Hi Canada, Bonjour Canada!
We have a problem. There is an unspoken conflict present in our country and like many professionals are saying: It is a problem waiting to explode!
What is the problem? — The French, the English and the Natives of Canada can’t seem to get along.
The evidence? — Identity and language.
The major issue facing Canadian citizens today is language. Many “Quebecers” resent the English speaking “Canadians”, and many Canadians have a problem with the French speaking “Quebecers”. Language has been a major issue in Quebec for centuries and our goal today is to reach as many people as possible to spread a sense of understanding.
Considering Montreal is the largest city in Quebec, we have looked at some statistics to better understand the division between French and English. We have learnt that, according to the 2006 census, 53.2% of Montrealers speak French at home, while only 23.2% speak English. Toronto on the other hand has 64.4% of its population speaking English at home with a meager 0.55% speaking French. What causes such a huge variation in the numbers? We have attributed this to culture.
To reach our goal, we have taken it upon ourselves to go out in the streets of Montreal in order to peak people’s interests by posting little slogans in high density areas. These slogans will then be referenced to an online blog community where people will be able to discuss their opinions and learn from others. Education is the key and we need to “get out of the historical pattern of resolving conflict”. We need to expose the realities of history and get people talking.
The dilemma is that each side has a different point of view. Their interpretation of the conflict is influenced by their cultural and ethical values, but are not necessarily mutually understood. French Canadians are misconstrued in Canada and this creates negative stigmas that other parties use to justify their hostile behavior. For example, when coming from Europe, the new French Canadians brought with them old behaviors dictated by the dominant church, instilling separatist views on their parishioners. The lack of respect between these parties has created ongoing tension. In order to narrow the gap, we need to get everyone’s opinion out in the open.
We have decided that the best way to find a solution to this problem is to consult, educate and exchange with the communities. We have concluded, through our experience in conflict resolution, that this blog would be a great way to reach the different linguistic communities at large.
In order to get a better perspective of Quebec’s history, please refer to D. Gingras’ book Window of Hope.
LET’S TALK IT OUT! 🙂
You can comment and tell your friends to comment. It’s time to get Canada talking! From the East to the West!
En 2010, le problème linguistique existe toujours au Québec et au Canada et ne semble pas à la vieille d’être réglé. Beaucoup de Québécois en veulent aux canadiens anglais et beaucoup de canadiens anglais en veulent aux Québécois. Le problème persiste depuis des centaines d’années et notre but aujourd’hui est d’éduquer autant de gens que possible et de propager un sens de compréhension.
Pour atteindre notre but, nous sommes allés au centre ville de Montréal et nous avons affiché des petits slogans pour attirer de l’attention à notre site. Une fois rendu sur le site, tout le monde aura l’opportunité de s’exprimer et de s’informer au sujet de notre conflit. L’information est la clef pour mettre fin à ce conflit interminable. En tant que Québécois, nous devons changer notre perception des anglophones en prenant le temps de les écouter et d’échanger avec eux pour établir un dialogue qui mènera à l’éventuelle résolution. De plus, nous devons aussi les informer, sans leur imposer, notre héritage pour qu’ils puissent apprécier la beauté de notre langue.
Pour plus d’information sur l’histoire du Québec nous vous proposons de lire Fenêtre d’Espoir et de Réconciliation par D. Gingras.