It’s on! The Part Quebecois government has begun actions that will encourage even more non-Francophones to leave Quebec … so any new referendum would have a better chance of passing.
Government brownshirts, from l’Office Quebecois de la Langue Francaise, have started harassing businesses that show English , even on menus now. The only legal exemption.. proper names like McDonald, Tim Horton etc!
At Joe Beef … one of Montreal’s oldest, most famous restaurants, near the historic Youville Square fire station, the brownshirted INSPECTORS paid a visit, took photos (crime scene?) and ordered the eatery to take down a unilingual ANTIQUE SIGN on the wall, because it was in English. Helas!!! And another ANTIQUE ”Exit” sign, salvaged from a beach in Prince Edward Island, also had to go. Talk about rewriting history…or obliterating it!
And just in time for St. Patrick’s Day … although not YET a crime to celebrate it in Quebec … the owners of McKibbin’s Pub were ordered to take down VINTAGE Guinness ads and decorative signage.
A Quebec government language inspector ordered the Italian restaurant Buonanotte to remove the words “pasta” and “antipasto” from the MENU, because that’s Italian, ”not French”.
A Montreal bistro was told to cover up the words On/Off on the microwave machine … and the words “Redial” and “Hold” on its phone. (Honest, I’m not making this up!)
And two coffee bars, Caffe Gamba in Montreal and “Caffe Conti in Quebec City, were told to remove one of the “f”s from their names.
Let’s recognize this for what it is: RACISM directed against anyone in Quebec who is not francophone. I believe the Parti Quebecois wants them …. AND ESPECIALLY THEIR CHILDREN after they grow up ….to leave … plain and simple.
And I suspect the PQ believes it has the support for this from many, many Francophone Quebeckers who, as I’ve outlined on this blog previously, have an unfortunate recent history of being unwelcoming (to put it mildly) to not only the English, but other Europeans, Jews, Asians, Muslims and blacks…. really anyone who is not French Canadian Catholic.
The brownshirts …. nicknamed “tongue troopers” by Montrealers … are part of a “Raus mit dem auslanders!” campaign by the separatists to intimidate and make feel VERY unwelcome non-Francophones. The ultimate aim is to get them to leave, and boost the odds if another referendum is held … even if it’s some time down the road.
And Quebec’s public unions have backed the xenophobic attacks: appearing at legislative hearings into proposed legislation to make things even worse for non-francophones, with a litany of complaints, ratting on their own members who showed compassion:
A fully bilingual clerk at Revenue Quebec was CAUGHT discussing tax questions in English, the language preferred by those he was dealing with; a clerk handling health benefits was asked by a Quebec firm to submit an ENGLISH version of a form for its office in Winnipeg, where they do not understand French; and a clerk at a rental board had the audacity to help people who do not speak French by translating important passeges for them!!!
That’s it … Quebec’s language will DIE if kindness and being considerate is to be allowed!
This is Quebec today .. sorry, aujourd’hui!
Readers of this blog will recall I predicted exactly this last September, when I wrote “PQ’s Next Step: Ethnic Cleansing” after the separatists won the provincial election.
Now, it’s happening.
And it’s being financed partially by YOU: thanks to Equalization Grant Funds Quebec receives from BC, Alberta, Ontario etc. the PQ was able to increase it’s language police budget to $24 million a year!! Without, of course, so much as a “merci” to us.
The good news is that, this time, many Quebecois … Anglophone, Allophone and Francophone … are fighting back: ignoring the “orders” (Take me to court!) and speaking out publicly.
Felix Gagne, manager of Maison Publique, a restaurant co-owned by world famous chef Jamie Oliver, went on the record accusing the OQLF of totally unnecessarily dredging up old problems and issues.
One “offender” covered up his establishment’s English sign with a paper sheet, in French, “Warning: Non-French sign underneath: Read at your own discretion”. It has become more noticed and more popular than ever.
And the PQ did back down…the publicity was so negative, the government ruled “pasta” is ok!!! Felicitations!!!
In a minority government position, it will be very difficult for the PQ to step up its xenophobic legislation right now: the Liberals and Coalition Action Quebec have opposed making things even worse for Quebec’s minorities. But that’s not the real goal …at this time: it’s to make non-francophones more uncomfortable … and it’s working!
Sadly, noticeable in their silence …as usual … in the face of the brownshirt attacks on the minorities, are our federal MPs and parties.
Human rights are a FEDERAL issue as much as a provincial one.
Does anyone reading this believe that our federal “leaders: would stay so silent if BC or Alberta or Ontario, passed legislation … and sent around brownshirts ordering ANY signs in French to be taken down inside pubs or restaurants or any business????
If you really care about human rights (and not just mouth the words), why not call your MP and ask why are federal “ leaders” have abandoned Quebec’s language minorities.
We should DEMAND they say, do something to express our disdain for such racist actions.
And let’s put our money where our mouths are: DON’T make any vacation plans that include Quebec, until their minorities are granted respect, dignity … and human rights.