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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Big Surprise, This.

CTV:

The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected claims by francophone Quebecers to let their children attend English language schools.

In a unanimous decision, the country's top court has upheld the language legislation in Quebec known as Bill 101 -- which obliges French speaking parents to send their kids to a francophone school. A group of eight francophone families have been fighting hard for their children's right to attend English language schools, claiming they're being discriminated against.

"The Supreme Court ruled that the anti-discrimination provisions of the Charter of Rights do not override the language provisions of the Charter of Rights," reports CTV's Mike Duffy from Ottawa. "They stand side by side."


There's a provision in the Charter that denies some citizens the right to speak other languages and that's equal to the one that doesn't descriminate on the basis of language, so it's ok to descriminate against them?

But I'm not a lawyer - I only play one on the blogosphere. So, as requested by a reader - an open thread. Discuss.

Posted by Kate McMillan on March 31, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink

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Comments

I dunno ... see the thread right below this, where apparently the constitutional right to free speech and the constitutional right to freedom of religion seems to be playing second-fiddle in the same-sex marriage debate to the right to be married and the right not to be offended.

This is what Justice Irwin Cotler coyly referred to as "balancing" competing rights under the charter. Guess in Quebec, the Supreme Court balanced that one out.

Posted by: Mike Jenkinson | 2005-03-31 4:26:44 PM


Thanks Kate. I have only one question for the experts on here. How can the Courts say that Gays have a right to marriage, and then turn around and say that parents do not have language rights when it comes to their kid's education??
Do only minorities have rights?? Is this a sick country or what.

Posted by: MikeP | 2005-03-31 4:29:25 PM


"There's a provision in the Charter that denies some citizens the right to speak other languages--"

The Supreme Court put it differently: S.23 is a _positive_ requirement for Quebec to provide English-language public education to its anglophone minority (and conversely for francophones outside Quebec). But it doesn't require Quebec to provide English-language public education to _everybody_.

Some discussion, with links to the text of the Supreme Court decisions:
http://tinyurl.com/5tc72
A response I posted a few years ago, to someone who called Bill 101 "fascist":

I think you misunderstand what I'm saying. Is it unreasonable for public education in Iceland to be provided only in Icelandic, rather than English? Or in Vancouver, for public education to be provided in English, rather than Chinese? If not, why is it unreasonable ("fascist", you call it) in Quebec for public education to be provided in French, rather than English, with an exception for Canadian anglophones?

If Quebec were to become a separate country, there would be no requirement for the Quebec government to provide public education in English at all. I'd prefer to avoid this outcome, by ensuring that the French language is protected, _within Canada_.

Posted by: Russil Wvong | 2005-03-31 5:19:46 PM


A decent Constitution (and Judiciary) would have struck down bill 101 upon passage. Had that have happened, the language nazis' of le Belle Province would have likey triggered Quebec's separation. The result in the rest of Canada of today would likely be a far different political dynamic, perhaps even a Canada capable of inspiring national pride. Trudeau may have been the most arrogant man on earth but he was clever enough to ensure the legacy of Quebec's political dominance.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2005-03-31 5:30:15 PM


Russel it's not the Supreme Courts job to say whether Quebec should provide English Language training. The Supremes are only suppose to rule on whether Quebec parents have a right under the Charter to educate their children in the language of their choice, English. Its a separate issue whether Quebec should provide English Language training or not. Thats a fight for another day. The Supremes said also today that the Quebec schools couldnt handle the stampede if the parents were allowed choice. What business is that of the SC?? Absolutely none. The only ruling they should have made was on rights under the Charter.

Posted by: MikeP | 2005-03-31 5:36:21 PM


First off, welcome back kate ... this place was a morgue without ye.

Let's look at the utter absurdity and hypocrisy of this ruling ...
according to the judges, Charter rights overule naysayers, religious authorities and centuries of civilized custom when it comes to their (the judges)eagerness to give the nod to gay marriage. These same judicial halfwits are now refusing parents in Quebec the right to educate their children in english out of fealty to a retrograde law - Bill 101 - that is undemocratic and verging on the fascistic.

Sometimes I wonder if the judicial system of Canada isn't a latter-day extension of Alice's Wonderland. These rulings are objectively indefensible to anyone of the functioning side of sane, yet these judicial March hares write tomes to justify rulings that have zero to do with justice, and everything to do with propaganda on behalf of Trudeaupia.

I like French and speak it a bit, I also love French wine - BUT - here is no way in hades Bill 101 should even stand within Canadian borders, let alone shoulder-to-shoulder with the Charter.

More lunacy that we are supposed to digest in the name of grovelling appeasement.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2005-03-31 6:43:30 PM


"Is it unreasonable for public education in Iceland to be provided only in Icelandic, rather than English? ... why is it unreasonable ("fascist", you call it) in Quebec for public education to be provided in French, rather than English, with an exception for Canadian anglophones?"

Russell is right, it is not fair for parents to demand that the government support their children's education in any language of their choosing. Let me restate that in general terms: it is wrong to take money from people, in order to give it to someone else so that they can educate their children in the way that they prefer. In other words, the public has a right to *not* support the education of other people's children. Therefore, there it is incorrect to compel the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, to continue paying taxes to support a French education system.

Now let me guess: that's not the way the court ruled, is it? They ruled that the Quebeckers who wish to educate their children in French, are not obligated to pay for the education of French Quebeckers who wish to educate their children in English. But the latter group must pay for the education of children whom their fellow Quebeckers wish to be educated in French.

It should be clear from considering this conundrum that a charter which recognizes collective rights is ridiculous, because it is impossible to define what collective of people is. Politically powerful collectives get favourable court rulings and politically weak collectives get the shaft. Call it fascism if you wish.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-03-31 7:35:19 PM


"It is wrong to take money from people, in order to give it to someone else so that they can educate their children in the way that they prefer. In other words, the public has a right to *not* support the education of other people's children."

The question of whether taxes for education should be voluntary is a separate issue. The francophone parents in the case weren't arguing that they shouldn't have to pay taxes for public education; they were arguing that since anglophone parents can send their children to English-language public schools, they should also be able to.

Posted by: Russil Wvong | 2005-03-31 7:56:25 PM


"... propaganda on behalf of Trudeaupia."

It's not well-understood outside Quebec that official bilingualism is not something that Quebec francophones particularly want; what Quebec francophones are concerned with is the survival of French _within Quebec_. They want Bill 101, not bilingualism.

Bilingualism was Trudeau's vision. Official bilingualism has its benefits, but I think it's fair to say that it hasn't succeeded in resolving the national unity issue. If anything, it tends to aggravate people in Western Canada.

If we want Canada to stay together, because a breakup would be messy, costly, and risky (best case Czechoslovakia, worst case Yugoslavia), then the question is whether there's a compromise that people inside and outside Quebec can agree on. If there is such a compromise, I think it has to include Bill 101. For a detailed discussion, see this C. D. Howe paper:
http://www.geocities.com/rwvong/richards.pdf

I thought the old Reform position was that language policy ought to be decided at the provincial level, which would imply that Bill 101 would be fine. What's the CPC position? Has Harper commented on the Supreme Court decision?

Posted by: Russil Wvong | 2005-03-31 8:05:42 PM


What we want?
We want to avoid that the french language in Quebec become like the irish language in Ireland. A dead, folklorique language that is no longer the common language.
The main issue is that the *language of education is the language of assimilation*. The real issue is that requiring immigrants to attend french school is the only way to make francophones out of second and third generation immigrants. Nobody in Quebec cares if there is french language service in an Air Canada flight between Calgary and Vancouver. I think we ought to have a more territorial approach to language issues like they have in Switzerland and Belgium.

And YES collective rights exists. We are not just individuals with individual rights. We live in society. If I move to USA my children will be required to attend english school. If I move to France my children will be required to attend french school. If i don't want to pay taxes because I claim it is against my religion to do so, can I claim to be victim of discrimination?

Posted by: Quebec nationalist | 2005-03-31 8:26:39 PM


This is to the Quebec nationalist.

Your references to Ireland only serve to undermine your own arguments. Despite my slavic sounding nick, I am Northern Irish and attended University in Belfast. Trust me, if there was any attempt to enforce gaelic in order to maintain Irish culture, the society would collapse. Much like french, gaelic isn't very functional ... certainly not in a modern age. Check out the side of a cereal box - the english commentary is snappy and brief - the french goes on and on, one baroque sentence after another - gaelic would make you choke on your corn flakes.

In my opinion english is better adapted to the contemporary world of commerce.

Also my friend, the Irish, despite their often extreme positions when it comes to politics and religion, are not small minded and provincial when it comes to language. If any county or municipal authority in Ireland tried to enforce Gaelic by way of law, freedom loving Irish men and women would be horrified. That's not how we operate. Those who want to preserve Gaelic, do so ... through literary associations, family connections or simply down in the local pub with the boys. Despite evidence that seems to suggest Gaelic is a dead language, this is not true at all. It is a vibrant language in certain circles. It's just that we Irish don't feel the need to enforce it's use by law and force parents to educate their kids in Gaelic schools. And trust me, in adapting english (the Queen's language), the Irish are using the language of their enemies and tormentors through the centuries - so maybe they have even more reason than Quebeckers not to use it.

I know the Irish can be mean drunks and hard men, but deep down they rail against restrictive laws that set up any type of draconian cultural regime.
Even attempts to enforce no-smoking rules in Dublin pubs have resulted in fist fights and protests.

I think Bill 101 damages the reputation of the proud Quebecois, and I'm sorry it is so because in other ways they have admirable qualities. Bill 101 is like the type of law you would read about in Grimm's fairy tales being enacted by an evil king who is widely despised.

The Quebecois should have the courage to let freedom take precedence over restriction. It suits them better because they are a brave people at heart.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2005-03-31 9:40:03 PM


To Justsungai - yeah I agree larger and more powerful collectives almost always call the shots. The larger collective is Canada of which Quebec is, dare I say it, a part. It's just that they accept our largesse and then some, while exercising sub-collective rights that frequently operate in opposition to the will of the majority in Canada.

In sports, which doesn't allow for unique exceptions, that's called a foul.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2005-03-31 10:13:12 PM


Unfortunately, Quebec stands as the last vestige of tradtional conservatism in this country. It is the conservatism of Burke, MacDonald and Cartier. Most of the sentiment espoused here is classical liberalism and it speaks with a strong American accent. There is value in the protection of linguistic, religious and cultural values. A group of people, an extended family democratically decides to invoke laws to further the common good as opposed to an unelected oligarchy 'reading in' its interpretation of a constitution whose framers held an entirely different perspective, finds the greater liberty in the democracy.

If the language law is to be change in Quebec let the people of Quebec decide democratically. Judicial activism is the tyrant in the room, whether it is Lord Sankey's 'living constitution'; GWB's appointment to the presidency in 2000, abortion, SSM or right-to-die; let the people decide. Propose a constitutional amendment and push it through. Don't leave it to the courts.

Posted by: Dj | 2005-03-31 10:19:49 PM


So let me get this straight, there are anglophone schools for anglophones in Quebec but not for franco (would be anglo) phones. They are being forced to educate their children in french. When would a family be considered anglo and thereby be excluded from this law? When they have an anglo name (Smith, Jones)? When they have a non-franco name (Wong, Singh, Hoffman)? What about if their name is Chretien but they have been anglo for 3 generations (such families do exist). What if their name is Mulroney and they have been francophone for several generations? Can these franco-anglo's slip through the net of Quebec language police? Doesn't anyone defending this see how absurd this can get? This is blatant discrimination on the basis of their race. If I'm wrong, I take it all back.

Posted by: Jack | 2005-03-31 10:28:56 PM


Those darn judges - always ignoring the will of the majority as expressed through the legislature and carving out new rights ! Say what ? They upheld legislation and refused to “modify the categories of rights holders under s. 23” ? Well they still sux because the law should be as I say it should be and they never say that.

People a little consistency please. Even Antonin Scalia grit his teeth and voted down a law banning the burning of the US flag because that's where his originalist doctrine took him.

If you’re going to critique a judgment it’s always helpful to actually read the thing:

http://www.canlii.org/ca/cas/scc/2005/2005scc15.html

or at least read the head note ( or a portion there of):

>The purpose of s. 73 is not to "exclude" entire categories of children from a public service, but rather to implement the positive constitutional responsibility incumbent upon all provinces to offer minority language instruction to its minority language community. In seeking to use the right to equality to access a right guaranteed in Quebec only to the English language minority, the appellants put aside the linkage between s. 73 of the Charter of the French language and s. 23 of the Canadian Charter, and attempt to modify the categories of rights holders under s. 23. This is not permissible. Section 23 provides a comprehensive code for minority language education rights and achieves its purpose of protecting and promoting the minority language community in each province by helping to bring about the conditions under which the English community in Quebec and the French communities of the other provinces can flourish.


In other words, Russil’s Icelandic example is correct.

Posted by: nBob | 2005-03-31 10:30:16 PM


Jack: Because strictly speaking francophone and immigrants are not banned from english school. In fact about 15-20% of the english school population is made of fracophone.

The rules is that u can only go to english school only if your parents were educated in english in Quebec or Canada. Before 1977 there was no restriction to english schools and some francophones were schooled in english. The chidren of these can go to english schools if they wish. But this a small minority. It really doesn't matter what your last name is or what is your mother tongue or what language your speak at home.


Posted by: Quebec nationalist | 2005-03-31 10:59:31 PM


This to Russil - no I don't think I have misconstrued your point. I do think however that you are mixing apples and oranges.

First of all, I want to be clear that my objection to Bill 101 is in no way an attack on Quebecois culture, or on their integrity as a people. I would like to see French remain a vital and integral part of Quebec society ... I just don't think Bill 101 is the correct way to go about this.

Our freedoms in general in this country are under threat on every side by judges who continually pull the noose tighter and tighter. Language is a primary right and artificial legal controls should not be used to control its free use.

Since english is the lingua franca currently in the ascendancy, and the language spoken and understood by the majority of Canadians, it should be accorded official status. If Chinese educators in Vancouver choose to set up a private school or other enterprise that operates in mandarin or contonese, they should be free to do so. The same applies to any other large collective within Canada. Should Canadian authorities and taxpayers be involved in promoting this ... no way.

By the same token I don't think english should be protected via legislation, or merchants in Toronto's Chinatown for example, persecuted for putting up cantonese signage.

Russil your Iclandic example can't be applied to Quebec. For a start there is a very large anglophone population in Quebec, comparatively speaking. Moreover, many Quebeckers are as comfortable speaking english as they are speaking french. I have a Quebecois friend from Quebec City, who was raised speaking french but who now prefers to speak english ... not because he was schooled in it but because his cultural interests have led him naturally to adopt english.

Bill 101 is an anomaly and a quaint attempt to control our most fundamental right - freedom of expression in the tongue of our choosing.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2005-03-31 11:19:10 PM


It seems pretty clear to me...language & education are provincial jurisdiction. The province gets to decide how they are administered.

I assume, of course, that the CTV report is false when it states that Quebec "obliges French speaking parents to send their kids to a francophone school." More likely, parents can send their kids to school in any language they want. PUBLIC schools, however, are only provided in French to francophones.

I am more worried about the "positive requirement for Quebec to provide English-language public education to its anglophone minority (and conversely for francophone outside Quebec)" I sure hope this positive right is tempered by common sense and the single anglophone family in Jonquiere does not have a constitutional right to a separate school for their 2 kids.

Posted by: Pete E | 2005-03-31 11:34:42 PM


To the Quebec nationalist - apologies for sounding like a pompous git in my earlier post - it's just that when anglo Canadians oppose Bill 101 it is frequently assumed they are also anti-French, anti-Quebec etc - which I am not. While I oppose this particular Bill, I'm still very much in favor of the rights of provinces to call their own shots, including Quebec.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2005-04-01 5:12:34 AM


The Scalia decision is apples and oranges. The flag is not protected in the U.S. constitution. A constitutional amendment to protect it has not passed. Scalia strikes the Texas law down.

A women's right to sit in the senate was not guaranteed under the BNA and the Canadian supremes upheld the law unanimously. Lord Sankey struck it down and handed them the right. A women's right to an abortion was not guaranteed in the charter. The courts struck it down and handed them the right. Sexual orientation was not protected in the charter, however, the courts 'extended' the protection. A right-to-die is not guaranteed in the US constitution yet the courts extended it. So where's the consistency?

The question raised on this thread was isn't the judgement discriminatory and therefore should it not be struck down? Prohibit women from the senate - discriminatory; prohibit abortion - discriminatory; no sexual orientation or SSM protection - discriminatory; no right-to-die - discriminatory. Democracy by it's very nature discriminates. It makes choices and conservatives should applaud that ability. If those choices are unacceptable then there is a democratic avenue available for change. It is an elitist court that threatens those freedoms.

Posted by: DJ | 2005-04-01 9:33:18 AM


Russil, this thread has almost died, but before it expires I want to respond briefly to your remark about my use of the term "Trudeaupia".

Yes, I'm acutely aware of Pierre's bilingual vision and I understand in addition, that Bill 101 relates to the preservation of french within Quebec. However, I intended my comment to refer more generally to judges and what I'm saying is that their decisions are slanted to no small degree by cultural and political considerations that derive from Trudeau's national planning ... the perceived need to maintain unity being one of them.

Even though Trudeau was tough on Quebec nationalism, he also looked for ways to use a carrot and I'm sure would have agreed to cultural/linguistic concessions if he felt it served his national game plan.

It would be interesting to know if PET would have been in favor of some of the more recent enforcement protocols authorized by Bill 101. Any clairvoyents present?

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2005-04-01 9:40:27 AM


Russel Wong, you pretty much have it right when it comes to bilingualism vs Bill 101.

French Canda diesn't give a rat's ass what people in other provinces speak.

Official bilingualism has never existed anywhere else but inside Trudeau's brain.

Posted by: John Palubiski | 2005-04-01 10:56:25 AM


"I assume, of course, that the CTV report is false when it states that Quebec 'obliges French speaking parents to send their kids to a francophone school.' More likely, parents can send their kids to school in any language they want. PUBLIC schools, however, are only provided in French to francophones."

Right.

"I am more worried about the 'positive requirement for Quebec to provide English-language public education to its anglophone minority (and conversely for francophone outside Quebec)' I sure hope this positive right is tempered by common sense and the single anglophone family in Jonquiere does not have a constitutional right to a separate school for their 2 kids."

I think that's covered. The Charter says "where numbers warrant."

Posted by: Russil Wvong | 2005-04-01 11:55:03 AM


"Russel Wong, you pretty much have it right when it comes to bilingualism vs Bill 101.

"French Canda diesn't give a rat's ass what people in other provinces speak.

"Official bilingualism has never existed anywhere else but inside Trudeau's brain."

Personally, I think a reasonable language policy would be:

(1) Drop, or at least de-emphasize, official bilingualism. A bilingual Canada might have been nice, but it isn't going to happen. Trying to push it just aggravates people in Western Canada.

(2) Accept Bill 101. More generally, accept provincial control over language and education policy.

It's possible that the Conservative Party would have an easier time adopting this policy than the Liberals would (since it's the Liberals who brought in official bilingualism and the Charter in the first place). We'll see.

John Richards: "The conflict between the principles underlying the Charter and Bill 101 is like a chronic disease. Much of the time it is in remission, but occasionally it erupts. It is potentially fatal."

The link I posted earlier to the John Richards paper is broken -- sorry about that. Here's the correct link:
http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Richards.pdf

Posted by: Russil Wvong | 2005-04-01 12:08:43 PM


"Even though Trudeau was tough on Quebec nationalism, he also looked for ways to use a carrot and I'm sure would have agreed to cultural/linguistic concessions if he felt it served his national game plan.

"It would be interesting to know if PET would have been in favor of some of the more recent enforcement protocols authorized by Bill 101."

Doubt it. Richards: "As a politically engaged intellectual before his entry into politics, Trudeau had been as eloquent as any Québécois nationalist in his criticisms of the fate accorded francophones in Manitoba in the nineteenth century and the restrictions placed on the use of French in Ontario schools before World War I. Yet he aggressively opposed the nationalist Quebec response, which he characterized as ethnic
nationalism. Canada could not survive, he argued, if each linguistic community retreated into its respective solitude. ..."

Hence Trudeau's official bilingualism. Trudeau also opposed Meech Lake and the "distinct society clause."

Personally, I don't see what's so bad about two solitudes. Getting people to talk to each other more doesn't always make them get along better; sometimes they get on each other's nerves and get into acrimonious quarrels. Case in point, the Internet.

Posted by: Russil Wvong | 2005-04-01 12:19:55 PM


Russil what do you make of this provision ...

E.7 A High School leaving certificate will not be delivered to a student who does not have the required knowledge of written and spoken French as defined in the programmes of the Department of Education [84)

Doesn't this put a damper on anglo alternatives irrespective of legal provisions? It's like - hell, if I have to be proficient in French so I can get a job, better go the whole hog. A built-in disincentive I'd say.

Anyone know how closely E.7 is enforced ... tests ... torture?

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2005-04-01 12:30:19 PM


"Russil what do you make of this provision ...

"E.7 A High School leaving certificate will not be delivered to a student who does not have the required knowledge of written and spoken French as defined in the programmes of the Department of Education [84)"

I think this is from a summary of Bill 101. The actual section is S.84: "84. No secondary school leaving certificate may be issued to a student who does not have the speaking and writing knowledge of French required by the curricula of the Ministère de l'Éducation."
http://www.olf.gouv.qc.ca/english/charter/title1chapter8.html

The actual impact of this section is going to depend on how high the standard is set in the curriculum. If it's minimal (the same kind of standard that we have to meet in BC to pass French 10, for example) I doubt it'd be too onerous, especially since people in Quebec will presumably be able to use French in daily life. I did a Google search on "quebec s.84" and didn't find anything relevant, so my guess is that this section isn't particularly controversial. Any Quebec anglophones following this thread?

Posted by: Russil Wvong | 2005-04-01 2:31:46 PM


Québec's Charter of the French language ("Bill 101") doesn't deny anybody "the right to speak other languages." We have English newspapers, English TV stations, English radio stations, English hospitals, etc., etc., and people can speak whatever language they want. Believe me, I'm an Anglophone myself! Bill 101 does, however, oblige Francophone parents and immigrants to send their kids to French schools. Canadians from the other provinces who have received most of their education in English aren't covered by this obligation. (And one of the recent Supreme Court rulings focused precisely on the definition of who has been educated mainly in English; Québec was instructed to be more flexible, and to consider children who have been schooled in French immersion as having received most of their education in English.) There are fewer than 7 million Francophones in Québec, on a continent that is home to about 300 million English-speakers. Before Bill 101, the overwhelming majority of newcomers opted for English schools for their children. Like the rest of Canada, Québec relies on immigration to renew its population. Newcomers are more than welcome here! But in the relatively short term, the absence of an obligation for newcomers (and Francophones) to school their children in French would mean the end of Francophone culture in Québec. Is this really what people want? I can understand that this type of obligation could seem unfair in a different context, but you can't ignore the fact that Francophones make up a tiny (albeit culturally dynamic) minority in North America. I hope this sheds some light on Bill 101 for people outside Québec. (And please don't think I'm "flaming" your blog; no offense intended!)

Posted by: pmtrad | 2005-04-04 1:38:08 PM


If the francophone culture must be supported through artificial and draconian means to survive, all that Bill 101 accomplishes is to (possibly) delay the inevitable - and that is probably in doubt.


Posted by: Kate | 2005-04-04 2:14:22 PM


Sorry Kate, Anglos don't spell Quebec with an accent on the 'e'. They spell it the correct English way as shown in the Canadian Constitution Act, and as it has been for hundreds of years.

French Quebeckers are not little dumb animals that should be treated as an endangered species. They are adults that are more than capable of making conscious and clear minded decisions with regards to the best interests of their children.

Catering to the xenophobic propaganda of ultra-nationalists does not make marginalisation and demonification right. Immigrants could indeed be ushered to French schools to integrate into Quebec society. But that is not the issue. The issue is what rights do Canadians enjoy? What rights do those who have acquired citizenship enjoy? All citizens should be equal and not captive to others' concepts of predefined groups.

The state has no business dictating a citizen's identity. All should be free to self-identify.

Quebec nationalists and Canadian accommodationists do not understand individual rights issues. Contrary to what has been posted, French parents did not request that s23 rights apply to them. Instead, they asked equality rights and non-discrimination provisions in Quebec law apply to their children. Imagine that, French parents wanted the Supreme Court to uphold Quebec law and prevent children from being discriminated against based on attributes of their parents. What a concept! Equality before hereditary privilege. Welcome to the 21st century.

The Supreme Court, however, bowed to the tired accommodationist line of catering to Quebec nationalists cult of victimization. To them, the threat of separation trumps freedom every time.

Anglos need not apologize for the success of their communities and their institutions: these successes were well earned and not the result of some nationalist benevolence.

Instead of focusing on other people's choices, rights, and freedoms, nationalists should figure out how to achieve success on their own.

Posted by: Bang | 2005-04-04 9:45:23 PM


(I think you misattributed that comment to me, when it was actually from the person below.)

Posted by: Kate | 2005-04-04 11:58:21 PM


You're right.

"Sorry Kate" does NOT refer to Kate McMillan.

Sorry Kate.

PS: Now I'm confused.
;)

Posted by: Bang | 2005-04-05 12:24:34 PM


Update:

I'll spare you the reprint so please find Bang's response to Andrew Coyne's "The Court did its job" at:

http://andrewcoyne.com/2005/04/court-did-its-job.php#ff808081030e11df010310dd48ac00ad

Spoiler alert: "No, it didn't"

Posted by: Bang | 2005-04-05 12:36:04 PM


Hi, my name is Marie-Christine. I was born in Quebec, but I moved to mexico when i was barely three. In mexico, I only spoke spanish and english(going to a school in english), so four years ago, we moved back to canada, and I'd forgotten all my french. the only words i knew were house, dog and cat. When i arrived here, they told me I couldn't attend an english school and I was forced to go to a french school. And I can honestly say, that law 101 is the most ridiculous bill that ever passed. I spoke perfectly well english and had zero french and still I was forced to go to a french school!!!I didn't even get the right to pass a test or anything and i may not be a pro when it comes to laws and governement, but everyone should have the right to pursue the life they want, including education. If you go to France, there'll be a few english schools. If you go to Mexico, there'll be a few french schools too(i should know)

No one should be deprived of the language they want to speak. It's a horrible thing, when you're new in the country, new in the school and you can't even comunicate!

I love English. I love learning in English, I dream of an education in English. My friends back in Mexico are reading things like: how to kill a mockingbird, MacBeth, Of mice and men, and it kills that I'm not part of it anymore. You see it's not just the language, it's the whole english culture you're losing. And it's unfair to lose your way of life! I hate having english courses where they teach me things I did in the first grade. It really stinks the way I'm not moving forward in english anymore. I'm sixteen but I''m still stuck in the sixth grade level. It's been four years now, and I speak french. I only have one year left to do in french and then I'll go to college and I'll have the right to go to an english school. I guess it worked, they assimilated me into their french culture and I speak french. But no one, and absolutely no one, should be forced to go through what I did. English rocks, and if you speak enlgish no one should take that away from you.

By the way, french people are pretty racists. If you get caugh speaking in english, they'll go all like " we're in quebec here, we speak french here" but you just give a nasty look and say:" im in canada, ill speak english whenever i want to"

Posted by: marie christine dufresne | 2006-02-02 5:58:50 PM



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