PeterMollenburg wrote: … Speakeasy- I do convey some kind of immorality to the forces disturbing the balance.
Do you not see the inconsistency, not to mention the moral equivocating, of this position? How was this hallowed balance achieved? What made the establishment of the balance more morally acceptable than its disturbance? Your moralizing on the matter as is inconsistent as it is untenable.
Speakeasy wrote: You have not spoken to the question of the mass human migrations which have been taking place since the latter half of the twentieth century and which are predicated to accelerate throughout much of the twenty-first century. You have not addressed the linguistic impacts that these population shifts will have on the receiving communities.
No, I haven't. I didn't intend to.
Peter, you were the individual who chose to respond to the OP’s post by dragging out the old saw of colonization and (in your mind) the most horrific of legacies, the current dominance of the English language. Your refusal to comment on the current disruptions
to the “balance” exemplifies, perfectly, your own, unsustainable biases. You have done nothing more than “picked sides” in an unending saga of interaction between linguistic groups.
PeterMollenburg wrote: Well, I was using it as an example to provide evidence that protecting a language via laws (regardless of who granted that possibility) can do just that - protect it. I'm all for protecting indigenous languages...
I would not expect you, or anyone else on the forum, to be well-informed on the history of New France and British North America and the legacies that these two “founding nations” had on the linguistic mosaic of present-day Canada and Québec. Very briefly, by the Treaty of Paris, Great Britain agreed to not interfere with the French colonists’ use of their native language or their religion in New France. These rights were confirmed in 1791, in 1841, once again in 1867, and the country became officially bilingual in 1963, not in response to a demand from Quebec, but as an gesture meant to promote linguistic peace and harmony within the nation. Historically, the post-unification French (Québécois) colonizers chose to isolate themselves from the English population which, in Québec, has always been a small minority.
The official policy adopted the clergy, which controlled much of the daily life of the inhabitants, was the “revenge of the cradle” whereby the French population hoped to displace the small number of British and Scottish immigrants by increasing their linguistic and cultural dominance, something that the arriving immigrants never challenged. They even went so far as to deny access to their school system by all immigrants, save for the few French immigrants of which there were virtually none, and to counsel the French population not to conduct commerce with the English, nor to go into business for themselves as this was a English-dominated road to iniquity. This disastrous and self-destructive policy led to (a) widespread poverty amongst the Québécois (23 children per family was not unusual) the offspring of whom, in order to seek a decent living, emigrated to the United States in very large numbers, thereby reducing their demographic imprint, (b) the “assimilation” of new arrivals by the English population who made room for the immigrants in their separately-run school system, (c) the guaranteed dominance of the English and Scottish immigrants in the commercial sector, and (d) the unilingual “Two Solitudes” of the English and French populations, neither of which deigned to learn each other’s language.
During the 1960’s “quite revolution”, leading Québécois educators and politicians came to the realization that their century’s long policy of isolation was not preparing the province to face the future. Birth rates were declining, as was the level of immigration, and the few immigrants who did choose to settle in Québec were frozen out of the French language school system. This led to anxieties over the possible assimilation of the French into the greater North American English culture. Although the ROC (Rest of Canada) was identified as the bogeyman, the real fear was of the massive impact of American cultural dominance. To address the situation, within a decade, the Québec government adopted “La Charte de la langue française” which imposed severe restrictions on the use of English in the province and the mandatory attendance by virtually all immigrants, even internal immigrants, in French language schools. Although the linguistic rights of great swaths of the population, which were otherwise guaranteed under the Canadian Constituion, were abolished, as a gesture of goodwill, the Federal Government chose not to challenge the new Québec language laws before the Supreme Court of Canada (historians agree that the Court would have struck down the language laws). Perhaps this was necessary; however, it was a major disservice to all other linguistic communities in the province and it did nothing to protect or to advance the status of indigenous languages.
So, in a word, if you want to champion the Québec language laws, I suggest that you inform yourself before sounding off.