71 Comments

Andrew:

There are probably more people in Hamilton that speak Italian, Polish and even Spanish than French. Expand this to include the greater GTA and you would find other languages, Chinese, Punjab and others spoken more frequently than French. Why should a very minority language predominate over other languages which have more speakers where the game was played. French is the language of Quebec while the rest of Canada's common language is English. The Grey Cup game was played in Canada, not Quebec. It is time that French not be forced onto English Canada. Possibly we treat French in Canada the same manner as English is treated in Quebec.

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First of all, yes - way too much ado about nothing.

Second, as a French francophone who has lived in ON for the better part of two decades (ask me why I never chose Québec), this take is hypocritical in light of the fact that the Québecois will not miss an opportunity to do the exact same in reverse in their belle province. They will make sure of that every time. Heck, they even treat non-Québecois francophones with disdain.

As an outsider with no dog in this fight, we either care about this issue and get rid of the double standards or we don't because unlike Andrew, I don't think a nationwide sports league is really that important of an institution to matter, except to a small group of Canadian gridiron fans - I never met one personally.

Lastly, I don't think that making everything Canadian reflexively (or legally) bilingual is necessarily productive anyway and in many cases creates situations where all Canadians are objectively worse - remember the baby formula shortage? It makes way more sense to let the market decide where and when there is a need for things to be one language or another - or both as appropriate.

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Divide, divide, divide. Honestly Andrew, what a depressing, juvenile take.... basically the ROC hit me first so Quebecers hit back. Pathetic and very unhelpful. The league apologized. The player apologized. So Andrew decides to amplify the differences. How original. Canada will continue to be at odds with itself as long as articles like this pour gasoline on the divisive fires between English and French Canadians, exploiting and magnifying Quebec and ROC stereotypes and caricatures.

I've visited Montreal, Quebec City, and rural Quebec. I am a unilngual anglophone born and raised in rural Alberta. I read and speak and understand just enough French to make myself look foolish at the attempt. My Quebec friends and aquaintances over the years take my efforts as they are intended, as a sign of respect for them, their language, and their culture.

My wife (also unilngual anglophone) and I put all four of our children through French immersion for the first 9 years of their education. This FI program at our rural Alberta school has been teaching many of our students French and sharing French and Quebec culture and history since 1987. Since Nineteen Eighty-Seven!!! Many of them have visited Quebec and France and they and their families have formed lifelong friendships as a result, based on cultural and linguistic cross-pollination.

Two of my children were fluent enough to travel to France for a three month exchange, living with host families and attending French school when each of them were 15. Their French hosts marveled at their proficiency in their language, while good naturedly laughing at their Quebecoise accents, phrases, and references. The French exchange students who reciprocated by living with our family for three months and attending school here appreciated the chance to learn the English language with a Western Canadian rural cultural influence. We good naturedly teased those kids for their occasional English slip ups as well, while appreciating their willingness to learn and laugh while doing so. More people should do this. It has enriched our family, and given our children a gift of wider cultural and linguistic understanding for their entire lives.

There are several thriving French communities in Alberta. I've visited them as well. They are proud of their language and culture and respectful that they live in an overwhelmingly English province.

Canadians need to visit each other's provinces and experience each other's local communities much more than they do. If I were in charge, I'd make the costs of these visits tax-deductible in an effort to strengthen national unity. When Canadians meet each other, work together, and break bread and share drinks together, all the stupid divisions are revealed as pointless.

Politicians and media commmentators that continually inflame these divisions do an ongoing and deeply damaging disservice to Canada. It's tiresomely stupid.

Andrew...be better. I know you can write something more insightful than this as an Anglophone Quebecer. It's child's play to amplify the voices of the boringly ignorant...why not amplify the voices of those Canadians of both solitudes that seek to understand and grow from each other's different perspectives?

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Surely this is satire. Why should Quebec bother? They don't!! What they bother to do is suppress English at every opportunity from restricting who can immigrate into Quebec to limiting health care access for anglophones. Another whiny "poor us" article that infuriates rather than accomplishing any positive result.

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founding

Give me a break since when does Quebec show any respect for the english language

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The bilingual experiment has never really worked, despite multi-billions spent on it. I'm a westerner, and frankly I feel more in common with France, or England, or Washington state than I do Quebec. I'm happy to see the Parti Quebecois surge in the polls lately. I hope they win the next election and take Quebec to independence. It will be better for all. For as long as Quebec is part of Canada, there will always be the eternal strife trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

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There's a reason for that.....the ROC is sick to death of Quebec and it's special status and tax breaks.....Quebec voted down the the joint Conservative/NDP motion to extend carbon tax breaks to all heating fuels while it enjoys unlimited cheap hydro power.......name a single tip of the hat Quebec has given to the ROC.....its take, take, take and complain some more.

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To be fair, Quebec has never bothered.

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By all reports the Grey Cup was an an unmitigated success. The half-time show featuring Green Day was brilliant. The CFL knows it's audience is ageing and in an appeal to a younger audience they pulled it off.

As to the lack of French signage, Montreal has had 3 crowds this year of 20k, one being the Grey Cup. The city does not support the team or the league.

The game was telecast in French and radio broadcast as well. The French language was well accommodated given the effort exhibited by the residents.

Maybe just move the Alouettes to Halifax and be done with it. If the city doesn't care about the team why should the ROC?

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Quebec gets what it so ardently serves out. The article is a piffle.

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Retired and tired of the lack of unity in Canada.

English is language of choice everywhere else in Canada.

Why are the different native tongues not acknowledged in Canada?

Why does Quebec think the rest of Canada is a part of Quebec and not that Quebec is a part of Canada. Why do Quebecers think they are special?

Because of Quebecers and our Indians, Canada will never be a unified country. They both think they deserve more than other Canadians, that they are in someway shape or form, "special"?

Everyone in this country is an immigrant from somewhere...

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Andrew, I hear ya but. Having lived in Ottawa where French has been very over accomodated in health care and government (we lived in Orleans) I just don’t sympathize. Adjust the “equalization” scheme and maybe earn some respect for that “unique nation” between Ontario and New Brunswick. Oh, and Quebec is now a unilingual province so there’s that too.

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Much ado about nothing?

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I think that's a huge miss. Optics matter. I think official bilingualism is a waste of time and money, that hasn't satified anyone, but when one of the teams competing is from Quebec.....with players born in Quebec....

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Yes, that was another own goal from the CFL. The commissioner has an annoying habit of deflecting (to many of our "leaders" do this) when he should have bloody well apologized and just said "We blew that one and it won't happen again." But no, he will just allow that to fester. Say what you will about Doug Ford, he knows when he screws up and he'll apologize and the problem goes away. Doug's problem is that he never learns!

Randy's problem is that he won't apologize and the problem festers so that instead of the CFL celebrating a home run for the great game and experience, we get columns over how "Bush" the CFL is!

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Ahh, the comment section did not disappoint. I don't really understand why so many people have such strong bias against French as a language.

It's no wonder that Quebec takes issue with Canada when so many people in Canada have a general FU attitude towards them. Which came first - the chicken or the egg? I can't answer that question - but I can say that the dislike for QC certainly doesn't do anyone any favours. Many of the arguments sound like a 2 yr old announcing they're going to take their toys and go home because they don't want to respect the other person.

Anyways... I have no opinion about CFL and how bilingual it is or isn't but I think it's poor taste to omit an official language when one of the team's playing could legitimately have players on it who don't speak English. It's exclusionary at best, and discriminatory at worst. Kindness is free - we'd all do well to treat our fellow Canadians with kindness without thinking about where they live.

I'm in AB and even here, towns with high percent of French-speaking residents have bilingual signage. So if towns do that in a prairie province, you'd think the CFL might've thought this out a bit better.

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