The Liberal MP for Saint-Laurent, Emmanuella Lambropoulos, and the president of the PLC in Quebec, Chelsea Craig, spoke without filter. According to the first, French in Quebec is not in decline and for the second, Bill 101, which dictates which language to use, is oppressive.
Justin Trudeau, in 2012, before coming to power did not want Bill 101 to be strengthened despite the decline of French in Quebec. “We must avoid relaunching the old debates on language. A tightening of the law would penalize Francophones who wish to offer better future prospects to their children. “
This week, the two young Liberals were quickly scolded. First by their colleague, Minister responsible for Official Languages, Mélanie Joly, who reacted by using three adjectives, “stunned”, “stunned” and “disappointed”. It is his way of serving his chief, the prince of mea culpa.
Justin Trudeau, he says, hand on heart, that he is a defender of Bill 101. Except that he still refuses that companies under federal jurisdiction are subject to this law. One might think that Justin Trudeau, faced with the possibility of an election call, would be inappropriate to give in to this demand from Prime Minister Legault, a nationalist whom he should not often praise.
Bill 101, let’s wake up, will never have the support of anglophones or allophones. Except among a few eccentrics touched by the plight of small minority peoples.
Let us not forget, on the other hand, that French Quebec allows Canada to still stand out from the United States. Unfortunately, the country is on the road to a galloping cultural and political Americanization.
Canada is English speaking, but in reality it has become multilingual and English is above all the instrument of communication between its inhabitants from coast to coast. Moreover, it is its cultural diversity that is put forward by Justin Trudeau and not its language, which is no longer carried by the English-Canadian nationalism of the last century with its writers, among others, who embodied Canadian culture still strongly influenced by England at the time.
French is on the decline in Quebec and the Francophone communities outside Quebec are only a shadow of themselves because of Canadian indifference. A year ago, I returned to francophone communities in Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick to make a documentary that Radio-Canada broadcast in October 2019.
It was a painful experience indeed. Not only are Francophones evidently disappearing under the pressure of waves of immigrants, but they reflect back to us the image of our own decline. This does not detract from the dignity of their fight.
Emmanuella and Chelsea have said aloud what we think from coast to coast to the official unilingualism of Quebec. Their apologies are an insult to our intelligence. Like the changing words of Justin Trudeau on Bill 101 according to the political issues of the moment.
Quebeckers must impose their law at home. By understanding that it is not the Supreme Court that will decide for them. It is their government elected by the majority and which will have the courage of its ambitions in due course.