Letter: Bilingualism in jeopardy

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The Independent Online
Sir: The latest elections for the provincial government in Quebec, which brought the Parti Quebecois, led by Jacques Parizeau, to power, may not be welcomed by all the citizens of Canada who are of French origin.

Many French Canadians live outside Quebec, and must rely on the national government in Ottawa and each of the provincial governments to guarantee their language rights. The support by the English-speaking majority outside Quebec for legislation that ensures such measures as bilingual schooling and signposting might disappear, were Quebec to separate.

Theguarantee of French language rights in the whole of Canada can be regarded as a method to persuade Quebec citizens that their culture is not being threatened by the Anglophone majority, so therefore separation is not necessary. With Quebec gone, the English Canadians would have no incentive to preserve the French language in Canada. The French minority left in Canada would then have to persuade the English speakers that the bilingual cause was worthwhile.

Yours sincerely,


Newcastle upon Tyne