In the mid 1990’s, just after the Quebec referendum (October 30, 1995) to separate Quebec from Canada, an English language reporter in Montreal asked me why I’m always so angry.
My response was this:
“Anyone who is NOT ANGRY at losing the right to use his or her own language as he or she pleases, or the right to be an equal and visible citizen in his or her own country is a SCHMUCK.”
From this one exchange, I, along with others who shared a common view that ethnocentric nationalism within Quebec that stripped away the RIGHTS from English speakers to be equal to the French majority were called ANGRYPHONES.
Montreal’s conventional English Language Media, including the Montreal Gazette, CBC Radio/TV, CTV, Global TV and CJAD Radio also LOVED to call people such as myself hardliners and extremists.
One evening, during a live television debate in Montreal, amongst several “Anglo” apologists for ethnocentric Quebecois nationalism, all of whom considered themselves to be “BRIDGE-BUILDERS”, Brenda O’Farrell, who at that time was the Editor In Chief of the West Island Chronicle newspaper made the following statement to me:
Not everything is black and white she said. Everything should be open for discussion and debate. Only an extremist and a hardliner such as yourself can’t see that.
I was seated right beside Ms O’Farrell, up close and personal, which made my rebut to her statement all that much more poignant:
“Brenda, you’re a pretty good looking woman with whom I’d love to have sex. So how about doing it at a time and at a place of my choosing, whether you want to or not? And if you don’t want to, how about if I just jump on top and do it anyway?”
O’Farrell was aghast. My wife Anne, who was sitting in the audience, had a smile on her face from ear to ear since she knew what to expect from me. O’Farrell did not.
Brenda O’Farrell’s uncomfortable comeback was that I should get serious, and this is what she meant about me being a hardliner and an extremist.
My comeback to her was simple:
“Brenda – It was your words that said EVERYTHING is negotiable. That not EVERYTHING was black and white. And that there is ALWAYS room for discussion. So let’s discuss and negotiate how I can violate your body, heart and soul.”
I went on to explain that not EVERYTHING is negotiable. That there is a line to be drawn in the sand. And that there are black and white issues. And that my RIGHT that has been taken away from me to be an equal Canadian citizen within Quebec is indeed a black and white issue.
That the unrestricted use of the English language in Quebec is against the law should make us all very angry.
That bilingual non-French speakers are persona non grata to be employees in Quebec’s enormous civil service, is something very much worthy of anger.
That the English school system is being strangled by racist Quebecois laws that forbid virtually all immigrant children, including English speaking children from countries like Britain, the USA, Australia, New Zealand etc, from enrolling in any English school is a reason to be Angry.
That the visibility, enormous contributions and history of Quebec’s once incredible English speaking community has been obliterated, as if we had NEVER existed, is a reason to be angry. VERY ANGRY!
“So Brenda O’Farrell; what further part of the RAPE of the English population within Quebec do you want to negotiate?”
THERE WAS SILENCE.
Brenda O’Farrell, Editor in Chief of the Chronicle Newspaper went on to name me in her newspaper as Canada’s Newsmaker Of The Year in 1996.
We are now watching Quebec RAPE Canada. They’ve been doing it for decades, and getting away with it because we chose not to see.
We chose to ignore the plight of the English speakers within Quebec as if they weren’t REAL Canadians and were somehow negotiable.
But now, it is the rest of Canada that is finally feeling the RAPE.
Canada is awakening to the fact that Quebec has been governing this country to its own benefit for as long as I’ve been alive (58 years).
That our domestic and foreign policies have been decided by Quebec. That our national wealth has been shoveled into Quebec to buy votes. And that Quebec has used the threat of separation as a political sledgehammer with which to get whatever they want.
And what about the 97% of all Canadians (excluding the French province of Quebec) who do not claim French as their primary language, who are EXCLUDED from most jobs in Canada’s Civil Services, promotions in Canada’s Military, and recruitment in Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police?
WHEN ARE ALL OF YOU GOING TO GET ANGRY?
Jimmy “K”, the last President of the Quebec Equality Party produced a magnificent Video Documentary that should be required viewing by ALL Canadian high school students. It tells the whole story about ethnocentric Quebecois nationalism and the people who fought it all the way, until there was nothing left to fight for.
The Documentary is called ANGRYPHONE, and can be purchased on-line next to this editorial for just $25 including taxes, shipping and handling.
All proceeds go towards fighting the fight for Canada.
With Christmas and Chanukah being 2 weeks away, this Documentary would make a great gift to someone interested in the history, influence, and sorrow of ethnocentric Quebecois nationalism.
If you order Angryphone online now, I cannot guarantee that you’ll have it before the holidays, but I’ll do my best.
There is an associated ‘Radio Broadcast’ (approximately 11 minutes) with this editorial, which can be heard simply by clicking on the Radio Button located at the top right hand side of this page.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov