Sunday, June 06, 2010

Quebec self defeating Language laws

I am still involved with Marianopolis College. Here is a good article by Len Even our new director general. I believe that a fully bilingual school system would benefit all Quebecers. Indeed learning a third or fourth language is a good idea. In India a country with 14 official languages, students are required to learn 4 languages. In Quebec why can't we learn at least 2.
Right now it seems that there is a wish to ethnically cleanse the province of its English population, most of whom are bilingual. Quebecers will have to realize that Bill 101 is ultimately not a net benefit for Quebec.

Last summer, after close to 20 years in The Netherlands running the Dutch campus of a top U.S. university, I returned home to Montreal to accept the post of Director General of Marianopolis College. Three of our children returned with me and my wife, the fourth remaining at university in Amsterdam. Bringing children ages 10 to 16 and a Dutch wife to Canada was a challenge, but I underestimated how difficult it would be to bring them to Quebec.

A year later, I am increasingly concerned about Quebec and its direction. I worry — as a father, as the leader of one of the province’s top higher-education institutions and as a global citizen — that Quebec is moving opposite to global trends.
For example, on Wednesday, the provincial government unveiled its response to the recent Supreme Court of Canada judgement declaring Bill 104 unconstitutional.

Bill 104 amended Bill 101 — Quebec’s French Language Charter — to prevent parents not educated in Canada in English from securing eligibility for their child to attend English schools after spending one year at an un-subsidized English private school. The high court gave Quebec a year to find another way to plug that loophole, while protecting Charter rights. The Quebec National Assembly’s response, Bill 103, further limits access to English schooling.


Anonymous said...

Lenny should go back to Holland with his talk of "socialist" state.
If he is such a right-winger, maybe Marianopolis should stop sucking on the government tit for student subsidies and become truly private.
Let him truly espouse what he preaches for the global economy. I bet you he's chicken shit to actually take the college in that direction.

The man is an idiot who seems to have a sorry grasp of reality.

Roy Eappen said...

I am so impressed an anonymous socialist.

dupmar said...

In Quebec you do learn both languages, and there does exist a publicly funded English language system, primary to university level, for the anglophone minority, as determined by the rules in place.

What the college director is complaining about is eligibilty rules for access to publicly funded minority education for his immigrant wife and children. This is precisely why such rules were introduced in the first place, as a measure of cultural protection for Quebec's francophone majority. You might want to try to revive the Equality Party if such are your objectives, such is the gist of your argument. To my recollection they were the only party that campaigned with such a perspective, to waive all protections and eligibilty requirements with respect to cultural environment for immigrants, and anyone else. Keep in mind that aggressive pursuit of such perspective would likely push francophone cultural nationalists, currently not in the separatist camp, to embrace the PQ perspective.

As to eligibility criteria for second language education for immigrants, keep in mind that in the rest of Canada no such rights exist. Adult language instruction for immigrants elsewhere in Canada is by default in English, and as for eligibility to French language instruction, similar restrictions to eligibility per French language instruction of family members in schools in Canada exist.

There is nothing particularly unique to Quebec's requirements, other than that it favours French language instruction rather than English as the dominant language.

Roy Eappen said...

The English school system is dying and there are many in the PQ who want to extend the language madness to CEGEP and inoversity.

Anonymous said...

dr roy, I maybe anon, but does that invalidate what I claim?

I wonder, are you still giving bottles of alcohol to the silent auction?

I Support Lord Black