To the Honourable Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, March 10, 2013
Member Quebec Legislative Assembly,
Riding of ‘Jacques-Cartier’.
Having grown up in the West Island of Montreal and lived in your riding throughout my formative years, I feel that I must express my absolute disgust over your response to Mr. Hugo Shebbeare’s brief in the Legislative Assembly on April 9, 2013. I would encourage all of your supporters to view the presentation for themselves, at this link > http://www.assnat.qc.ca/en/video-audio/AudioVideo-45137.html . In case you’ve forgotten what you had said, please fast forward to 18:05.
First off, you should have applauded Mr. Shebbeare for his anger and not dismissed it. He has every right to be angry, as OUR culture here in Quebec is being systematically erased through legislation; Legislation that you and other LIEberals clearly support.
You claim that part of your job is to listen. Maybe it is time to listen to what your electors have to say. It may come to you as a surprise, but a large majority of your constituents ARE ANGRY. Many have been labeled as Angryphones but they are not the ones to watch out for. Beware of the Fâchéphones that will show their displeasure, as more and more realize that the Rights guaranteed to them under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are systematically being taken away from them.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml) provides ALL humans certain inalienable Freedoms, including the Freedoms of Religion (Article 18), Speech (Article 19), and Freedom of Education (Article 26.3). The last one is of particular interest as it states: ‘Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. ‘
Might I add that Article 2 of said document states “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. “
It is clear that Quebec is in violation of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To deny this fact only shows the ignorance of those elected to represent our community. It is blatantly obvious that your 18 years in office and exposure to the false propaganda that is spewed forth in the Legislative Assembly, have done nothing but brainwash you.
The French language in Quebec has never been in jeopardy – not in 400 years. In fact, more Anglophones speak French than ever before, and a French Canadian family, regardless of exposure to other languages and cultures, will still remain a French Canadian family.
In your reply, you said that the case with my daughter is an isolated case. It clearly is NOT. In the last year alone, there have been numerous cases of language intolerance in Montreal, including STM employees refusing to speak English, another one punching a girl in the face for speaking English, a teenager in the East End getting beaten up for speaking English, and most impressively, tourists being harassed for speaking English in the street.
The only reciprocated issue that we have been hearing about for most of my entire lifetime is that of the fat lady at Eaton’s (sorry, Eaton) who refused to speak French to a customer. Oddly enough, there has never been a name or face given to this person, nor has anyone EVER come forward to acknowledge that this person even existed. Once again, this is a case of false propaganda as spewed by our politicians.
In your response to Mr. Shebbeare, you refer to the language issue as a question of balance. I encourage you to look at a ‘balance scale’ one day… you’ll notice that when a scale is ‘balanced’, the plates of the scale are of EQUAL height from the base. When one side is twice as high as the other, there is NO BALANCE! There is NO EQUALITY!
I wonder how many of those that elected you to your position in the Quebec Legislative Assembly, are aware that it was your LIEberals that started the OQLF and, despite a hiring freeze across Quebec’s public service, your government hired 43 employees at the Office Quebecois de la Langue Francaise in 2012.
I am sure that if you did truly listen to your constituents, you would realize that they are OPPOSED to such tactics – the filling of jobs that are designed to eradicate THEIR culture and heritage, in the disguise of “protecting” another’s culture and heritage, and then paid for with their own Tax Dollars! This is the epitome of adding ‘Insult to Injury’!
In your response to Mr. Shebbeare, you asked him how he feels that the French language should be protected. Hats off to Mr. Shebbeare for telling it like it is. We protect and promote our culture by investing into its promotion and protection – not by demonizing and marginalizing other cultures.
Somewhere out there is a struggling writer, the next `Molière’, who may have written the best novel, but doesn’t have the funding to have it published. How about the $28million OQLF budget being used to help our artists? If history has taught us anything, it is that culture is passed on to other generations through family-life, books, and works of art. When an archeologist unearths an ancient culture, you will notice that the artifacts that end up in museums are books and pieces of art, not the bones of the deceased.
Underneath our skin, we all share the same biological structure that makes us Human. In history, our cultures are not defined by our bones. Rather, our culture is defined by the everlasting treasures that make us who we are.
I sincerely hope that you wake up Mr. Kelley and start representing the people that voted you in. People are fed up with the BS tactics that your government and others are employing to “preserve the French Language”. All to the detriment of other cultures and languages. Hopefully, your constituents will open their eyes and see for themselves first-hand that you clearly do not represent their community. We are all born equal and accorded the same Basic Human Rights. Yet, these non-negociable Rights are being trampled by our current government and further supported by your party.
People know discrimination when they see it, and the language laws that you clearly support, discriminate us on the basis of language – a clear and blatant violation of our Freedom of Expression. The time has come for people to demand Equality. And they will. But more importantly, when the next election comes around, your lack of representation for the community will haunt you. Your 18 years of brainwashing is not representative of the people who voted you in.
Word will get around that the vote in your riding can be split multiple times without allowing the ‘wrong’ government to get elected. As such, when people realize what your true colours are, and how poorly you represent THEM, they will let their voice be heard and elect someone who TRULY represents them.
Mark S. Bergeron