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language wars

Folks, this is important: Quebec is having school board elections in November, and for the first time, the position of Chair is directly electable by the population.

My wonderful aunt, Suanne Stein Day, is running for re-election as LBPSB Chair. It’s because she’s wonderful, and not just because she’s family, that I’d urge you to go out and vote for her if you’re eligible. (And give her a Like on Facebook while you’re at it, eh? Especially the parents among you, please share your concerns and thoughts with her, as she’s certainly listening and wanting to help!) I can’t vote for her as I don’t live in the LBPSB’s region. But I can certainly give her a ringing endorsement on this blog.

But, whoever you vote for, I’d urge everyone to get informed and get involved. I’m not a parent. Maybe you’re not either, and you’re wondering why you should care.

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Imagine that: People in Quebec want the right to choose the language of their kids’ education:

A new survey of Quebecers’ attitudes on education shows that two out of three prefer to have the right to send their children to any school in the province they choose, public or private.

The poll, conducted for The Gazette by Léger Marketing, asked whether students other than those now allowed, including franco-phones, should have access to English-language schools if they wish.

A total of 66 per cent of a representative sample of Quebecers agreed that they should – including a 61-per-cent clear majority of francophones.

Non-francophones were even more overwhelmingly in favour, at 87 per cent.

It’s about time that the francophone majority realised that they’re the ones getting most hurt by the current policies. After all, their kids will grow up learning French at home regardless, and without a strong foundation in English, their opportunities will be very limited in today’s world. Then, there are the anglo parents who would prefer to send their kids to French school so that they could grow up fluent in French, but opt instead to send them to English school in fear that their children will lose their right to choose.

This poll is long overdue and I hope the provincial parties will actually take notice, rather than resorting to the same rationalizations as the SSJB. The protectionist stance that the Quebec government has taken with schools has not preserved the status of French; it’s impeded the potential of Quebec. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to change anything in the short term. But in the long term, it may demonstrate that there’s a real willingness to embrace change and institute policies that open doors instead of chaining them shut.

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In Brief

04.13.2008

Does anyone really still believe that Mugabe will go quietly? Didn’t think so. Here we go again: The construction on St-Laurent launches full steam ahead into round 2… as though round 1 wasn’t a strong enough demonstration of the city’s incompetence. Duh alert: Allophones have a harder time getting jobs than Francophones do in Quebec. […]

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We need to give our politicians more to do

05.02.2007

Canada must not have enough real problems, if something like this is keeping our Parliamentarians occupied all week: The issue erupted on Parliament Hill this week as opposition parties criticized Doan’s selection as captain. Members of the Conservative government agreed with them that Hockey Canada should be asked to tell their side of the story […]

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Another anti-racism initiative that’s sure to miss the mark

08.16.2006

When will people understand that certain ways of dealing with racism only serve to compound the problem? Take, for example, the planned Quebec anti-racism initiative, which is being launched in response to public hearings and a report by the Task Force on the Full Participation of Black Communities in Quebec. Among the report’s recommendations: – […]

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Now why doesn’t this surprise me?

07.31.2006

Montreal’s hosting the first-ever OutGames. And Pauline has the scoop on the only people who seem to be offended, and on why: Quebec agency offended by “Outgames” Not by the existence of the event, a sort of gay and lesbian Olympics, but by the fact that organizers didn’t bother to give the name “Outgames” a […]

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You know your party’s in trouble when…

01.17.2006

An NHL star is suing your MP: Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan filed a lawsuit against Liberal MP Denis Coderre on Tuesday, alleging the former sports minister falsely accused him of making a slur against francophones during an NHL game. Doan also demanded that Coderre make a public retraction in the motion filed in Quebec […]

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The S-words

12.15.2005

For those unfamiliar with Quebec politics, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about with those s-words, “sovereigntist” and “separatist”. Or why the use of one or the other can get people all up in arms. Here’s Pauline’s take on the issue: Sovereignty, after all, is a noble cause in our age especially […]

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Go… Away

10.02.2005

Better late than never on this one: This would be sad if it were anyone else… but because it’s Gerald Tremblay, it’s extremely funny: Will Mayor Gerald Tremblay have to stop using “Go” in his election slogan? Quebec’s language watchdog yesterday said it will investigate complaints that Tremblay is contravening the provincial French language charter […]

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Anglophobia?

08.02.2005

The Gazette published an editorial today by Don MacPherson in which it discussed results of a new CROP- La Presse poll stating that an Anglophone could never get elected Premier here in Quebec. Excuse me for saying this… but duh! Us make up less than 10% of Quebec’s population, we’re mostly concentrated in Montreal, and […]

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