Your response to the article 'Quebec's War on English: Language Politics Intensify in Canadian Province' deserves a counter response since it contains itself, several misleading and biased statements concerning Quebec's language policies.
First, the policies that have been adopted by successive governments since the seventies do nothing to 'preserve' the rights of Anglophones in Quebec. A quick example would be the requirement of having French on signs, with a limitation on the comparative size of any other language. This is, and is not arguable, an infringement on Anglophone's (and Francophone's for that matter) right to freedom of expression.
Second, the standard of living in Quebec is pretty good. I will not argue that, but you negate the colossal negative interdependence with the rest of Canada ($7-8 BN of equalization payments per year) to maintain this standard of living. The language policies legislated through Bill 101, and those proposed by Bill 14, however, to maintain this so called 'delicate equilibrium between individual and collective rights,' do nothing to ameliorate, respect or maintain the standards of living of Anglophones in Quebec. Statistically, you could consider the significant decline in attendance to English elementary and high schools (once 250k, now just under 100k) and consequently the reduction in the requirement of English speaking teachers - these are our jobs! (jobs = standard of living!) Do I need to enumerate the businesses whose headquarters have left Montreal for other cities? Montreal's loss, as the financial centre of Canada to Toronto, has been a huge part of the tranquil decline of Quebec. If anything, these kinds of laws overtime have already, and will continue to reduce the standard of living for Quebeckers in comparison to all of their neighbors. La richesse suit la liberte, et non pas le contraire.
Also, I would like to discuss this 'delicate equilibrium between individual and collective rights.' Bill 101 and the proposed Bill 14 do not balance any equilibrium. They infringe on civil rights in the name of 'protecting' the French language. I ask the following; At what cost are we willing to 'save' the French culture in Quebec, thriving here 400 years already? Are we to sacrifice our civil rights and liberties to maintain a certain ratio of Francophone/Anglophone/Allophone? What is that ratio? Who determines this ratio? Are we to expect additional discriminatory legislation every time the ratio of Francophones declines? What is the limit to all this? Frankly, I no longer trust the government of Quebec to make these decisions, and certainly not the xenophobic Office quebecois de la langue francaise.
Whether the words used are 'at war' or not, the truth is, that in the objective of removing English as an official language and making French the only official language of Quebec (in a country that strives to be bilingual), is an attack on the Anglophone community and most importantly, on the opportunity and potential of all Quebeckers, regardless of their mother tongue, to thrive as a collective and individuals in this global world. You cannot disassociate economic growth from the mastery and exploitation of the English language!
Having had the choice and opportunity, to pursue post-secondary education in English yourself, why would you support a political agenda that is preventing your peers from the accessing the same opportunities?
Lastly, when writing in English, Quebec is written without the e accent aigu, and simply with an e acute accent (aigu), just as we write Montreal without an accent too in English, since it is a bilingual city according to 80% of inhabitants polled, despite the propaganda of the narrow-minded QC Political elite, and even Mayor Applebaum, who pander to Quebec Nationalists at the expense of acknowledging their own acceptance of discrimination based on language (linguicism).
Thank you for our understanding,
Stewart John Leonard
Member of Equality Party 2.0 ? equalityparty.ca
Member of QC Office of the English LanguageÂ oqla.org
Member of Unity Group? www.unitygroup.ca
Appendix, original letter from our 'placed' by the PQ Govt representative in NYC
Starting with its inflammatory title, your article 'Quebec's War on English: Language Politics Intensify in Canadian Province' contains several misleading and biased statements concerning Quebec's language policies. Adopted by successive governments since the seventies, those policies aim to ensure that the French language flourishes on a continent where some 8 million Francophones cohabit with more than 300 million Anglophones while, at the same time, preserving the rights of Anglophones whose contribution to the development ofÂ Quebec's economic, political and cultural development is vital.
Anglo-Quebecers enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the country and have access to a network of English-language medical, educational and social institutions. Thirty-five years after the adoption of Bill 101, the proposed Bill 14 continues to respect the rights of the Anglophone minority while ensuring the vitality of the French language and maintaining the delicate equilibrium between individual and collective rights.
It is absurd to claim thatÂ Quebec is 'at war' against English. The Quebec [sociological] nation promotes inclusiveness and is renowned worldwide for its creativity and economic vitality. Quebecers of all origins are proud of their unique identity. We cordially invite you to visit and see for yourself.
Andre Boisclair, Quebec Delegate General to New York
Read more: http://ideas.time.com/letters/quebec-is-not-at-war-with-english/#ixzz2QXTpQGHF