Quebec Told To Rewrite Language Laws

Posted on Friday, April 01 at 09:36 by Perturbed
Brent Tyler, the lawyer who masterminded the challenge of the law, said it’s impossible to say exactly how many children will benefit. It could be thousands if Quebec bureaucrats give a generous interpretation to the court decision, he said. But Tyler expressed some skepticism that will happen. “We have had to kick and fight and scream to get the slightest concession for parents (in the past),” he said. “So much of it depends on the attitude of the Quebec government. Are they going to accept the spirit of this judgment?” The court said provincial officials had been too narrow in their past decisions on who is eligible for English schooling, and should take a broader range of factors into account in the future. But that will have a practical impact only on immigrants and English-Canadians from other provinces — not on French-speaking natives of Quebec. In a separate unanimous decision, the court rejected claims that francophones should be free to choose English schooling for their children. The judges said members of the linguistic majority in the province have no constitutional right to education in the minority language. Tyler said he intends to take that part of his case “to the next level” by seeking a hearing from human rights officials at the United Nations. He acknowledged that, even if he wins there, the decision would have no legal force in Canada. But a favourable ruling at the UN might put political pressure on Quebec to further loosen its rules, said Tyler. The case had threatened to rekindle Quebec’s on-again, off-again language wars and create political problems for both the federal and provincial governments. Prime Minister Paul Martin, with a minority Liberal government in Ottawa, could be forced into an election at any time. His party already faces an uphill struggle in Quebec, where it lost ground in the last federal campaign to the sovereigntist Bloc Quebecois. In Quebec City, fellow Liberal Premier Jean Charest had been expected to face enormous pressure from nationalists if any part of Bill 101 was struck down. That didn’t happen, but the focus will now shift to the new administrative rules set by education officials in deciding future demands for English schooling on a case-by-case basis. The original measures, blocking English schooling for francophones, many immigrants and even some anglophones from outside the province, were introduced in 1977. The province argued at the time that the French language and culture could be threatened by demographic shifts, especially if newcomers to Quebec assimilated to the minority English community rather than the French majority. Provincial government lawyers told the Supreme Court that restrictions are still necessary to protect against that possibility. http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1112268043917&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154&DPL=IvsNDS%2f7ChAX&tacodalogin=yes [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on April 2, 2005]

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  1. Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:07 pm
    Another example of the success of Quebec’s extortion campaign: “in exchange for rights the rest of you will never have, we’ll think about remaining part of the Confederation.” And, being good, let’s all get along ‘cause everyone is a reasonable as we are Canadians, we’ll put up with it until the nation is no more.

  2. Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:38 pm
    Richter&Francis&Yaffe ranting time all over again. Let's see how this story on scapegoating Québec tyranny of the minority and abuse of democracy pan out... Could we at least try changing the script this time around?

    And who is antagonizing who? Perhaps we should finish Gomery first?

    ---
    "We are all in this together somehow, some more than others somehow"

  3. Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:50 pm
    Seems to me anonymous has a point, but I agree that we should just accept the fact that Quebec deserves a little extra for trying to survive in a sea of English-speakers. We would all be poorer if the French culture eroded like that of the Nova Scotian Acadians.

  4. Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:58 pm
    Don't let them fool you.

  5. Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:15 pm
    I'm glad anonymous came out and said it. We spend a lot of time blaming our problems on the folks who inhabit the land below our southern border -- justified for the most part of course. But the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss on this site is the Quebec issue. Could it be that while we're glaring southward, creeping separatism is inching us to breakup. Let's open a continuing discussion forum on this issue. It's legitimate.

  6. by michou
    Sat Apr 02, 2005 2:40 am
    Anonymous wrote : <i>"But the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss on this site is the Quebec issue."</i><p> Hey you ! Ya you ! Do you have a face or a real name ? Surely you haven't been hanging around these parts very long. <p> <b>Vive le Québec libre ! </b> ... et vivement qu'on en finisse avec toutes ces conneries et ces présumés complots linguistiques. Le Québec parle français. So get over it already. <p>---<br>« Il y a une belle, une terrible rationalité dans la décision d'être libre. » - Gérard Bergeron <br />

  7. Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:14 am
    Another wise descision by our Supreme Court. I don't understand why people are ranting about it.

    It reaffirms basic constitutional principles the country was founded on -- the rights of minorities are protected -- for Anglophones inside Quebec, and for the French inside the larger federation.

    It is also a win for moderation, reigning in the more hardline element in the nationalist/sovereigntist.

    A typically Canadian result. Why the gnashing of teeth?

    ---
    If you don't like these ideas, I've got others. --Marshall McLuhan

  8. by michou
    Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:39 am
    <p><i>“So much of it depends on the attitude of the Quebec government. Are they going to accept the spirit of this judgment?” </i><p> Who gives a hoot about what the Québec government thinks or its 'attitude' ? It certainly isn't Québécers. Charest has been going downhill ever since his party came into power. We all make mistakes and Québécers did it big time last elections. The people of Québec have now learned their lesson well and they will boot him out next time around. As Action-Jackson wrote, "why all the bickering ?" Well Québécers have had enough of it that's for sure. So before the decade is over, expect to witness a winning referendum and an independant Québec. About time too !<p>---<br>« Il y a une belle, une terrible rationalité dans la décision d'être libre. » - Gérard Bergeron <br />

  9. Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:09 am
    You are living proof michou that separatists can't be appeased. Canada has subsidized and coddled the French language for a while now, and it has probably made things worse.

    An independent Quebec would create so many legal disputes and issues of economics that life could only get worse. Not that it matters to you.

    The Liberals and PQ both serve the same economic elite, and separatism wouldn't change that.

    We need a tough PM to crack a whip over the head of these separatist brats.




    ---
    The midget, Bush, and that Rumsfield deserve only to be beaten with shoes by freedom loving people everywhere.

    - Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, The Iraqi Informat

  10. Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:10 am
    This is the major issue that affects this nation today, not our relationship with the United States, but unity over the situation in Quebec. We can not mover forward as a nation and confront the challenges that lay ahead (ie. the Americans) unless we unite together as one nation.

    For Quebec, democratically speaking it would be very difficult to seperate from the rest of Canada. The seperatists would have to win a 2/3rd's majority in a referendum in Quebec, the same in a referendum in English Canada, and a majority in all remaining provincial and territorial parliaments. Then Quebec could seperate. That is after negotiating with Canada in regards to the rights and well being of those in Quebec who are against seperation and what their status would be in both countries. After all of that, then Quebec can seperate.

    International Law supports Canada's position in this matter and not Quebec's. Under international law since Quebec is a part of Canada by way of Confederation it is Canada's right to resolve the matter democractically and not Quebec's by force or reactionary meassures. Under international law this matter must be settled democracticaly. And countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia would back Canada's position (all English countries, yes I know)

    All said, the chances of this happening are slim at best. So where does that leave us? We can't go forward and we can't go back, and clearly the present system is failing us as I speak. So where do we go from here? To put it simply, we're stuck with each other.

    I'll be honest with you I'm an English Canadian, not an English speaking Canadian mind you, but an English Canadian (or British Canadian if you want, after all there's a little bit of ginger in us all). My people came to this country and along with our fellow French Canadians and others we built a nation I'm proud of. And I'd like to keep that nation intact, not at the expense of the French identity, language, or culture mind you, but neither at my own. Granted, we in English Canada have made some pretty bad decisions in the past often at the expense of others, the Micmac and the Acadians of Nova Scotia come to mind. Granted we could of handled things better in English Canada, but two wrongs don't make a right.

    As it stands French Canadians are sensitive to any change that may impact their culture or society in a negative way, and sometimes they respond in negative ways themselves (Bill 101 for instance). We don't want to see the same thing happen to Quebec that happened to Louisiana in the States for example. Do we? No we don't

    But based on my experience, many English/British Canadians are upset and angry with this and as a result are insensitive to French Canadians feelings and positions over this matter. Here in English Canada we've seen much of what was once our culture, or own identity watered down our sold off piece by piece, usually replaced with American language and culture.

    We are already seeing Canadian English moving closer to American English day by day and that's not what we want. But there's no protection for our culture, our identity, our way of life which is seperate from the American's culture and way of life. But inspite of all this, we're still here and we've survived.

    What many French Canadians fear will happen to their identity and culture has been happening to English Canadians identity and culture for the last several decades, and if we're going to survive on this continent together we need to change the current system so that both the English and French cultures can survive side by side, without a gun to their heads held by separatists

    So with all that said, I think we understand each other better than before. English and French Canadians alike have been dealing with the same issues all along.

    What it comes down to is this; we need balance in this country, between the French and English cultures alike. We can't have one benifiting at the expense of the other, something that happens under a piece of legislation like Bill 101. In the same respect, we can't risk losing one over the other. With out the French, Canada can't exist. But in that same regard, with out the English, Canada can't exist either. We have some tough choices to make ahead of us. Are we really that different and that unwilling to work together to help make Canada the country it should be?

  11. Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:51 am
    That was an amazing post. Perhaps it would be a good idea for those in so-called "English Canada" to write down what we've lost/sold offf, so we know what has gone on, what the facts are. Then we could talk about getting it back. I don't believe in the inevitable, but we have to know what has already happened.

    I realize many people on Vive are more sympathetic to official multiculturalism that I am, but I can't help but also say that if we are going to bring back the so-called "English-Canadian culture", then we pretty well have to can official multiculturalism if we want to be honest. It's hypocritical to subsidize and promote foreign cultures in Canada while at the same time trying to revive or protect English-Canadian culture.

    ---
    The midget, Bush, and that Rumsfield deserve only to be beaten with shoes by freedom loving people everywhere.

    - Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, The Iraqi Informat

  12. by michou
    Sat Apr 02, 2005 5:32 am
    Angus McCracken wrote : <i>We can not mover forward as a nation and confront the challenges that lay ahead (ie. the Americans) unless we unite together as one nation. </i><p> I disagree. Why can’t you move forward without Québec ? Are English Canadians handicapped or something ? <p> <i>For Quebec, democratically speaking it would be very difficult to seperate from the rest of Canada. The seperatists would have to win a 2/3rd's majority in a referendum in Quebec … After all of that, then Quebec can seperate.</i><p> If Québécers decide to become independant, they do not need Canada’s permission to do so. Québécers are mature enough to decide alone where their future lies. If they judge it is not within Canada, it won’t be. <p> <i>Under international law since Quebec is a part of Canada by way of Confederation it is Canada's right to resolve the matter democractically and not Quebec's by force or reactionary meassures. Under international law this matter must be settled democracticaly. And countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia would back Canada's position (all English countries, yes I know)</i><p> The white anglo-saxon superiority complex makes me want to puke if you want the truth and thank goodness it is dying around the world. They have done enough damage is it is. Separatism or independence is not reactionary. It is a legimitate choice available to distinct societies and Québec is one of them. So stop being an condescending anglo telling French Québécers what they can or cannot do and once we become independant, we won’t do it in return . <p> <i>All said, the chances of this happening are slim at best. So where does that leave us? We can't go forward and we can't go back, and clearly the present system is failing us as I speak. So where do we go from here? To put it simply, we're stuck with each other.</i><p> You are kidding yourself if you think the chances of a winning independance referendum are slim. The opposite is closer to the truth. Canadians and Québécers are not stuck together unless you force us to be.<p> <i> but two wrongs don't make a right.</i><p> Your culture will not be under threat unless you do something to protect it. Québec is doing something to protect is own culture. If Canada can’t stand on its own without Québec, it’s your problem, not Québécers. Stand up and be responsible just as Québécers will be when the next winning referendum results come in. Brace yourself for it. It’s the best advice I can give you. Maybe you could learn a thing or two about the meaning of sovereignty from Québécers. <p> <i>As it stands French Canadians are sensitive to any change that may impact their culture or society in a negative way, and sometimes they respond in negative ways themselves (Bill 101 for instance). We don't want to see the same thing happen to Quebec that happened to Louisiana in the States for example. Do we? No we don't</i><p> Bill 101 is not negative. It depends on which side of the fence we sit on and obviously, we are not facing the same way. That is sufficient reason in my mind to go our separate ways. Your good intentions mean absolutely nothing to me. More condescending poppycock as far as I’m concerned. <p> <i>But based on my experience, many English/British Canadians are upset and angry with this and as a result are insensitive to French Canadians feelings and positions over this matter. </i><p> So THAT’s what it is ! Submissive minorities on their knees has usually been the preferred position held by the anglos- saxons rulers around the world. If some want to stand and defend themselves, Anglo rulers suddenly become insensitive. Who would have thunk ?<p> <i>Here in English Canada we've seen much of what was once our culture, or own identity watered down our sold off piece by piece, usually replaced with American language and culture.</i><p> I don’t care what English Canadians think of me. If you’re being watered down is of not concern to me either unless it is to you. I will support any nation that fights for its sovereignty as I do for my nation, Québec. If Canadians can’t rise up to meet America’s threat, don’t expect Québécers to do it on their behalf.<p> <i>We are already seeing Canadian English moving closer to American English day by day and that's not what we want. But there's no protection for our culture, our identity, our way of life which is seperate from the American's culture and way of life. But inspite of all this, we're still here and we've survived.</i><p> Sorry to inform you but your survival chances are getting slimmer and slimmer by the day unless Canadians learn and decide to stand up for themselves. The past is no guarantee for the present or the future. Nothing lasts forever and especially not borders and nations. Take out any world history book if you need to be reminded of it. <p> <i>What many French Canadians fear will happen to their identity and culture has been happening to English Canadians identity and culture for the last several decades, and if we're going to survive on this continent together we need to change the current system so that both the English and French cultures can survive side by side, without a gun to their heads held by separatists</i><p> Why should Québec sink with Canada if it doesn’t have to ? No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head. That is just rhetorical talk. Hey ! I’m also good at it, so I recognize it when I see it. <p> <i>So with all that said, I think we understand each other better than before. English and French Canadians alike have been dealing with the same issues all along.</i><p> No we haven’t or we would not be discussing this matter and we would have stopped writing about Québec vs Canada a long time ago. <p> <i>With out the French, Canada can't exist. But in that same regard, with out the English, Canada can't exist either. </i><p> Sweet but I’m not buying it. "Oh my darling and sweetheart ! If you ever leave me, I will just die from a broken heart." Gimme a break will ya ? <p> Nice to meet you Angus McCracken. At least you have a name and that’s a definite improvement over the too many anonymouses who post here. I would suggest you move your following comments to the 'Canada better off without Québec' forum thread. It's more user friendly for these types of discussions. See you there...maybe ! ;)<p>---<br>« Il y a une belle, une terrible rationalité dans la décision d'être libre. » - Gérard Bergeron <br />

  13. by michou
    Sat Apr 02, 2005 5:41 am
    You are partly right Perturbed. I am still living and breathing but it is not appeasement I'm looking for. I want my nation to become independant and be able to manage its own destiny, for better or worse. A brat is either a small pork sausage or a troublesome child. So here again we find the same anglo- superiority complex I mentionned in my reply to Angus. (unless you meant sausages ???) <p>---<br>« Il y a une belle, une terrible rationalité dans la décision d'être libre. » - Gérard Bergeron <br />

  14. Sat Apr 02, 2005 6:36 am
    Your definition is so subjective that you will probably find most people are less rigid.

    There's no reason why Canada has to fit a dictionary definition of nation. We can have our own version of what a nation is. Two proud European languages along with our first nations. That can be a nation.

    I think what you want is 100% French control. You should remember that Scottish culture is doing fine under English control, and Quebec has more autonomy within Canada than Scotland does within great Britain.

    You simply make so many assumptions and leaps of faith it is mind-boggling.

    It could be argued that in practice Quebec politicians have the superiority complex.

    ---
    The midget, Bush, and that Rumsfield deserve only to be beaten with shoes by freedom loving people everywhere.

    - Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, The Iraqi Informat



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