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Author Topic: 18th B-Day Trip
Jace Raven

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Icon 1 posted January 12, 2004 12:36      Profile for Jace Raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My birthday is in April and i want to take a trip to Canada for a day or 2 to celebrate but i dont know where to go.

(Forgive my ignorance) Does Canada have a "Party" town or just somewhere i can go and have a good time?

BTW-If I do decide to go, everyone is invited.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 12, 2004 14:10      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like Banff and Yoho National Parks, but my ideas of "good times" and "vacations" aren't always in line with everyone elses. [Smile]
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d3m057h3n35
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Icon 1 posted January 12, 2004 14:16      Profile for d3m057h3n35     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Canada's a great place to go to sightsee, that's for sure. Party towns? Windsor, on the border between Ontario and Michigan, seems like a pretty lively place, though. I have no real experience in that though.
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted January 12, 2004 14:36      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm, that makes me remember an old thought of mine about going to Ontario someday - it holds some appeal to me. I should probably consider doing so while it is still just a *really upstate* drive for me.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 12, 2004 14:38      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We had some good nights out in Quebec.
Plus, the next day when you're staggering about in a hung-over haze, you'll get to see a town like no other in North America. It's a castle on a big rock, complete with big stone walls and cannon, really cool.

Of course, it's a French Canadian town, with all the language-nazi issues that entails, but it shouldn't stop you having a good time.

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Snaggy

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Icon 7 posted January 12, 2004 14:47      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speaking of Quebec, Montreal is a fantastic city too, one of the world's greats, without so much of the French language issue... (most Montrealers speak both English and French)
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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted January 12, 2004 19:01      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jace Raven:
My birthday is in April and i want to take a trip to Canada for a day or 2 to celebrate but i dont know where to go.

(Forgive my ignorance) Does Canada have a "Party" town or just somewhere i can go and have a good time?

BTW-If I do decide to go, everyone is invited.

First off....Canada is fsckin huge....I have been here 37 years, and while I haven't seem more than a wee bit, I have been to every province and territory (except Nunavut). It is not something you 'do' in 2 days.

I would have to say St. John's, Newfoundland is the party town.....Halifax, comes a close second.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 12, 2004 19:56      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jace Raven:
My birthday is in April and i want to take a trip to Canada for a day or 2 to celebrate but i dont know where to go.

Did you say April?

I think Canada closes for April.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted January 12, 2004 22:41      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by Jace Raven:
My birthday is in April and i want to take a trip to Canada for a day or 2 to celebrate but i dont know where to go.

Did you say April?

I think Canada closes for April.

It is true.....that is when all our igloos melt...it is quite a mess really, until the ground dries up and we can each build a lean-to with wall to wall beaver pelt carpeting.

Mmmmmmmmm.........beav-er pelt car-pet-ing....

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Jace Raven

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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 00:09      Profile for Jace Raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Mmmmmmmmm.........beav-er
[Big Grin]
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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 03:37      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Of course, it's a French Canadian town, with all the language-nazi issues that entails, but it shouldn't stop you having a good time.

I'm not sure I get that one. Did you have any problem when you were there? Quebec city is very touristic, and home to the provincial government, so just about everyone is bilingual, if not trilingual (at least in the core of the city). The only problem that arises every year or so are when Ontario 'kids' come for winter break, get drunk (one even killed himself overdrinking a few years ago), and find it fun to raise a tantrum about language issues.

Of course, there have been some rough years, but for now, truce is holding.

On the Montreal side, there is an important minority of EFL, and many, many international events. The feeling is quite different from Quebec (City of). More cosmopolitan, I'd say.

So, as long as one remember that Quebec (the province of) is _officially_ French-speaking only (unlike the rest of Canada), there's no problem. Think visiting a forgotten part of France, but with North-American facility and technology.

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 04:04      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My favourite place to visit in Canada is definitely "Sam the Record Man" on Yonge Street, Toronto. Mmmm... with the current sterling/$CAN exchange rate, I'd be able to clean up if I went now... just think how many 'Reggie Wilson and his Hammond Organ' CDs I could buy...

Oh, yeah - and that tower thing's cool as well.

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greycat

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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 06:08      Profile for greycat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Uh.... Niagara Falls, anyone? I'm surprised nobody's mentioned it yet.
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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 06:16      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by greycat:
Uh.... Niagara Falls, anyone? I'm surprised nobody's mentioned it yet.

Well, to quote (more or less) one of Quebec's funniest guy:

"What do people find so exciting about Niagara Falls? There's water, there's a hole, water falls. If water was going straight, THAT would be something exciting!"

- Yvon Deschamps (modified by me, as I couldn't remember the words exactly)

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 06:59      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by greycat:
Uh.... Niagara Falls, anyone? I'm surprised nobody's mentioned it yet.

Awfully tacky place, Niagara Falls. Like most outdoors crap it looks better on TV.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 13:14      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Of course, it's a French Canadian town, with all the language-nazi issues that entails, but it shouldn't stop you having a good time.

I'm not sure I get that one. Did you have any problem when you were there? Quebec city is very touristic, and home to the provincial government, so just about everyone is bilingual, if not trilingual (at least in the core of the city).
I guess it was because we arrived overland fron New Brunswick, which is (was?) scrupulously bi-lingual. You order a pizza in English, the guy behind the desk speaks your order into a microphone in French and English, when the pizza arrives, he tells you in French and English that it's arrived, counts out your change in French and English......

Then you cross over into Quebec, where even the "DANGER 50,000 VOLTS" signs are in French only (because it's the law, do you want to fry anglophones?) and it kind of jars. Also, the sign at the US border explaining the local road-law was in French only, the sign is there for the benefit of visitors for fscks sake!

We stayed with family in Montreal, they are anglophone, and stayed in an anglo neighborhood. The local video library was full of English-language videos, but all the signage is in French, because it's the law. Went to the counter with the video, and the shopkeeper wouldn't even say "good morning" to me until I'd spoken, because if he speaks first the whole exchange has to take place in French, and he knows his customers don't want that, but it's the law.

Now I hasten to add, we had no problem with the actual french-speakers we encountered, there was no equivalent of the legendarily rude Paris waiters, everyone was very nice and patient with my very rusty schoolboy french, but the language laws in Quebec suck.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 14:26      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Then you cross over into Quebec, where even the "DANGER 50,000 VOLTS" signs are in French only (because it's the law, do you want to fry anglophones?) and it kind of jars. Also, the sign at the US border explaining the local road-law was in French only, the sign is there for the benefit of visitors for fscks sake!

About the signage law, it changed somewhat a few years ago. Now one can show signage in any language, as long as the French equivalent is there and more proheminent. Now about thant 50 000 Volts, that part is very international to me; whether it is written 'danger' or 'attention' or 'warning' (or 'achtung' or anything else) shouldn't make much difference, especially as it usually comes with a nice red triangular pannel with drawing of a lightning and a shocked man. That's the beauty of symbolic signage: it doesn't matter which language one speak to understand it.

Now about the road-law being French only, I'd guess it had changed, though I can't be sure. But I agree with you, that was more than a bit dumb.

(But I think the video store clerk was just being lazy - a 'Puis-je vous aider - may I help you' would have allowed him nicely around the law, as the customer could then answer in the language of his choice without having to tell whether s/he knows the other one. And I'm not sure that part of the law is still holding.)

Now remember, if I were to go to Germany, or to Russia or to South Africa, I wouldn't expect to have all signage in French. Or even in English. When going to a foreign-language country, it's usefull to have a guide (person or book) to traslate the signage. English may be an international language, it is not everyone's living and working language. And in Quebec, the official language is French. (A lot of people seems to have a problem understanding that English is not an official language of Quebec, period.)

As an aside, here is a little comparative statistic: New Brunswick has around one third of French speaker, two third of English speakers, while in Quebec, the ration is lower than 9:1. (And still, you'll get more 'sorry-I-don't-speak-French' in Ottawa - officially bilingual -, than 'désolé-j'parles-pas-anglais' in Montreal - officially unilingual -.)

I get tired to be told I should be sorry I'm a French-speaker 'cause our English minority is soooo badly treated in Quebec. (Yeah, sure, whatever you say. English education from kindergarten to university, half a dozen English hospitals, all documentation from the governement aivailable in English, if not right away, at least on request, and so on... Very badly treated, really. If only ontarian- and manitoban- French speakers were so badly treated...)

Ok, I've ranted too long already.

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 17:21      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
Now remember, if I were to go to Germany, or to Russia or to South Africa, I wouldn't expect to have all signage in French. Or even in English.

Correct, and I don't expect the signage to be in English in Quebec, but I do object to a law that punishes shopkeepers for catering to the language preferences of their customers.

I live in an area of Melbourne with a lot of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Maltese speakers, there's at least half a dozen businesses within a short walk of my home that are run in languages other than English. They know they won't get many English speaking customers, but that's the way they want to run their business, and it's their right. No-one is going to send the language police around to punish them for doing it.

Just because the official language of Quebec is French, doesn't mean you have to oppress the minority langages. If you move to Vancouver (officially English) and choose to set up an all-french restaurant, no one will send the language police around to stop you. That's how bi-lingual countries work, they tolerate differences and make reasonable efforts to accomodate the needs of all. Quebec may be an officially French province but it's still part of a bi-lingual country, and shouldn't be oppressing its minority community.

</rant>

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 23:06      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Quebec (yes, I have been there many times) is kind of like in Animal Farm when the *ahem* pigs change the slogan to:

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

'Distinct society' is something they demanded to be recognized as by the 'rest of Canada'.

The Quebec language laws/police were designed to protect a language and a culture but they actually created division between cultures (not just anglo-franco). I have had the occasion to visit many non-english speaking countries and found that most people try to find some way of communicating for the purpose of business, pleasure, or to talk ones way out of a run down Mexican prison (thank god I dated a girl from El Salvador back in college)....but I digress. The effort is not made by the average bi-lingual Quebeccer to meet even half way. If you can't speak french they don't want anything to do with you. If you speak broken french, they laugh at you.

At one point when I lived in Toronto (which by the way is the flagship city for multi-culturalism in the world) and would drive home to Nova Scotia for Xmas or the like I would actually drive through the US to get there. Just so I wouldn't have to spend a red fucking cent in the province.

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csk

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Icon 1 posted January 13, 2004 23:56      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can't say I've been to Toronto, but I'd have to guess Sydney is up there in terms of being multi-cultural, probably on a similar level to Melbourne (though TFD might disagree [Wink] ). Despite our infamous efforts with refugees of late, Australia is probably one of the most multicultural countries around, at least in the big cities. In fact, I'd be surprised if Toronto equalled it.

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6 weeks to go!

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 14, 2004 01:18      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
I can't say I've been to Toronto, but I'd have to guess Sydney is up there in terms of being multi-cultural, probably on a similar level to Melbourne (though TFD might disagree [Wink] ). Despite our infamous efforts with refugees of late, Australia is probably one of the most multicultural countries around, at least in the big cities. In fact, I'd be surprised if Toronto equalled it.

I think the Cap'n wins this one.
According to this site Toronto is getting close to 45% foreign-born, I don't have figures for the cities, but the state figures put both NSW and Vic over 70% aussie born.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted January 14, 2004 03:58      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One last try at it: it seems you don't know that not so long ago, Quebec was run by its English-speaking minority. Just about every business were speaking English, and English-speaking people wouldn't care to learn French. So when the French majority woke up, they took drastic actions to reverse the movement. Not so long ago, I was dining out with a brother of mine, when someone asked me for the time - in English. I answered in English. (Yes, Capt'n, French speaker do speak English too - actually, more than ofter, if the other is having problem speaking French, the French speaker will switch to English, even if his/her English is no better than the other's French. But there are nut people everywhere.) Then a few seconds later, I found out that the one who've asked be the time was French speaking too. Now explain: in which other country would two people speak in a minority's language when they both are from the majority's one?

Now, Famous Druid, how would you feel if your minority were insisting to be served in their own language wherever they go? If they got the best jobs, and woul speak their language all the time, to the point the majority has to learn the minority's language to be served - hospital, justice courts and so on? That's what once was in Quebec, that's what shouldn't be anywhere. Bye the way, many states are taking actions to protect English against a growing minority of Spanish speakers, and France has started protecting its French. When a nation's culture is endangered, stupid is the governement who doesn't protect it.

And Capt'n, the 'distinct society' is a tool sought by Quebec so the English-speaking Canada wouldn't enforce solutions that don't fit us. The recent Youth Act would be a perfect example of that: most of the western Canada wanted tougher punitions to offending youths, while Quebec prefered rehabilitation. The difference of view is cultural, yet the same solution was forced down everyone's throath.

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 14, 2004 04:52      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not in favour of a minority oppressing the majority, but neither am I in favour of the majority oppressing the minority. All of the hardships you claim the francophones endured are now being inflicted on the anglos, the difference is that now they have the force of law.

You don't defend your own rights by trampling on the rights of others.

Explain to me why it's right that 2 anglophones should have to get "around the law" (to use your phrase) in order to have simple a conversation in english?

Explain why it's right that parents (whether anglophone or francophone) be denied the choice of which language their children will be educated in?

Explain why it's right that foreigners (whether from an english speaking country or not) are automatically classified as 'francophone' and have to send their children to french school?

Explain why it's right for the (roughly) 80% francophone majority in Quebec to oppress the non-francophone 20%, but wrong for the (roughly) 80% anglophone majority in Canada to oppress the (roughly) 20% francophone minority?

Explain what's wrong with a policy of bi-lingualism which guarantees the legitimate rights of both language groups, like they have in New Brunswick?

And explain why hundreds of thousands of anglophones have fled Quebec if they have things as easy you seem to believe?

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Icon 1 posted January 14, 2004 05:12      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think you have to take into account the many years of oppressed minority status that the Quebecois feel to have endured. Don't forget - the history of Canada is littered with endless territorial wars, bloody raids, and the incessant imperialist demands of the mother-countries. I think you can appreciate it, should there evolve a kind of siege mentality.

It isn't all that productive to give Stereo here a hard time over it - she's not a politician. She's given us her cultural perspective - which I think many of us 'Anglophones' were previously unaware of - and to which we should be grateful. Besides - if it wasn't for the Quebecois we would never have had Guy Lafleur. [Smile]

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted January 14, 2004 05:47      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wrong, wrong, wrong wrong. Surprising how lies get spread so easily.

We're not trampling anyone's right, just getting sure that our own rights are respected. Getting sure we're not second-class citizen anymore, and that our culture and language will survive - cause that's what it was all about: survival of Quebec as a French nation.

A conversation can be had in any language one wants, but all service must be offered in French. If one wants to offer the service in more than one language, fine, as long as French is available. I used the terms 'getting around the law' cause I'm not sure of how exactly is the law worded, but I know that no one will take offence if the salutation is offered in more than one language. And considering the language strife had lessened quite a bit in the recent years, I doubth anyone would get complaints for a little shop clerk who starts speaking English first.

Anglophone parents, already established in Quebec, coming from Canada or from some other countries like Great Britain (and maybe even Australia) can send their children to English public school. But people from another language (yes, French too) must send their kids either to French public school or English private school (French private school is also available, of course). Too bad French-speaking Manitobans have most of time only immersion French taught to their kids. (Hello! they already speak French; they need to learn the grammar and spelling!)

Oppression seems to change of meaning wheter it is from French or English. English settlers deported French ones from Acadia and Eastern Townships, tried to make French forbid their religion, made constant segregation against French. We only want to make sure we can be served in French, and that there are equal job opportunities for all. It took a set of law to get it, cause the English wouldn't allow it otherwise. And we are oppressing the English?

Is it wrong that British Columbia doesn't offer official services in Mandarin? 'Where the number warrants' is key. And by the way, all official services ARE offered in English in Quebec, as I said earlier.

English fled Quebec because they couldn't stand that they're not treated as the majority animore. They beleived they ruled us, and found out they were wrong. They couldn't adapt, so they went away. At least, they had somewhere to go, and the money to move.

And does the Marianopolis college have the statistics for French to English assimilation from the 19th century to 1970? Learning only one side of the story is a sure recipe for not understanding.

Maybe I should dig out that article from an Ontarian who came to study at Laval University (Quebec City) and then explained the real story of the language law in Quebec, in an ontarian newspaper. I can tell you that guy wasn't mad - he actually understood the context quite well. I even learned a few things reading it.

Now, please get your facts right before accusing.

A largely unnoticed fact: Canada is bilingual, and its legislation warrants service in both languages 'where the numbers warrants'. So the public services needs a lot of bilingual employees. Many English people complains that they can't get the jobs, and that there is a larger proportion of French employees hired than there are in the general population. But they don't understand that it is so because all French have to learn English very well, while most English get their French to the level of a French preschooler, if they learn it at all. If only they would make the effort to learn French to a minimal level, the proportions would be respected. Perception is the key of it all. (I'll even throw in that my spoken English is better than many director's French, still I am not considered fully bilingual, while they are.)

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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