Postscript: Government has the wrong focus
By Barry Wilson, CTV Montreal Executive Producer
Published Friday, December 7, 2012 1:06PM EST
With straight faces both the Premier and her language minister solemnly declared that they have nothing against Anglos.
It’s kind of surprising they didn’t bring out the old chestnut about us being “best treated minority” in the world.
This so-called new and improved Bill 101 is troubling in so many ways.
The Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms would be subject to the new law.
The preamble to the charter would be changed to include the right to live and work in French and that rights must be exercised in keeping with those sacred dispositions.
Now that, essentially, would create two classes of citizens before the law.
The Parti Quebecois is calling on citizens to act as sentries in the defence of French: in other words, to report violations wherever they occur, like an immigrant depanneur clerk struggling in French.
The PQ wants to create an army of vigilantes encouraged by a democratically-elected government that is supposed to represent all of the citizens.
Quebec is broke
The Quebec debt is $250 billion and increasing by $15,000 a minute. We are the most-indebted province by far.
We have the lowest economic growth rate in Canada. Our health care system is in shambles.
Our roads are literally collapsing. Corruption is being found under every rock. Our taxes are outrageous and only getting higher.
And yet the priority of this government is to restrict the rights of non-francophone Quebecers.
Does anyone realistically think that requiring more French in small business will encourage growth?
If you have 25 employees you certainly would not hire number 26 because that would make you subject to expensive francization rules.
The PQ fails to realize that we are in a global economy.
Unfair and unwarranted
Putting new language burdens on English-speaking high school and CEGEP students is unfair and unwarranted.
The language minister should visit our schools: she might be shocked by how bilingual our kids have become.
Giving the minister the power to strip away the bilingual status of municipalities is nothing less than an all-out attack.
As a social engineering project, Bill 101 has been largely successful: 90 percent of Quebecers speak French at work.
More non-francophones speak French than ever.
Our community, at great cost, agreed that perhaps that was the deal. The ones who stayed would live with language legislation in exchange for peace on the unity front.
Perhaps we were wrong.
Perhaps it will never be enough.
Blame francophone families
If Montreal itself has become less francophone, don’t blame us: blame the young families who have scurried out to Blainville and Repentigny in search of lower taxes and a better standard of living for their children
It is a Gordian knot. How do you satisfy the language insecurities of the francophone majority while at the same time not trampling on the rights of Quebec’s English speaking community?
You start by recognizing that we are not the enemy
The more we are made to feel unwelcome, the more we will think about leaving.
Sadly, too many have already made that heart-wrenching decision, taking their talent, their money, their taxes, and leaving behind their friends and families and the homes they knew.
We now look to the Liberals and the CAQ to kill this odious legislation and back some common sense.
We will be watching and we will remember.