28 March 2015

William Johnson: Numbers don't support notion that French is threatened in Quebec


... The standard indicator of a threatened language is that the younger generations abandon it. There’s no sign of that in Quebec. The 2011 census of Canada revealed that, across Canada, between 2006 and 2011, the number of people of French mother tongue rose by 327,775. The number of people who reported speaking mostly French at home rose by even more: 428,530. In Canada outside Quebec, the number speaking French at home increased by 91,640. 
But most significant are the figures for Quebec. The number of French mother tongue rose by 273,735. The number speaking French at home (around the family table!) actually rose even more, by 336,890. French is assimilating others, not being assimilated. 
Henripin was scheduled to testify before Justice Mascia last May, but he died seven months before. And so the myth persists that Anglos are a constant existential threat to the Québécois. The siege mentality that opposes les Québécois to their fellow citizens in Quebec and to francophones in the rest of Canada triumphs once again. Will it ever end?

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