Calling for an end to Quebec-bashing and francophobia
More than 100 personalities have signed a document calling for an end to francophobia from anglophones and anglophone media.
Citing the attempted attack on Pauline Marois the night she was elected premier, bathroom graffiti, Facebook posts and editorial columns, the Societé Saint Jean Baptiste, Imperatif Francais and the Mouvement Quebec Francais say the linguistic debate in Quebec has degraded in recent years.
As a result it's calling on citizens of Quebec and Canada to "rise up and reject intimidating speech and demand a democratic debate based on respect and dignity."
101 Quebec personalities, including former politicians, entertainers, and social activists have signed the declaration and are calling on others to add their names to the document.
That includes people like former radio host Gilles Proulx, SSJB president Mario Beaulieu, former premier Bernard Landry and rapper Chafik.
One of the signatories is PQ byelection candidate Tania Longpré, who said the Jewish General Hospital should be renamed in a secular Quebec.
The declaration says the linguistic peace of the post-referendum years was marked by an increase in "Quebec bashing" which "sociologists recognize as racism."
It goes on to imply a link between francophobia and the Sept. 4, 2012 shooting at the Metropolis theatre, and says that English Canada has a long history of intimidating defenders of the French language.
"Since the Parti Quebecois began discussing strengthening the Charter of the French Language, the demonization of francophones has gone so far as to associate defenders of the French language as Nazis," reads the statement.
"These accusations create division and create fear and defiance among immigrants and anglophones, and alienate them from Quebec society."
As a supporting document the declaration relies on research done by the SSJB's secretary-general Maxime Laporte, who documents a litany of supposed instances of "Quebec bashing."
The research goes through everything from photos of graffiti, to Facebook posts, to opinion columns in Quebec and across Canada -- all of which denounce the actions of the Parti Quebecois, Pauline Marois, and the current provincial government.
The research says these are all cases of francophobes expressing their fear of the French language and French culture.
The centrefold of the document has a double-wide spread that includes several images of Marois altered to resemble Adolf Hitler.
Text at the bottom of that pages speaks of intolerance against non-francophones, stating, in a loose translation "We give anglophones more school and hospitals than their numbers justify, and we allow them to speak English in the justice system.
"No nation ON THIS PLANET gives so many privileges to its national minority. But for racists who have always wanted to eradicate us, nothing will ever be enough. We have been too nice. It is time for us to wake up."
The research document also justifies the entire 'Pastagate' scandal as a misunderstanding begun when a customer complained to the OQLF after being given an English menu, but was instead turned into an opportunity by English media to bash Quebecers.
Columnists say pro-English does not mean anti-French
Several opinion columnists cited in the document say -- and have said in the past -- that dismissing them as francophobes is nonsense.
Dan Delmar, a CJAD host and frequent commentator in the National Post, was one of the first to write about Pastagate.
Writing on Twitter he said "If I was a francophobe, I would lobby for laws that suppress French in the public sphere."
Gazette writer Don Macpherson has frequently traded jibes with francophone counterparts, especially Journal de Montreal columnist Richard Martineau.
Cited six times in the aforementioned research document for alleged Quebec-bashing in his columns, Macpherson said "I hate to brag, but I'm proud to be attacked by Gilles Proulx and his friends."