This post is BOTH about Québec’s proposed bill 96 on the French language and Canada’s virtuous words about its Indigenous people. As a reminder, these words are repeated over and over without political concrete actions to improve people’s quality of life (e.g., basics needs like clean water, etc.) or to change laws, namely the “Indian Act”.
To begin with, Bambi is with respect and love for all in Canada, in her birth country, and anywhere else in our world. Specifically, although she loves all languages, she is and will always remain in love with the langue de Molière, as many of the readers of this blog know, and she loves her Québec (and Canada) dearly.
In her mind, one thing is clear, Québec’s official language is French (while New Brunswick is the only province of our country that is officially bilingual). The earlier posts, shown further below, reveal some of Bambi’s thoughts regarding the French language and the need to protect, and even cherish, it.
Now what about Bill 96? Bambi started her thought process about such a bill from the following perspective: (1) It is up to Québec to decide what is best for Québec and (2) Yes, there is a need to keep protecting, and ideally loving, the French language in our country (and in the world, including Lebanon). She still thinks the same, of course.
However, after taking the time tonight to read more about Bill 96 following a discussion with a couple of friends, she is VERY worried about Bill 96, namely on its negative impact on both English-speaking Québeckers (minority) and the French-speaking Québeckers (majority) (https://rb.gy/xfbfwu).
Indeed, Bambi sees the potential excesses of this bill. In her dictionary, this is called potential governmental overcontrol. The application of this bill risks becoming unfair and even ugly to businesses established in Québec. It risks becoming discriminatory to English-speaking Québeckers whomever they are. Mind you, if one of the faithful readers of this blog (Bambi will name you Fred) is reading now, he will be surprised to see Bambi likely agreeing with him for the first time of their lives…
If she understands Bill 96 well, L’Office de la langue française (OLF) can walk into a company and confiscate its computers to find evidence that work emails have been sent in French. Can you imagine? An English-speaking friend of Bambi even argued, and Bambi agrees, that this bill is unfair to French-speaking elementary and high-school kids as it prevents them from pursuing college in English.
Usually In life, learning another language (especially the international English) opens new horizons and helps build careers as well as bridges among people and nations. So, where do we draw the line between the need to protect the French language and protecting the rights of Québec residents whomever they are (ie., speakers of the language of Molière or Shakespeare or allophones)? Is the Government of Québec truly protecting the French language or trying to please this or that group? Does is really care for the language enough to remind Mr. Trudeau of the need to keep managing its immigration (both in terms of selection and numbers)? Why don’t we hear about the latter more and less so about new legal frameworks to interfere in businesses or with young people’s educational aspirations? Why is Québec going down this road of potentially intrusive governance, forgetting about cherishing its most precious value: the respect of individual freedom/choices! Why does it seem to be behaving like the rest of Canada, but for different reasons?
Talking about the rest of Canada, Bambi will make two comments. One about Bill 96 and the other about the latest example of excesses of our virtuous words.
First, Bill 96 ensures the role of Québec in the development of Francophone and Acadian communities in Canada, in the promotion and enhancement of the French language in the actions of Administration in Canada and abroad (https://rb.gy/xfbfw). Isn’t this latter odd when Québec does not want the rest of Canada to interfere in its affairs? Why is it interfering now in Canada’s affairs, domestically and abroad? What does all this mean?
Second, concerning Canada’s ideologies now, Bambi would like to thank Mr. Jonathan Kay for tweeting the following:
Bambi has criticized excesses of our ideologies in medical conferences in an earlier post (shown further below). Today, those excesses seem to have taken a new level of absurdity. After all, whether in Québec or the rest of Canada, we are all in the middle of our collectively insane times.
To conclude this post, Bambi will raise one question and sing one song: (1) Why can’t we be free to say no to excessive ideologies in our universities and excessive policies in our provinces? and (2) Ms. Nana Mouskouri’s song on liberty is what comes to her mind before sleep.