The complainers Take 3 – Le Journal de Montreal

The complainers: Take 3 – Le Journal de Montréal

After Montreal Gazette then CJAD, that's it Maclean's wants us to believe that Quebec is hell.

The Canadian magazine just published a field report titled “Anglophone Students Aren’t Welcome in Quebec, So I’m Leaving!”

Except that the tearful story is that of a French speaker!

Prepare your tissues

This is the “shocking” story of Joël Louiseize, a Franco-Ontarian who left a small Ontario town to study in Montreal. His girlfriend Kaitlyn was hesitant to move because she didn't speak a word of French… but Joël reassured her: “Montreal is full of Anglos.”

Joël and Kaitlyn live in Rosemont. Joël is very angry because when he speaks French, people recognize his Franco-Ontarian accent and sometimes address him in English.

On “a few occasions,” retail employees made fun of Kaitlyn’s complete lack of knowledge of French. That's why she limits her purchases to self-service checkouts or asks Joël to do her shopping for her.

When Kaitlyn had to be hospitalized, the staff “at first acted like they didn't understand English,” but then “switched to perfect English.”

Joël has the courage to write: “Such surreal, Kafkaesque experiences confused us. The more we tried to integrate, the more people rejected our efforts.”

He announces that he is leaving Quebec and returning to Ontario “because of the discouraging treatment we have received from the locals.”

Kaitlyn can't fit in in French… while her boyfriend speaks French?

“We felt like strangers, unnoticed, unwanted,” writes Joël.

In Montreal, Kaitlyn benefits from radio and television in English, cinemas in English, English bookstores, an English newspaper… and she doesn't feel “wanted”?

A French-speaking man leaves Ontario (where the French are a neglected minority) for Quebec, the only French-speaking province, and whines while his girlfriend doesn't speak a word of French?

And Maclean's publishes this as if Quebec were a “totalitarian state without a gulag” (to use the title of Mathieu Bock-Côté's latest book).

Joël complains that his tuition at Concordia will increase by $3,000 due to the Legault government's new rules… but he flees to Toronto, where he himself admits that “the cost of living is much higher.”

So in the end it will cost him more to study in Toronto!

Let's speak bilingually

Joël laments that Montreal is no longer a “multicultural and inclusive city.”

For what? “In Quebec we have eliminated the bilingual aspects of everyday life; “People have the right to their culture as long as it is within a French framework,” he says.

The cat is out of the bag: Joël criticizes Quebec for not being bilingual!

“Although French is my native language, I constantly engage with English-language media and books and consider English to be part of my cultural identity – and I want to maintain that without them placing barriers on me.”

If Joël wants to live a “bilingual” life without barriers, he can move to New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province in the country.

I'm excited to see how his French will be received there.

We'll read about this in a future issue of Maclean's. Or not.