The more things change…

(Photo by Patrick Gillian)

The Hudson St-Lazare Gazette – September 5th, 2012

By Julie Cadieux
Let’s be honest, this photo of vandalism in Lachine could have been
taken three weeks ago or 30 years ago.  Like most Quebeckers, I grew
up in this heated political atmosphere.  In my mid-twenties I moved
to the U.S. for a decade but I have been back now for two years and I
am stunned that the arguments made by today’s politicians, reports in
the media and issues discussed by people on the streets hasn’t
changed one bit. Yet the world we live in has changed dramatically.
I just don’t get it. Why aren’t we tired of talking about Quebec
separation? Why are politicians still trying to find additional ways
to protect the French language with more laws?  Why is there talk of
a proposal which would require immigrants and Francophones to attend CEGEP in French?

Instead, why are we not more outraged about the ridiculously high
taxes, our lack of good healthcare or the increase in our high school
dropout rates? And why does no one dare breathe a word about the most  worrisome issue of all — how Quebec is damaging our French society by not allowing our French children and citizens access to more English?

Gasp.  Yes I said it.

The way I see it, the world has changed.  Quebec can try all it wants
to keep the dreaded English language at bay but the reality is that
the web and technology has changed the world and the workplace.  The
truth is, if my children can’t speak or write in English, it will be
lot more hurtful to their potential career possibilities than simply
not knowing French.  In today’s economy even a successful French-
based business will at the very least require that executives and
managers speak English in order to communicate with clients from
Ottawa to Pennsylvania to China!

As the rest of the world has become smaller and more united and
international travel and communication more commonplace, the economy has also become more competitive and cutthroat than ever.   If our children don’t learn English we are increasingly limiting a huge part  of our province’s population to stay stuck in local or entry-level
positions.  No matter how brilliant they are they may never get that
promotion because it requires that they speak fluently in the
language of business.

The backwards thinking, fear and fighting needs to stop and respect
and common sense needs to take its place if we want our province and
our children to be handed more opportunities to become successful.
It’s a truth we all need to stop hiding from and a platform I would
like to see our politicians have the guts to discuss in our next
provincial election.

The Hudson St-Lazare Gazette – Julie Cadieux – September 5th 2012

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