The PQ: Better French than Chinese

A closer look at Jean-François Lisée's claim that French has lost its place

PQ candidate Jean-François Lisée was on the radio today talking about how the Parti Québécois will ensure the survival of the French language in Montreal. Just a reminder: under the provisions of Bill 101, the children of immigrants must go to primary and secondary school in French. This apparently isn’t enough for the PQ because, as Lisée himself pointed out in another interview, “from the moment where there isn’t a majority of people whose first language isn’t French, it means there is no majority to defend it. We can be very attached to our second languages, but I won’t go protest to defend English or Spanish.”

Part of the PQ plan is to award more “points” (immigration-wise) to people who have French as a mother tongue. Lisée explained it this way:

And we said, we cannot allow French to be marginalized in our metropolis. We will take measure to ensure the future without removing anyone from anyone, of course, through the selection criteria of immigrants. Right now we give the same number of points to someone who says they speak French and the come from Shanghai, and someone who says they speak French and come from Bordeaux. But in Bordeaux, that person lives in French with their family, so we will give him a few more points.

Incidentally, I have a long piece in the mag about this coming out Thursday. Among other things I found out: Lisée’s contention that French is losing its place in Montreal is debunked by none other than the Office québécois de la langue française. That’s right, the language police.

Stay tuned.

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