There are a lot of ways to kill a society. Mass genocide is one, it’s clear, makes for blockbusters, songs and legends: The bad guy is killing the good one.
The ‘shot themselves in the foot’ kinds of genocide are a bit less documented. So let’s advise historians of the future about two happening right now.
One is in Montreal. The bewildering decision by the Anglophone School board to advertise itself as a French School system for Anglophones! Dumber is hard to find. Well we did: French schools in Ontario decided that telling parents that sending their kids to their school would assure that they would be bilingual. If you don’t know the sorry end result of that policy, happy for you in a way, it’s a very sad ending.
English schools should not only be teaching places but also the foundation of the Anglophone Society in Quebec. Not as ‘bilingual Anglo-Québécois’ but as Anglophones living in English in Quebec and able to engage with the majority. Said majority only asking that the Anglophones are not let apart from it. You would be hard pressed to easily find a ‘nationalist’ arguing that Anglophones should assimilate. Yet, this is the end result of that dumb decision.
While this is a Montreal based drama, there is another closer by: The decision to merge all fire departments in the Memphremagog MRC. Well in this case, the LAST as in LAST institution where English is still allowed to be used, everybody looking the other way, is about to be gone.
There were almost riots in Bury a couple of years ago when some discovered that the Fire Department was about to be a French institution when there was a mass exodus of workers from a plant that closed. Most were Anglophones and, since the economy in Alberta was good, they found jobs there. The result was that the Fire Department became a French only one. Which, by the way, it is legally supposed to be, but then nobody ever gave a hoot about the issue. Because it was a non-issue.
As is that merger proposal which make sense fiscally; we will all save a couple of bucks on our tax bills. After all, who is against saving money? But in a year at most, there will not be the casual English speaking atmosphere taken for granted today. Take our word for it. Soon all radio conversations in a fire will have to be recorded and since officially all will have to be done in French, don’t be surprised when an insurance company sues the MRC’s Fire Department because either part of the conversation was in English or that some firemen or firewomen’s understanding of French was not enough.
Right now, the status quo is more or less protected by the fact that most municipalities have a bilingual status. In that merged scenario, the MRC is not bilingual. And to be brutally honest, will never be.
As for mutual international assistance, again where’s the treaty or at least a letter of understanding that regulates them?
This is a very, as in very dangerous situation for the English community and we are afraid it is much too late to do anything about it.