Not content with the currently existing linguistic domination over Quebec, a french nationalist group is calling on the leaders of the four main political parties to reconsider their plans to take part in an English-language debate next week.
In a press release the group Mouvement Québec Français said:
“Even more fundamentally, party leaders have a duty to be consistent and exemplary with regard to the status of French as the only common language in Quebec, a principle that they can not sacrifice on the altar of political patronage. By accepting to take part in a national debate in the language of Shakespeare on television, what message do they send to our allophone fellow-citizens, already largely anglicized? – Well ! That learning French is neither necessary nor important, basically, since even our aspiring prime ministers, – francophones in addition, are ready to serve in English, like our public institutions that are constantly bilingual … “.
Of course, note this is a translation from French. There was no ironically released press release in English, to say the least.
Their point is clear: English language debates are superfluous; Nearly everyone in the province speaks French, even the anglophones; They argue that the debate normalizes the use of English in the province. There will be three leader debates this year, two in French, and one in English. This is the first time an English debate has been held in the Quebec elections and they now worry it will be expected in following elections.
One interesting part of the press release says that the leaders should “boycott the debates in solidarity to the Acadians in the Maritime provinces who don’t get to french language debates. The equivalency is not only false but ignores the problem with bilingualism on a national level. The problem being that Quebecers are massively over represented when it comes from top government jobs. Let’s have a look…
Prime Minister – Quebecer
Governor General – Quebecer
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court – Quebecer
Chief Justice of the Federal Appeals Court – Quebecer
Head of the Canadian Intelligence Agency – Quebecer
Head of the National Public Broadcaster – You guessed it…. Quebecer!
Moosepaper.com has no doubt that many of these people would have succeeded nonetheless without the bi-lingual policy. Actually, the requirement to be fluent in both French and English actually precludes a significant amount of people from ever reaching the highest successes in Quebec, in business, politics, or otherwise. About two thirds of all Canadians are hindered from most jobs unless they learn a language that has no real use to them.
It’s interesting that even though bilingualism benefits Quebecers on a federal political scale, extreme groups like the MQF can’t bare to include any English in their own elections.
You can’t blame them for using bilingualism as political leverage, but the real problem is what happens when the extremism becomes normalized. How long until someone in BC starts rambling about passing a law that no debates shall ever be translated on TV into Mandarin, because that might empower the Chinese community? You would think that political parties would actively encourage courting minority groups, anyhow.. The current population of Mandarin speakers in that Province is higher than the amount of Anglophones in QC.