Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Reviews Roll In!

From the French Canadian Association of Alberta. You can run the translation yourself but, take my word, it's scathing:

Pour diffusion immédiate

Communiqué de presse

Si le Québec est une nation : Est-ce que l’histoire, la culture et la langue des francophones du Canada se limitent au territoire québécois ?

Edmonton, le 22 novembre 2006 – Le président de l’ACFA, Jean Johnson, réagit vivement aux propos du premier ministre Stephen Harper qui reconnaît le Québec comme une nation: « Est-ce qu’on est entrain de dire au million de Canadiens francophones vivant à l’extérieur du Québec et au 1,5 million de francophiles que la langue, l’histoire et la culture francophone au Canada se limitent au territoire québécois? ». Selon M. Johnson, le premier ministre semble prêt à tout pour charmer les Québécois et gagner leurs votes, même à diviser le Canada.

Monsieur Johnson croit que le gouvernement de monsieur Harper devrait faire la promotion de la dualité linguistique au pays, plutôt que de miner les valeurs canadiennes. Il se questionne sur les intentions du gouvernement quant au français au Canada : « Comment le premier ministre définit-il plus d’un million d’autres francophones vivants à l’extérieur du Québec? Des citoyens de deuxième classe? ». En Alberta, c’est plus de 66 000 francophones et 205 000 francophiles qui sont en droit de se demander quel est le statut du français au sein de la nation canadienne.

L’ACFA déplore cette annonce du gouvernement qui survient quelques jours après que le Québec ait manifesté son intention de jouer un rôle de leader au sein de la francophonie canadienne d’un bout à l’autre du pays : « Il y a confusion au niveau des messages, le gouvernement du Québec veut faire parti du Canada, mais le gouvernement du Canada préfère jouer le jeu du Bloc québécois », a affirmé le président de l’ACFA.


Pour informations : Patrick Henri, directeur des communications


  • I completely agree, and my preferred course of action for Harper would have been to recognize the French Canadian nation, "centred on Quebec" or something to that effect. But, as I said in the previous subject on the matter, that assumed some degree of creativity on Harper's part. (And I don't know about anyone else, but CTV's slavish mention of this as Harper's "finest hour" was frankly disgusting.)

    By Blogger JG, at 11:42 p.m.  

  • Yeah, "french Canadian nation centred in Quebec", I could live with.

    I just don't see how this is any different than the Quebec Liberal resolution which EVERYONE in the media and population was dead set against. How can someone be an idiot for bringing that up but it's Harper's "finest hour" when he does this.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:59 p.m.  

  • french canadian limits it to ethnicity

    Quebec is a civic nation, where more than just francophone Quebecois de souche belong

    By Blogger Anthony, at 8:34 a.m.  

  • Civic nation is the problem. It means non-francophones in Quebec have no status.

    It also is the frst step to legitimacy for separatists

    Linguistic and cultural nation within Canada including francophones in other provinces is much more inclusive and much more supportive of Canada as a nation.

    My kids all graduated from French Immersion schools. I am delighted that I was able to give them that opportunity and there have been many rewards from it, too many to detail here.

    My own skills are very limited despite having grown up in the sixties in Ville Brossard.

    I went to Babelfish for this translation for those who are similarly challenged:

    If Quebec is a nation, is the history, the culture and the language of the French-speaking people of Canada limited to the Québécois territory?
    Edmonton, November 22, 2006

    The president of the ACFA, Jean Johnson, reacted strongly to the remarks of Prime Minister Stephen Harper who recognizes Quebec as a nation.

    "Is our leader saying to the million French-speaking Canadians living outside Quebec and the 1,5 million francophones that the language, the history and the French-speaking culture in Canada is limited to the territory of Québéc? ".

    According to Mr. Johnson, the Prime Minister seems ready to charm the inhabitants of Quebec to gain their votes, even if it means dividing Canada.

    Mr. Johnson believes that Mr. Harper’s government should promote the linguistic duality to the country, rather than undermine the Canadian values.

    He questions the intentions of the government as for French in Canada: "How does the Prime Minister define more than one million other living French-speaking people outside Quebec? Second class citizens? ".

    In Alberta, it is more than 66 000 French-speaking people and 205 000 francophile who have the right to wonder which is the statute of French within the Canadian nation.

    “The ACFA deplores this announcement by the government which occurs a few days after Quebec expressed its intention to play the part of leader of Canadian Francophones from one end to another of the country: "

    “There is confusion in messages on several levels. The government of Quebec wants to be part of Canada, but the government of Canada prefers to play the game of the Blocque Québécois ", stated the president of the ACFA.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 10:47 a.m.  

  • Stephen Harper is a strategic politician.

    This announcement is made with both the Liberal Leadership and the next federal election in mind.

    We should think seriously about the implications.

    The Conservatives would be thrilled to fight an election against Michael Ignatieff and Liberals should be cautious.

    The traditional Liberal view has always been Pan-Canadian and we should not reduce our vision to pandering to any ethnic group.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 10:55 a.m.  

  • How do you know ACFA hasn't been talking about these sorts of declarations for a long time? Harper has ignored and sidelined all francophones outside Quebec... though I suppose that doesn't much matter to him as most of them vote Liberal (or NDP in Acadie-Bathurst).

    By Blogger JG, at 11:27 a.m.  

  • I just posted this comment on AC. (Sorry if you've seen it already).

    Here's what Premier Charest said about his government's new policy re: Canada's francophonie, on November 7, 2006:

    « Cette politique est un autre bel exemple du retour en force du Québec au sein de la francophonie canadienne ».

    (loose translation)
    "This policy is another great example of the forceful return of Québec to the heart of French Canada."

    Famous last words?

    By Blogger Denis, at 1:28 p.m.  

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