Friday, 12 July 2013

So I Went To Buy The Paper This Morning...

Would you guys believe I went to SIX different places before I could even find a store that sold The Gazette? No English papers anywhere! This included, 3 Couche Tards, A Pharmaprix & A Tabagie!  Thanks to the good people at Ultramar for still carrying The Gazette…THIS is what I'm talking about people! I shouldn't have to drive to SIX different stores to get an English newspaper…Makes me so sad.


  1. I hope you complained at every one of those stops Christine - that's the only way to get our message out. We will no longer sit back and accept this discrimination quietly. That is our only option at this point in time but things are going to get really hot come September when good old Bill 14 is again brought up. Complain to the store and then follow-up with an e-mail. Not saying it will work but feeling powerless and doing nothing just increases our inner tensions over all this nonsense.

    1. I actually did complain, and several customers in each store agreed with me. :)

    2. That's the way to go girl. Lot's of groups on FB that you can hook up too - many of us are trying to get things to change for the betterment of all of us so we're glad to have you along for the ride. We need everyone we can get to climb on board.

  2. HI Christina, thanks for writing your article and sharing your perspective. I'm an immigrant to Canada, born and raised in the States to parents who immigrated from India before I was born. My first language was Bengali, closely followed by English. In grade school I started learning Spanish, had an affinity for it, and continued my studies into University with a minor in Linguistics where I became fluent in Spanish and learned enough Italian to be functional and conversational, as well as a fair amount of Latin and Sanskrit. All the while I was picking up increasing amounts of Hindi when around friends who were from other parts of northern India. Further along I continued my language studies, living in Hawai'i, picked up some native Hawai'ian (really the only aboriginal language that has any standing in the US anymore) as well as some Japanese. Then I ended up moving to Montréal and picked up French (as you can see, the theme here is that once you learn more than one language, it becomes easier and easier to learn more). I've now lived in Montréal for almost 12 years, working in both official languages as a pediatrician at the Children's Hospital (and using some of my other languages almost daily), and having a bunch of friends from the Nordic nations have gotten fairly good at Finnish and Swedish also. And along the way as well, I met and married my wife, who is an immigrant from Romania (and also multi-lingual) and I've picked up a great deal of Romanian such that I am quite functional (and improving weekly). As someone who works with children with developmental disabilities, I've also learned a good deal of ASL. And I'm pondering which language will be next on my list!

    My point is that one language is never enough. Two languages are never enough either! The more, the better -- it's a fact. Asia and Europe and to some extent South America all understand this and finding completely unilingual people in those parts is hard amongst any educated or even semi-educated group. That's where most of the world's population resides and North Americans are falling behind in communication skills on account of a silly one language vs. two language debate. I think that the time has come for people who live in Quebec who are not Québécois pure laine to find a better word for being a resident of Québec, both in French and English. I propose "Quebecian" or "Quebecan" instead of Quebecer (since that is now accepted as an English version of being Québécois and there is no exact French equivalent to that concept. I think francophones need to have a right to self-describe themselves by another definition other than the general "Québécois" all the time). If we do use Quebecian (or Quebecan) in English, we can use the equivalent term in French (Québecien(ne), or Québecain(e), depending on the English ending). This way, Québécois really would mean what people imply that it is, an ethnic designation rather than an umbrella term for anyone who lives in the province but whose first language is French (thus excluding anglophones and allophones from the definition, and really only accepting francophones of European descent). Québécois should not be a national nor provincial designation, but an ethno-cultural one, so that we can still all feel fully part of this province. Just like Ontarian and Ontarien(ne) or Albertan and Albertain(e) are currently used. Some "Quebecans" or "Québecains" would be Québécois, others might be Italians, others yet would be Indians, and yet others would be Cree or Inuit. All would be provincially Quebecans (with a degree of autonomy to the province that can be discussed at some other date), and all would still be Canadians. Thus being "Québécois" and being Canadian would no longer be incongruent or at odds with each other.