Don Macpherson: When health becomes a language issue
Health care used as an instrument of language policy in Quebec?
Your medicare card used as a language-identification card?
Restrictions on access to English health care similar to those on access to English schools?
Denying immigrants the help of interpreters in the health system to describe their symptoms – or those of their children, their parents or other loved ones – so that they have to learn French?
All these ideas have been raised recently, not by cellar pamphleteers, but by members of mainstream French Quebec society.
And before you laugh them off, remember that some language proposals originally dismissed as ridiculous, such as banning English from commercial signs, went on to become law in this province.