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Canada: the English & the French ...

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:08 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I was doing rock work on the Candian SHield just before the Meech Lake Accord was signed . I recall episodes of armed violence that occured on a couple of cross Canada bridges. It was not a pretty time.

I suppoase that Meech Lake was further degraded in 1995.
I think that the French Canadians had a view that was similr to that held by the Mormons in the US in the 1800's, they didnt wanna assimilate, they feel strongly that they are a unique culture, and you wanna make something of it?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:22 am
So (have I got this right? <Sigh> ) the Canadian French & the Canadian "English" are living totally different segregated lives? On all sorts of levels: cultural, religious ... with hard demarcation lines?

Yet they all have one head of state, yes? The Queen of England.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:22 am
Not only that, but the Mohawks, the Cree, the Migma and several other "first nations" ain't altogether happy, neither.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:24 am
@msolga,
You want to make it too simple. It is much to the advantage of the Québecois to be Canadians, and much to their advantage as well to play the separation card. Mostly, people go about their daily lives, the English-speakers in Québec have to put up with the language regulations, and the Québecois have to put up with an Anglophone nation everywhere else.

As for the Queen, i suspect she just does not get mentioned in Québec. She is on the 20 dollar bill, though.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:30 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
You want to make it too simple.


No, it's not that.
It's something about how I imagined things to be. Different.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:36 am
@msolga,
But why shouldn't I?
My own country has undergone remarkable integration at a very fast rate ... people from very different cultures. And we get by. But as I said, with lumps & bumps & adjustments. But I really think we do get by. Perhaps older, more established differences are harder to overcome?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:39 am
@msolga,
I can understand that. Mostly it just gets played out in minor irritations. The Girl and i once drove from the state of Maine to her parents house in Kingston, Ontario. I decided that we could make in one drive, instead of driving to New York state and staying overnight. That meant driving through Québec. As the Canadians are all speed demons, and the Québecois in particular, i made it in ten hours of through driving.

I stopped at a gas station (they call 'em gas bars) just on the Ontario border. A guy comes in just ahead of me and the owner addresses him in French. He replies in English. The owner replies in French. This guy replies in English. The owner replies in French and thanks him. The other guy thanks him and wishes him a good day--in English. Obviously, they both understood one another's language, and both refused to speak it. I figured they deserved each other. I spoke French to him, because i can, and i figured it's his province, it's his language, and that was simple courtesy. He seemed delighted.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:41 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
Perhaps older, more established differences are harder to overcome?


Perhaps they just can't stand one another, and the antipathy now has the force of two and a half centuries of tradition.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:48 am
@Setanta,
To be totally honest, I don't get it.

I don't understand at all (though I'll take your word for how things are) why this should be the case.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:55 am
Are you not aware of how cordially the English and the French have loved one another over the last several centuries? (sarcasm alert) The English took Canada in 1759, at a time when the two nations had been and would long remain mortal enemies. That didn't mean the French had to like it, and they didn't. Canada is, in that respect, an arranged marriage, with divorce unlikely.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 06:56 am
my first act as prime minister, another referendum on french (not quebec) separation, 50+ everybody that wants to separate, has 24 hours to get out, those that remain are canadians, full stop, keep your culture, speak your language amongst yourselves, the country operates as a whole in english

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:04 am
@djjd62,
You see language as the unifier (& the main divisive factor to date), djjd?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:10 am
@msolga,
I think that the expectation of one common language has been the major "integrator" in post WW2 Oz.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:17 am
@msolga,
it's one of the major bones of contention

Charter of the French Language

stuff like this bugs me

"Levying fines of up to $7000 per offense, Charter enforcers were widely derided in English media as the "language police." While the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) provides several warnings before resorting to legal sanctions, alleged abuse of its power has led to charges of racism and harassment. The OQLF urged stores to remove imported kosher goods that did not meet labeling requirements, an action perceived in the Jewish community as an unfair targeting that coincided with a high-profile case against the well-known Schwartz's delicatessen, the owner of which was told that the apostrophe in his sign was illegal. In 2002, there were reported cases of harassment of allophone merchants who refused to speak French."
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:31 am
@djjd62,
Well, obviously I can't give you a reason for this, djjd.
It does seem a strange state of affairs (seeing as you're all citizens of the same country), I agree.
I wish someone could explain the French Canadian perspective ... why such actions are deemed necessary, that's all.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:31 am
@msolga,
Boy, what an enormous question. To begin with, there are so many different French-speaking communities in Canada - and they are different. The French-speaking community in Manitoba is very different from what is found in Quebec. Then there are the Acadians - whole different culture going on there in the Maritimes. The Joual community, which runs through the lumber/mining core of several provinces, is another experience again.

Depending on where you are and who you ask, you are going to get wildly divergent opinions about how French-speaking Canada and English-speaking Canada get along. Quebec is just one piece of the puzzle.

Setanta's perspective, as an observer, is interesting and valid as that of an observer. Probably every Canadian poster on the board is going to have a somewhat different view to any other Canadian poster here - we come from pretty different parts of Canada (for the most part), and the experiences are different.

My particular view of it is that as a result of significant non-European immigration to Canada, the "Quebec issue" is a lot less meaningful than it was 40 or 50 years ago. Also, the Innu in Quebec have made it pretty clear that as the land claims decisions have run in their favour, they are in control of Quebec's huge resource base - and they are staying with Canada if Quebec decides to separate. That's put a bit of a kink in the dreams of the Bloc. Hard to start up a new country if you have nothing to fund it with.

I wouldn't want a Canada without Quebec and what it brings to the table, culturally and geographically. On the flip side, I don't think it benefits anyone to get caught in the history/politics of the situation. We've all got to move on.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:33 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I sincerely doubt that you'll find any Canadians willing to describe for any good things which they experience from living with the two cultures. The Anglophones mostly wish les habitants would all drop dead,


I can't begin to express how very wrong I think you are with these comments.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:35 am
Perhaps you could explain your many vociferous condemnations of the public funding of the Catholic schools in Ontario.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:37 am
@Setanta,
That has to do with my feelings about religion, not about Quebec.
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:37 am
msolga wrote:
Are you going to tell us (non-French) folk what they were actually singing about, Francis?


Sure, here's my translation:

Exiled in the middle of the continent
I'm just a snowflake in the wind
When I dream, I can see you
Stuck in time
In the mist, by the oceanside.

This morning, you know, I had a feeling of nausea
I was condemned, lonely and condemned

This morning, my letter came back to me
Stamped addressee, addressee unknown
This morning a dream went straight to my heart
In it you were only, only a dim light.

This morning I went to bed at dawn
Nearing the point, the point of no-return.
 

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