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  • Ross Conroy

Ross’ Rant: When in Doubt, Blame The Anglos

When Quebec Premiere Francois Legault ran for the top political job in 2018, he

did a tour of his hometown, Sainte Anne-de-Bellevue, where he did a long photo

op walking around the village with his mother and his wife.

He touted the wonderful town and its bilingual nature. But during the last election

campaign, he steered clear of where he lived with his mother (until the age of 30).

Instead, he made a reference to the fact that his dear mom was forced to speak

English while working at John Abbott College.

What was the change of heart? Simple. Quebec politicians know that when things

go bad in the province, the easiest solution is to blame English speakers, and by

default, immigrants. Jacques Parizeau made the infamous quote the night of the

1995 referendum about how “money and immigrants” sunk independence. And

yes, he had been drinking prior to that outburst.

Fast forward a few decades, Pierre Karl Peledeau, the owner of Journal de

Montreal and TVA, who was also the brief head of the PQ, had his minion writers

publish an article about how a reporter randomly visited a few businesses in the

city of Montreal and were not properly served in French.

Thus began a campaign of anti-anglophone articles under the guise of protecting

the French language. Montreal became the target. If you dare to speak English

as your mother tongue, watch out.

Instead of embracing the Anglo and Franco and new Canadian cultures, it has

become a point of division.

During Legault’s throne speech, he doubled down on the priority of speaking

French predominantly in the province. Instead, while our ERs are well over

capacity, schools are falling apart and there seems to be lip service paid to dealing

with the environment as well as crippling inflation, those pertinent issues get cast


Why? Because governing for all of the people of the province is too difficult.

Having an unseen enemy is so much for effective to rally people around a problem

that does not deserved all of the attention it has received.

“My infant son had to wait 18 hours to be seen by a doctor.”
“Inflation is preventing us from eating three meals a day.”
“My special needs daughter is on a waiting list to get help in her school.”

Those are just some of the woes I have heard from parents recently. French and

English speaking Quebecers alike, concerned about the quality of life for their

children and families.

But what is the solution? Blame the Anglos and immigrants. Easy to write about

and freak out about it. This way, a common enemy can be found and Legault can

rally his base over an issue that, while important, should not be taking center

stage time and time again.

There are real, serious problems in this province and alienating a decent slice of

the population pie will never bring everyone together. But of course, that seems to

be the point.

Why deal with tough, very hard challenges when you can pick the low lying, and

quite frankly, rotten fruit.

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