Campaign issues: Anglos are Quebecers like any other | Elections Quebec 2022
“When I am told that I'm not a real Quebecer because I'm an English speaker, I answer: ''Whoa! I was born here, I studied here, my family is here and I live here. I'm from Quebec!'' says Marc Lalonde, an athletic trainer at a school in the West Island of Montreal.
Marc Lalonde is a football coach at a school in the West Island of Montreal.
With the end of bipartisanship and the traditional federalism-sovereignty divide, the English-speaking community of Quebec no longer has the same political weight as before. She still wants to be heard and repeats that the Quebec identity is not limited to the language spoken at home. Foray into the field.
Ready! Set! Huh!
There is one month left before the end of the season for the Lakeshore Cougars young pee-wee football players.
The offensive line coach, Marc Lalonde, multiplies the scenarios to improve the skills of his proteges.
Slide! Slide! Turn hips! Now, sprint to the ball!
He reminds them ten times rather than one of their fundamental role in protecting the quarterback.
Not this way! Do it again!
Marc Lalonde is demanding of his players.
In this English-speaking West Island environment, it should come as no surprise that Marc whips and encourages his players mainly by English. But he also frequently uses the language of Gilles Vigneault.
Glisse! Slide! Slide!
Come on, give me your effort!
It's beautiful, my little teddy bear!
“The CAQ divides people. It creates a kind of ''us against them''. This helps cement the electoral base, which is very francophone and does not live in Montreal. I speak English with my children. But life in Quebec is in French, and we understand that, ”says Marc Lalonde.
Obviously, Marc mainly uses French with French-speaking players. But he explains that everything can happen in both languages on the pitch, because according to him, everyone understands both languages well.
He cites the example of a match flag football friendly(non-contact) that the team went to play in the Boston area. Players have resorted to French to announce the games in order to confuse Americans.
Marc's players Lalonde speak both French and English.
Cole, Marc's son, confirms that several of his teammates speak French very well and that he himself listens to rap in French and listens to the Sports Network on TV.
Just watch him in action for a few minutes on a football field to understand that Marc Lalonde is a demanding coach. He commands, directs, gestures, barks, gets impatient and loses his temper.
But he encourages, exults, rewards and hugs. He asks a lot. He gives as much, if not more. Something like a real coach.
In addition to being a coach, Marc Lalonde is a journalist.
Marc Lalonde has this same intensity on a daily basis. He works as a journalist. He is outspoken and has a keen interest in politics as well as the current election campaign.
He does not pretend to speak on behalf of the entire English-speaking community, but in the company of his 17-year-old daughter, he agrees to report on his observations during a question-and-answer exercise.
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Do you feel that the current election campaign looks like a contact sport for the English-speaking community?
It's more than that. It's a collision sport, I think. There are conflicting values. Many English speakers are following what is happening with great interest. It is a new electoral context. The Parti Québécois and the Liberal Party of Quebec no longer dominate as they have for the past 40 years.
Just watch him go for a few minutes to understand that Marc Lalonde is a demanding coach.
< p class="e-p">You say that the community is following these elections with interest. Can we talk about worry?
When the Prime Minister says that Quebec will become like Louisiana, it puts us on the defensive and makes me think that we will continue to be portrayed as “the others”..
The others? What do you mean?
The Coalition avenir Québec [CAQ] divides people. It creates a kind of 'us versus them'. This helps cement the electoral base, which is very francophone and does not live in Montreal. I speak English with my children. But life in Quebec is in French, and we understand that! I chose to live here because it is rewarding. When people tell me that I'm not a real Quebecer because I'm an English speaker, as happened to me, I answer: ''Whoa! I was born here, I studied here, my family is here and I live here. I'm from Quebec!
The application of Bill 96 in the province worries Marc Lalonde.
For you, is this ethnic nationalism, as some have said?
No. It's not that. But we are getting close. When people say that they are Quebecers, that they are proud, and that the Anglos seem to be excluded from this discourse, we want to answer that we are also real Quebecers and proud of it. Include us!
The English-speaking community has been very critical of Bill 96, which aims to modernize the Charter of the French language. What do you blame him for?
For me, that's the limit to CEGEP attendance in English for Francophones. I think that in the end, this will make these establishments far too homogeneous. My daughter Gabrielle, who is here, can attest to that.
Hello, Gabrielle. Are you studying at CEGEP?
Yes. To John-Abbott, in administration. I am also a member of the women's ice hockey team. This is an important reason for my presence in this college.
“Many English speakers follow this is happening with great interest,” says Marc Lalonde.
Do you follow the Quebec election campaign a bit?
It's a funny coincidence that you ask me this question, because we discussed it this very afternoon in the players' locker room after our training. I can't vote yet. But several of my older teammates can. And we really feel that there is a division between Francophones and Anglophones on this issue. The former think that there are no issues in these elections. But not the seconds, who want to vote.
For what reasons?
Law 96 and CEGEPs. Many of my classmates come from French-speaking backgrounds. They went to secondary school in French. With the attendance limit that will probably be imposed on Francophones, it will become impossible for them in the future to come and study here and play hockey with us. There are also courses in French or French. This will count towards establishing the R score. Anglos who are not good at French could have their admission to certain programs jeopardized.
Back to you, Marc. Studies by the Office québécois de la langue française tell us that French is losing ground, especially among allophones. The government still can't sit idly by?
Encourage us! Use the carrot rather than the stick. When I see that immigrants are going to be asked to understand French in six months, I find that odious. Instead, bet on French lessons or subsidized French streaming!
“Encourage us! You have to use the carrot rather than the stick,” says Marc Lalonde about the application of Bill 96.
Isn't that precisely the objective we are pursuing with the new organization Francisation Québec?
I agree that the idea is a good one. But between the concept and the reality, there is sometimes quite a difference! Take the example of health care…
So who are you going to vote for on Monday?
I hesitate between Québec solidaire, the Green Party or the Parti canadien du Québec. Anyway, my vote will not really be for these formations. Rather, it will be a vote against the outgoing government.
Janic Tremblay's report is broadcast on the showDésautels le dimancheSunday from 10 a.m. to noon and rebroadcast Mondays at 3 a.m. on ICI Première.