Does it come as a surprise that the most serious antisemitic incidents in Canada since the October 7 war was launched in the Middle East, have taken place in Quebec? After all, why should we be surprised in a province that routinely promotes discrimination against people who speak languages other than French? As the kids said in the school yard: “He started it.”
The provincial government of François Legault should not be so surprised. This is a government that routinely uses the ‘Not Withstanding’ clause in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms to try to prevent interference in their discrimination against their English-speaking citizens. And it is not as though it is racial discrimination. English and French speaking peoples are, for the most part, from the same racial origins. Many slurs in both languages have been slung over the English Channel over the centuries of history.
But that is no excuse for the suppression of English in Quebec. It is probably the only jurisdiction with more than eight million population today that does not accept English as the lingua franca of today’s world. The truth be known is that many educated francophones in Quebec want their children to learn English, as it will enable them to have more opportunities in their business career. And come to think of it, what percentage of the members of the Quebec legislature are able to communicate in English?
These are the people who regularly pass laws that limit the availability of English language education in the province. To add insult, they have raised the annual rates for English-speaking students from outside Quebec to attend their English-language universities and colleges to beyond reasonable.
And is our federal government standing up to this discrimination in Quebec. Of course not. The conservatives and the liberals are both thinking of an election in the next two years and are soft-pedaling the objections they might have to this Quebec bigotry. And what else do they have in mind, while they have the feds on the run?
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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