[lg policy] Canada: A multiculturalism for Qu ébéc?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 6 13:41:14 UTC 2009

A multiculturalism for Québéc?

If Canada's policy is Multiculturalism, that is, the allowing a
distinct group of people to maintain their ways of living within the
larger majority culture, has been a cornerstone of home policy for so
long, then why has it not been conceded that the province of Québec,
encompassing the distinct nation of the Québécois, should not be
offered reasonable accommodation in terms of their own application of
multiculturalism and related policies?

Should the distinct nation of the Québécois, anchored on the territory
of the Québécois territory, in that itself actualises tens of
thousands of new arrivals every year, not be given a reasonable amount
of autonomy in the areas of culture, integration, and language

The Québécois population has, with what some would say good reason,
rejected the doctrine of multiculturalism, claiming that it undermines
the fragile Québécois identity already threatened on all sides by
international conglomerates, media, culture, etc. They see it as
essential that immigrants integrate and accept the values that the
Québécois hold dear. In fact, there is a government project where as
when one enters Québec as an immigrant one signs a statement of common
values such as

•The primacy of the French language
•A free and democratic society
•A secular State
•A pluralist society
•A society grounded in laws and rights that garauntee equality
•Gender equality
•The excercise of rights is not to be to the harm of others and should
be for the general well being

Most would say that the majority of these are Canadian values as well,
however these values, though written in a similar manner, take on a
different meaning for the Québécois. They are concerned about
individual rights, as well as the betterment of society. The right to
speak French is at the heart of many people's concerns, and that is
the main tusk of the multiculturalism issue.

Just how far should immigrants be pushed to gain knowledge of thier
adopted country's language, what should be made available, and how
should community languages are accomodated. Québec, though progresive
in many areas, and a very accepting and welcoming place, takes a more
hard-line approach towards language than in the ROC.

The answers are not hear, but what do you think? Should Québec be
allowed to excercise its own multiculturalism, within the Canadian
multiculturalist project?

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