Best bet for bilinguals; sovereignty or federation?


Machjo
#1
I'm a Franco-Ontarian living in China, and wondering how would bilingual Canadians, be they Franco-Ontarians, English Quebecers or others in other provinces, especially those whose families live in both Quebec and the ROC, fare in the event of a yes vote?

Would Franco-Ontarians have reason to fear? From what I've been reading in these threads, in the event of a yes vote in Quebec, English Canadians will want blood! Now my father's British, my mother's Franco-Ontarian too, and I'm fluently bilingual, though with a bit of an English accent now when I speak French, so I could probably hide my identity farely easily except for my obviously French name. Does anyone think French canadians need fear for their safety in the event of a yes vote? I also have family and friends in both Quebec and the ROC, as I've lived in BC and Quebec before too.

But quite honestly, while I'm indifferent to a vote for sovereingty, I must say that all the hipe about civil war I've read on this and other threads only makes me hate the side propagating such fanaticism most, and it's usually the English Canadians (though I've come across some Quebecois nut-cases too).

So I'd like to know how other bilingual French/English canadians with a dual identity in their hearts feel or think of the whole sovereignty debate. Another thing which really turns me away is how both the colonialist English and French Canadians can so hypocritically fight like two elephants while the First Nations' languages and cultures are crushed like mice underfoot on their own soil!

I'm also sick of the propaganda on both sides too! Sure Quebec won't get federal transfer payments, but then again, it won't pay taxes to the feds either. My main concern is first and foremost for the rights of First Nations both in the ROC and Quebec, secondly for us ROC francophones and English Quebecers, and also for all other minorities on both sides. In the end, any thinking poerson could see that on a strictly technical level, Quebec sovereignty would be nothing more than administrative restructuring, which isn't as 'doomsday' as some make it out to be. The real issue is emotional, and that can be scary! Think about it! How will Quebec react if Franco Ontarians start suffering? How will the ROC react if Englich Quebecers start suffering? Will anybody react if the natives are trampled under foot for the preservation of the European cultures which have been transplanted on their continent? And how will those who identify with both sides or neither side react (remember, Anglo-Franco mixed bloods are about 5% of Canada on both sides of the ROC/Quebec border, and we're not about to allow anyone build a border between our families! The day my family members in Ontario and Quebec have separate passports is the day we raise hell on both sides of the border!

So from what I can see, unless either side wants the bilinguals, First nations, 'allophones and other minorities on both sides, not to mention their sympathisers also, raise hell after a yes vote, I think it would be prudent for both sides to think crefully about the potential consequences of their reaction after sovereignty, should that occur. Again, I'm neither for or against sovereingty for Quebec, as long as my family keeps the same citizenship on both sides of the border. This would mean therefore that it could only be limited or partial sovereignty. I should also say that while Angl-Quebecers and Franco-ontarians are normally the ones moslt likely to oppose sovereignty, they're also the ones most likely to unite in the face of a vengeful Fedral government which decides to crete separate citizenships for Quebecers and ROCers. And the same goes for any sovereignist government which tries that. English Quebecers, Franco-Ontarians and biliguals on both sides will certainly plce family loyalty well above any petty national differences. To hell with canada and Quebec, but don't separate our families. Sorry, just had to rant here.
 
Cathou
#2
honestly, dont fear for english that live in quebec. the language politics wont probably change, like i said elsewhere, they already have a full system to back them : university, education system, hospital etc...

as for french outsite quebec, well, i hope that english canadian are not mean enough to make them pay the separation of quebec, and if they do, well that will the proof that we were right...
 
Machjo
#3
And will the native languages have equal rights with their former imperialist counterparts in a sovereign Quebec?
 
Machjo
#4
Also, would a sovereign Quebec support a common citizenship for Quebec and the ROC, or would it rather separate families and communities?

Again, I'm neither for or against a sovereing Quebec, but I am concerned for the separation of families in the name of nation building!
 
DasFX
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo

Also, would a sovereign Quebec support a common citizenship for Quebec and the ROC, or would it rather separate families and communities?

Again, I'm neither for or against a sovereing Quebec, but I am concerned for the separation of families in the name of nation building!

I think the rest of Canada would not try to lynch the remaining French Canadians. Official bilingualism will die, but I don't think you will see hate crimes against the French.

As for this common citizenship thing, the only way to have a Canadian passport is to be a Canadian citizen. If Quebec separates, they are in essence renouncing their Canadian citizenship and all the rights and privileges that come along with it. You can't have it both ways. If you want to turn your back on Canada, then you have to turn around completely 180 degrees.
 
Machjo
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by DasFX

Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo

Also, would a sovereign Quebec support a common citizenship for Quebec and the ROC, or would it rather separate families and communities?

Again, I'm neither for or against a sovereing Quebec, but I am concerned for the separation of families in the name of nation building!

I think the rest of Canada would not try to lynch the remaining French Canadians. Official bilingualism will die, but I don't think you will see hate crimes against the French.

As for this common citizenship thing, the only way to have a Canadian passport is to be a Canadian citizen. If Quebec separates, they are in essence renouncing their Canadian citizenship and all the rights and privileges that come along with it. You can't have it both ways. If you want to turn your back on Canada, then you have to turn around completely 180 degrees.

So I suppose if things go according to your philosophy in the event of a yes vote in Quebec, how do you think the English Quebecers will react? They might blame the sovereignists for wanting more sovereignty (and remember, there is such a thing as moderate sovereignty), but if a sovereign Quebec government tries to negotiate common citizenship at least, and English Canada rejects it, then English Quebecers might have a beef with the federal government in Ottawa too. Granted they won't get to vote in a federal election, but they'll probably show more than a little attitude to any English Canadian tourist who should dare to confess support for the Canadian government in power. French Canadians in Ontario will probably feel the same. I suppose this would be helpful in building cross-border solidarity between EnglishQuebers and Franco-ontarians, and would even bolster support for the Quebec government among these two groups. But i can say that their relationship with English Canadians outside Quebec will probably be little tense then. How would that evolve?
 
DasFX
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo

So I suppose if things go according to your philosophy in the event of a yes vote in Quebec, how do you think the English Quebecers will react? They might blame the sovereignists for wanting more sovereignty (and remember, there is such a thing as moderate sovereignty), but if a sovereign Quebec government tries to negotiate common citizenship at least, and English Canada rejects it, then English Quebecers might have a beef with the federal government in Ottawa too.

Forget this moderate in-between sovereignty. Either you are a part of Canada (preferably under a new federal system) or you are independent. I want Quebec to stay, but if they choose to go, then they should go.

As for English Quebecers, their beef against Ottawa would be as important as the beef of folks in Michigan or New York State. They will be living in another country. Sure they may speak English, but they are also Quebecers. I'm sure that many of them will leave anyhow and move to Ontario and other parts and those that remain will have to go with the will of the French majority.

What really is the point of separation if we are going to have a common citizenship, passport, currency, defense force and etc. Where is the separation?
 
Machjo
#8
Honestly, I don't care how federalist or sovereignist one leans; but for me it stops at citizenship. And while I can'd be certain, I wouldn't be surprised if the Outawais Region is crawling with cross-border families. And yet, just to hold a grudge, you would want all of us, regardless of whether we are nglo, Franco, First nation or whatever to pack up and either come or leave, whichever way. You do realise that there are some with history going back generations in different parts of the Outtawais region, straddling the border. For such people, it's not going to be so easy to choose sides. So if the feds decide to throw common citizenship out the window just to stirr up trouble in Quebec, it might cusseed, but it's also goping to stirr it up big time in Ontario too, with not only the Francophones, but the First Nations too! Only the Quebec anglos and Frnco-ontarians would present a united front this time, against all the monolingual anglos who want to split our families and communities, all because of grudge!
 
DasFX
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo

to split our families and communities, all because of grudge!

How is having different citizenships going to split your families up? I mean there are many Canadians who have family in the states with American citizenship, yet they are not "split up". No one say anybody has to move. It will happen though.

If your passport is the only thing holding your family together, then you got problems. I mean we aren't going to introduce a boarder like North/South Korea or East/West Germany where people cannot move back and forth. I'm sure the new Canada/Quebec boarder will be like the American one, however with less line-ups and security.

I mean citizenship is the basis of a country. How can you have two separate countries with one citizenship? What differentiates me from the Americans? My Canadian citizenship!
 
Machjo
#10
I guess it's the symbolic impact of suddenly having a border like that of the USA. But even more so should Quebec be willing to share common citizenship and English Canadians take the attitude of all or nothing. A bit childish in my opinion.
 
Machjo
#11
I guess it's the symbolic impact of suddenly having a border like that of the USA. But even more so should Quebec be willing to share common citizenship and English Canadians take the attitude of all or nothing. A bit childish in my opinion. Consider likewise that split citizenship would mke it more difficult for family members to move across the border for work should they wish to do so, unless there is an agreement allowing for free movement of labour. Immagine somebody currenty living in Gatinea and working in Ottawa, a five minute walk away across a bridge. How will split citizenship affect him. Same applies with the Ottawa resident who happens to work a fifteen minute wlk away in Gatineau. nd what about those who've lived in both montreal and Toronto for significant parts of their lives, and are suddenly forced to choose. If I'm ever forced to choose between either my French or english identity, I think I'd rather just stay in China. I'd really be p*ss*d at both sides.
 
DasFX
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo

I guess it's the symbolic impact of suddenly having a border like that of the USA. But even more so should Quebec be willing to share common citizenship and English Canadians take the attitude of all or nothing. A bit childish in my opinion. Consider likewise that split citizenship would mke it more difficult for family members to move across the border for work should they wish to do so, unless there is an agreement allowing for free movement of labour. Immagine somebody currenty living in Gatinea and working in Ottawa, a five minute walk away across a bridge. How will split citizenship affect him. Same applies with the Ottawa resident who happens to work a fifteen minute wlk away in Gatineau. nd what about those who've lived in both montreal and Toronto for significant parts of their lives, and are suddenly forced to choose. If I'm ever forced to choose between either my French or english identity, I think I'd rather just stay in China. I'd really be p*ss*d at both sides.

If we want to have a common citizenship, then we should stop this talk about separation and call it what it really is, decentralization. The provinces and territories should band together and force the feds into a new deal, a fair deal.
 
Machjo
#13
Hey, if the Quebecois are prepared to go for decentralization, I'd be all for it! I don't care how decentralized it gets. All I'm saying is that it stops at citizenship!
 
s_lone
#14
Anyone know how the borders are regulated in the European Union? Can a French guy move freely to a neighbouring country? Could the EU way of things apply to a Quebec-Canada border? (Quebec being a country of course...)
 
Machjo
#15
Hey, if calling themselves an independent country makes them happy, then let them call it what they want.
 
DasFX
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by s_lone

Anyone know how the borders are regulated in the European Union? Can a French guy move freely to a neighbouring country? Could the EU way of things apply to a Quebec-Canada border? (Quebec being a country of course...)

Yes, citizens of the EU can move and work freely in any EU country. EU only `works' because it involves many equal partners (size, population, etc.) Even then, it is on the verge of collapse. It appears Holland and France are going to vote no to the new constitution.
 
KickingInQuebec
#17
I'm franco-ontarienne as well, and currently live in Montreal. Anyway, in answer to some of your questions: I doubt that french speakers or people with french names will have anything to fear from "the rest of Canada" in the event of a "yes" vote. I mean, if you compare (today, not historically) the treatment of french speakers in Ontario to the treatment of Anglos in Quebec, you will find that Ontario often funds programs to maintain a flourishing french speaking population. The reverse is true in Quebec. I have to agree with Das FX that indeed "bilingualism will die in the rest of Canada". For one, despite the efforts of the Ontario government, most franco Ontarien choose to adopt english as a first language. I think for the most part that with or without separation, french in the rest of Canada is on its way out anyway. (you yourself have admitted that you have a bit of an accent when you speak french) As for anglos in Quebec, there has already been an exodus of them to Ontario, and it is my belief that most will choose to leave in the event of a "yes" vote. I too would leave, since I do not share in the quebecois sense of patriotism. I am a Canadian first, and I happen to be living in Quebec.
 
DasFX
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo

Hey, if the Quebecois are prepared to go for decentralization, I'd be all for it! I don't care how decentralized it gets. All I'm saying is that it stops at citizenship!

You're really hung up on the citizenship thing.

Anyhow, Quebecers are for decentralization, they've been saying so for years. Other provinces have been saying it too. It is that the federal government and the pq government have never really negotiated in good faith. For obvious reasons though, the federal government doesn't want to give up the power and the PQ doesn't want to eliminate its raison d'être.
 

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