PQ leader Pauline Marois
Credits: ANNIE T ROUSSEL/JOURNAL DE QUEBEC/AGENCE QMI
Pauline Marois, the leader of the Parti Quebecois, has discovered what is ailing Quebec.
It’s not Quebec’s unemployment rate, which is almost half a point higher than in the rest of Canada.
It’s not the student protests, which have turned into student riots, where a radical minority of the province has managed to shut down schools for political reasons, shredding the rule of law.
And it’s not even Quebec’s infamous corruption — corruption in politics, corruption in the construction industry.
No! To her, the problem is those maudit Anglais — the damn anglophones!
On Sunday, Marois said if elected — and polls suggest that just might happen — she’s going to crack down on people who speak English.
She’ll slap new French language regulations of any company with more than 10 employees — that’s some 54,000 businesses in Quebec. Until now, only companies with more than 50 employees were subject to Quebec’s language cops — which is why so many companies stop growing at 49 employees. Marois has already said she’s going to hire new language inspectors to bully them.
See, it’s easier to hire cops to go after anglophones than to go after the mob or biker gangs.
Marois wants to tell people that they have to speak French at work, even in private companies, even in private conversations.
She also wants to ban new immigrants to Quebec, for whom English isn’t their first language, from going to college in English. She wants to force them to go to French-language junior colleges, called CEGEPs. At least those CEGEPs that aren’t being closed by the threat of violence from student rioters.
That will affect 8,000 new immigrants every year. To fit Marois’ chauvinistic views, new Canadians are being denied the opportunity to learn in the language of their choice which just happens to be the leading business language of the world.
This violates freedom of speech. And freedom of association. And economic freedom. And property rights.
Of course, such a law would never be tolerated if it were to enforce English language supremacy over French in any other province.
Just last week it was revealed that the Conservatives’ bilingualism commissioner is going to spend close to $100,000 on a spy mission, going to different airports around English Canada, places like Vancouver, and demanding to be served in French.
It’s basically an anti-immigrant law — it will serve to keep out janitors and convenience store clerks and fast food restaurant staff for whom learning both English and French isn’t a reasonable option. Tough luck — no jobs for Sikhs or Koreans or Chinese in Vancouver.
Could you ever imagine the Conservative bilingualism commissioner trying the opposite out in Quebec?
The whole country would howl — and Quebec would threaten to separate.
Pauline Marois is a weak, petty, small-minded bully, who is avoiding real problems by creating fake ones.
But we’re really the ones to blame — for not calling her on it, and for going through the charade of forced bilingualism, when Quebec itself is most decidedly not bilingual itself.