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Quebecers: the new racists!


 

As a general rule, academic papers don’t generate much buzz beyond the academics who read them and the parents of the people who write them. It seems Concordia University is trying its mightiest to reverse this disturbing trend, though, by sending out a press release chock full of (race) bait. “New racism in ‘reasonable accommodation'”, it reads. “Smoldering since the Quiet Revolution? Concordia study traces how politicians and media have pitted immigrants against ‘Québécois values.'” Oh, and this helps: the paper is written by a dude named Wong—a surname loaded with meaning ever since Jan Wong, then a Globe and Mail reporter, interrupted an entirely serviceable account of the Dawson College shooting to blame all such mass killings in Quebec on Bill 101. And this Alan Wong blames the media and politicians for appealing to Quebecers’ collective inner xenophobe. And the report is published in the Global Media Journal, which is sponsored and hosted by Purdue University. So: we have a paper from an English university in Quebec, in which a non-Francophone waxes academically on the purported racist tendencies of Quebecers, and publishes the whole exercise in an American journal. As colleague Paul Wells likes to say, what could possibly go wrong?

Let’s delve into Mr. Wong’s opus, shall we? First off, an error: Le Devoir isn’t, as he says, the highest circulation Francophone daily in Quebec. That honour belongs to Le Journal de Montréal. Normally, pointing out a seemingly minor whoopsie of a fellow writer, however high his nose may be, is bad karma. We all make mistakes, after all. But never mind that this is a bit like mistaking The New York Times for the New York Post; it’s astonishing that Wong would somehow flub this one, since anyone who followed the great reasonable accommodations debate of 2006-7 would know that Le Journal drove the debate, and was arguably the purveyor of the most pungent, race-baiting headlines. Le Devoir, being Le Devoir, wrung its hands over the future of the French language, while oozing disdain at the unwashed sensibilities of the country bumpkins in Hérouxville, home of the famed immigrant code of conduct. Le Journal, meanwhile, was all afroth over Hassid-friendly frosted windows and tyrannical kosher hospitals.

Onward. Mr. Wong’s thesis is as follows: Quebecers, being very white and very French, are wary of immigrants at the best of times. Add an incendiary press and a provincial election, and that wariness is coaxed into full-blown, vocalized malaise against those who aren’t very white at all. In the process, the very definition of “reasonable accommodations” changed from an acceptance of certain religious and cultural practices to “a weapon wielded against the disenfranchised in Quebec society.” Relatively minor incidents—like, say, those frosted windows—were taken out of context, blown up and made to represent a sort of immigrant incursion on Quebec society.

Er, guilty as charged. The media coverage of the reasonable accommodations affair was certainly outsized; politicians, stuck in the vortex of an election campaign, said some remarkably stupid things. What’s bothersome about Mr. Wong’s take on it, though, apart from the fact that he seems to think all of Quebec is somehow Hérouxville writ large (tell that to your average Montrealer, I dare you), is that such a phenomenon could only happen in Quebec. This is a frankly idiotic assumption. As this corner wrote way back in 2007, what was going on in Quebec was basically a very noisy version of the discourse occurring throughout the country. For whatever reason—some blame our hot Latin blood; I blame Jean Charest—we decided to have a public hearings on reasonable accommodation, thereby guaranteeing that when anyone said anything stupid/mangled/moronic/xenophobic, it would be on camera. Sure, it was embarrassing, but it’s sheer folly to think what was spilling out of many Quebecers’ mouths wasn’t also on the minds of Canadians in general. At least here it was out in the open—and non-violent. Think the collective Québécois spleen venting over Hassids and frosted windows at a Montreal YMCA was bad? At least it was just spleen venting, and not, say, throwing pork at a mosque in Edmonton or “nipper tipping” on Lake Simcoe.

And yet, Mr. Wong gives us delightful little pensées like this. Speaking of the Hérouxville resolution, he writes, “whiteness becomes guilty of… a kind of racial hubris that positions and privileges whiteness as the superior racial discourse in Western culture.” He also comes damned close to calling Charest a racist (the Preem, Wong writes, has a “supremacist attitude”), and decides “[t]hat authority in Quebec, as implied by the three party leaders [Charest, PQ’s André Boisclair, ADQ’s Mario Dumont] is held by white French Canadian population, and will always remain inaccessible to ‘immigrants’.”

Ah. So Quebec wasn’t the first place in the British empire to elect a Jew to public office, then? It isn’t the place where, say, the daughter of first-generation Caribbean immigrants can become a cabinet minister just shy of her 30th birthday? Or where an overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly Francophone district elected a former actor from Cameroon? Or where, according to a 2005 poll,”being a woman, a black person or a homosexual doesn’t constitute a handicap in the eyes of the vast majority of voters”? I see. What a bunch of racists.


 
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Quebecers: the new racists!

  1. Think what you want of the Bouchard-Taylor report, but I find it curious that an ‘academic’ examination of the reasonable accomodation controversy doesn’t conrtain a single cite of the 300+ pages opus released in 2008 by the two “esteemed scholars”, (Wong 2011:157) 

    The paper was badly researched and relied heavily on the same kind of shortcuts and stereotypes the author denounced. It is certainly not the kind of work expected from a post-grad student at a major university or a peer-reviewed journal. PS: And yes, the full report is still available in English: http://www.accommodements.qc.ca/index-en.html  

    • I’m not sure how you can conclude that it the paper was badly researched. Just because it didn’t cite Bouchard-Taylor, that great dog and pony show document? It has dozens of citations from dozens of valid sources. Why are you smearing the author?

      • A paper about Quebec society that gets something as basic as Le Devoir circulation sooo wrong wrong and that does not cite the most important academir report on immigrant integration and immigrant-quebeckers in the last decade (if not ever) is clearly badly researched and betrays an evident lack of knowledge about the society Mr. Wong tries to study.

  2. New?

  3. Quebec-bashing has been a national sport in Canada since 1867.  What else is new.  Our province’s guilt?  Trying to preserve a language, culture and way of life against the American steam-roller. 
    How and why Mr Wong’s “paper” was allowed to be published with such blatant mistakes and biases says a lot about the University and the “academic” publication which published it.

    • Why the scare quotes? Your “comment” seems to betray a bias.

      • A real, credibile academic paper wouldn’t be so inacurate,  That,s why I put the quotation marks.

    • “Trying to preserve a… culture and way of life”, so is the Ku Klux Klan or a band of racists “just trying to preserve white, Anglo-Saxon culture and their way of life”? That’s what they say too. How about you pompous Quebecers figure out that the way to make people feel your language isn’t dying out is not by forcing immigrants to learn French, forcing businesses to change their names and add an accent aigu to please your egoistic selves, or by requiring that French signs be twice as big as those in English? How about you do secede, and stop taking our money and complaining of “how we oppress you so” and leave our country forever. NOBODY WANTS YOU QUEBEC, except for the Quebecers who understand how much you take from Canada and don’t want to lose that money and protection of your racist policies.

      • Another ignoramous who fails to distinguish between Quebec federalists (the ones asking for Federal money) and separatists (the ones that say, keep your small change). By putting every Quebecker, 8 million of them, in the same boat, you betray your own racism.

  4. If only part of the blame could be put on the fact that it was an “American journal”. The article I read was in the “Canadian edition” of said journal published by the University of Ottawa, with an advisory board composed of academics from the following Canadian Universities: Western Ontario, Ottawa, Queen’s, McGill, Toronto, Carleton, Concordia, Ryerson, Université du Québec à Montréal, Simon Fraser.  

    • Does anyone make money from the relentless continuation of the two solitudes?

      Just asking, because I think it may be useful to follow the money on more things than we currently do.

      • Yes certainly but not the average Québécois.

  5. Le politicien le plus populaire au Québec s’appel Amir Khadir. Just saying.

    • Amir is the most popular, with seperatists and those that seem compelled to the extreme. Remember when he was parading himself if front of the shoe store on st. denis owned by a white Franco montrealer because the store sold some shoes made in Isreal? What conviction. Or when he threw his shoe at the picture of George Bush. Oh, he’s my ideal leader!

      • You will have to revise your sources. Amir is very close to NPD and the party he represents just refused to support having CEGEP only in french.
        Of course your opinion differ from his if you are a Bush or Israël fan. But thst does not make him a separatist (this word is so 1980s)

      • He’s not my leader either. I hate Amir Khadir. But that’s for real, he infact is the most popular politician in Quebec. Not in terms of vote, but in popularity. If Quebec was racist, I don’t think they would pick “Amir Khadir” as the politician they like the most.

        Also, just so you know, Quebec Solidaire is a separatist party too.

        Wikipedia : 
        A poll conducted for the newspapers Le Devoir and The Montreal Gazette in early December 2010, established that Khadir was the most popular politician in Québec, with an approval rating of 45%.

        • he is just another jew hater

  6. Most of Quebec is xenophobic.  Montreal is not, generally.

    Jacques Parizeau should be famous for one of the most xenophobic comments in Canadian history by a prominent politician, “we lost because of money and the ethnic vote”.  In other words, there’s the true people of Quebec, the pur-laine, and then there’s the ethnics.  Never-mind that the pur-laine themselves are an ethnic group like any other, they just happen to be the biggest. But no, in Quebec, there’s the pur-laine, and then there’s everybody else.

    Bill 101 is xenophobic.  It denies people fundamental human rights like the freedom of expression in order to favour the language of the majority of the population. The bill comes from the attitude that a culture can be frozen in time – the Quebecois culture, and then instead of culture being a product of the people, you can force people to become a product of the currently existing culture.

    Of course, Montreal has always been somewhat at unease with the whole affair, from the controversy over a bar having the name “Newtown”, to the fury over Arcade Fire being invited to participate in the festival of the “true” Quebecers, to the imposition of a secular religious curriculum on the catholic, jewish and muslim schools in the province, to the prevention of parents to send kids to the school of their choosing, to the controversies whether the hockey team has enough pur-laine players on the roster, the list goes on and on.

    You cannot deny all of this exists.  Quebec has always had a different attitude towards reasonable accommodation.  Is it racist?  Not really.  But it is xenophobic.

    it’s true that Quebec has taken the lead on an issue that is prevalent elsewhere in Canada. But there’s a reason that Quebec tends to be at the forefront of the controversy. And no, there is no open hostility to any particular religion or race, as your examples show. But there is an underlying hostility to anyone and anything that could potentially be a ‘threat’ to the cultural identity of the majority of Quebec’s population.

    If you speak french (good enough French, poor French won’t do), you say good things about Quebec’s culture, and you’ve got the right attitude towards Bill 101, then sure, you’ll be treated well in Quebec. But if you don’t do the right things, and support the right team, then at that point you’ll be one of the “ethnics”.

    • Again cherry picking of cources. It has been demonstrated that the Canadian government has had illegal practices and spent a lot of unauthorized money during the last referndum. So here it is with money. It has also been demonstrated that the votes from new immigrants tipped the balance in favor of Canada which is only stating the facts and not blaming the immigrants. Of course there has been a lot of spin around the statement. So facts are facts and there goes also the ethnic vote argument.

      Québec outside of Montreal is not Xenohobic and many think that they should receive more immigrants. Another unreseached statement.

      Bill 101 is not xenophobic it is there to protect the french language in Quebec which has been proven to be losing ground every year. in fact it tries to bring new immigrants into the french Québec community and out of the english Montreal ghettos.

      Pour le reste ça ne tient pas debout en regard de la situation dégradée des Québécois dans leur propre maison. Faites une recherche adéquate avant d’écrire des accusations aussi vides.

      • There is a difference between immigrants and “ethnics”. A big difference.

        English Montreal ghettos?

        Thanks for proving my point.

        “Faites une recherche adéquate avant d’écrire des accusations aussi vides. ”

        Don’t worry, I’ve done plenty of research when I lived in Quebec for many years and the years since, and I don’t need the likes of you telling me what I can or cannot say.

        What you call “research” is in fact an unsubstantiated opinion from yourself. So why don’t you do a little research, because there’s none in that comment of yours. It doesn’t matter why Bill 101 exists, it matters what’s in it. There is a difference between the protection of one language and culture, and the restriction of others, and everything in that law is about restriction, not protection.

      • Since the dawn of the separatist movement – the majority of Quebecers have always expressed their will to stay in Canada.

        Not only in referendums – but opinion polls.

        Take your xeonophbic tripe to the grave – and respect the majority of Quebecers always have – and always will – remain Canadian by their very own volition.

    • “Bill 101 is xenophobic.  It denies people fundamental human rights like
      the freedom of expression in order to favour the language of the
      majority of the population.”

      I didn’t know that getting government-paid education in a language other than the official language of a state was a “human right”.
      Anyone can get their kids educated in the language of their choice in Quebec as long as they pay for it…

      Further, sign laws are commonplace in many democracies. Sign laws cover a wide-range of subjects, from language, to size, to usage of profanities, to brightness, etc.

      On a secular curriculum.
      Separation of church and state. It is not the government’s job to teach ANY religion.

      • Let me clear up some misconceptions for you:

        It’s been established by the Supreme court that Bill 101 was a violation of Canada’s charter of rights and freedoms, and that’s why the Quebec government used the notwithstanding clause to allow the contravention of Canada’s charter. In repeated occasions, the provincial and federal courts have struck down elements of the law and the laws that followed it. Any law that prohibits the use of one language in favour of another is a restriction on freedom of expression, and Quebec’s language laws do so not just on signs, but also in the workplace and other venues.

        “It is not the government’s job to teach ANY religion. ”

        Tell that to the Quebec government, who attempted to mandate the teaching of a specific curriculum of religious education.

        • 1. The Supreme court invalidated the sign law part of bill 101, not the whole bill
          2. You’re terribly DATED! The notwithstanding clause was removed in 1993!!!!!
          Bill 101 was modified in 1993 to conform with the Supreme court judgement.

          “Any law that prohibits the use of one language in favour of another is a
          restriction on freedom of expression, and Quebec’s language laws do so
          not just on signs, but also in the workplace and other venues.”

          Bill 101 DOES NOT prohibit the use of any language. English can be on signs as long as French is there too. The only prescription is related to the size.

          Another misconception: Bill 101 does not prohibit the use of English in the workplace. People can speak in the language they want.
           The bill 101 TRIES ensures the right of unilingual french speakers that they will not be discriminated against them in their own society because they don’t master English that well.
          Workers of Quebec society simply have the right to work in the language spoken by 80% of the society.

          This right is easily circumvented by the way, as the Bombardier, nationa bank and Caisse de dépôt example have recently shown.

          On religion: how many decades ago was that?

          • I wrote the last message quite fast. Let me rephrase one sentence:
            The bill 101 TRIES to ensure the rights of unilingual french speakers, so that
            they will not be discriminated against in their own society because
            they don’t master English well enough.

          • Wrong, wrong, wrong…

            http://www.spl.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/medias/pdf/VivreEnFrancais-ENG.pdf

            “However, because employees in Québec have the right to work in French, the Charter of the French language stipulates that enterprises established in Québec must normally use French,”

            “Making the use and knowledge of French widespread in the workplace To ensure that French is used in all work environments, the Charter of the French language prescribes specific measures for enterprises having 50 or more employees in Québec. These enterprises must take part in a process aimed at making sure they comply with the law and use French as an integral part of their activities. Taking action to ensure that employees speak French To make sure French is used for work-related activities, it is
            important that managers and employees of enterprises know French and can use it in their day-to-day communications.”

            “Official communication between senior managers of enterprises and their employees and official communication among employees must be in French. Enterprises’ notices, directives, memoranda and newsletters must also be in French.”

            “All public signs and commercial advertising placed in subway trains, buses, and bus shelters, and presented by means of large billboards must be only in French.”

            Court cases that have rules Quebec’s language and religion laws to be unconstitutional:

            2010

            “Quebec’s Education Ministry violated Loyola’s freedom of religion as guaranteed by the provincial charter of rights, Dugré said in his decision.”

            http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2010/06/21/loyola-ethics-course.html

            2009

            “The October 22 ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada overturning yet another section of Quebec’s Charter of the French Language (CFL) has been met with angry protests by a broad range of opinion in the French-speaking province.”

            http://links.org.au/node/1358

            2007

            “In August 2007, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled that a section of the province’s language legislation is unlawful.[1] The judgment stated that Bill 104, an amendment to the Charter passed in 2002 that stopped children of francophone and newcomers from using the English educational system, was contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_dispute_over_Quebec%27s_language_policy

            2005

            http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/language_culture/topics/1297/

            “On March 31, 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld Quebec’s language law but ruled that the province must allow greater access to English schools.”

            1993

            “Ballantyne, Davidson, McIntyre v. Canada (Communications Nos. 359/1989 and 385/1989) was a case on Quebec’s language law decided by the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations in 1993.”

            “Human Rights Committee views”

            “Article 19: a violation was found, since “State may choose one or more official languages, but it may not exclude, outside the spheres of public life, the freedom to express oneself in a language of one’s choice””

            1988

            “Ford v. Quebec (Attorney General), [1988] 2 S.C.R. 712 is a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision in which the Court struck down part of the Charter of the French Language, commonly known as Bill 101. This law had restricted the use of commercial signs written in languages other than French. The court ruled that Bill 101 violated the freedom of expression as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_v._Quebec_%28Attorney_General%29

            1988

            “In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the Language Charter concerned a valid provincial matter but it violated Singer’s freedom of expression under section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter as it prohibited the use of English.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devine_v._Quebec_%28Attorney_General%29

            1981

            “In 1981, another Supreme Court decision (Quebec (Attorney General) v. Blaikie (No. 2)) declared that section 133 also applied to government regulations.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_dispute_over_Quebec%27s_language_policy

            1979

            “In 1979, the related provisions (articles 7 through 13) were rendered inoperative by a ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in Attorney General of Quebec v. Blaikie”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_French_Language

          • Stick to the issue here instead of digressing:
            You claimed that bill 101 is still against the Charter.
            I’m telling you that there are no nothwithstanding clause used to override the charter at this moment.

            Each part of bill 101 that has been judged to be agains the Charter by the Supreme Court was rewritten  to conform with Supreme court decisions or was simply invalidated permanently

            I repeat: CONTRARY TO WHAT YOU CLAIMED, no nothwistanding clause is being used to override bill 101 right now.

            The fact is the last notwithstanding clause was removed in 1993.

            Every subsequent Supreme Court judgement was respected by the Government of Quebec. None of them invalidated Bill101 as a whole. They all simply required minor adjustments.

            “All public signs and commercial advertising placed in subway trains,
            buses, and bus shelters, and presented by means of large billboards must
            be only in French.”

            These are PUBLICALY OWNED you stupid!!! There is no infringement of right here since the publicity space is owned by Qc and municipal government.

            On workplace, that’s exactly what I was saying. Contrary to what you claimed, you won’t find any place in the law sawing it is PROHIBITED to speak another language.

            By the way, do you know what is the enforcement mechanism of this part of the bill?
            Answer: government subsidies. That’s right, if you don’t respect the bill, you won’t get government money. That’s it. Nothing else. No fine, no one will shut you down or anything.

            I ask you this question: why should the government of a 80%
            french-speaking society subsidize companies that infringe upon the rights of their workers by forcing
            to work in a language other than the one spoken by the vast majority in which they operate?

            And do you want to know the more funny part about this: THIS PART OF THE BILL IS NOT ENFORCED.
            My wife, my sister, my brothers-in-law, my sister-in-law, and I all work in English. I almost never use french at work. Since my English is not perfect. I know that my chances of climbing up the ladders are slightly impeded. I know damn well that I would be a much better employee if I could work in French…

          • “you won’t find any place in the law sawing it is PROHIBITED to speak another language.”

            I just posted several paragraphs that say exactly that. It is prohibited to conduct business in English. All such communications must be in French.

            And yes, you are so full of lies. The office of the french language have fined individuals countless times over the years. That’s their job. They run around the province handing out fines. That’s the enforcement mechanism: money.

            “why should the government of a 80%
            french-speaking society”

            In that statement you are admitting it is an infringement of rights. Rights are not a matter of the majority or the minority. It doesn’t matter if you’re part of 80%, 20%, or 1%. Either you have freedom of expression and freedom of religion, or you don’t. That’s the whole point of having a charter, it’s not a matter of outvoting the minorities.

          • I travel the world.

            100% of places I travel, they are desperately trying to get their kids to learn English.

            Only in Quebec are they moving backwards.

          • You speak of an 80% french-speaking society as though that says it all. If you look more closely, you’ll find out that although many people may speak French, of the total Quebec population, over 45% speaks English and French or English only (granted that’s like 5%). 53% speak French only. These are Stats Can numbers. This is a fairly divided society and not even as unilateral as you would have it. And this also tells you something about French-Canadians themselves: If they number in over 60% of the actual population, then how do you account for the discrepancy in these numbers? Truth is, it’s about choice. In the end, French-Canadians themselves are choosing to adopt English, be it as a second tongue, but adopt it nonetheless. If advocates of French are so worried to about protecting their language and culture (which is a joke if you ask me… look at Quebec Television and Film for a start and all you see are US clichés), then why are they not simply trying to entice the same French-Canadians who are “migrating” to English to embrace their mother-tongue? Why do these advocates try to passively FORCE their language onto new immigrants? So I would ask you this question: Why should the governement of a 53% french-speaking society only subsidize french-speaking worker rights while completely ignoring the rights of English-speaking workers. And if your concept of majority is purely mathematical, then you should not be writing on societal Issues! Oh and it’s not because Bill 101 has been “approved/amended” by the Supreme Court that it’s basically right or that it represents the values and opinions of the majority.

          • For some reason, I can’t reply to your comment below.

            You’re struggling here. You’re quoting a publicity document about Living in french in Quebec that seeks to PROMOTE the use o French.

            Nowhere it is written in the law that people are prohibited to speak the language of their choosing at work. Just go and read Chapter VI of the Charter of the French Language.
            The law states that every Quebec citizen has the right to work in french. Accordingly, employers have a number of obligations to ensure that right. These are mostly related to collective bargaining and stoping discrimination based on language.

            There are fines for the sign part of the law, but none for language spoken in working environments.

            On 80%

            First, the 80% only refers to the fact that the official language of
            Quebec is French. That is a fact. Recognized by laws and supported by
            clear demographic and sociologic evidence (80% of Francophones).

            Whether you like it or not, Quebec has an official language. It is
            French. Canada, just like New Brunwick, has two official languages,
            French and English. This is not anti-democratic and anti-human rights to
            have official languages.

            Secondly, you’re cutting my sentence in two here.

            You’re omiting the fact that I am talking about SUBSIDIZING businesses. Not about permitting operation.

            Governments are not required to subsidize any company under the Charter. It is a strategic, economic and political choice.

            Why should Quebec taxpayers subsidize businesses that do not want to
            hire them unless they speak another language than their own?

            On religion. What is your probleme here? Quebec is applying a clear separation of church and state by refusing to favor any religion. Students learn about all religions around the world. This shows an openness to the world. It is a very multicultural attitude.

            But these are all mere distractions of the main point:

            HERE IS THE REAL FOCUS OF OUR DISCUSSION:
            You were claiming that bill 101 infringes on the human rights of citizens.

            I already proved that that is not the case.
            – Nothwithstanding clause was removed in 1993
            – The Government of Quebec conformed to the numerous Supreme Court ruling since then
            – The Supreme Court has upheld most of bill 101.
            – What was declared unconstitutional has been changed and invalidated.
            There is no infringement on rights here.

            I’m sorry if the facts I bring to you are jeopardizing your belief structure, but that is just the truth. The actual bill 101 is constitutional and respects the Charter.

            If you can’t tell the difference between protecting a language from extinction through very mild regulations and real human rights violation, you definitely have a twisted worldview.

            And if you are such a human right activist that you feel such minor restrictions on the font-size of signs in front of private businesses are appaling, maybe you should open your eyes to what the Canadian government has done to Maher Arar, to Omar Khadr, to protesters at the Toronto G-20.
            Maybe you should protest against security certificates that enable the government to detain anyone without
            Maybe you should look into the no-fly list or the wiretaping done by the American government against its citizen.
            And lets not even get into the human rights violation against the people of Congo, Saoudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, etc.

            Please, dare to tell me that these human right issues aren’t more worthy of your time and energy than the stupid freaking font-size of the chinese sign in front of a restaurant in Montreal.

          • You fail to understand a critical component of Law Scripture and Political Speak: Subtext. When you afirm “Nowhere it is written in the law that people are prohibited to speak the language of their choosing at work […] The law states that every Quebec citizen has the right to work in french. Accordingly, employers have a number of obligations to ensure that right.” You must read the subtext, which is: you can freely speak any language you wish, but you don’t have a choice when it comes to French. It’s subtle, but very clear. This is an imposition. In my opinion, if you wish to pursue a career at my company, you’ll get in line with my values and priorities. If I say you speak English here, then you speak English. Any talk of imposing restrictions on how I must speak to an employee, I’ll simply not hire them. YOU adapt to opportunities, not the other way around.
            As for subsidies and Bill 101, it is completely unjust to only consider businesses that operate primarily in French. It’s a disgraceful, disgusting and discriminatory practice. If you know ANYTHING about business (which I don’t think you do), then you would know that Gov. subsidies and grants often are exactly what permits a business to start, or even exist. Case in point: The healthcare system where health centres like CHUS and CHUM get incredibly more money from the Quebec government than the MUHC, and this purely on the discriminatory, but legal, premises of Bill 101. Its forcing the latter, an important institution, to slowly implode financially as the others are practically throwing money out the windows. YOU ARE IGNORANT of the importance that government subsidies play in our society. Subsidies are in fact BIG BUSINESS (Infrastructure, research, services, etc.). And just by the numbers, if French Canadians represent little over 60% of the population, and that government subsidies are really just taxpayer money, then how do you justify Bill 101’s logic of only subsidizing French-speaking businesses? Do I, as part of the other 40%, pay taxes to purely accommodate the other 60% while completely disregarding my own interests? READ THE DAMN SUBTEXT!
            “First, the 80% only refers to the fact that the official language of
            Quebec is French. That is a fact. Recognized by laws and supported by
            clear demographic and sociologic evidence (80% of Francophones). Whether you like it or not, Quebec has an official language. It is
            French. Canada, just like New Brunwick, has two official languages,
            French and English. This is not anti-democratic and anti-human rights to have official languages.” See previous post. Wow! Again, you’re dead wrong on this one. Quebec is a part of Canada, and keep in mind that Quebec is NOT RECOGNIZED as an independent state by the World Community, the UN and any other international organizations. It simply doesn’t matter what you want or fantasize about, this is FACT. For as long as this is the case, then there are 2 official languages from which I can choose from here in CANADA, unrestricted by one or the other on how I conduct my business.
            As for all your “not anti-constitutional” talk, just remember that Hitler got to power through constitutional means. I’m not necessarily saying that Quebec will share this fate or that Quebec separatist leaders are like Hitler, but I am saying that this law (which would undoubtedly be incorporated in to a Quebec constitution if it were to separate) is immature, ripe with discrimination, and has little merit due to the bias of the people who wrote it up. Keep in mind that the American constitution has been amended quite a few times (the first 10 amendments are actually called the Bill of Rights). With this I mean to say that Bill 101 is not simply “mild regulation” if you read the subtext. It is pejorative towards immigrants and their values, discriminatory and dangerous. You talk about protecting the French language as if it is a divine preordination. I disagree with such a notion. I believe a language evolves, changes and even dies as any living thing. Look at Latin, a once dominant tongue now extinct with remnant records here and there. You’re not fighting the decline of a language as much as you are fighting people who just want to speak something else. Bill 101 is such an attempt, it will fail, and should French become extinct, then so be it. Stop crying about it and stop annoying people with these impositions.
            And as for your last appeal, for my part, I am considering those other issues and actively participating in their condemnation or support. That I choose to take time to express my disagreement on this seemingly little issue only shows how I appreciate how delicate human rights are. Unlike you, I understand that a big difference between Canada and countries like “Congo, Saoudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, etc.” is that I have a chance to address these less “worthy” issues before they blow up into full fledged human rights issues. If you believe I’m exagerating, then I’ll remind you of one of your own examples: the USA. If people in the US had been more attentive and reactive to those “Baby Step” pieces of legislation that slowly and gradually robbed them of their rights, they wouldn’t be in the state they are. So yes, I do worry about the “stupid freaking font-size of the chinese sign in front of a restaurant in Montreal.” How’s that for daring?

    • “there’s the true people of Quebec, the pur-laine, and then there’s the ethnics. ”

      Hum, I would the others are PUR-POLYESTER.

      • I want ot be pure-cotton, but it’s impractical… so I’m just an immigrant.

  7. You lost me on “written by a dude named Wong—a surname loaded with meaning”. Pretty racist in itself.

    • I agree it is badly phrased
      But Patriquin is just making a joking reference to the Jan Wong outrage. Nothing more. I understand that someone unfamiliar with the Jan Wong controversy may read it as racist.

      • It’s still racist.

        • Do you know the Jan Wong story?

          Are you aware that Patriquin could have made the same comment/joke if the two persons had been named Smith, Cohen or Duhaime?

          He is just a making a rather dull observation about the coincidence that two persons sharing the same name are making out-of-left-field and rather uninformed accusation against Quebec socity as a whole.

  8. Haha. Nothing gets Quebeckers excited as much as when a non-Francophone publishes a criticism where Americans can read it – does anyone remember Mordecai? This writer showed what he is about with that lovely Wong smear – hey, they all look/write the same, don’t they!

    • I think Martin Patriquin is as much Anglophone as Francophone. Not your average French-speaking quebecer.

      Every individual has a right to denounce prejudices against his perceived identity. English canadian medias regularly spread a lot of prejudice about Quebeckers.

      Caracterising them as racist is pretty common and often wrong.

  9. From Vancouver here. I think it’s pretty easy to call Quebecers racists… in my opinion, they are just defending their culture/language. And they are very open to receiving immigrants as long as they are willing to become part of the Quebecer population.

    Here in BC, I am attending a public high school and 95% of the time, I can hear only Mandarin or Cantonese. If we were a bit more strict about speaking English and preserving our culture, I don’t think it would be ‘racist’, it would simply be a legitimate way of keeping BC from losing it’s culture.

    It pisses me off when QC people are being criticized unfairly from the outside, but it’s even worse when it comes from inside. Concordia made a bad choice by publishing that pile of **.

    • They are defending their culture but they are also racists.

      It’s pretty clear.

  10. Defensive much? First, you betray a limited knowledge of the academic review process. Yes, the journal was edited in the US, but the most important feedback on the article would have come through anonymous reviewers (and people that knew something about French Canada would have been the most logical choice of reviewers).

    Second, you spend an entire paragraph on what is essentially a tangential point – which newspaper has the biggest circulation. So Wong was wrong – does that really get at the core point?

    Third, this is almost certainly an empirically verifiable phenomenon:

    From the World Values Survey…How much do you trust people of another nationality?

    English Canadians 
    “Completely/a little”: 82.2%
    “Not very much/not at all”: 13.8%

    French Canadians
    “Completely/a little”: 55%”Not very much/not at all”: 41.9%%
    Or from more recent polling data (http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/2010.11.08_Melting_CAN.pdf), 
    -Quebecois were most likely to say Canada should be a melting pot (as opposed to a cultural mosaic)
    -The least likely to say that multiculturalism was good for Canada

    Hell, even a majority (59%) of Quebecers say they are racist: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2007/01/15/mtl-racism.html

    And if you still don’t believe it, think back to what happened in Quebec politics when the Bloc embraced a civic nationalism under Boisclair, while Mario Dumont embraced ethnic nationalism. 

  11. “A dude named Wong”–I’m not an intellectual or political person, but that strikes me as unprofessional and lacking respect at best.

  12. UGHHHH…. wow, so WONG is now the a LOADED name because of 2 PEOPLE whose last name is Wong?? Next you’r gonna tell me that people whose last name is WONG are all the same, or something racist like that (yeah, I said RACIST, not race baiting). That’s the implicit assumption of what you wrote anyways. I find it really troubling that you are attacking the journal article by completing mis-representing what it is saying. First – this article INCLUDED the Gazette, an anglo newspaper, in its critique of quebec media. Mr. Wong never said that the Gazette was better, if anything, he said that all three magazines (Gazette, Journal and Devoir) were part of the neo-racism that the reasonable accommodation debate produced. Second – Mr Wong NEVER stated that racism only exists in Quebec. I’m sure that he would actually agree with you in saying that racism towards newcomers and immigrants exist everywhere in Canada. He was only examining the quebec context because of the reasonable accommodation debate here, which was unique because, as you said, it provided a platform for xenophobic comments to be made public. Mr Patriquin, your commentary horribly misrepresented Mr Wong’s work. Its fine if you disagree, but at least disagree ACCURATELY.  

  13. Getting really defensive and offended, rather than working to root out racist elements in Quebec society is not constructive.

    • Fighting prejudices and disinformation is always constructive.

      • Yeah exactly, which is why Quebecers need to condemn the racists in its society.

        • There were
          some really stupid things said during the debate on reasonable accommodations.
          These stupid things were condemned by most Quebecers. The media condemned them.
          Almost every pundits were appalled by what happened in Herouxville.

          Everyone were very vocal against it. You would need to be very uninformed about
          the public debate in Quebec to believe that racism was not and is not
          condemned.

          However, I am also Canadian ans so is Patriquin. As Canadians, I also must
          condemn the constant racist undertones in many reporting and analysis done by
          English Canada on Quebec.

          Sometimes, the prejudices are actually stated very overtly. There are many
          prejudices so I could go on for a while (corruption, lazy, etc.). However, one
          of the most common prejudices is that Quebec is somehow more racist than the
          rest of Canada.

          I strongly
          disagree with that! The truth is there are stupid racists everywhere and Quebec
          doesn’t have more than anywhere else in the Western world. Characterizing a
          people as somehow fundamentally more racist than another people without any
          strong evidence (Alan Wong seems to be doing) is in itself deeply prejudiced
          and, yes, racist.

           

          For
          instance, Bill 101, even if it has been for its largest parts, upheld by the
          Supreme Court, is often caricatured as some sort of Nuremberg law against Anglo-quebecers
          (even though an important part of it concerns education for immigrants, not
          anglos)

          Caricaturing
          Quebecers’ attachment to the mere survival of language (which is a fundamental
          part of many Quebecers’ identity) to call them xenophobic or racist betrays a
          lack of understanding about Quebec society.

          This kind
          of hyperbole is racist to me.

  14. The only real difference with Quebec and the remainder of the country when it comes to this is that Quebec feels, in general, a little more able to say these things in public. 

  15. This article is so insulting, it is poorly researched and calling all of Québec ”racist” ? You’re an idiot and clearly know nothing about the hardship that the francophone people of Canada have had to go through to preserve their language. It is no wonder that Québec want to stand apart from Canada when there are ignorant people like you blabbing about their politics.

  16. Va au diable esti de trou-de-cul de MacLean. Tu passes ton temps à critiquer les Québécois car ils ne sont pas encore assimilés! Tu oublies souvent de mentionner par contre que les francophones hors-Québec sont continuellement discriminés dans leurs droits les plus  fondamentaux.  Et on ne parlera pas des tactiques du Canada de tout faire pour éliminer le français depuis plus de 100 ans.

    Vous vous pleignez le ventre plein en criss au Québec, vous les anglishes. Si on vous traiterais comme vous nous traitez dans le ROC, là vous auriez en esti des raisons de vous pleindre. Mais ce n’est pas vrai qu’on va se sentir coupable de vivre en français pour plaire à votre majesté, ça c’est sûr et certain.

    Sur ce Maclain, si tu détestes autant le Québec et notre diversité, tu n’as qu’à aller te faire voir dans les 9 autres provinces et de ne plus mettre les pied icitte jamais connard de médeux!!!!

  17. Ah Martin…. Did that research paper offend you? Seems like you took great offense to it. Sometimes the truth hurts.

  18. Forcing a certain language between customers and clients might be a form of discrimination. Public schools in the official language of the place is a common practice in all jurisdictions around the world— including regions of a country. You cannot go a to a public French School in the Canton of Zurich or in a German school in the Canton of Geneva. This is a fact.
    So whether or not there should be English public schools in Quebec or not, is more a matter of established minority rights rather than individual rights. Otherwise why not Chinese, Pashtun, Arabic, etc public schools?
    The state has a duty to enforce our values and our language on immigrants.

  19. give them a break, theyre just protecting their culture. much to teh same respect early christian settlers protected their culture on native americans. (your kids go to catholic school, or you die). racists whites of the south were merely protecting their culture with segregated schools and public areas. its just protecting culture, there are many examples of this protecting culture look no further than (well you get the idea)

  20. Concordia is a racist university that pretends to be non-racist… The immigrant students that come out of the university do not find jobs and are being ritually abused. Those who do are those who are sell-outs to Quebec’s racist government. If you do not understand that, you understand nothing.

    Concordia is nothing more than an immigrant fly-trap.

  21. Of course this article had to be written by someone named Martin Patriquin can’t get more french than that buddy. Just for your information the last time you check yourself in a mirror you were not black yellow brown tan or any other color but WHITE. So starting there you do not have any idea of the racism we immigrants have to put up with in Quebec I study in Concordia University. I got a bachelor in engineering and damn it is easier for a quebecois pure laine to get a job than for an immigrant like myself. Plus everytime you guys plan something is always french people in your groups and never want to allow an immigrant. So let me put it this way fuck you and your know it all. I wish you were an immigrant to understand what we live in day in and day out. I am hispanic by the way and to be honest i could not care for you french fucks there i am racist too no ? and i blame you quebecois for turning me this way. hasta la vista dumbass. put yourself in our shoes and you would understand

  22. No, you’re right, Quebecois are not racist… When “ethnicals” go to Quebec, they are just mildly persecuted… When Quebecois go to ethnical countries, I can guarantee you that from now on, we shall kill them all… So who’s more racist, us or them? I’d bet on us anytime.,..

  23. interesting right this in October 2013…

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