Local group promotes Montreal's diversity, bilingualism
Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:55AM EST
Some residents say this city ain’t what it used to be.
To voice their concerns, Montrealers gathered to meet and brainstorm alongside Notre Montreal, a group that seeks to promote the city’s openness, diversity and bilingualism.
Montrealer Mike Kane attended the event. He believes the city of Montreal has slumped into an economic funk, and that progress forward is being hindered by damaging language politics.
“With the OQLF (Office quebecois de la langue francaise) disturbing small businesses right now, I don't think it’s possible,” he said. Kane wasn’t alone in highlighting the problematic effects of the ever-bubbling language controversy in the city.
“Montreal needs to start capitalizing on the fact that we speak many languages and being proud of it, rather than it be a source of divisiveness,” said Yaffa Tegegne, of CRITIQ, an organization the seeks to protect the rights and freedoms of Quebec residents.
Others voiced views that the city needed make itself attractive on a global scale.
“The way to restore Montreal to glory is to make it attractive on the world scene,” said Anne-France Goldwater, a lawyer. “People shouldn't think of Canada and just think of Toronto.”
Quebec Inclusif’s Remi Bourget thinks what Montreal needs is a strong opposition to the provincial government’s proposed charter of values.
“Montreal needs to stand up and say, ‘Listen it is not a problem, it is a richness and we don't need the charter,’” he said.
The group wants to meet with the mayor to discuss ways that the city cans stand up to province.