system.”

    Madame est correct avec sa déclaration. Si ON et QC eu un concsience sociale réelle qu’ils n’accepteraient pas que l’argent sale de l’Ouest. Mais, ce n’est pas le cas si elles sont comme des hypocrites.

    Le perequatione affaire. Très simple, un outil pour les politiciens à acheter des votes et à accroître leur influence. L’égalité, jamais, il suffit de regarder le montant des recettes hydroélectrique au Québec n’est pas inclus dans les formules de prerequatione. Meme chose pour Manitoba. Pour Quois?

    Il est reele et revenues pour les deux provinces, apres tout.Il est reele et argent pour les deux provinces, apres tout. Pour quoi est ne pas inclu?

    The climate conference. I can only think of how many dishes of caviar and bottles of wine were consumed by those who main wish is to extract and transfer wealth based upon a totally fabricated cause.


    December 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

  14. ..totally fabricated cause, i don’t know, but what i know is the sharks of buffets are always on the good side..


    December 18, 2009 at 10:46 am

  15. midnightjack writes:

    My wish? They should abolish this perequation system

    Another reason why it should be abolished is that it encourages inefficiency. If a province isn’t doing well, why reward it with money from provinces that do well?

    There will still be transfer payments to individuals who may be in need of help. But equalization doesn’t go to individuals, it goes to governments. So if they screw things up — such as Quebec seems to do all the time with its horrible language laws — a provincial government has no incentive to not screw up because the more they screw up, the more they get in equalization.

    Tony Kondaks

    December 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm

  16. abp – comme ton francais ecrit c’est amelioree!

    hier, les russes (en verite – une agence) ont remarquee en grand public que les “scientistes” de cru east anglia ont oubliee les chiffres dans leurs etudes – 40% de tous les stations (siberie completement mis a cote) – ceux qui mesurent les temperatures depuis longtemps. il fait chaud pour ces gens maintenant.

    i too, have great reservations about anyone telling anyone what to do next.

    je te dirai que c’est toujours la meme question – et le bon reponse est toujours la liberté.


    December 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm

  17. Une autre nuit a essayer de commander une pizza en francais au centre ville: mission impossible. Chaque phrase que je dis en francais m’est systématiquement, et avec agacement, répondu en anglais par le commis a l’autre bout. Vraiment décourageant..pendant ce temps la ministre St-Pierre est occupée a rédiger de beaux mensonges pour faire taire les journalistes et pour masquer sa lacheté et son impuissance.


    December 19, 2009 at 2:20 am

  18. midnightjack:

    If you can’t get the service you feel you deserve from the pizza parlour, don’t give them your business.

    Tony Kondaks

    December 19, 2009 at 11:28 am

  19. The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created – created first in the mind and will, created next in activity.

    The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination. – John Schaar


    December 19, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  20. MDJ,

    Je trouvent ce tres difficile vers comprendre. Si comme tu dit, que ils ne pas veux parlez francais avec toi, puis prende votre acheter a un autre place, que les travailleurs parlez francais sans problemes. C’est possible que le pizzas sera mieux en tout cas.:)
    En fait, il est leur probleme si ils souhaitez a envoyez l’argent a bas la route.


    December 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm

  21. If all francophones adopted ABP’s suggestion that he puts forward to MDJ, there would be no need for Bill 101’s language of commercial signs provisions or anything else in Bill 101 that has to do with commerce because the vigilance exercised would be enough to francize those businesses.

    But, alas, as AFG himself observed, many francophones are committed to cultural suicide.

    Tony Kondaks

    December 19, 2009 at 7:21 pm

  22. As Acajack has pointed out, that cultural suicide exists in a context. If every francophone in Québec decided not to speak English as is suggested, can you imagine the frenzy of francohatred that would spew from English Canada?? Seriously, the French are doomed if they want to reach some sort of accomodation with the ROC. They either have the choice to speak English with anglophones and deal with the consequential loss of the French language in a francophone province or refuse to speak English and get lambasted for being arrogant, inconsiderate, racist, etc pigs by those anglophones.

    The irony is, anglophones would probably see cultural suicide by the Québecois as more palatable that francophone pride and French-first/only mentality, even though the converse is what essentially happens in most of the ROC. If you asked an anglophone what theirs views are in relation to the abandonment of the English language, you’d get frothing-at-the-mouth nationalistic zeal (and that goes for any culturally dominant group). Hypocrisy is such a fundamental human trait.


    December 19, 2009 at 9:11 pm

  23. Tony and ABP: it looks very simple, i just have to stop buying pizza from that restaurant, but it will not stop that restaurant to sell pizza without any french service. They will continue because the have enough english clients and for the french, sometimes you just want a pizza and that place do the delivery all the night..There’s another restaurant where i order food. The man who do the delivery does not speak french and his english is as bad than mine. Last time i tried to speak french with him, he just returned to his car, asking somebody else to come: he was in panic…Like if i was the bad guy…There is no easy solution…


    December 19, 2009 at 11:38 pm

  24. Of course i stay on my position, i order in french everytime. I tried many places downtown, the first answer is always english and sometimes they continue to speak english even they clairly ear me speaking french: it is like, we, francophones, were considered VERY IMPOLITE to speak our language. Like it was really unappropriate to bring our fight on language in their restaurant, when they just want to speak english, make pizza and make money. What i’m trying to explain is if you insist to be serve in french, you will not be serve in french at all and worse, YOU ARE THE BAD GUY, THE BIGOT..


    December 19, 2009 at 11:50 pm

  25. Cultural suicide from the francos, i don’t think so..Many peoples makes greats efforts to live in french in Montréal but do not underestimate the resistance from the other side : many workers in those places are immigrants, and they have been told than the french have no rights to force them to speak french, even if their client speaks french: they all read the gazette, where the language of immigrants should absolutely be english, and where those who have to adapt are those french bigots..


    December 20, 2009 at 12:05 am

  26. hamish – it is true that hypocrisy can be seen – but i would not go so far as to say it is a fundamental human trait. and i certainly do not think anyone is interested in witnessing cultural suicide unless it is an enemy and even then palatable does not come to mind.

    quebec is a partner in canada and has been for a very long time. quebec is not an enemy of canada – never has been – never will be.

    of six thousand languages on the planet – many are endangered – but french in quebec is not one of them. i would like anyone to point out at anytime a period during which (the last 400 years) the number of french speakers in quebec has declined. the truth is that every year that passes there are more french speakers in quebec. think about that for a minute. who thinks we are so stupid that we have forgotten how to count!

    the future of quebec – the people, the language and the resources have a bright future. students (and some start very early) in quebec have many languages they can choose to learn and we should keep it that way – and big surprise – there is room for improvement.

    i think we should get rid of the doomy gloomy.


    December 20, 2009 at 12:15 am

  27. Hamish:

    I don’t think the suggestion was for francophones not to speak English but, rather, not give their business to establishments that refuse to speak French. Quite a difference.

    Indeed, I believe that the best way for francophones to strengthen their cultural position is to learn to speak English as well as James and AFG do because the knowledge of English will mean greater economic strength which, ultimately, is the best way to protect French in Quebec.

    Tony Kondaks

    December 20, 2009 at 12:30 am

  28. MDJ:

    What can I say? Perhaps the price for protecting French is inconvenience…and the discomfort of being called a bigot.

    AFG told a story a few months ago of ordering DVDs at Blockbuster and insisting upon speaking French to the clerks who insisted upon speaking English. Perhaps it isn’t pleasant but maybe that’s what needs to be done.

    Anyway, I believe in the marketplace and the almighty dollar will say more than anything else. And if enough francophones insist upon French then I think you’re doing the most effective thing possible. But if francophones won’t and don’t want to be inconvenienced well who’s to blame if French disappears?

    Tony Kondaks

    December 20, 2009 at 12:34 am

  29. jacqsminuit,

    ocassionally, i order lunch by phone that i can pick up.

    last week, when i ordered in french as usual (it is a small resto no telephone buttons) the guy (unmistakably english) laughed when i was finished and said (in english) that i had a fabulous accent. it goes over well in paris too.

    i know that you will find a resto with good food, good prices and the french language.

    what do you think of the way that the delivery guy reacted. what do you think his problem is? do you think he has a problem?


    December 20, 2009 at 12:55 am

  30. did i ever mention how glad i am that al gore did not become president of the united states?


    December 20, 2009 at 1:05 am

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