Quebec has right to force immigrants to learn French, says NDP...

121 posts / 0 new
Last post
Unionist

Wilf - I fully agree with you - and I'm rather excited to see this report about the NDP's position. Mulcair has worked hard for this. And [url=it">http://www.ndp.ca/press/new-democrats-use-opposition-day-to-reaffirm-fed...'s now official on the NDP website[/url].

I'm afraid I had to bow out of this site in order to avoid using extremely foul language in response to one poster's virulent attack on the rights of the Québec people. Given that mods have allowed these attacks, I'll just have to wait for them to die out I guess. But the NDP's position should be popularized widely. I honestly doubted I'd ever see the day when such a principled stand would be taken.

 

Machjo

Infosaturated:

I admit that as I've thought about this a little more, and your points have helped here too, that I am questioning the wisdom in restricting this access to English-medium public schools for those coming from English medium private schools. After all, who has rights in Quebec? If we argue based on historical grounds, then the local indigenous language wins hands down. On democratic grounds, well, on a provincial scale, it's French, and on a national one, English. Or do we folow a more libertarian approach of each to his own. We give a voucher and they learn the language or languages of their choice?

Indeed I do vacillate between these positions now and then.

Unionist

Ok, Wilf, hopefully my point is clear. I'll bow out now, in the fervent hope that this thread will shortly be euthanized - and maybe we can discuss the NDP's stand somewhere else.

 

Infosaturated

Machjo wrote:
There are reasons why public schools make these decisions, which are a combination of economic, linguistic, and other factors.

Public schools aren't making these choices. Empowering local schools and parents to make more choices has been shown to lead to improved outcomes.  Private schools must meet all the complusory pedagogical goals but they are free to enrich their programs. As long as overall educational goals are met, preventing schools from teaching English is based on political ideology.

English schools in Montreal are shrinking not growing. Suggesting this loophole forms a threat to the primacy of French in Quebec is ridiculous. If that were true, the English school system would be growing.

This "loophole" issue is a mere distraction and focusing on "immigrants" as the people using the loophole is misleading.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20020603/ctvnews8698...

There was a protest in Quebec Monday night over language rights -- only this time it is francophone parents who are upset over provincial language laws they say prevent their children from getting a bilingual education.

In Quebec, enrollment in public schools is restricted to children who have a parent who studied in English. That means that pricey private schools are the only option for francophone parents who want their children taught in both languages.

...

Today, many francophones say their language is secure enough that an English education is no longer a threat. However, others believe this could lead to assimilation.

...

Quebec Language Minister Diane Lemieux agrees and plans to tighten the law by closing a loophole allowing French children access to English public schools after one year of private school.

This isn't about immigrants using the English school system in Montreal. Its about French parents who want access to more English language learning for their children and the refusal of the Quebec government to allow it. That forces parents to try to access the English system.  If the French system allowed parents to choose more exposure to English they wouldn't be trying to get into the English system.

Joanna White was one of my professors.  I am not talking about Canada. I am talking about Quebec. The situation in Quebec is quite unique, and within Quebec, Montreal is unique.

I did simplify my arguments because as you seem to be aware the information available is vast and research on language learning is on-going. An exhaustive analysis isn't possible in this context.

I stated specifically that I was referring to ear training, the ability to recognize and duplicate sounds. I stated that even if the language is not learned at that age, the ear-training provides an edge in learning the language at a later time.

Machjo wrote:
The theory works only if the child is immersed in the concerned language environment or if they live with someone who uses the second language with them regularly.

This is why I referred to preschool and kindergarden. Because there is little in the way of subject teaching required at this level the focus can be be on language play at a time when most children are still motivated to absorb just about anything presented to them. I agree that a few hours a week is insufficient.

Machjo wrote:
I remember a Cameroonian professor telling me how this Canadian bilingual model was replicated with amazing success in a few elite private schools in the country. I'd found the same in China with one teacher raving about how all the children in the elite private school she was teaching at were all coming out fluent in English and Chinese thanks to the fully bilingual staff that the school could afford.

Bilingual teachers are not a requirement. Most language teachers don't speak any language other than the one they are teaching within the classroom. In a bilingual school half the teachers can be English and half French however what I am suggesting isn't a full out half and half system.  I am suggesting that ALL schools be primarily French but with increased access to English classes or English immersion for those parents who choose it for their children.

The solutions have to be school specific depending on the demographic nature of the particular school, parental preferences, and the available resources.

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:
the NDP's position should be popularized widely. I honestly doubted I'd ever see the day when such a principled stand would be taken.

That's one of the main reasons I supported Jack for leader, even though I had long admired Bill Blaikie in many ways. But Blaikie and the majority of caucus could not bring themselves to such principled positions on Quebec matters. Jack led the party to the point where Mulcair could be elected, and the two have continued.

A historical comparison may be helpful.

After the 1837 "rebellion" in Quebec, the mainstream conservatives of Ontario ("Upper Canada") wanted Quebec kept under military rule for a generation.

Denis-Benjamin Viger, one of the leaders of the "parti patriote" was imprisoned to May 16 1840. Yet only three and a half years later, in December 1843, Viger and the moderate conservative William Henry Draper were the interim ministers of the new government of Governor Metcalfe, the radical conciliator and Anglo-Indian Baronet.

By June 1844 the 56 rebels who had been exiled to Australia, inspiring the song "un Canadien errant," were being repatriated by the Viger/Metcalfe/Draper ministry, and Draper recruited a young Kingston alderman, John A. Macdonald, to be the moderate conservative candidate supporting that Ministry even though Metcalfe felt Kingston was precluded from remaining the provincial capital because it was "a foreign land" to the Canadiens.

("Metcalfe declared that "if the French Canadians are to be ruled to their satisfaction, and who could desire to rule them otherwise? every attempt to metamorphose them systematically into English must be abandoned." He also urged that the act of union be amended to give French and English equal status in the legislature. Opposition to anglicization naturally improved Metcalfe’s standing with the French bloc in the assembly, but it also reflected deeply held beliefs which had originated in his early education and had shown themselves in his Indian policy.")

That kind of evolution of opinion is hard to replicate today, but it was the foundation of Canada and we need it again.

Infosaturated

Thanks Machjo.

Revisiting some of the numbers:

http://demographymatters.blogspot.com/2009/09/on-concentration-of-quebec...

Together, children who speak Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Creole, Chinese, Tamil, Vietnamese, Bengali, and dozens of other languages now form 39.5% of the student population in Montréal, while Francophones form 39% and Anglophones 21.5%.

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=81889889-d917-4759-b1da-4ee6f9f5108d

In Laval 2007), the graduation rate from the English system was 78.2% in comparison to the French system which was at 50%.

The English system offers 50/50 bilingual French/English education, in some cases favoring French even more and has a significantly higher graduation rate.

The French system has a significantly lower graduation rate and offers a unilingual French education.

As a parent, which public school system would you want to enroll your children in?

Before the language laws came into effect my parents chose to send me through the English school system in part due to their strong rejection of Catholism. Due to this I had the right to send my daugther through the bilingual system offered by the English school system.  As long as my daughter's children (assuming she has some) attend at least a year of school in the English system which is actually bilingual, their children will also have the right to access the bilingual English school system.

My unilingual French cousins have no such right.  Most of them cannot afford private schools.

This is about actively attempting to prevent francophones from accessing bilingual schools that already exist. Schools they wouldn't even be trying to access if the French system were not prevented by law from moderately increasing English language instruction.

If English schools were growing rapidly and Francophones were losing their language perhaps the argument that the state must step in to prevent Francophones from learning English might made some sort of sense.  It's simply not happening.  English schools are shrinking. There is no evidence that Francophones are losing their language.  None at all.

When it comes to education in Quebec, anglophones have more rights than francophones, and this is being sold as "protecting" them.

 

Unionist

Moderator notified - yet again. Could someone kindly close this thing?

autoworker autoworker's picture

So, as it stands, a woman in Quebec can 'choose' to terminate her pregnancy, but she can't 'choose'  her child's language of education, should she 'decide' to give birth to a prospective Quebecois(e)-- who would also be a Canadian citizen, with Constitutional rights that, apparently, remain alienable in Quebec...for at least the next year.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Unionist wrote:

Moderator notified - yet again. Could someone kindly close this thing?

You don't like the truth, do you?

autoworker autoworker's picture

autoworker wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Moderator notified - yet again. Could someone kindly close this thing?

You don't like the truth, do you?

Is this an open forum, or the kind of meeting where dissenters get bullied and shouted down?  I guess we'll find out. Stay tuned...

Fidel

autoworker wrote:

So, as it stands, a woman in Quebec can 'choose' to terminate her pregnancy, but she can't 'choose'  her child's language of education,

So they must be oppressed in the USA with having to speak American in public schools. And pregnant women in the USSA are free not to have access to prenatal care if they don't have the cash or room on their maxed-out credit cards.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Fidel wrote:

autoworker wrote:

So, as it stands, a woman in Quebec can 'choose' to terminate her pregnancy, but she can't 'choose'  her child's language of education,

So they must be oppressed in the USA with having to speak American in public schools. And pregnant women in the USSA are free not to have access to prenatal care if they don't have the cash or room on their maxed-out credit cards.

Actually, Canadian women outside Quebec can exercise both options. I guess they have more freedom than Quebec women. I don't understand your reference to the U.S., however, since the discussion is about a Canadian Supreme Court decision, vis-a-vis a Quebec law, and it's opinion on Charter rights.

Fidel

autoworker wrote:

Fidel wrote:

autoworker wrote:

So, as it stands, a woman in Quebec can 'choose' to terminate her pregnancy, but she can't 'choose'  her child's language of education,

So they must be oppressed in the USA with having to speak American in public schools. And pregnant women in the USSA are free not to have access to prenatal care if they don't have the cash or room on their maxed-out credit cards.

Actually, Canadian women outside Quebec can exercise both options. I guess they have more freedom than Quebec women. I don't understand your reference to the U.S., however, since the discussion is about a Canadian Supreme Court decision, vis-a-vis a Quebec law, and it's opinion on Charter rights.

But we're talking about democratically elected governments in Quebec acting on behalf of the people who voted for them. Surely you can understand their desire to govern themselves without interference? Apparently our two old line parties have been slowly but surely decentralizing federal powers from Ottawa to the provinces since Brian Mulroney. Surely you agree with the vast majority of voters in Canada who decided that Ottawa's dictatorial powers over provinces and territories is not good for democracy?

autoworker autoworker's picture

Infosaturated wrote:

I don't agree. I think it's regressive. The real solution is to have one school system that promotes both languages. It is quite normal in Europe to master multiple languages. The problem in Quebec is that language is a political tool. Kids of the elite all master English.

Quebec isn't Europe.  A single school system in Quebec would result in the elimination of publically-funded, English schools. Period.  A  fait accompli, if you will.

Fidel

Infosaturated wrote:
 The problem in Quebec is that language is a political tool. Kids of the elite all master English.

So if speaking English is the great advantage you claim it is, then why is it that English speaking provinces are all mired in similar levels of unemployment and economic decay across Canada? Wouldn't one actually have to have the pedigree in order to benefit from speaking either of the two official languages? We have some very poor people in this Puerto Rico du Nord without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of and who don't speak a word of French.

And to our south we have 50 English speaking states with 39 of them financially bankrupt. And most of them are "red" have-not states and where they sometimes speak grammatically correct Anglais as their official language.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Dear Fidel; I can understand a democracy's desire to govern itself through duly established constitutional law.  I also applaud that democracy's judiciary when it upholds individual Charter rights, and resists the temptation of political expediency. 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

autoworker wrote:

Is this an open forum, or the kind of meeting where dissenters get bullied and shouted down?  I guess we'll find out. Stay tuned...

You should think of it as the kind of place where evil isn't tolerated at all, and pigheaded ignorance, not for long...

George Victor

Wilf:

"That kind of evolution of opinion is hard to replicate today, but it was the foundation of Canada and we need it again."

 

I think it is the DEPTH of thinking that is hard to replicate, Wilf.

martin dufresne

How much is it for our kids not to learn French?!!!

oldgoat

Euthanizing this thread for length.  Autoworker, dropping the abortion issue into this discussion is an odious debating tactic.  Don't do this sort of thing again.

Pages

Topic locked