Bilingualism is too expensive and Francophones “always ask too much”, according to many Canadians
If the Franco-Ontarians have been full of support since their prime minister axed services in French, the anti-francophone movement is alive and well in Ontario and across the country.
“We are very impressed with [Doug] Ford’s government, which has finally listened to the silent majority and put an end to the ceaseless demands of the 4% of Ontario’s Francophone population,” said Canadians for Language Fairness (Canadians for linguistic equity), Kim McConnell, in response to the abolition of the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner and the University of Ontario.
According to her, the Franco-Ontarian protest is the result of “generous subsidies” given to Francophones through which “they are able to make noise”.
Canadians for Language Fairness claims to have hundreds of members in Ontario and elsewhere. The group calls for the end of official bilingualism and services in French in Ontario as well as in other provinces.
Their spokesman Jean-Serge Brisson – a Franco-Ontarian – does not hide the fact that some of his colleagues are anti-francophone.
Others, he says, are simply fed up with the fact that francophones “ask, ask, ask for things all the time”, whereas they are already “privileged”. Too many jobs in government would require mastery of both languages, and French education would be too expensive compared to English.
“Culture is not about protecting the government, it’s about people. We should stop imposing the language, the French culture. We should stop favoring francophones over anglophones, “says the libertarian farmer.
“I prefer to live, to feed myself like the world and to work, than to be able to call social assistance in French. That Doug Ford keeps his line, that he goes to the end with that. He has to stop worrying about the minority saying that we have to spend on these things, “says Mr. Brisson.
Beyond organized groups, commentary sections of news sites and social networks like Facebook and Twitter are teeming with disgruntled Canadians.
Quebec is also in the sights of those anglophones who see themselves as victims.
“Expel this bitch from the party,” says a commentator on the conservative Amanda Simard, who asks his clan to reverse the cuts in the Francophonie.
“Instead of being grateful for the billions of dollars that have been poured into Quebec and the rest of Canada for some francophones, they still want more,” says another user.
Professor of Political Science at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Stéphanie Chouinard rejects these “budget” arguments.
“Under the simplistic rhetoric of fiscal austerity and deficit reduction, some people present bilingualism not as a benefit, but a luxury. But do not be fooled, it hides an intolerance that sometimes leads to attacks [anti-French], “she said.
- Review the remarks by Progressive Conservative MP Amanda Simard:
EN VIDÉO: moment d'émotion de la député Amanda Simard @ASimardL qui invite les députés à voter en faveur de la motion du #NPD et CONTRE @fordnation et le gouvernement conservateur. Les députés NPD l'applaudissent #onrc #icito #onfr #polqc pic.twitter.com/NVQOrVpvPG
— Sébastien StFrançois (@SebastienRDI) November 28, 2018