19 March 2015

William Johnson: Lamb lobby hides truth on language

Untitled document

What does English Quebec want? Says who? I asked that while watching the special on Quebec of famed French television critic, Bernard Pivot. His Bouillon de culture quebecoise was broadcast on Radio-Quebec June 2 and on French television last Friday.
Pivot interviewed five prominent writers to form a picture of culture in Quebec, including novelist Neil Bissoondath and Gazette editor-in-chief Joan Fraser. Bissoondath, in Montreal for only a few years, found it only right that immigrants to Quebec be compelled to send their children to French school. And what did Fraser tell the international audience? Unlike Bissoondath, she did not speak only for herself, but purported to speak for Quebec's English-speaking community.``The rule regarding access to English school has been accepted - even if it has not been backed enthusiastically - but it has been truly accepted by the anglophone community because it is true that, given the very low birthrate in French Quebec, it is necessary that newcomers learn French and integrate into the (francophone) community . . . and really, the great majority of anglophones accept it.''

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