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L`article est un peu facultatif, je veux porter votre attention aux nombreux commentaires en relation avec celui-ci.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071204.wcensusmain1204/CommentStory/census2006/home/

 

Canada's tenuous French connection

 

BRODIE FENLON

 

Globe and Mail Update

 

December 4, 2007 at 4:12 PM EST

 

Just a day after the Prime Minister appointed Bernard Lord to head a committee on bilingualism, newly released census figures suggest that Canada's official-languages policy and the vitality of the French language are under increasing pressure outside Quebec.

 

There are nearly as many Canadians with a non-official language as their mother tongue as there are francophones, while the peak rate of bilingualism for anglophones living outside Quebec has dropped again.

 

The new figures on immigration, language and mobility, gleaned from the 2006 census, paint a dramatic picture of Canada's changing demographics. Among the highlights:

 

• One in five Canadians – 19.8 per cent of the total population – was born outside the country, a rate not matched since 1931, when the percentage of foreign-born citizens peaked at 22.2 per cent. Only Australia has more foreign-born residents.

 

• More than 60 per cent of immigrants live in the large urban centres of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver; only about 5 per cent live in rural parts of Canada.

 

• Most of the recent newcomers to Canada are from Asia – 58 per cent when those from the Middle East are included. Europeans, the dominant immigrant group for most of the 20th century, represented only 16 per cent of those who moved to Canada between 2001 and 2006.

 

• Canada's foreign-born population increased by 13.6 per cent, four times greater than the growth rate of 3.3 per cent for the Canadian-born population.

 

But it is the language numbers released Tuesday that will likely make headlines, following as they do on the heels of Mr. Lord's appointment by Stephen Harper to head a high-profile committee on bilingualism in Canada.

 

The former premier of New Brunswick will travel to seven cities across the country during the first two weeks of December to speak to members of English and French minority communities and provide advice and guidance to the federal government.

 

Mr. Lord will then report to Official Languages Minister Josée Verner in January.

 

What Mr. Lord will find outside Quebec and New Brunswick, Canada's only officially bilingual province, is increasingly isolated French-language communities, the census suggests.

 

One indicator is mother tongue, defined as the first language learned at home and still understood at the time of the census.

 

For the first time, allophones – those who speak neither English nor French as their first language – represent fully one-fifth of the population. The numbers jumped to 20.1 per cent from 18 per cent in the last census, driven primarily by immigration. Conversely, the proportion of francophones and anglophones decreased slightly after population growth is taken into account.

 

This will be no surprise for Canadians in many parts of the country. For several years, Chinese has topped French as a first language in Ontario, Alberta and B.C.

 

The 2006 census reaffirmed the position of Chinese languages as Canada's third most common mother tongue group. More than one million Canadians reported one of the Chinese languages as their first language, a jump of 18.5 per cent.

 

Experts are quick to note that allophones speak about 200 languages and are not a homogeneous group. Francophones still represent about one-quarter of the population; people who report Chinese as their mother tongue represent 3.3 per cent of the total population.

 

Moreover, the census showed that nine out of 10 Canadians speak English or French most often at home: Just over one-fifth spoke French, 67.7 per cent spoke English, and 11.9 per cent spoke a non-official language at home. It is important to note, however, that the English and French numbers dropped from the previous census, while the non-official language numbers increased by 1.5 per cent.

 

Even in Quebec, the percentage of people who spoke French most often at home dropped to 81.8 per cent from 83.1 per cent.

 

The bilingualism rate is another indicator of the tenuous French connection.

 

Outside Quebec, only 5.6 per cent of allophones in 2006 reported knowing both official languages. While there was a slight increase – 7.4 per cent from 7.1 per cent – in the number of anglophones outside Quebec who said they could carry on a conversation in both official languages, the number dropped for a key demographic: young Canadians.

 

Because most anglophones learn French at school, the peak bilingualism rate for Canadians outside Quebec occurs in the 15-19 age range. That rate has slipped over the past decade, to 13 per cent in 2006 from 16.3 per cent in 1996.

 

The ability of young anglophones to maintain their knowledge of French as a second language appears to decline with time. In 2001, 14.7 per cent of anglophones aged 15 to 19 were bilingual. Five years later, only 12.2 per cent of that same cohort reported being bilingual.

 

The numbers are disappointing, considering that one of the chief objectives of Ottawa's $787-million plan on official languages – launched by the previous Liberal government in 2003 – is to double by 2013 the percentage of young bilingual Canadians to 50 per cent.

 

Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies and advocate of official bilingualism, warned against an “ethno-local” reading of the numbers, which he said could foster tensions and challenge public support for French in areas where other languages dominate.

 

“When you start breaking things down locally, then you risk tearing away at the fabric of national unity. ... That's the Canada of multiple parts, not the Canada with a national vision both of its demographic reality and its history,” he said.

 

“Bilingualism is the fundamental feature of a strong Canadian identity to the extent that more than a quarter of the country, nationally, consists of people who are French speakers.”

 

Others suggest, however, that such sentiments are antiquated in a multicultural Canada and ignore the demographic reality of much of the country, especially urban areas such as Toronto or Vancouver.

 

“Nobody's asked any longer what is the place of French. Now I walk on hot coals to even say that out loud,” said Heather Lotherington, associate professor of multilingual education at York University.

 

“We're living in a global society. We have this influx of people who speak the languages of the world, and we're not doing a damn thing with these languages. We're just letting them go to waste.”

 

Ms. Lotherington, whose research is focused on Toronto-area schools, advocates for the inclusion of students' mother tongues in the curriculum. She said decades of research shows that if you maintain the languages children know, they learn other languages better, fast and more easily.

 

“French immersion needs to be looked at critically,” she said. “I do not want to throw it out. Canada is a world leader in immersion education. But you have to think about the way we learn languages and the possibility of learning more.

 

"It's a very colonial stance to say that English and French are the languages of Canada.”

 

Concerns about official bilingualism and the impact of immigration on the French language inside and outside Quebec are not new.

 

In September's Throne Speech, the Prime Minister pledged to extend official bilingualism programs for minority communities.

 

The appointment of Mr. Lord is seen as the first step in that commitment and a response to the critical report by Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser, who accused the Harper government of having “directly undermined” the official languages plan with budget cuts and by eliminating the Court Challenges program, which financed minority-rights court cases against the government.

 

Citizenship and Immigration recently set targets through 2011 to attract between 8,000 and 10,000 French-speaking immigrants a year to francophone communities outside of Quebec. Driving these targets are demographic data showing that for every new immigrant whose mother tongue is French, there are 10 whose mother tongue is English, and that the vast majority of newcomers adopt English upon arrival in Canada.

 

Meanwhile, the debate over immigration and language continues in Quebec, where the Bouchard-Taylor commission on reasonable accommodation of minorities heard last week from a prominent Parti Québécois strategist that only an independent Quebec could protect the French language. The commission also heard from French-speaking immigrants to Quebec who said their lack of English was impeding their ability to get jobs.

 

And in October, PQ Leader Pauline Marois caused a small furor when she proposed the Quebec Identity Act, which would require all new immigrants to the province to learn French within three years. Those who failed a language test would not be permitted to hold public office, raise money for a political party or petition the National Assembly. The bill was widely condemned.

 

The Official Languages Act, first passed in 1969 and updated twice since, stipulates Canadians' right to receive federal government services in either English or French where numbers warrant, the right of public servants to work in either language in certain areas, the right of either English or French speakers to advance in the public service, and that the government must promote bilingualism.

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L`article est un peu facultatif, je veux porter votre attention aux nombreux commentaires en relation avec celui-ci.

 

:sarcastic: Quelle bande d'idiots. Quand je pense que ce sont nos concitoyens et que leur vote vaut autant que le mien aux élections, ça me décourage...

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J'ai lu plusieurs commentaires et je crains que ce courant de pensée ne soit de plus en plus fréquent au Canada. Howard Galganov en fait partie et se présente en politique fédérale dans le but de mettre le Québec dehors. Plusieurs dans le ROC croient que le Québec est la cause de tous leurs maux. Ce que je me demande, c'est à quoi pensaient ces gens en 1995 quand ils nous suppliaient presque de ne pas nous séparer? Que nous n'étions qu'une version identique d'eux même seulement en français et qu'on accepterait éventuellement de se laisser assimiler pour le "bien du Canada"? On est une culture différente au Québec, ni pire ni meilleure. Le Canada commence à s'en rendre compte et ça ne plait pas à tout le monde. Le ROC ne voulait rien savoir d'une étiquette comme "société distincte" car on ne voyait en quoi le Québec était distinct sauf pour le français (que certains croyaient temporaire...). On commence à voir que ces différences sont plus grandes que prévu et que le Québec ne veut pas rentrer dans le rang, dans une "United Canadian Culture". Si le Canada n'est pas capable d'accepter le Québec pour ce qu'il est, et non pas pour ce que le Canada voudrait qu'il soit, alors je crains pour l'avenir du pays. Et ce ne sera pas le Québec qui va se séparer du Canada mais le Canada du Québec. :quebec:

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je peux pas croire ce que je viens de lire comme commentaire. Vraiment, c'est incroyable.

 

Une chance que les commentaires des anglos de Montréal rehaussent un peu le débat.

Comment le Globe and Mail peut laisser faire ca?

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Pourquoi le Globe laisse ça? C'est parceque implicitement ils sont pour. Modérer des commentaires c'est vraiment pas compliqué.

 

C'est un peu comme sur le SSP, le Québec bashing est toléré et non censuré, dès qu'un commentaire ne fait pas leur affaire et bam c'est censuré... mais casser du sucre sur le dos du Québec tout le monde s'en calisse.

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Pourquoi le Globe laisse ça? C'est parceque implicitement ils sont pour. Modérer des commentaires c'est vraiment pas compliqué.

 

C'est un peu comme sur le SSP, le Québec bashing est toléré et non censuré, dès qu'un commentaire ne fait pas leur affaire et bam c'est censuré... mais casser du sucre sur le dos du Québec tout le monde s'en calisse.

 

Je suis d`accord, il est important de remarquer que dans le Globe il y a rarement des nouvelles positives à propos du Québec en comparaison aux "pseudo" nouvelles tournées en drame pour faire encore une fois mal paraître le Québec et principalement les "french pea soup". Personnellement, ce que pensent les Canadiens-anglais (principalement les ontariens) du Québec m`importe peu mais je me demande sincèrement si cette mauvaise presse a des impacts négatifs sur nos relations avec les US. J`ai quand même de l`estime pour eux.

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Je suis d`accord, il est important de remarquer que dans le Globe il y a rarement des nouvelles positives à propos du Québec en comparaison aux "pseudo" nouvelles tournées en drame pour faire encore une fois mal paraître le Québec et principalement les "french pea soup". Personnellement, ce que pensent les Canadiens-anglais (principalement les ontariens) du Québec m`importe peu mais je me demande sincèrement si cette mauvaise presse a des impacts négatifs sur nos relations avec les US. J`ai quand même de l`estime pour eux.

 

Plus d'estime pour les US que pour les Ontariens?

 

 

En tout cas, les commentaires sont horriblement cons, comme tout le monde a dit, c'est plate qu'ils puissent être si haineux envers une partie différente de leur propre pays.

 

Aux "French is useless"... c'est juste la 2e langue la plus internationale du monde (celle parlée dans le plus de pays/organisations internationales après l'anglais). La langue de 7-8 millions de vos compatriotes, avec qui vous aurez affaire si jamais vous vous ouvrez au reste de votre pays... Peu importe si dans votre quartier on parle plus allemand que français, la langue officielle a la priorité et doit encore (mieux) être enseignée dans vos écoles.

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