When Ed Arzouian suggests in the following, that the Montreal Gazette is virtually the ONLY English entity to give up the fight. He is very wrong. Except for a brief time after the October 30, 1995 referendum, the “Anglos” were NEVER in the fight.
Ed is referring to the decision (this month) of the Supreme Court: NOT to hear the appeal of the Lyon and the Wallrus gift shop, for having a sign with EQUAL French and English upon it. This subsequently means that all Canadian legal venues have been exhausted.
The English community let the Italians go toe to toe in street riots against the ethnocentric Québécois nationalists in St Leonard in the late 1960’s. The “Anglos” were very supportive from their comfortable arm chairs.
The “Anglos” caved to Bourassa’s Bill 22, which forced little kids to take language tests in order to PROVE they should be allowed to attend English language schools. Some tried to fight. Most couldn’t be bothered if it didn’t affect them.
Bill 22 was the precursor to the onslaught of current Québécois racist language laws, which define the French language as the ONLY official language of Quebec.
The “Anglos” and “Ethnics” accepted Bill 101 lying down. The big stores like Eaton’s and Steinberg’s raced to drop their apostrophe “S”. And then just about everyone covered the English on their signs with tape to mask the “offensive” English.
The “Anglos” sort of rebelled a little bit after the invocation of the Notwithstanding Clause with Robert Bourassa’s Bill 178, by electing four members of the Equality Party in 1989. And just as quickly as they showed some courage, the “Anglos” went back to Bourassa’s Liberals in the next election.
When it was exposed that the fix was in concerning Bill 86 (instituted in 1993), the law which demands that all linguistic cultures must be half the size or half as many as the PREDOMINANT Québécois French culture; that is if any other language(s) was to be posted at all. Virtually no one made a sound.
Even the media ignored it when I came forward with an admission of collusion by Johnathan Eaton, executive of Eaton’s department stores, three years later in 1996; that they along with other retailers and the Quebec government agreed NOT to display bilingual signs in spite of the fact that the law now permitted it.
Ed is absolutely right about the Montreal Gazette. They are not the friend of the English and Ethnic communities. Far from it. In fact, if ever there was an enemy to equal rights and common respect, the Montreal Gazette, the CBC (radio and television) and CJAD can all shake hands. That said; I have no other disagreement with what Ed has written.
HERE IS WHAT ED ARZOUIAN WROTE: Once again our only local English language daily (The Montreal Gazette) chooses to downplay Alliance Quebec’s, and Brent Tyler’s efforts for basic civil and commercial liberties.
Furthermore, the claim is completely unsubstantiated. The article below the headline does not explain why Anglos are supposedly “LOSING URGE TO KEEP POT BOILING”.
In fact, the very opposite is true. The owners of The Lyon and The Wallrus have said they will not cave-in to the Quebec governments’s demands to pay a fine. They insist it will take a bailiff to seize their goods in a very public fashion before they will give a dime to pay for the fine.
Which Anglos have lost the urge to fight? It appears to be only those at The Gazette. So, not only once again has The Gazette abandoned what should be its core clientele, but they have also misrepresented the facts.
The Gazette can get away with this because it is the only show in town. We, the English here, don’t have another English language daily newspaper, and most of our weeklies are owned by a Francophone corporation, Transcontinental Publications, which will not get involved in any language issues. The TV and radio outlets do very little of their own leg work and usually parrot the headlines from The Gazette.
Brent Tyler, Alliance Quebec and the owners of The Lyon and the Wallrus are to be applauded for, and assisted in their efforts. This assistance should come from all of Canada. Let’s be clear on this: standing before the UN Courts or tribunals, it will not be the Quebec government opposing Tyler and Co., no it will be the Canadian federal government, because Quebec does not have status before the UN, thank goodness.
So, Canadians out there, your federal tax dollars from Saskatchewan, Alberta, BC, Newfoundland and Nunavut will be spent at the UN, opposing equal size English on signs in Quebec.
Did you know that was part of the bargain?