Charter of the French Language – When is it too much?
Some are pushing for stronger rules regarding the Charter of the French Language. They want to stop all young people from attending English CEGEP and University. Why force young people to speak only in French? English is also important. Knowing English opens up business opportunities, assures better financial security and so on. Why would any parent or government willingly want to hold the next generation back? As far as I’m concerned all Quebecers should be bilingual.
I attended French elementary school and high school. I have a French name. I was raised in a world that was constantly trying to make me a “French Quebecois”, who didn’t respect my Métis roots. I learned in class that Louis Riel was a bad person with serious mental issues. I learned in class that Métis are uneducated and a minority to be ignored. If that’s not enough, we do not learn much English in class. Most of my English teacher barely understood the language themselves. My best friend was bullied for having an English accent. Her mother was English and her Father was French. They both felt it was important for their children to attend French elementary school and high school so they would master the language.
When speaking with the high school counsellor, I was told that there were no English schools in the Montreal area, which is a blatant lie and only solidified my decision to attend an English CEGEP. Young people should have access and the right to attend anglophone CEGEP and University. It opens doors. I did so and I would recommend it to everyone.
The idea that “francisation” is not only about learning French, but also about integrating culturally with the Francophone historical majority is colonialism 101. Some fear that the French culture is disappearing and laws should be applied to protect it and force everyone to adhere to it whether they want to or not. As a Métis woman, I find that incredibly ironic that you would use that particular excuse to force my child to go to French schools and try to assimilate them into the “French Quebecois” culture.
I will fight for my child’s right to choose the future that she wants and I won’t back down.