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Quebec sees growth in English-speaking population Last Updated: Monday, December 21, 2009 | 9:20 PM ET CBC News The number of English-speaking Quebecers is on the increase for the first time in 30 years due to immigration, along with a slowdown in the outflow of Quebec anglophones. The number has grown by about 5.5 per cent between the censuses of 2001 and 2006, reversing a trend that began in the early 1970s when provincial language policies and a push for Quebec sovereignty prompted many English-speaking residents to move elsewhere. The influx includes people moving from other provinces, as well as an increase in immigration by English-speaking people from south Asian countries. CBC News interviewed several families who have made the move. Steve Clarke and his family moved to Quebec City from Oklahoma and are impressed by the city's safety, its old-world architecture and by what he calls a "benign" government. "When people move to New York City, other people in New York City don't ask them 'why did you move here?' They just understand — you'd move here because it's a great place to live," he said. "But people in Quebec, because it's unusual for people who aren't French as a mother language, I guess it's a curiosity," Clarke said. Carrie-Anne Golding and Ryan Hughes, who moved to Montreal from Vancouver, enjoy the low cost of housing and the city's vibrant, 24-hour lifestyle, but admit cultural change requires some adjustments. "I think the first few months was sort of the honeymoon phase of everything is wonderful," Golding said. "And the reality of, you know, as an anglophone, you are in a minority in comparison." "I thought that we would merge in with the cultures a lot quicker," she said. "But it is a little bit harder. There is definitely some inroads to do in merging in with the French culture." The increase in Quebec's English-speaking population comes as a surprise to Jack Jedwab, a demographer and executive-director of the Association for Canadian Studies. Jedwab is also surprised by how little attention has been paid to the trend by Quebec's English media, compared with 30-year spotlight they focused on the so-called Anglo Exodus. "The community psychology is such that it's very accustomed to this erosion," he said. "It has become part of the [anglophone] community's identity. The shock of that demographic decline, it's impact on our institutional life." Jedwab noted that Quebec's civil service is almost entirely francophone, which can exacerbate the feeling of alienation in the English-speaking community. He suggested it may be time for anglophones to try to build on their increase in numbers, instead of clinging to the old complaint that they're a disappearing breed.
http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/montreal/toys-r-us-in-quebec-refuses-to-sell-english-only-daniel-tiger-doll-1.3031253 Toys "R" Us in Quebec refuses to sell English-only Daniel Tiger doll Montreal father says it should be up to parents, not province to determine what toys kids play with Apr 13, 2015 8:13 PM ET Kate McKenna, CBC News A Montreal man is criticizing Quebec language laws after trying to buy a toy from a local Toys "R" Us — and being told by a clerk he wasn't allowed to purchase it. Chez Geeks board-game store gets OQLF complaint Quebec government stance dismays francophone school supporters Looking back at 40 years of French as Quebec's official language Blue Dog Motel bar no longer in hot water with OQLF Nick Messina tried to purchase a "Daniel Tiger" plush toy for his infant daughter Carina after noticing her eyes "lit up" while watching the popular children's TV show Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood. Hoping to buy it as an Easter gift, he drove to his nearest Toys "R" Us, which didn't have the toy in stock. Then he called another Toys "R" Us in Montreal where clerk informed Messina there were two of the toys in stock. However, the clerk told Messina that he couldn't buy a Daniel Tiger because the toy is unilingual. "It's kind of saddening."- Nick Messina, father Daniel Tiger talks and sings 14 different phrases — but they're all in English. Messina said the clerk thanked him for letting them know the toy only spoke English, and said it would be shipped back to Ontario. "I kind of felt a little bit turned off. I felt it was discriminatory against the English-speaking community in Montreal. After all, Montreal is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural," he said. Not giving up, the father tried to purchase the doll online — only to discover the Toys "R" Us website wouldn't ship the product to Quebec. English-speaking toys illegal Messina didn't know until a few weeks ago, but because of Quebec's language laws, it's illegal to sell a unilingual toy unless the toy has a French-speaking counterpart. He says it should be up to parents to decide what toys they can buy for their kids, not the province. "I don't understand why, when it comes to the choice of purchasing a toy for our children, that we have to be subjected to these kinds of rules and regulations," he said. "It's kind of saddening." Toys "R" Us admits mistake In a statement to CBC News, a spokeswoman from Toys "R" Us apologized for the inconvenience, but said the toy shouldn't have been on the shelves. "Toys 'R' Us shipped in error the English-speaking product to one of our Quebec stores and a customer tried to purchase it. Our store did not sell the product to the customer and we apologized for the inconvenience that this caused our customer. We immediately communicated to our store that this product cannot be sold," said the statement. Happy ending for family Messina's perseverance paid off. He did manage to buy the doll eventually; he bought it on Amazon for about $50 more than what Toys "R" Us was asking. Though it was more than he planned to pay for the doll, Carina adores her new toy. For Carina Messina, it was love at first sight for this Daniel Tiger doll. (CBC) sent via Tapatalk
Here to stay: the hip anglo By David Johnston, The GazetteJanuary 31, 2009 1:01 PM Ask a couple of twentysomething anglophones like Ryan Bedic and Brian Abraham how many of their friends have left Quebec and you are likely to draw a long pause. It isn’t that they need time to count up all of those who have left. It’s that they have trouble coming up with the name of anyone in their largely English-speaking entourage in Montreal who has left. Bedic, 23, and Abraham, 27, are students at the Pearson Electrotechnology Centre in western Lachine. In the 1970s, it was Bishop Whelan High School, an English-speaking Catholic school where students studied two hours of rudimentary French a week. Like anglo high-school students everywhere in Montreal in those days, the Bishop Whelan kids ended up graduating and finding out that Quebec politics was about to pull the rug out from under their feet. Today, the old Bishop Whelan has been reincarnated as Pearson Electrotech, a vocational-education facility with dual electricity and telecommunication streams – as well as a four-year-waiting list for specialized trade instruction in English. Most students, like Bedic and Abraham, are totally at ease in French, and counting on building careers in Montreal. Bedic says he knows one guy, an engineer, who has left for Saskatchewan. But that, he says, was because someone in his family, who owns a company there, had offered him a job. For his part, Abraham says he can also give one example of a friend who has left Quebec. “But maybe she doesn’t count,” he says, “because she always wanted to travel. She left for Vancouver. Now she’s in Dubai working for an airline.” To stay or not to stay; that has been the question for young anglophones in Quebec, across all education levels, through these past four decades of political change in Quebec. But after 35 years of uninterrupted population decline, the latest census data made public in December 2007 showed a 5.5-per-cent increase in the anglophone community from 2001 to 2006. It was the first census-to-census, five-year growth in the English-speaking community since 1971. Overall, the number of anglos who came to Quebec from other provinces and countries, or who were born here between 2001 and 2006, exceeded the number who left, or who died during these same five years. Within Canada itself, there was still a net loss of anglos to other provinces. But the average annual net loss of 1,700 anglos from 2001 to 2006 was roughly equal to the average loss in just one month in the late 1970s, or one season in the late 1990s. When the new census data came out, anglophone community leaders could hardly believe the statistical evidence of a turnaround. They didn’t know whether to trust the data. Since then, however, there has been a slow acceptance that something relatively encouraging has been happening within the English-speaking community. “It’s still too early to say that we are on a positive track for the foreseeable future,” says Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies. “But there are definitely encouraging signs. Identity is built on events that shape you – and clearly, the dominant event for the anglophone community over time has been the migration phenomenon, and the profoundly negative psychological impact that that has had.” From 1971 to 2001, Quebec’s anglophone population – defined as those who speak primarily English in the home, no matter their ethnic background or mother tongue – declined by 15.9 per cent, from 887,875 to 746,890. During these same 30 years, Quebec’s population rose by 18.2 per cent and Canada’s 39.1 per cent. Ever since the 2006 census, Statcan has reported a new uptick in departures from Quebec. But Statcan analyst Hubert Denis says the rise hasn’t been unique to Quebec. There’s been a corresponding rise in migrations out of Ontario, he says. In fact, Ontario has begun losing more people to other provinces than Quebec is losing – something not seen since the recession of the early 1990s. “There’s something special going on there,” says Denis, citing the decline of traditional manufacturing industries in eastern Canada, as opposed to political or economic uncertainty unique to Quebec. In the case of both Ontario and Quebec, he says, people drifted to Alberta. Both La Presse and Le Journal de Montréal, Montreal’s two largest French-language newspapers, have reported over the past 18 months on a new wave of francophone migration to Fort McMurray and other oil-patch communities in Alberta. By contrast, there has been no anecdotal evidence of a new anglo exodus. Mary Deskin, a real-estate agent with Royal LePage in Pointe Claire, says 2007 was the first year since she started working in the industry in 1990 that she didn’t have a single anglo client who listed a home for sale in order to leave Quebec for another province. It was the same story last year, she says. “My listings have been all upgrades or divorces,” she says. Tom Filgiano, president of Meldrum the Mover, in Notre Dame de Grâce, has also found anglo Montreal to be all quiet on exodus front. “In fact, there is no exodus at all anymore,” he says. “It’s more of a balanced flow now.” Bedic of Pearson Electrotech, who is the son of an anglophone mother from Verdun and an immigrant father from Croatia, says he’s staying put. “I’m pretty confident about finding work in Montreal and building a life here,” he says. Abraham, the son of immigrant parents from Grenada, feels the same way. “French isn’t a problem for me,” he says. “And I like the low cost of living in Montreal.” Richard Bourhis, a professor of psychology at the Université du Québec à Montréal who has studied the anglophone community closely, says the low cost of living in Montreal has been an important driver of new anglo population growth. Bourhis isn’t the only demographer who has noticed that the 2006 census showed most of the anglo population growth was concentrated in the age 15 to 24 category. Bourhis says this suggests to him that a lot of young anglos from the rest of Canada have been migrating to Montreal to attend school or just have a good time – sort of like Canadian backpackers going to Europe a generation ago. For some out-of-province students, the cost of university tuition in Quebec is now cheaper than it is in their home provinces. For example, tuition this year is $6,155 at the University of New Brunswick, versus fees of $5,378 that Quebec charges its own out-of-province students (compared with $1,868 for Quebec residents). Many kids from small-town Canada who leave home to go to university have discovered that the cost of off-campus housing and public transit in Montreal are a bargain by Canadian standards. Bourhis says tuition, rent control and heavy taxpayer subsidization of transit have combined to create winning conditions for an influx of young anglos. For young Americans facing even more onerous tuition fees at home, the financial allures of Montreal are that much greater. In 2001, one of these young Americans who drifted up to Montreal was a 21-year-old man from Houston, Tex., named Win Butler, who came up through a Boston prep school to study religion at McGill University. A musician, he created a new band, called Arcade Fire, with a Concordia student from Toronto, and other anglo migrants from Ottawa, Guelph and Vancouver. They were joined in the band by a francophone woman of Haitian origin from the Montreal suburbs. Butler ended up marrying that woman, Régine Chassagne. Today, Arcade Fire is an international sensation. And with other new English-language indie bands like The Dears and The Stills, they have become symbols of a radically new anglo chic. It all came to a sociological climax in February of 2005, when Spin magazine, and then the New York Times, anointed Montreal the next big thing in music, the new Seattle. For anyone who remembers the acute morosity in the English-speaking community after the 1995 referendum, the proposition that Montreal would soon have international resonance because of its English cultural vibrancy would have been preposterous. But Montreal’s essence is still undeniably French, not to mention alluring for anyone who grew up admiring the city from a distance. Tamera Burnett, 22, a third-year McGill University political-science student from Kamloops, B.C., came to Montreal thinking it was a very special place. She first came to Quebec when she was 16, to study French in Jonquière. She’s continuing to improve her French today at McGill, and hopes to study law in Montreal or at the bilingual University of Ottawa. “I’d love to end up in Montreal,” she says. Bourhis, the UQAM professor, is also director of the Centre d’études ethniques des universités montréalaises, a research organization with offices at the Université de Montreal. He and Jedwab are on opposite sides of the spectrum, when it comes to interpreting the 2006 census results. Bourhis thinks the 5.5-per-cent increase is a blip that will wash out over time if the cost of living in Montreal rises to national averages for large Canadian cities, and fewer anglos come to Montreal from other provinces. But Jedwab says the main reason why the English-speaking community is growing isn’t this new influx of young anglos from the rest of Canada. The main reason is that young anglos born and bred in Quebec aren’t leaving anymore, at least not in the numbers that they did a generation ago. The reasons for that, he says, go beyond mere cost-of-living considerations. And they reflect a major shift in perception within the anglophone community, he adds. “This psychology, this sense of persistent losses, has been broken,” says Jedwab. Anglo community leaders aren’t so sure. They’re not comfortable with the notion of a renaissance. Their worry, as Jedwab sees it, is that governments will respond to the census findings of growth by reducing financial support to all the different little anglophone community groups in Quebec. “That’s the concern some people have,” Jedwab says. “And so the good news, in a perverse sort of way, is really bad news. People are afraid that governments will say, “Well, the anglophones are doing very well, thank you very much. What kind of support do they really need anymore?’ ” Robert Donnelly, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, the main umbrella group for all the anglophone community organizations in Quebec, says the census results need to be interpreted with caution. In almost every region of Quebec outside of Montreal, says Donnelly, anglophone populations are continuing to shrink – and shrink fast. Without strong government financial and moral support, he says, English schools, old-age homes, community newspapers and health services in the regions will be severely threatened. “While the numbers are up overall, they mask serious declines outside of Montreal,” says Donnelly, a native of Quebec City, which has a 2 per cent anglo population, down from 40 per cent a century ago. But Donnelly admits that something encouraging does appear to be going on with young anglos in Montreal. “Are we finally moving on beyond Bill 101 and the after-effects of that? Maybe there’s a stabilizing factor that has kicked in,” he says. “We’re hearing less and less about people leaving.” Bill 101 chased away a lot of anglos at first. But over time, the demands of the language law also created the conditions for the rise of a new generation of anglophones more at ease in French than their Bishop Whelan forefathers were in the 1970s. And that has helped make it easier for young anglos today to stay. 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Hey everyone, Last summer I came across some videos on YouTube of tourists filming their experiences in the city - some were really great, and it was nice seeing the city from someone elses perspective, especially people who had never been here before. I started saving the ones I really liked. A few weeks ago Tourisme Montreal started releasing their ads for the 375th celebrations. Here are the first two: Une ville qu'on aime, ca se fete. - YouTube Honestly, what the fuck? Lequipe de hockey le plus titree? Des ruelles pleines de vie? Im so tired of them painting the city with such a shallow brush. Theyve never properly captured the spirit of Montreal. And the Toronto one? Cringe. So, I've been working on this for a little while. Below is a link to a short film I made and posted to YouTube today. Nearly all of the footage is from Tourists/YouTubers/Vloggers. If Tourisme Montreal can't explain our city to the world, maybe outsiders can. I used the music from Tourisme Montreal's first ad.* This one features only English-speaking tourists. Ive saved a bunch of French vlogs as well; when I get time Ill make one in French. I have some truly incredible footage for that one. Let me know what you think - share it, send it wherever and to whoever you like. Maybe we can get it to go viral, and get some attention from people who are wondering what city to check out next. Because it is mostly amateur footage, Ive added subtitles in case you can't understand some of the lines.