After nearly a generation of unbroken dominance in Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois was almost erased from the province's political map in the 2011 general election. Quebec has spoken and has clearly had enough of 20th century political ideas and wants to move forward into a new era. But how does this mood swing in Quebec affect the plight of the minorities in Quebec and in particular the much maligned Anglophone population.
The NDP decimated the Bloc Québécois' by reaching out to their voters with an endorsement of expanding Quebec's controversial language law, Bill 101. Before the election, In the French-language debate, leader Jack Layton also talked about re-opening the Constitution in a new deal for Quebec.
The NDP have promised to strengthen francophone rights, and weaken the federal government’s role in the province; extending Bill 101-style French-in-the-workplace laws to cover workers under federal jurisdiction, such as banking.
In essence, the NDP have adopted much of the nationalist agenda and merged it with their progressive politics thus strengthening majority rights and damning the minorities.
There’s a significant movement campaigning to make it even harder for parents to have their children educated in English, and even to extend those rules to cover CEGEPs. This idea is even opposed by a majority of French speakers. Other initiatives call for a complete ban of all English on commercial signs.
This fanatical language-cleansing has no place in modern Canada. The fact that the federal government allows Quebec to get away with such nonsense embarrasses the whole country on the international stage. Something has got to be done to stop the blatant discrimination against English speaking immigrants but it does not look like the NDP victory is going to change anything. It is more likely that the lot of English speakers in Quebec will get worse before it gets better and the despised Bill 101 will march on with increasing vigour.
- www.britclub.ca was conceived and designed in 2006 by Mick McCafferty who emigrated to St-Lazare, Quebec from Nottingham, England in 2004 with his wife and three children. The purpose of the site is primarily to provide help advice and support to British immigrants in, or about to move to, Canada. Mick also publishes the BritClub Gazette periodically to keep British immigrants informed.