Andre Prattes response to Mathieu Bock Cote an unfair analysis of

André Pratte’s response to Mathieu Bock-Côté: an unfair analysis of the PLQ that is unsound

In a column published in The Montreal Journal Last Saturday, Mathieu Bock-Côté (MBC) accused the Quebec Liberal Party of giving a speech “explicitly aimed at encouraging the demographic minority of French-speaking Quebecers to create a new Quebec through massive immigration.” This speech wants that Disappearance of our people.

Prosecution witness number one: Balarama Holness, who ran in the 2022 elections as leader of his own party, Bloc Montréal. This received less than 0.2% of the vote in the province. Mr. Hollness does not represent the PLQ in any way; he is an outsider.

Witness number 2: activist Idil Issa, who is not a member of the PLQ.

How do these two people’s supposedly “hateful” comments show anything about the Quebec Liberal Party?

The floor

I want to focus on what Mr. Bock-Côté says: The PLQ is trying to flood French-speaking Quebec through massive immigration to create “a new Quebec.” This thesis, which comes close to the “great replacement” of French conspiracy theorists, simply does not hold water.

First, because the PLQ, although it advocates an appropriate increase in immigration to meet labor needs, has never claimed that “massive immigration” is necessary in Quebec, the image of the initiative of the century that Barton proposed at the Canadian level Committee.

We still need to know what constitutes “massive immigration” in MBC’s eyes. In his opinion, the current threshold of 50,000 new permanent immigrants per year is clearly excessive. What would be appropriate: 30,000? 10,000? Zero?

In any case, Statistics Canada’s projections clearly show that even if immigration were much larger than today, immigrants and non-permanent residents would still only make up 27% of the country’s total population. Quebec in 2041, compared to 23% under a low immigration scenario. What “disappearance” is MBC talking about?

Furthermore, projections published by the Office québécois de la langue française show that even if the immigrants chosen by Quebec all spoke French upon arrival – this is the goal of the Legault government – this would not change much in the main demolinguistic indicators. French as a native language would continue to slowly decline – this is the inexorable fact of the low birth rate among the so-called “native” Quebecers. The most important element, French proficiency among Quebec’s population, including immigrants, would remain very high at almost 95%.


It is true that in recent years the number of non-permanent residents in Canada, including in Quebec, has increased significantly. This is due to the growing demand for labor and the increasing number of foreign students. So much so that the Federal Minister for Immigration recently raised the possibility of limiting the number of international students allowed into the country.

We would have expected applause from François Legault, a great admirer of MBC. Hey! No, the federal intention was denounced as a violation of provincial jurisdiction, while regional universities and colleges emphasized the crucial importance to them of this international clientele. We would have to decide: is immigration a threat or an advantage?

For their part, the Quebec Liberals are confidently choosing the second option. To confirm this positive view of things, we only have to start by drawing up the long list of Quebecers with a migrant background who have made their mark here at the French level in political, economic and cultural terms.

If Mr. Bock-Côté visited the Quebec Liberals instead of imagining them in his nightmares, he would know how much they love and are deeply rooted in French Quebec. To baselessly accuse them of “wishing the death of our people” is wrong and unjust.

Andre PratteCo-chair of the Quebec Liberal Party Revitalization Committee


Yes, the PLQ is exploiting immigration politically. Let’s see why.

Does the PLQ have an interest in accelerating demographic change in Quebec?

I explained this in my column on Thursday.

In his response, André Pratte claims the opposite and even seems outraged that this could be claimed. André Pratte pretends to forget that his party, the Quebec Liberal Party, has less than 5% support among French-speaking Quebecers and that it can only survive in the elections thanks to the support of anglophones and the immigrant electorate.

He probably wants us to believe that his party is unaware of this and that its support of the very high immigration thresholds of recent years has nothing to do with it. NO. At all. Zero.

Furthermore, the PLQ would not advocate massive immigration – the immigration thresholds set by the Liberals would only suit the needs of businesses, which is a hoax, but I’ll get to that another time.

Electoral basis

And when André Pratte says he doesn’t support Ottawa’s Century Initiative, he would rather stay in Canada, where demographic “drowning” (I’m using René Lévesque’s formula here) has been announced, than consider the possibility of independence.

French is actually doing better in Quebec than ever before: to reach this crazy conclusion, Pratte obviously has to use the least meaningful linguistic indicator.

It is possible that Pratte is unaware of his own mental mechanisms. I don’t rule out this possibility.

If the PLQ is being expelled from French-speaking Quebec today, it is because it has disowned it, assimilating the slightest confirmation of its identity with the breath of “intolerance”.

The ideological Trudeauization of the PLQ under Philippe Couillard corresponded to its electoral suicide among French-speaking Quebecers. In the past, the PLQ represented a Quebec vision of Canada; today it embodies a Canadian vision of Quebec. His goal: to continually lower the criteria for Quebec’s adherence to federalism and to transform it in such a way that the national question dissolves.

Sensibly, the PLQ is trying to broaden its voter base: this strategy has served it well for 20 years. The transformation of Laval into a political and sociological extension of the West Island is evidence of this. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow it will be the turn of the two 450s – as many liberal strategists recognize in private.

Clearly, the PLQ is not shouting from the rooftops that it supports a demographic shift in Quebec that leads to the progressive minority of French-speaking Quebec. He is content to base his political actions on this logic.

National question

Some, among the most militant multiculturalists, dare to say: I quoted two in my text.

I recite them to make sure readers don’t forget them.

Balarama Holness therefore reiterated that the PLQ “will need two decades to strengthen itself in the regions while there are demographic changes.” In other words, the less francophone the regions are, the more the PLQ will advance there.

I also quote Idil Issa, the multicultural activist: “In the end, the demographic will win.” Mathieu Bock-Côté’s Quebec is the Quebec of the past. They try to take a photo and freeze Quebec the old fashioned way. We are diverse, Quebec is different now. We must be inclusive. We must not alienate young people. We have to give them a place. I want everyone who wants to become a teacher to study education and law. Don’t be afraid, Bill 21 won’t stay in Quebec, that’s for sure. Like I said, whether it’s the year 2300, we’ll make it.”

I quote another, without knowing whether he is a federalist or a sovereigntist, but who theorizes the impact of this demographic revolution on Quebec. Amadou Sadjo Barry writes in “Cultural Diversity and Immigration” (2023): “(…) One might think that in the coming decades Quebec’s population will consist largely of first- or second-generation immigrants and therefore of no group.” , even Francophones descended from French Canadians could form the majority. (…) The time will come when Europe and the West will no longer be sufficient references to understand and define the people of Quebec. This will be the time of great uprooting our world will face” (p. 148).

And allow me to quote one more: the philosopher Daniel Weinstock.

As he explained in October 2009: “Obviously Quebecers’ concern for their identity is stronger than in the rest of Canada.” The English-Canadian is already a “post-ethnic”, a person who can be of Scottish, Polish or South American origin. Quebecers always have the idea that they have a “we” that needs to be protected.” […]. If Montreal has as high a proportion of immigrants as Toronto, these questions will no longer arise as acutely. And even less so when we realize that we cannot afford to go without, say, a nurse, “hijab or not.” In other words, the question of Quebec identity would dissolve with the demographic changes of Quebec society and the minority of French-speaking Quebecers. The multicultural society that Weinstock dreamed of, and which generally corresponds to Canada’s 1982 vision of itself, required a demographic recomposition of Quebec to become a reality.

This discourse is widespread, although it receives little attention from the media. I correct myself: you can talk about it if you want to be happy about it. We will then sing about Quebec’s growing diversification. If we worry about it, we will be accused of the worst. We should stop, as Pratte does, equating any consideration of the demographic and identity implications of immigration with the “great replacement theory,” which no public figure in Quebec claims to claim—this method is both intellectual dishonesty and ideological Intimidation.

It’s just common sense: when a country accepts more immigrants than it can accommodate, it encourages the formation of communitarianism within its borders. If the decades pass, massive immigration continues and the integration machine still does not work, the deep identity of this country will change and its historic majority will become a minority.

But let’s go back to the PLQ. It does not seem pointless to me to recall that in 1995 Ottawa used massive immigration as a demographic barrier to Quebec’s political and constitutional future. The more the historic French-speaking majority demographically melts, the less likely it is that Quebec will achieve independence.

Former Liberal MP Christos Sirros said it literally the day after the referendum: “Quebecians’ desire for independence would die with immigration.” He was only saying out loud what Plan B proponents were quietly thinking in the years following the referendum.

By trying to break the demographic structure of Quebec, Ottawa wants to put an end to the possibility of independence once and for all, and again in this spirit, even the day after the last referendum, once it has taken back power, the PLQ increased thresholds.

Let me be clear: I am obviously not reducing immigration to its political use by the PLQ.

Furthermore, there are great stories of integration, as Pratte reminds us, and no one will deny that. Who would be stupid enough to say that a phenomenon as big as immigration is exclusively positive or exclusively negative?

Canadian Diet of 1982

But the underlying dynamics driven by the Canadian regime favor immigrant integration more among English-Canadians in Quebec than among French-speaking Quebecers, and there is no indication that this trend will change in the short or medium term.

This integration into the English-speaking community usually involves a privileged identification with Montreal, a bilingual metropolis with both official languages, based on the hi-hi principle. French becomes optional from this perspective. The aim of Law 101 is no longer to ensure the identity integration of newcomers into the historic French-speaking majority, but to protect their right to speak French. It is no longer a law that brings the French to power, but rather the minority rights of the French-speaking population.

So let’s return to the topic of our disagreement: As risky as it would be to reduce the immigration issue to its political significance by the parties, it would be equally absurd to deny this dimension.

Which brings us back to this obvious fact: mass immigration is an electoral advantage for the Liberal Party. It is fair that André Pratte can deny this. But the fact that this truth is unpleasant does not suddenly turn it into untruth.

Mathieu Bock-Côté

Les eaux seront plus agitees pour le Canadien lan prochain