Postscript: Bigots must be denounced wherever they are found
Published Friday, August 18, 2017 12:00PM EDT
The language hawks can sleep peacefully and count their moutons.
There has not been a massive influx of Anglos in Rimouski.
Statistics Canada screwed up with its initial count; a count that actually saw a growth spurt of English-speaking Quebecers in the regions.
St Louis du Ha! Ha! is not about to translate its website into English.
Sadly, we were just a computer glitch. 55, 000 of those identified as mother tongue English in the census were really Francophones.
The self-appointed guardians of the language faith need not fear: French is indeed safe and sound in Quebec.
The number of people who speak French at home has increased a tenth of a percentage point to 87.1 percent.
Before the blunder was discovered, the cries of alarm went up with demand for even tougher anti-English legislation in Quebec.
The PQ proclaimed that every newcomer to Quebec must speak French. (I guess Americans need not apply.) Bill 202 would pave the way for more language purity.
It almost sounded like there was a nefarious plot hatched by the sons and daughters of Shakespeare to infiltrate the small towns of Quebec with English syntax, idioms, and a demand for English muffins
But as Shakespeare might say ‘Twas much ado about nothing.
Reasons for diaspora remain
Now against the backdrop of all this lip flap, the premier reached out to tell the Quebec Anglophone diaspora to come home.
I’m not sure the half-million plus are listening, but if they are, they’re probably snickering.
Many left for reasons that have not really changed.
Yes the referendum beast is on life support, that’s true, but the feeling among many that they were no longer welcome has not.
For those of us who decided to stay out of conviction or necessity this is home, as messy as it sometimes gets.
But to really be serious about enticing Quebec Anglo ex-patriates to return, much would need to be done.
Let’s start with easing up on some language restrictions to save our public school system.
How about making a real effort to recruit Anglos into the public service or into corporations like the SAQ or Hydro Quebec?
Or maybe guaranteeing better access to health care in English?
But those are pipe dreams.
And that’s why I don’t take Mr. Couillard’s plea seriously.
With an election looming, it’s a message designed for domestic consumption.
Because Au Quebec plus ça change, plus c’est pareil.
Trump must go
It’s quite clear to every right-thinking person that Donald Trump has to go.
The United States no longer has any moral leadership.
He is unable to lead and unwilling to heal his country.
As one presidential historian noted Trump has moved the goalposts of civilized society.
I believe this will prove to be the turning point and the beginning of the end for Trump and his band of fascists.
But in the meantime he caused great damage to his country, and that message of hate has the emboldened the racists and bigots everywhere, including here in Quebec.
Because, yes they are amongst us.
We must all speak out and echo the words of Heather Heyer, the woman murdered in Charlottesville “If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.”