It has taken some time for me to react to the reaction. That is the Liberal input into Bill 96, suggesting more French courses for English-speaking CEGEP students.
Today as an English speaking immigrant, I felt it was my duty, if my children were going to grow up and live here, to make sure that they learn French. Both of them did.
For us immigrants we want to show respect for the French language, and also we
see the learning of a second to be an asset in our children’s educational pursuit.
Learning French was never an act of resistance because immigrants had no hesitation doing so even though for many it is very difficult.
Let me make it very clear, if immigrants hesitated to learn French it was not because of any dislike for the language or the people.

The rationale for learning French in Quebec is clear from an immigrant’s perspective: the majority of Quebecers are French-speaking and French is the official language, so when the Liberal Party, which traditionally represents most of the English, encourages its supporters to learn French, it was I believe, to improve the speaking of the language which will give them more confidence.
But more importantly to send a message to French-speaking voters that the English minority respects the use of French and understands how important it is for them to hear their language being spoken.
It may not be too obvious but there might have been some courting of French votes: “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.”
However, the CAQ government under Premier Francois Legault has skillfully divided Quebec using language.
So if the Liberals or any other party is to form the government, it must tap into the French-speaking majority by insisting students learn more French.
This may have been a good way to pull away some votes while improving the language-skills of its base, one stone to kill two birds. But this backfired. The already overworked students rebelled, the CAQ passed the buck and the Liberals were in trouble.
It was a French/English complicity for which the Liberals will never be forgiven. Good intention turned around and stung.
In Quebec the language issue can be funny. Everyone must speak French. That’s fine, the minority yields to the majority. But it does not work like that when Quebec and its majority becomes the minority in a sea of English-speaking people in North America.
While the English-speaking minority benefit by learning French, the French-speaking majority refuses to learn English, and as such isolate themselves.
My daughter went to University in Ontario and her skills in a second language landed her a very good summer job, So when Quebec discourages its French population from speaking English it will only limit their upward mobility.
Do you not want your young adults to attend English universities, work outside of Quebec where there are tremendous opportunities?

The politicians who are all bilingual know that for the French to speak English it would be a tremendous asset to them and to Quebec.
So for me ,language is not the real issue. Whatever it is, both French and English must come together and solve it. The old French/English rivalry should be stopped. Colonialism is dead. You were both rival colonisers. Both French and English students fought after school in the streets.
You must both emancipate yourselves from your master roles, and who is better than whom.
The CAQ is a pro- French party whose position is that in Quebec everyone must speak French.
Power in the majority in Quebec is acceptable but there is no power when Quebec is seen as a part of the bigger North American population.
So is it power or language?
What the English should know is that an overwhelming majority win for the CAQ, a fractured English group in Quebec, a weak minority federal government, and uncertain support for federalism from the other provinces will serve as a recipe for a winning
referendum leading to separation.
Quebec’s politicians know that the province is better off economically in Canada but their ego will push them beyond this reality to a state of “separation at any cost.”
So the English in Quebec should not fall asleep, but stand on guard.
The word of the Premier must not be taken for granted.
Quebec must continue to encourage English-speaking Quebecers to learn and speak French, and for the French-speaking Quebecers to learn and speak English.
It is a win-win situation for all.