Montreal Gazette series: "Moving On"

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toddsschneider
Montreal Gazette series: "Moving On"

 http://tinyurl.com/aowr9u

... Despite restrictive language laws, a remarkably stable one in five of all immigrants to Quebec, over the past 20 years, arrives here with a knowledge of English and no knowledge of French, says Jedwab. The Quebec government uses a point system to assess immigration applications and Jedwab says anglophone applicants need to score very highly on job skills and education in order to offset the loss of potential points for speaking French.

"If they can't speak French but they're still being accepted by Quebec, then they clearly have something Quebec likes," he says. Quebec has had the right to choose its own immigrants since 1978, although family-reunification and refugee cases are still under federal jurisdiction.

Floch and Pocock conceded in their study that Quebecers of English mother tongue who have remained in Quebec are still better-educated overall than the Canadian average. The researchers also noted that anglos who come to Quebec from other provinces are three times more likely to hold Ph.D.s than the Canadian population as a whole ...

toddsschneider

http://www.montrealgazette.com/Life/exodus+cards/1250906/story.html

... A SENSE OF BELONGING:

This is a hard thing to measure. But Bourhis says he thinks the anglophone community is losing its collective sense of "socio-affective" attachment to Quebec. The reason for this, he says, is the demographic churn in English-speaking Quebec. A third of all anglos today weren't even born in Canada, let alone Quebec. Some issues that resonated strongly with anglos a generation ago - language of signs, for instance - don't really matter as much to anglos who don't have deep historical roots in Quebec.

Reed Scowen, a former provincial Liberal member of the National Assembly, has gone so far as to suggest that there really is not such a thing as an anglophone community anymore - precisely because of this new diversity. A new anglophone group called the Greater Montreal Community Development Initiative came out with a report last year that referred to "a disquieting trend toward political disengagement" among Montreal anglophones.

On the other hand, things are quiet now on the political and linguistic front for anglophones. And the past 40 years of Quebec history suggest anglophones do come together when they perceive an acute collective threat. Like the way they embraced the Equality Party in 1989 or engineered a veiled partition movement in the late 1990s. No news is usually good news for anglos. Except for now. Now that the latest census results show the community growing again, after more than three decades of decline.

Unionist

What crap. There never was such a thing as an "anglophone community". People don't form "communities" based on language alone. The notion of Little Burgundy and Westmount and Hudson and the Townships and the Point etc. being part of some "community" is ludicrous. There is no more an anglophone "community" in Montréal or Québec than there is in Toronto.

That's why some "experts" express such surprise (and disappointment!) that the divisive issues don't "resonate" as they used to. Society is diversifying and people are learning to live together.

Michelle

Good lord.  Todd, why don't you just start a thread called "Todd's Obsession With Anglophone Oppression" and put ALL of these stories here, instead of spamming the forum with a new thread every time you find yet one more angryphone article to post?  This is getting stupid and boring.

Unionist

Michelle, there's actually some pretty good material in this Gazette series, even though todd may be emphasizing the parts that he wants to emphasize. Notwithstanding the incurably Canwest nature of this publication, the Gazette has a few fine journalists on its staff and they have developed some good tricks to avoid corporate censorship.

I would encourage babblers to check out [url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/movingon/index.html]the full series[/url], including these stories:

[url=Here">http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/movingon/Here+stay+Anglo/1238759/sto... to stay: The hip anglo[/url]

[url="Cultural">http://www.montrealgazette.com/Life/Cultural+shift+made+English+more+acc... shift" made English more acceptable[/url]

I don't want to shock anyone, but the Gazette is no longer the "angryphone" voice it may have been some decades ago. That voice, in fact, is practically extinct - except for some fringe publications (and occasionally on the fringes of babble).

toddsschneider

Does that mean we anglos can't be a "cultural community" as it's known in Quebecspeak?  Better tell the franco decision-makers then.  

But if it takes more than language on which to base a community, then there is no such thing as a francophone community of Quebec to defend.  Much less a nation.  Any language will do. How about Esperanto?

But we all know how well the divisive issues fail to rouse the nationalists to defend their putatively non-existent nation, right?

Actually, I'm with unionist: I prefer to use "population" rather than "community."

Unionist

toddsschneider wrote:
Does that mean we anglos can't be a "cultural community" as it's known in Quebecspeak?  Better tell the franco decision-makers then. 

Anglos are not a "cultural" or any kind of community. Anyone who thinks they are is confused.

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But if it takes more than language on which to base a community, then there is no such thing as a francophone community of Quebec to defend. 

Correct! There is no such thing as a "francophone community", period, any more than there is such a thing as an "anglophone community". What needs to be defended in Québec is the French language. That's what Bill 101 is about, and it's the basis of a broad consensus throughout Québec society and among all political parties here.

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Much less a nation.

Quebeckers are a nation, irrespective of what language an individual speaks or her national origin. That fact is recognized also by a broad consensus and all political parties here - notwithstanding the attempts by that creep Harper to introduce the notion of "Québécois" as a "nation", which the other parties in the House were too cowardly or too stupid to recognize for what it was at that time. The Bloc had it right in their resolution, whose English version was "Quebeckers", but they and the NDP were politically outmanoeuvred by Harper at a time when the Liberals were facing an imminent leadership convention.

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Actually, I'm with unionist: I prefer to use "population" rather than "community."

Good! I'm fine with that. So long as we don't start attributing metaphysical qualities to one linguistic "population" vs. another.

toddsschneider

From an article in the series cited above:

http://tinyurl.com/bml78v

... [M]anagement began to notice that a lot of employees who had declared themselves bilingual on their job applications didn’t really have a very good grasp of English after all.

“Suddenly there were lucrative new opportunities for bilingual anglophones,” says [Larry Smith, former publisher of the Montreal Gazette]. “It took that period from 1980 to 1988 to change attitudes towards English. The pendulum that had swung from a dominant English environment in Montreal (before Bill 101) to a dominant French environment started to shift back again.”

That produced a “cultural shift” in Quebec, says Smith, that made English more acceptable. “And the cultural shift created a new political shift.” By 1993, bilingual exterior signs were legal again ...

toddsschneider

If Bill 101 is all about language, and not blood, then, given comparable qualifications, francophone blacks should be employed in the public service at the rate of their presence in the community ... er, population.  Or at least not less so than in, say, Toronto or Vancouver.

If Quebec is not a nation with a nation-language, nor based on historical community ties, then what's sovereignty for?  Political leeway?  Why isn't Ontario a nation? Or Newfoundland?

Since the rate of French-language acquisition continues to rise, not decline, what's the impetus for sovereignty?

By the way, wasn't Michael Ignatieff behind that Quebec-nation push on the Liberal side?  This is me off to check Jack Layton's caucus' record while we're on the subject.

Metaphysical? Um, God forbid.

Unionist

toddsschneider wrote:
If Bill 101 is all about language, and not blood, then, given comparable qualifications, francophone blacks should be employed in the public service at the rate of their presence in the community ... er, population.  Or at least not less so than in, say, Toronto or Vancouver.

You want to start the Dumont fascist bullshit again, matched by the other bullshitters who say Quebeckers are all racist? Go ahead, but be prepared to be called richly deserved names.

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If Quebec is not a nation with a nation-language, nor based on historical community ties, then what's sovereignty for? 

Québec is a nation, and it has a national language. France is a nation, and it has a national language. That doesn't mean that all Quebeckers or all French can speak it fluently. Why do I feel I've snagged a job teaching kindergarten?

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Since the rate of French-language acquisition continues to rise, not decline, what's the impetus for sovereignty?

The more Quebeckers are respected and empowered to exercise their sovereign wishes within the Canadian federation, the more the impetus for what you call "sovereignty" (I imagine you mean, forming a separate state) will decline. That's obvious. Bill 101 was one of the greatest contributions to keeping Canada together. What astounds me is the few so-called "federalists" who preach policies that will destroy the federation.

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By the way, wasn't Michael Ignatieff behind that Quebec-nation push on the Liberal side?

Québec is a nation. Quebeckers form a nation. "Québécois", as formulated by Harper, are not and do not. That's a racist and ethnocentric notion that is not shared by the consensus of public discourse here. It is an ugly provocation aimed at dividing people on the basis of blood, ethnicity, language, etc. It is Harperism, and it must be defeated.

lagatta

By the way, I most certainly want there to be more "Blacks" and "Browns" in the Québec and Federal civil service. There aren't a hell of a lot of Haitians, Martiniquais (who are French citizens) or people from French-speaking Africa at Guy-Favreau either. I can't go into details, but I have taught there and across the street. And the extremely qualified French-speaking Maghrebis now face gross discrimination due to ... security certificates.

But this is an antiracist fight, and has nothing to do with angryphonie.

Actually the series is interesting, and very positive in general, and is much closer what I hear among contemporary anglophones.

toddsschneider

I don't say all Quebecers are racists. But just for starters, why does the public service have such an abysmal employment equity record?

If the nation-language is wrongly seen to be under threat, what's the rationale for the "national project"?  If that is abandoned, Quebec becomes a province much like the others.

As for its description, I used to write "so-called sovereignty", since the debacle over the shared Canadian dollar and passports. That's not sovereignty, that's usurpation.

I would use the term provincial autonomy if wouldn`t be misconstrued as support for the party formerly known as Equipe Mario Dumont.

"Jurisdiction" comes to mind. As in federalism, the division of powers and even shared cost programs.

No surprise, I support Bill 101 when it defends the French language.  I'm against it when it promotes French without such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

You keep asserting that the national project is not racist or ethnocentric, but every time we turn around, "civic nationalism" becomes a nous-eux debate.  From the very party leaders, allegedly defending common values, who should do better.