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STOP Giving Quebec Free Racism Pass

January 10th, 2012 · 37 Comments

Let’s face it: Canada’s record on dealing with racism is not spotless.

Just going back as far as World War II is bad enough to get the point.  Our treatment of Japanese CANADIANS in interning them without cause and stealing most of their possessions was shameful to put it mildly; our turning away of Jewish refugees (and even sending many back to their deaths in Europe) was an anti-Semitic blot on our history; and our subsequent failure to expeditiously pursue war criminals who made it here was not our shining moment.

Not to mention those aboriginal residential schools,  our second-rate treatment of Asian immigrants, and the racial discrimination practiced for too many decades in jobs and appointments, our residential neighbourhoods, social clubs and even our supposed institutions of higher learning.

It still bothers me to think about this stuff … and although I am fortunately too young to have witnessed most of it, I do remember …je me souviens … as we said where I grew up in Montreal,  Quebec some of thes realities.  In fact, on this blog I wrote “Memories” in 2008 about my personal experience witnessing what a wonderful black man named Sweeney … Oscar Peterson’s brother-in-law… went though at the hands of the oh-so-proper White Upper Crust English Montrealers when he just tried to run a neighborhood restaurant.

Thankfully, though, things have improved greatly almost everywhere in our land: discrimination and racism is seen for the silliness it is; anti-semitism is relegated to the idiot-fringe; huge waves of Asian immigration have been absorbed without many problems, and welcome additions to our dining delights; and if Sikhs and Muslim immigrants experience any new-culture challenges, they seem more often to be internally-generated rather than externally applied.

Except in Quebec.

I still remember, moving to my first newspaper job at the Saskatoon Star Phoenix in 1969, how surprised I was to find the city’s mayor, Sid Buckwold, was Jewish.  How could that be, I wondered? Co-workers were appalled at the question … until I explained that, in Montreal, an English person …let alone someone who is Jewish..could NEVER be elected Mayor.

Sadly, 40 years later, THAT IS STILL THE CASE in Montreal and Quebec.  An Anglo or Jew or Chinese or Muslim or Black could NEVER today be elected mayor of Montreal or Quebec City or Premier of Quebec. With very rare exceptions, Quebec minorities are still largely electable only in communities where their ethnic minorities exist in larger numbers.

It’s a reality we in BC thought Canada had left behind decades ago. It was 40 years ago that Dave Barrett was elected Premier of BC without his Jewish religion being an issue at all. We’ve had mayors and MLAs and MPs elected from virtually every minority without their ethnicity being an issue of any kind.

But a minority member becoming Mayor of Montreal or Quebec City  or Premier … even now …. NON! Impossible!

And yet no one says anything.  After all, it’s Quebec.

In fact, students of history will know that minorities actually were treated and accepted better in Quebec two hundred years ago than they are now. The province actually led in passing laws granting voting rights to Jews, for instance. But while there has been progress among Quebecois in the higher-educated sectors of  urban society on some parts of the Island of Montreal,  much of Quebec … especially rural areas …  remains isolationist and unwelcoming.

Many will remember how, in 2007, the town of  Herouxville way up the St. Lawrence River past Quebec City, adopted a set of STANDARDS warning any “new arrivals” who might dare to think of moving there that they must NOT bring their home country lifestyles to Herouxville! “We consider that killing women in public beatings or burning them alive are not part of our standards of life,”  the City Fathers warned.

“And the only time you can cover your faces is during Halloween,”   they added.  What Ignoramuses!!!  The rest of us may have laughed, and condemned …but, in my view,  the good people of Herouxville, Quebec had made themselves quite clear; foreigners with any “foreign ways” not wanted.

Can you imagine if a BC community passed such warnings?  The BC government, the federal government, the Canadian Human Rights Commission … probably even the UN …would have raked them over the coals.  But it was Quebec: so we just “tsk tsk”ed and did nothing.

An anomaly?   Unfortunately not.

Gatineau, Que. is a suburb of Ottawa that owes MUCH of its economic development and residential growth to its proximity to the nation’s capital. And along with that growth have come ethnic minorities, and (YIKES!) immigrants from far-flung lands.  … all part of the modern Canadian modern mosaic.

Most of us wouldn’t bat an eye. Yet just recently, the City of Gatineau released a 16-point , FUNDED by the Quebec provincial government, warning newcomers not to cook “smelly” foods, not to carry out “honour” killings etc., not to brutalize their children etc.   What imbeciles!  (Fortunately the Quebec experts left out any reference to where to park your camels!)

Again, no outcry from our “leaders” who would have raked over the coals (justifiably) any BC or Alberta community that issued such a demeaning, 1930’s type document.

The truth is today that horrible racist view by Francophone Quebeckers that only they are “pure lain” (pure wool …ie real Quebeckers) still applies in much of Quebec society: outsiders (non French-speaking, non-Catholic, non-white) … are still not accepted as equals …. even those with family roots going back 200 years.

And with no one calling Quebec on the issue, it’s NOT getting better.

Ask black Haitian immigrants who thought they’d be welcome as French-speaking additions to Quebec society.  Not!  When many … like immigrants everywhere … got started in their new land taxi drivers,  taxi companies soon came to understand when callers asked for “un bon chauffeur” (a good driver) they meant a WHITE driver.

This is not to say, of course, thast there aren’t bigots elsewhere too …but in Quebec, it is still respectable and acceptable to express ethnic ignorance and bias.

That’s why in recent weeks, there was public outrage … not opposed, but actually  LED by the Quebec French media because, tabernacle, the Canadiens hired a coach who doesn’t speak French.

Now, you might have thought the only real criteria for hiring an NHL coach is that he (or she) have the capability of taking the team to the Stanley Cup.  Not in Quebec!  No matter that ALL the Canadien hockey players today speak/understand English or that only a few are even of French origin: the Canadiens coach, according to many, must not only speak French but should BE French.

Apparently, that’s more important than winning.

That, sadly, is the truth of Quebec today … and if you pay attention to what they say down there, you’ll hear/see a lot of racism and xenophobia openly expressed ….  and just taken for granted.

It’s time for the “leaders” in our society to start standing up against it.

Harv Oberfeld


Tags: National

37 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Diverdarren // Jan 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I will not join your criticism of Quebecers for their attempts to protect their culture and quality of life in their own land. The Quebecers have seen the results of the multicultural experiment across Western Europe and English Canada, and who can blame them for saying Non.

    Germany, Spain, and the Scandinavians have had enough of the multicultural experiment and made strides to shut it down before going the way of England. The UK is a shadow of its former greatness, with once great cities that look more like Lahore or Mumbai than British land. Canada is right on tract to follow the English model where the policy of multicultural society means compelling the founding cultures to be self suppressed.

    The one example of a western civilization nation that has always rejected the idea of multiculturalism is France. The French have simply said French culture first, like it or leave. Their stance of French culture, language, and moral standards has caused present day conflict, but years down the road will see a cohesive society. A French society where all the people see themselves regardless of race, religion or heritage as French, not some hyphenated person.

    Harvey, simple question. Name the nations of the world when you think of justice, equality, harmony, progress, and freedom. Are the nations you can name built on Western Civilization values? Now name the biggest basket case nations on the planet. Why would any sane person want to import values and cultures that have breed some of the worst societies, and then have a policy putting these imported cultures on equal standing to the founding culture that made Canada great.

    You say Quebec can learn from the rest of Canada, I say we can learn from Quebec.

    (Response: Your arguments fall down on the facts. Quebecois used to say they wanted others to learn and speak French..and I agreed with that. But the reality is even those who speak French fluently are still NOT fully accepted into most Francophone employment, social circles. People in Bc, where most of us cross-socialize and work together so easily have no idea of the strains that still exist in Quebec: the ethnic minorities have come a long way in integrating there with each other (still not up to the achievements here in BC) but from my experience Francophone Quebecois by and large remain isolationist, unwelcoming, unaccepting of others ..even those who learn French and respect their culture. It’s racism ..and if it existed in the West toi the extent it carries on in Quebec, the feds anbd the media would be all over it! h.o)

  • 2 D. M. Johnston // Jan 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    It’s Quebec, they live under different rules. This is Canada, where rules and laws only apply to certain classes of people and what makes Canada almost unique.

    Mind you, it will be the leading cause of the break up of Canada, but that will be left for future generations to deal with. Oh, they will have kind words for this lot running the country!

    I don’t care about Quebec or Quebec politics anymore because we can’t change anything 3,000 km away and I’m more worried about our local brand of racism and political corruption that has engulfed our province.

    Canada is like the Titanic, going full speed into a massive cultural and moral iceberg, with only one result.

  • 3 Gary // Jan 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I agree with you Harvey. I have nothing against the French Canadian people, but I have always had a problem with French Canadian politicians and their attitude towards the English ( and other races ). One good example is their sign policy and their ” language police “. It always seems to me that Quebec is demanding that the rest of Canada should bow to their demands ( and predjudices ) but they refuse to be a real part of Canada , and a true bilingual society.

  • 4 DonGar // Jan 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm


    I can’t believe that you condone “Honour Killings”

    (Response; You are kidding, right? My point …which your intellect seemingly failed to grasp, is that you don’t need a brochure to tell people honour killings are not accepted and I believe these towns INSULTED immigrants to even suggest they need a brochure to know that. Following your logic, though, I guess it means that, like me, most communities in Canada apparently “like” honour killings, since only two ,both in Quebec, have printed pamphlets actually frowning on the practice. h.o)

  • 5 Mo // Jan 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Quebec is being overwhelmed by larger cultures ( as are many other smaller cultures throughout the world). It’s a matter of time.

    They are fighting a losing battle.

    But it will be a sadder world when we become homogenized.

    (Response: You are very wrong on this one. Maybe Montreal and Gatineau and a few suburbs have seen increases in immigration, esp from Haiti and French speaking African countries as the provincial government tries to stem the population decline …but step outside those circles, esp in the Gaspe or the Charlevoix or Jonquiere etc and ethnic minorities are not represented in any great numbers. They know they are not welcome, and unlike in BC or Ontario eg. they will find it tough to get jobs or make friends, be invited into homes or to join clubs and their kids will always be “etrangers”, even after 30 years. h.o.)

  • 6 G.J.W. // Jan 10, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Canada is a melting pot, of many different nationalities and religions. I have good friends among many nationalities. If they are good people, they are a friend. I don’t care what color they are.

    However, when in Quebec, I had very rude encounters with some of the people. In a shop I was ignored because she said, you don’t even speak French. I asked for directions from a couple, they just looked right through me and walked on. I cut my visit very short. I would never visit Quebec again.

    As far as immigration, we bring these people into this country and there are no jobs for them. They end up on the system. Health care, and social assistance. Many end up in gangs and drug wars. They come to Canada thinking, there are jobs hanging from the trees, when we have university graduates, slinging beer for a living.

  • 7 AJ // Jan 11, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Multiculturalism as experienced in our country has not been very successful IMHO. Let me set the stage first and explain my position further.

    35 years ago when I moved to Ontario from Quebec, I was routinely discriminated against by a large portion of the folks I interacted with. A small portion of the Anglo population was helpful and taught me the language and became my friends. The rest, well it took them probably 30 years to understand that the neighbour was not a crazy radical that was there only to convert their children to French….. Some of them are still afraid of my family, I am French Canadian, my wife is Asian and my kids well… you figure it out.

    When I was young in Mtl, this city was Anglo from top to bottom. In mainly Franco section of town, Anglophone would open stores and throw you out if you did not speak English. Not a good way to start a collaboration but they were on a mission that eventually failed.

    What happened, well take a wild guess, blowback. If you pressure folks to disregard their culture/language/way of life to take on yours it might very well be that they are going to push back. Quebec folks did, and overreacted at that as the “fait Francais” has never been at risk but the pressures applied by Anglo Cdn was uncalled for and demanded retribution. English Canadian of those days should be celebrated that they actually managed to get the PQ into power and the stupid referendum on the street. In a bilingual/friendly Canada it would have never taken place.

    In the rest of Canada, be sure and certain that bilinguism does NOT exist. Trust me; I lived across this land for over 50 years from one end to the other. I now speak perfect English and I would challenge any Anglo to pick me out of a crowd. I do blend in and see what there is to see.

    Toronto was a typical loyalist town when I was a young man. 30 years later there is few Anglo/loyalist Cdn left in Toronto, they have been replaced through immigration and are now a minority.

    Vancouver lost the multicultural battle when Hong-Kong returned to China. Faced the fact, the previous Anglo population remained in place and was flooded via immigration. Today Vancouver is not a multicultural town, it is an Asian town and we need to be conscious of what we’ve created.

    So getting back to Quebec: The majority of cultural laws, directives and policy implemented in the last 10 years in the province have only one goal. Favor non-francophone minority so as not too appear racist. It has gotten to the point where the Anglo Cdn have nothing to fear from Quebec since the problem there is that they went too far with the non-Anglo immigration rulings. So much that if you apply to Gov. run organisations, school, provincial association etc… for anything and you are NOT a minority… you are definitively not ahead of the pack. We have recently returned to Quebec and guess what; they see my children as Asian. They get pretty much anything the school system can offer, they get unfair advantage applying to the high-school level, and they get extra help at school, first pick for sport and art programs.

    Let’s be honest, my kids are not that good, many of the “pur et dur” children have very good grade and good potential. Unfortunately my children get the royal treatment, they simply look like immigrant to the authorities and are labelled as a minority.

    What is amazing is that the separatist, and I know quite a few of them, think that this correct and that minorities needs more help than the folks who build this place.

    I called this reverse-racism and to be honest, I think that to call about a Quebec Racism pass at this conjuncture display a magnificent lack of understanding of the Canadian panorama and even less understanding of the situation in the province of Quebec.

    All in all, Canada was a nice place to live in. That is why there are so many folks willing to immigrate here. What’s amazing is that as they immigrate, we change ourselves to take on their former culture that they’ve left behind. If they really like it in Syria, why would they move here and further, why would we change our law to empower them to keep their previous failed ways?

    I think that it is more than time to re-establish cultural fairness in our country. Favoring immigrant ways over the host country ways is simply the wrong way to go. As much as I dislike France, yes, lived there too…. I think that they have the right idea, promote your country’s ways to the newly arrived rather than promote the newly arrived culture to the rest of the country.

    My two cents… or a quarter at that…

    ps. the new coach will get a pass if he wins, if not then he will get toss and that is going to happen in any town, Cdn, US, Vancouver you name it.

    (Response: First, I agree with you on the history of Anglo domination in Quebec: I have written about that and condemned it previously in the blog, and am proud to say that I am someone qwho worked hard to learn French at a time when les anglais ne l’apprenait pas de tout. And I’m not talking either about laws to protect the language ..although I do believe here the government (and the nationalists) went to far …. right into the realm of being racist in hiring, in handing out contracts etc etc. But where Quebecois are falling BADLY behind is in social acceptance of minorities: the Francophones there are not accepting of minorities in any way near the way the rest of us elsewhere in the country are … and language has nothing to do with it. I have witnessed it and experienced it …having lived in six different Canadian cities. In all, except Quebec, young people today mix socially from every ethnic group …whites, blacks, Asians, every religion, etc. …but Francophone Quebecois VERY largely still stay apart… white, Catholic and French (bilinguals need not even try to mingle) and, in my experience, just don’t throw out the welcome mat to outsiders as long as “their own” are around. h.o)

  • 8 mike // Jan 11, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I say good on quebec for protecting their way of life from waves of asians that are thrown at us every year. I am not sure about you Harv but I do not want to live in an asian country. I have no ill will towards asians but I do not like the amount of immigrants that have been allowed into the country. What exactly is wrong with wanting foreign residents to adhere to certain ways of life? I wish every province was a protective of their culture as Quebec is.

    (Response: I am quite sympathetic to Quebec or any other province protecting its culture, language. But the PEOPLE there must also be welcoming ….as most Canadians have been to outsiders in most of the rest of the country. But the truth is most Francophone Quebecois, especially outside Montreeal, are still highly xenophobic, and in my view anti-Semitic, anti black, anti Chinese, anti Sikh, anti-Muslim etc. We should not give that a free pass. h.o)

  • 9 Sean in Vancouver // Jan 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Quebec should be allowed to what it wants, within its jurisdiction.

    Just as we left Quebec alone under Monsieur Duplessis and L’Union National, we should leave Quebec alone regarding issues within its jurisdiction, including the following:

    1. LANGUAGE. The Quebec Government should do all it wants to promote French and exclude any other language;

    2. EDUCATION & RELIGION. Being a majority Roman Catholic jurisdiction, the Roman Catholic Church should have exclusive rights in the realm of education within that Province; yes, I believe that the Quiet Revolution’s experiment with a Ministry of Education should be abolished. As regards to religion, only Roman Catholics should be fully free to settle in Quebec. Only Roman Catholics should be given the right to promotions in the public service. And yes, divorce and abortion should be better controlled. Government funding should be restored to the Roman Catholic Church, and its privileges that it lost during the Quiet Revolution should be restored;

    3. ECONOMY & ENVIRONMENT. Quebec should be able to market, unhindered, its Asbestos industry. Quebec should be further allowed to expand hydro and nuclear electricity, as well as mining and forestry. Quebec should be excluded from any obligations regarding the first nations living there, that is, so-called treaties should not apply to the Quebec Government. Quebec should be allowed to do what it wants regarding the environment, including representing itself at the Kyoto Agreement and its successor. Food safety and inspection should be a Quebec sole-responsibility;

    4. IMMIGRATION & INTEGRATION. Quebec has every right to demand the entry of any immigrant within its borders to submit to its standards of a compassionate society. Just like in France, Quebec has every right to ban certain religious practice, custom or manner of dress;

    5. INTERNATIONAL TRADE & RELATIONS. Quebec should be allowed to issue its own visas, passports, and entry/exit permits;

    6. ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY & TRANSPORT. Quebec, together with the federal governments of Canada and the United States should jointly run the St. Lawrence Seaway. Quebec should also have full control of its international airports and shipping ports (especially Montreal). Quebec should have exclusive jurisdiction over transport within its bounds, including highways and railways. The National Transportation Safety Board should not operate in Quebec;

    7. GOVERNMENT. Quebec should be fully free to administer justice at its own terms, including having exclusive jurisdiction regarding criminal law. If Quebec doesn’t want Her Majesty the Queen as its head of State, it should be free to abolish her. If Quebec wants to ban certain people from voting, it should be able to;

    8. PUBLIC SECURITY. If Quebec wants to establish and maintain a Provincial Militia, it should be free to do so. The militia would be styled after the Canadian Forces, but be under Quebec jurisdiction;

    9. DEPORTATION. If anyone in Quebec is opposed to Quebec government policies regarding itself, under exclusive jurisdiction, should be encouraged to leave Quebec. The Quebec government should do everything in its power to relocate undesirables outside of its jurisdiction.

    Under these terms, as long as Quebec will promise to remain part of a united Canada, with one currency and general economic policy, and with (mostly) one foreign policy, we should leave Quebec alone to do as it pleases….The Charter of Rights and Freedoms should not apply to Quebec, or anywhere in Quebec, for what-ever-reason.

  • 10 david hadaway // Jan 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Sean in Vancouver

    My apologies if I have misunderstood a joke, but if the Quebec you describe ever comes into existence it should not so much be permitted to leave Canada as compelled to do so. Minus, however, the extensive territories given it by the Dominion as was and (on the principle of self determination) any other areas that do not find the prospect of an ethno-theocracy attractive.

    Like many people I am dubious as to the effects of mass migration and multi-culturism. However we all have to live together in the world that, for better or worse, this has created and that requires above all equality of rights, opportunity and responsibilities.

  • 11 13 // Jan 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Harvey, your history lesson on bad behavior is just that , history. Most of those countries have evolved. Canada is in a mess whereby we have evolved but were doomed to failure due to Trudeaus charter. Mulriculturalism is a great idea but in reality it has created heighbourhoods and enclaves of pure discimination. Surrey, Richmond, South Van, Westwood Plateau, N Van and W Van all have racial profiles that dont look multicultural.

    But Quebec and our first nations have held the rest of Canada hostage to endless demands. They dont buy into Trudeaus charter of rights. They are above all others and we must learn to accept their cultures before all else.

    If we continue down the path we are on we will likely see racism on a far greater scale than Quebec causes.

  • 12 Scotty on Denman // Jan 13, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Thing about racism is that its inherent hypocrisy is a kind of capital that compounds.

    Anyone who has lived in Quebec (and I’m including ex-pat Quebecois) will have noticed a pervasive underlying xenophobia there that sometimes manifests as overt racism. This is not totally surprising considering the insularity and resentment Quebec national mythology cultivates. Once one accepts discrimination of the “other,” the currency of racism can then capitalize on ancient grudges and on new comers, all at the same time. Note that Indians, despite having massacred Habitants, where never really categorized as the “other” until recently. Indeed, the Catholic Church worked purposely to “save their souls” by sanctioning and encouraging intermarriage (which gave legitimacy to the Metis, for example.) The Quebec concept of the “other” initially applied only to their ancient European rivals, the English (I’ll spare you the reason why I think this rivalry stems from their ineluctable similarity), and , of course, resentment of the conquest, commemorated on Quebec’s licence plates, “Je me souviens.” This was the initial investment, the “principle”, as it were, that compounds over time and capitalizes on each new ethnicity that immigrates, each also being principle that successively compounds and capitalizes itself. So, the “racism” we see in Quebec started with the English, who were racially
    similar to the Habitants, but not with the Indians, who were racial distinct. This contradiction is just another illustration of the bullshit that underpins all racism.

    Once certain conditions arise (in Quebec’s case, the conditions were linguistic and religious isolation, then resentment against a certain “other”, the English conquerers,) the principle begins to compound over time, capitalizes and pays “dividends” that can be reinvested against, for example, Jews, who, ironically, had been in the vanguard of French colonization and had already long been discriminated against by the Catholic church, but never (in the New World) to the extent post-conquest Quebec xenophobia inflicted. The dividends of racism similarly capitalized to greater or lesser degree in their turn on Irish, Italian, Haitian and African immigrants to Quebec. Racist currency against muslims is merely the latest investment which immediately receives dividends from the previous investments in racism. This is not insider trading, rather it takes its advice from the international racist-investment community following the 9/11 terrorist attack. The important point is Quebec accrued and banked a lot of racist dividends for a long time.

    Racism has been an accepted rhetorical, political and strategic device from time immemorial. Nobody can erase ancestry in reality, yet war-time propaganda will insist that the enemy is bad and evil in racial terms, even when both combatants share the same pedigree. Hence, Saxe-Coburg Gotha became the House of Windsor when England and Germany went to war with each other, and Serbs and Croats could swear they were genetically distinct as they slaughtered each other. The patriotic, armourial device infects the soul, however, and continues to pay its dubious dividends long after the chain-mail shirt is doffed and hung in a museum. Thence, from shield and weapon against a foreign enemy, racism becomes an auto-immune disease, hunting perceived enemies within. What has overtly been recognized as Quebec’s legitimate identity, its right to preserve its french-speaking culture in a sea of assimilationist, english-speaking culture, is also a cancer eating at Quebec society from within, as their Quebec-style reconciliation commission exposed. The toxic dividends can pay too much when compounded on the order of time Quebecois culture has existed, over four hundred years. The eruption of anti-Mohawk violence, against a group which Quebec mythology had for centuries granted immunity from nationalist paranoia, illustrates the turn-around-and-bite-you-on-the-ass pitfalls
    of “racist capitalism.”

    For us Canadians, Quebec is kind of like our oldest sister, sometimes a little bitchy and bossy, going through stuff before the rest of us, sometimes feeling unappreciated and misunderstood. Her experiences might be peculiar to her unique circumstance, or prophesy a rite each Canadian sovereignty of a certain age must eventually pass. I’m inclined to the former because there are other french-speaking cultures in Canada, some of comparable age, which don’t display the level of overt racism as Quebec does.

    Quebec will always be exceptional, but not particularly in terms of racism. The first of the few times I lived there I was a young bloke (je m’excuse) parachuted into semi-rural, pure lain Quebec culture in which my smattering of french was completely inadequate and which my then long-haired, back-to-the-land presumptuousness could not meet the price of admission. It did give me a hitherto unconsidered perspective of Canada’s contingent nationalities, of which Quebec is our most excellent manifestation. It also was the first time I had ever been regarded as a redneck (!). Nevertheless, I was astonished at the parochialism, willful ignorance of the outer world, and the blunt xenophobia, especially among the homebodies. That’s not unusual for homeys anywhere, though.

    I can attest to the brutal racism meted out to young Quebecois who broke the generational mould by heading out to Alberta and BC to fill jobs that were going begging. It was shameful and barbaric. At the time there was a lot of resentment over the separatist referendum. Guys could get roughed up simply for speaking french to each other at the local bar; and for Quebecois women there was much worse, too, inspired by the pop tune of the day, “Voulez-vous couchez avec moi?” Unfortunately, many who buckled under relentless prejudice returned to Quebec taking these negative experiences with them , reinforcing long held anti-anglaise prejudice back home. Another dividend of racism. Just like capitalism, racism competes; the rest of Canada has always been competitive in this regard. Quebec has no monopoly on racism. Just ask any visible minority in any of the big cities they immigrate to, or any First Nation migrants from impoverished northern communities.

    With that in mind, let’s not forget that if we talk about racist Quebec, instead of racism IN Quebec, like there is in EVERY Canadian sovereignty, we might be unwittingly cashing in a racist dividend ourselves. That’s the thing about compounding interest: it accrues without even thinking about it.

    (Response:Really interesting essay. The one perspective that stands out is your comparison of Quebec as our older sister. sometimes a bity bossy and bitchy. Pretty good, but my own favorite analogy is that Quebec s more like a mistress … who must constantly be spoiled, told she is loved and beautiful, allowed to get away with all kinds of excesses and never do any hard lifting or chores. No wonder they don’t want to sign on to the Consitution would be like getting married ..and she might lose all that pampering and wooing. 🙂 h.o

  • 13 StandUpforBC // Jan 13, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Just wanted to say that this is one of the most interesting columns and reader responses I’ve ever read. Not to mention some of the most intelligent, thought-provoking, enlightening and respectful engagement and exchange of opinions all ’round that I’ve read in a very long time, whether in the mainstream media or in the blogger world.

    I feel enriched by everyone’s contribution.

    Bravo, brava.

  • 14 BG // Jan 13, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Ultimately Quebec is a democracy. If the majority of the people in the province don’t want to be flooded with foreign cultures and people then that should be respected and it should not be tarred with the term “racist”.

    As long as laws are not broken and the constitution is not violated then Canadians and Quebecors should be free to do as they want or don’t want.

    As for political correctness, you realize that it is an oxy-moron. Politicians are never correct. Furthermore, political correctness is a form of self censorship – only an idiot would abide that.

    (Response: How a province or state is run politically does not give it a free pass on racism …or at least not being able to be a racist society without being called out on it. I’m not talking about people who refuse to fit in or mix in or learn local ways: the problem in Quebec (unlike the rest of Canada) is that newcomers ..or even those whose ancestors have lived there for 200 years…. still find it difficiult, if not impossible, to be accepted socially and even job-wise by that solid block of white Catholic Francophones and I believe that’s terrible. h.o)

  • 15 Gini // Jan 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Canada is not a ‘melting pot’. Quite the contrary, in fact. Quebec is no more racist than the rest of Canada. Oh, we pretend to accept other cultures, but we don’t, not really, and why should we? Think about it……..the ongoing Shafia trial and the impending deportation of two people (uncle and mother) for ordering the execution of a young woman for marrying the man she loved.

    These are but two of the atrocities we read about daily in our country. How long before we make a law whereby our Canadian culture is observed by all immigrants?

    Multi-culturalism does not work, IMO.

  • 16 AJ // Jan 14, 2012 at 2:55 am

    In response to your response..

    I would tend to agree with you in certain areas of the province. As you get away from the major urban center there is in fact an alienation of our landed immigrants. I do not believe that it is as much as a racist situation as definite difficulties to integrate within the new host society. There is just not enough immigrant in the remote villages and town to generate any dynamic interaction.

    As you get nearer the major urban center, you see a completely different picture. If you go to Mtl nord proper you will find that in the school system Quebec francophones are a minority. In smaller urban center such as Gatineau, Drummondville, there is enough immigrant to generate action while there is still enough Cdn born to interact with the newly adopted citizens and that may generate a new an interesting mix. This is where it gets sucessfull. Toronto has gone thru this but they have lost too many Anglo Cdn to the surrounding bedroom community and the experiment is changing there.

    I think that somewhere along the way, there is a critical mass on both side and those critical masses needs to exist to create true integration. Unfortunately, we seem to get only one group that overwhelm all others in most locality.

    I would say that we might get properly adapted to this new world one day but it will not happen in my generation. My children generation might see some changes but even now there is a rift between the Cdn born Anglo and Franco individuals and the rest of the newly arrived immigrant. I’d like to think that the Anglo Franco confrontation is still the number one subject of conversation but in the end I honestly believe that this ship has sailed and non Cdn born versus Cdn born is really the hot topic and that is where we will be heading to in our future. The separatist in Quebec are now in dwindling numbers, the recent election of the NDP highlight this situation. The only portion of our Cdn population that is growing is the visible minorities. How long before the Franco and Anglo Canadiens become a minority is the real question for me?

  • 17 Hellvisse // Jan 14, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    When I was a kid, that old canard used to be:

    “The Québécois will never vote for an Anglo.”

    Then they massively voted for Brian Mulroney, so it was rearticulated as:

    “The Québécois will never vote for a non-Québécois.”

    Which was the only explication to the Bloc Québécois phenomenon that did not force “multicultural” Canada to confront the fact that it had rejected Québec in 1988.

    Then last May the Québécois massively voted for Jack Layton.

    So now those who cannot let go of this self-fulfilling stereotype are desperately duck-taping random factoids and myths to keep it alive: Hérouxville and… and… Montreal has never had a Anglo mayor and… some guy told me there’s an old lady in Laval who won’t get in a taxi if a black guy’s driving: tada! Québec is still xenophobic and Canada is still number one!

    (Other bits of trivia, such as the fact that Québec’s most popular politician is Amir Khadir, an immigrant and a separatist; that Maria Mourani, another immigrant, came in second in her bid to replace Gilles Duceppe; or that it’s Toronto, which has never had a French/Chinese/Muslim mayor either, that elected Rob Ford; or that no other city in the history of professional sports in North America has ever had to consider how it felt about a head coach that does not speak the language of the fans, are conveniently kicked under the sofa.)

    What Harvey unwittingly, yet very clearly, exposes in this post is the evolution of how Canadians see themselves.

    Go read what Lewis and Clark had to say of their “half-breed” french-canadian guides and their indian wives in the early 19th century, when racial purity was a huge concern of european elites.

    Today, in 2011, “diversity” is the new gauge of a modern and enlightened society and and all of the sudden Anglo-Canadians look at Québec and see a homogenous, “pure laine”, xenophobic backwater.

    This is just English-Canada reformulating, again and again, the same thing it has been saying about francophones they have been saying for 250 years:

    “THEY are not like us”.

    (Response: Very skillfully crafted …but wrong on facts. Yes, Quebecois voted for an Anglo when Mulroney got elected…because there were only Anglos … Turner and Broadbent leading the other parties… there were no Francaphone leaders running for the other major parties. And as soon as they had one of their own… Bouchard or Duceppe …even with their pro-separatist, totally selfish Quebec-only view of the country, they voted for them. And if you want to be even more precise, I would remind you Canadians do not vote for the leader anyway, but for their local MP …and I bet you’d be hard-pressed to show me in elections where “pure lain”-majority ridings Quebecois elect black or Chinese or Jewish or Muslim. And that applied in the NDP victory under Layton as well… the local candidates were overwhelmingly all white, Francaphone and Cathlic .. outsiders need not apply. In fact, it’s not just me drawing attention to this reality: PHD’s and books … like The Traitor and the Jew, for just one example, have been written about the nasty racist side of Quebec life. Remember the anti-semitic rallies of thousands at the Montreal Forum? I only raise the issue because it still goes on and on … not just in Herouxville or Gatineau or the Canadiens who hired an ENGLISH coach (tabernacle!!) …ask the Hassidim in Outremont about their treatment by the French media, ask the mayor of that large Quebec town recently who declared Israel has no right to exist .. very nice, bridgebuilding there! Ask black and Chinese Quebecois how well accepted they feel. While the rest of Canada is progressing quite well in building a harmonius society, Quebec …even at official levels ..remains mired in 18th and 19th Century bigotry. Time to change! h.o)

  • 18 DonGar // Jan 15, 2012 at 4:00 am

    No I was not kidding and I don’t believe the rest of Canada condones “Honour Killings” just look at the prosecution taking place in Kingston and the extradition hearings taking place here. Maybe if it was made clear to new arrivals that Canada doesn’t support or condone this and we will prosecute you to the full extent of the law these women may have been saved. I guess your blog writing is just too intellectual for me to follow. Or perhaps it’s the Liberal correctness you support at our countries cost?

  • 19 Hellvisse // Jan 15, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I wish I could return the compliment on your craftsmanship. I really wish I could.

    Sure Mulroney won in an all-anglo field. And Bouchard and Duceppe destroyed francos Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Stéphane Dion across Franco Québec. Your theory fails because it does not exclude all other explanations.

    Québec City and Beauce, by far the most xenophobic parts of the province, have been voting for Stephen Harper for years, though.

    Assignment: How often has Alberta or any other province voted for a Québécois when they had a native son on the ballot?

    “…local candidates were overwhelmingly all white, Francaphone and Cathlic .. outsiders need not apply.”

    Apparently you are the only man in the Commonwealth who has never heard of Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the unilingual anglo from Ottawa elected by the good people of Berthier-Maskinongé, by far one of the most “pure” ridings in the province.

    What about Tyron Benskin, the black Anglo who took the Bloc riding of Jeanne-Le Ber, or Tarik Brahmi in the Patriot homeland of Saint-Jean, a riding with exactly 915 immigrants according to Elections Canada? Or Sana Hassainia in Verchère-Patriotes? Or Laurin Liu, or Hoang Mai? Or Anglo Tom Mulcair now the BMOC of the Franco intelligentsia’s Outremont? Or Djaouida Sellah, or Anne Minh Thu Quach? Or the Cree Romeo Saganash, who took a seat from the Bloc?

    Ok , let’s talk about real things, now. You ramble on because you can’t bring yourself to narrow down your topic to what you really want to talk about, although it’s transparent: antisemitism.

    Antisemitism in Québec is real. It has a long history, dating back to the ultramontain clergy installed by the British after the 1837 rebellions and Adrien Arcand, the right-wing federalist financed by Diefenbaker to split the nationalists.

    Yes, there are problems between Hassids and gentiles in Outremont… and in Brooklyn. There’s even been fights between Hassids and Jews in friggin’ Israel all winter!

    Of course, there are few problems between ultra-orthodox Jews an their neighbors in the rest of Canada. Maybe because there few Hassids there in the first place…

    Assignment: Look up how often the voters of D’Arcy-McGee, the most jewish electoral riding in Québec, has elected a non-jew.

    Now H, tell me. If you believe so much about integration and a harmonious society, why do you spend all your time of time categorizing people in little boxes: Jews, French, Chinese, Blacks, and Anglos, and Hassids, and Catholics, and Muslims?

    Are you saying we are not the same?

    (Response: Not correct: Harper has never been on the ballot in the ridings you mention. People vote for local candidates. Why dn’t you identify who they were? Minorities? And i have never said ALL Quebecois are negative and bigotted…so of course there can be pockets where minorities get elected. But from everything I’ve read and personally observed there, unfortunately the vast majority are still well behind other Canadians when it comes to accepting and welcoming minorities …not just Jews, but blacks, Asians and Muslims. And denying it will never help solve it. h.o)

  • 20 Hellvisse // Jan 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    “of course there can be pockets where minorities get elected. ”

    So there are 75 federal electoral ridings in Québec. Let’s say 20 of them are Montreal, Anglo, urban ridings that are not “pure” (according to your vocabulary and taxonomy) and that we have 55 ridings that are real Franco/catho/white as snow ridings. I gave you 10 examples of minorities elected in these ridings. That’s 20%. If you can find me a another province in Canada where 20% of homogenous rural and suburban ridings elected a minority candidate, I will send a 20$ check to the Anglo Rights group of your choice.

    “But from everything I’ve read and personally observed there, unfortunately the vast majority are still well behind other Canadians when it comes to accepting and welcoming minorities”

    Let’s see, in the last decade English-Canada has allowed the reintroduction of racially segregated schools, allowed american firms to discriminate against Canadian citizens who have dual citizenship on Canadian soil, and abandoned muslim canadians in foreign jails. The number of minorities in the Federal Civil Service has dropped, as has the Life expectancy of Native Canadians. And our Royal government has decided to revitalize and celebrate the monarchy, a political system that garantees that a Jew, a catholic or a muslim canadian will never be our head of state.

    (Response: More untruths. There aren’t enough Anglos left in Quebec to rule 20 ridings… many were forced to flee racist legislation and blatant job discrimination, even if they became fluently bilingual; I know of no schools anywhere else in the country “racially segregated” BY LAW, as they were in Quebec … we have religious schools that people can voluntarily attend (it’s called freedom) but not forced to by law. In fact, Quebec was the worst in that way…segregating not only Catholics from Protestants and “others”, but even English Catholics from French Catholics..and then (does it ever stop) separating boys from girls at each, with special entrances for each. No wonder that society is so divided and screwed up. And when I was working, I did stories on the appalling racist anti-Anglo, totally historically inaccurate propaganda text books forced on teachers to use by the Quebec government …no wonder so many Francaphone adults there today are still so racist. h.o.)

  • 21 e.a.f. // Jan 16, 2012 at 4:50 am

    So the coach wasn’t french speaking. Its just a game, o,k. its very big business and they will do what they want. To be critical of the coach because he doesn’t speak enough french is rather ridiculous. Surely they have more to do than that.

    Quebec is in a difficult position if it wants to maintain its lanuage and culture. They may have invoked laws, but in the end immigration will be the deciding factor.

    In other parts of Canada, such as the lower mainland, they have gone out of their way to accomodate immigrants. However, it has come at the expense of children who come from english speaking families. They frequently are required to assist teachers with teaching children who do not speak english as a first language.

    When people come to Canada they should be encouraged to become Canadian. If they wanted to be Dutch, English, French, Indian, Chinese, Syrian, or whatever, they should have stayed where they were. People should expect to make a committment to this country, its language, culture, and paying taxes. It should not be considered a place to land to simply wait until things get better from where they came or to pay less taxes.

    If the government of Canada can spend the amounts of money they do to assisting immigrants in “settling” in Canada; they might want to spend it on First Nations people who already lived here from the beginning.

    We constantly hear about needing immigrants because of our aging population. What government appears to be forgetting is the large number of young First Nations children. If we put the focus on them we will have enough labour, professionals, technicians, etc. to keep this country going.

    Quebec will do as it wants and I would suggest they will not leave Canada, they make too much money off of the rest of us via their “black mail”. It is time Quebec respected the rights of others who do not speak French just as immigrants should respect Canadians who speak English.

    (Respect: I know there can be problems with first, even second generation immigrants in learning the language and culture. But if you study the reality, by the third generation .. whether from Europe or Ireland or Asia or Africa … pretty well are have integrated into the Canadian culture, more interested in hockey and music and tv etc than traditional sports, music and happenings “back home”. It helps when we welcome them and accept them into our workplaces and our homes as friends, and we benefit too from learning new things. My point is that, in Quebec, this process has been painfully slower or just doesn’t happen, and that’s how you have a society where city councils adopt motions or publish pamphlets telling newcomers not to engage in honuor killings, cook stinky food or beat their children …and, even after 200 years, are overly antisemitic, anti black and anti Asian. Time to change … and to call them on this. h.o)

  • 22 Hellvisse // Jan 20, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Look at you spinning in circles around yourself, contradicting yourself within a single sentence with your multiple standards. Which is it, fat man? Are religious schools “freedom” or “tyranny”?

    You construct your own definition of the Québécois as exclusively white/french/catholics, then blame them for being purely white/french and catholic!

    I’m sure you have many minority friends and many of those you let into your house are not only Filipinos who work for you.

    By the way: Black only schools in Toronto. Today.

    (Response: Very mature…name calling, when you can’t refute the fact: Quebecois are lagging well behind every other province in Canada in accepting and welcoming visible and religious minorities. Don’t take my word for it: ask the blacks, Asians, Jews, Muslims who live there how often they get invited into Francaphone homes. Not very many! And nothing like those who live in BC, which is why I am so proud of my province and so critical of yours. h.o)

  • 23 Sherwyn // Feb 9, 2012 at 7:13 am

    For two weeks only.Next week, don’t worry, the world will be back to nromal, attributing the “center” of Canada to Toronto.

  • 24 Bivolariu // Feb 11, 2012 at 3:44 am

    What laaugnge police?There is no such thing.You are just rehashing the tired old clueless clichés about Québec.

  • 25 Vancouverite // Apr 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I totally agree with this.

    I am a Canadian born Chinese and I speak English and French fluently as well as Chinese. I have roots here in Vancouver because of my ancestors’ first arrival. I know enough about Canada’s history through all my years of private school, public elementary and highschool.

    I had experienced racism when I was a kid in the 1970s and early 80s in Vancouver. That all changed but I can still see some Racism in Langley and Abbotsford.

    My visit to Quebec, oh my… Racism in suburbs of Quebec is more prevalent and outright. I can see in their face and tone of voice they used on me. It was intimidating and the experience left me in disbelief that we still have a province/state wide area for racists.

    Sad. How can this be Canada if we have a Quebec like this? Quebec might as well move down south of USA.

    I agree that Quebecois should not be given free pass for being racist.

    (Response: Thank you for speaking up. And unless we call them on this, embarrass them and demand the province and federal government start addressing …no, CONFRONTING … the bigotry, the racism and xenophobia among so many Francophones will continue for another generation hurting Quebec’s growth and development in the long run. h.o.)

  • 26 kathy monroe // Apr 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    After being turned away from the Canadian border today I am appalled. I am a African-American Nurse Practitioner who is on assignment in Pittsfield Maine. I had a patient tell me he knew a couple and 1 was a native of Quebec. He had the gentleman call me yesterday and he told me how beautiful Quebec was and all the places to see while there. He recommended I stay at the Le Concorde and I checked the prices while we were talking. I decided to make a weekend trip to Quebec and booked the room immediately. Today I had a gorgeous scenic drive through Maine to Jackman and the border. When I arrived I gave the border control my passport. He asked if i had ever been to Canada and why I was visiting. I told him the story of my patient’s friend and showed him my reservations. He asked for my rental car papers and I showed him the papers where my nursing agency was paying for the car. He then told me to park and come inside. They asked if I had a criminal record or outstanding warrants. I relied no. He later came back and said there was an FBI hit. I told him him I was fined for harassing phone calls to another girl when i was 21 in NJ in 1986 but that was not a crime. They told me that in Canada it would be a felony so I was inadmissible to visit Canada. They told me that Canada doesn’t want my type in their Country. I asked “black people?” they replied “No criminals.” I said this is incredibly “stupid” given it was not a crime where it occurred. They all gasped and threatened to arrest me for saying “stupid.” After 1 1/2 hours and many tears I turned back to the US and drove 2 1/2 hours back to Pittsfield. My happy weekend trip ended being a horrible lesson that racism and bigotry is very much alive and well in Canada. I am just arriving home and looking on the web for others that endured blatant discrimination to find that it is wide spread and well known. I wish I had known before wasting my time and gas to be subjected to this humiliating experience!

  • 27 kathy monroe // Apr 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    PS: here was my charge and they had the computer printout showing it was a “petty disorderly person offense.”

    N.J.S.A. 2c 33-4
    makes or causes to be made, communication or communications anonymously, or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.

  • 28 Ms D // Apr 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I recently moved to Montreal for a job transfer, from out west. I am not english, but I speack it. The other languages I know are not french. This is because the Canada I love is multicultural. When I discovered Quebec oppressess people from using whatever language they wish for business, I was appalled. If it it successful, you are benefiting people- the population, and if it fails, you have nothing of value. If many wanted all french business, then it should happen naturally by supply and demand proving the truth of it, and with funding if there has been disadvantages. At no point does this require attacks and bans on others. Oppressing others is racist abuse, it is not PREVENTING ‘french oppression’ to insist that not french are oppressed!! How insane! That is like arguing one is free to immorally beat and rob everyone else because they were mugged twenty years ago, as an act of self defence. On what planet does xenophobia, abusive hate speech and oppressive laws qualify as ‘self defence???’ This is an ugly reality I see here- young french people otherwise nice feel they have a right to hate, oppress and deny the rights of others without the understanding that it is morally terrible, as it is couched as ‘french rights’. Abuse of others is not a ‘right’. I think I know why. I had the misfortune of seeing what is written in history books in the media segregated island of quebec, and have been utterly horrified. There is absurdly inaccurate and outright dishonest history, peppered with hate spech teaching ideas of paranoia and hatred of other nationalities in the Quebec only text books. Non-french are edited out, ‘wrongs’ against ‘the french are made huge, even fabricated outright, and wrongs done by the french are removed. Propoganda is thick, emotionally- laden nationalist rhetoric repaces any accurate statements and people are actually trained in public schools an alternate and dishonest history that encorages xenophobia and a sense of entitlement to oppress and abuse non-francophones. This hate propoganda that rewrites history with abusive intent must be against Canadian law! As long as this occurs, young people here will suffer like those in China with only Edited Chinese textbooks and media, lying to the people to make them obey.

  • 29 Andy // Apr 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I’m half French Canadian and Native American, some may call me métis, but I’m not related in any way to Louis Riel’s Manitoban métis. I hav lived all across Canada from Halifax N.S to Victoria B.C . I can’t believe some of the comments I’ve read on this board ! For most English speaking Canadians ,French Quebecois are considered a sub class! We have taken in the past years, actions, not only to protect a Language, but a culture, and a beautiful one if i may ad! We do not care of what creed or color people are from, we respect all equally as long as we are also treated equally in the process! Sure there are rednecks like any other culture that give “Quebecois” a bad rep, but to use this to generalize a culture would be falling head first in the stereotyping game!

  • 30 Stothec // May 12, 2012 at 3:30 am

    While many Quebecers are generally pleasant to be with, I do find that too often they have a disturbing nonchalance with uttering racist comments, which they shrug off as simply “harmless jokes/sayings” (e.g. ‘les yeux bridés’ incident).

    I personally blame this on the whole language and cultural protection nationalist activism in Quebec. While I agree with such protection, too many Quebecers take it to the extremes and use it as a licence to be openly racist towards those they do not consider one of themselves. This is especially so if they can even just loosely justify how those “others” are oppressing the culture/language of Quebec.

    Thank you truly for writing this informative entry and speaking out on behalf of us, the un-pure wool.

  • 31 Urchin // Jun 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    So quebeckers want to remain pure blood. Face it. They are racists. What the rest of canada should decide to do is how to put sanctions against quebec government to discourage this trend. Or is the canadian government sharing the same racist view with quebec? So i ask other canadians especially the governing bodies. Is this quebec’s view point tolerated by other countries and nations’ standard in this 21st century? Does the rest of canada want to ‘preserve’ this ‘herritage’? Noone can chose to be born with a certain skin tone. Hitler didn’t chose to be born as Hitler either. We should all take a moment to think about this issue and how to prevent the history to repeat itself.

  • 32 E. Forest // Jul 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Harvey, paradoxically minorities in Quebec, contrary to what you said, get elected in places which are totally “pure laine”. For example the mayor of Mont-Laurier is black.
    Check the web site.

    The PQ elected a black dude in Gatineau in 1976: he must have been nearly alone in the ridding at that time.

    People are more racist when they feel threaten by the large number of immigrants who often fail to assimilate.

    (Response: Of course, there are exceptions to generalities, and it makes me feel good when I see that … but you are dreaming a fantasy if you believe that generally throughout Quebec, especially in rural communities and cities blacks, Muslims, Chinese, Jews or even plain old Anglais are welcomed in jobs or in their homes by MOST Quebecois. Ce n’est pas vrai, monsieur! h.o)

  • 33 E. Forest // Jul 5, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Hello Harv,

    You do not have to post this, but my point was in relation to your statement: “Quebec minorities are still largely electable only in communities where their ethnic minorities exist in larger numbers.”

    In most racially and culturally conscious societies, it is when numbers are sizeable (say 10-20%) but still small that the native vote for their own. In the small towns with little non-white, minorities must assimilate and thus people do not feel threaten.

    When compared to their percentage, they are more likely to be elected because they often have more education than the native pure laine.

    Hey, I was fishing in Quebec and a guy told me that a “negre” is mayor of Mont-Laurier. He said:”I voted for him; he is a good dude!” This is how I found out. He was re-elected by acclamation!

    In my own city, Tsukuba (Japan ), we elected a white Canadian as city counselor. Believe me, Japanese, like all East Asians, are more “racist” than Quebeckers. Yet he finished 2nd out of 15. Of course there are only 2 white Canadians with Japanese citizenship in Tsukuba (pop. 160,000 ): Japanese here are not yet afraid to die of poutine over-dose or suddenly start saying “hey”.

    Whether to be racially concious is a good thing is another ball game. But certainly Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc… are racially concious to the bone.

    (Response: Good info ..happy to post. As you may know, I have lived in four Canadian provinces. I am particularly sensitive to “attitudes” because I now have or have had over the years close personal “minority” friends who are black, Asian, aboriginal and from every major religious denomination and, although I do NOT mind legitimate cultural attitudinal observations or criticisms, I am REALLY bothered when I see someone discriminated against or even made fun of because of any of these factors. Or physical handicap or looks etc. I have often thought (proudly) of my sensitivity and think it may come from the not-so-fun experiences I have suffered in my life …including insults sometimes hurled at me on here, but which I don’t publish … because of my own hefty size. And I realize that, compared to other countries … especially so many Muslim nations… Canada is among the best in protecting minority rights. But I must honestly say I have not seen as much “ethnic” xenophobia anywhere in Canada like I have observed in Quebec, where it is STILL acceptable for leaders to talke about “pure lain” citizens versus the rest, where OFFICIAL government councils pass motions banning non-Christian religious gear or hand out pamphlets warning “immigrants” not to cook their stinky foods if they weant to get along with Quebecois. Awful! And we MUST NOT stop exposing and condemning that type of crud. h.o)

  • 34 Vega bond in Montreal // Jul 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I agree with an earlier statement that this is one of the most intelligent and insightful sharing of ideas on a topic I have recently became acquainted with. Although I do not possess the same eloquence or depth of opinion in the matter, my own personal experience while trying to find employment in finance has made me question why there is more prosperity, organization and clarity in the ‘Anglo’ Canada. It’s true – while proponents of Quebec and its rights fight to protect its rights, industry, investment and intelligence (brain drain) continues to avoid the hassle of Quebec. With the recent Red Square protests, more questions and debate has been started but beyond racism, there is a strong underlying corruption. I am not saying corruption doesn’t exist in the rest of Canada – not at all. Political scandals are not ethnically correlated. But to me, as a productive and hard working member of society, the high tax rates, low employment prospects and sometimes backwards laws are so counterproductive that it boggles the mind how intelligent Quebecois let it go on. It’s like I was telling my other buddy in finance in Toronto.. there’s so many high end cars on the streets but the streets look broke. Where is the money coming from?

    Needless to say, this blog has made me realize that as much as I would like to stay in Montreal, it is, as the Haitian cabby (an immigrant of 43 years) said today: ” It’s a good place to visit but a shit place to live … they give you with one hand and take it back with the other.” Besides the Italians with restaurant business and high end Quebecois entrepreneur and bankers, I don’t see any other money around. Very sad case for ambitious and entrepreneurial Canadians.

    (Response: I still like Montreal…will be visiting there in the Fall. What Quebec needs is for many more young Francophone Quebecois to denounce and separate themselves from the racism and xenophobia of so many of their parents and grandparents. How about WELCOMING others … like Chinese, blacks, Anglais, Jews, etc INTO their homes and social circles …so that they too feel like full Quebecois, not as “unpure wool”? That would be a great start. h.o)

  • 35 Angela // Aug 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. English people and others in quebec really need the help of our country, Canada and anyone who is willing to help !

    I am so sick of being treated like a second class citizen and having to practically hide my language.

    (Response: Thanks…i have another essay on the racist PQ electioneering coming up in the next couple of days. h.o)

  • 36 Bernjosh // Sep 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I don’t understand how Quebec gets away with treating Anglos the way they do! They are slowly doing away with services in English (ie RAMQ) and limiting the English school system (ie PQ’s Cegep proposal) meanwhile they are depending more and more on western Canada’s economy to prop them up. Between recieving provincial equalization payments (6 billion dollars) and the amount of québécois working in western Canada they are more financially dependant on Canada than ever. It’s only a matter of time before Alberta and the rest of Canada want to separate from this financially parasitic province that has been so brutally and unabashfully racist to Anglos for the last two decades. I understand that the Anglophones mistreated them in the past but if the world’s been able to forgive the Germans why are the Francophones still getting away with this?

    (Response: If you think it’s bad now …wait until the PQ wins the election! It’s all part of their plan I’ll explain if they win the vote. h.o)

  • 37 Suzie // Dec 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Hey Harv O I’m a native BC girl from the Kits who happens to live in MTL QC due to my hubby’s career for a few months, YOU cannot believe the standards here your barley scratching the surface when it comes to fraud corruption and I’ve only been here for a short while have had to close my credit cards twice and hear sirens EVERY single day and live in a upper middle class suburban neighborhood. The locals are alright with my non french however it is because i am a paying for goods and they have no “choices” I can easily take my business elsewhere. My policy and modus operandi here is that of staying in prolonged corrupt Mexico border town and keeping my head down when out in public streets because i somewhat always attract nasty stares from qc’ers even if i am maintain the same dress code that i would in BC; seems people here are only aloud to dress well if that can’t speak English well, you have no idea the way things rigged here to take money from all provinces and then retain/help people in jobs privileges that are rural uneducated francophones, I lived in Miami for more than 8 year did my university years there and travel to Korea Japan sometimes Caribbean on holiday to shop and relax; and can honestly say the standards of infrastructure stores quality of education customer service etc… on par to some rural backwoods parts of USA deep south they are by my guess 35-45 years behind the times from B.C Ontario Alberta and from worldwide maybe 50-60 years behind. They use an old tax system no HST here governments stop using about 25-30 years in Canada and rest of world similar, buildings are falling apart and roads etc… they focus so much on their own ego gratification that they have gotten exactly what they wished for there own piece of Canada that is filled with poor and uncivilized people that no one has time for in this day and age. Canadian governments i believe and other major business will never come to develop here and have been working behind the scene for a good while to try to keep QC isolated and now it is very clearly showing and will remain this way i do feel sorry for the next generation that have to inherit these problems, if it ever came to a referendum and QC’ers got the boot which i feel everyone wants the things are already set up from my rest of Canada perspective that it will be the poorest and lowest quality of life and can officially reap what its sown, Cheers Suzy