Spread the love

The expert described as “full of crap” made simplistic remarks, justifies Francis Drouin

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick La Presse canadienne Le député libéral Francis Drouin convient s’être « laissé emporter » lundi lors d’une réunion du comité parlementaire sur les langues officielles.

Federal MP Francis Drouin has nothing to do with Quebec asking him to apologize for calling guests to a parliamentary committee “extremists” and “full of shit”. He added by describing as “simplistic” the link they made between post-secondary education in English and the decline of French in Quebec.

“Me, I went to school in English. Am I an anglophone ?” the Franco-Ontarian liberal elected official told journalists on Wednesday.

He agrees that he “ let it carry away” during a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Languages ​​on Monday, in which he described speakers whose comments on the defense of French in Quebec as “extremists”. “Excuse me, but you are full of shit,” he also sent to one of them, the independent researcher Frédéric Lacroix, before withdrawing his comments.

“If both witnesses feel offended, of course, I apologize. I don't want them to feel hurt by this. [But] we extrapolate that by saying that I insult people who defend the French language… listen, I've been doing that all my life [defending French],” Francis Drouin justified himself on Wednesday.

Joined by Le Devoir, the other speaker targeted by Mr. Drouin, Professor Nicolas Bourdon, of the Regroupement pour le cégep French, confirmed that he was offended by the remark. “I think we need to have a debate on the merits, on the facts and that the question of apologies is a distraction, even if it would be a good thing,” reacted Frédéric Lacroix.

Apologies requested from Quebec

The insult formulated by Mr. Drouin caused a reaction even in the National Assembly of Quebec. Commenting on the subject on Wednesday, the Minister of the French Language, Jean-François Roberge, demanded further apologies, but also action from the federal government.

“Withdrawing his words with a small smile wasn’t enough. And I am waiting for a concrete gesture, but also a legal gesture,” he asked for the attention of the Trudeau government.

He particularly deplores that Ottawa has still not published certain decrees expected since the adoption of the new Official Languages ​​Act last year. The Commissioner of Official Languages ​​is waiting, for example, for the federal government to give him the right to issue fines, in a context where he deplores the fact that federal institutions do not take their obligations towards French seriously.

Francis Drouin did not want to comment on the request for an apology from Quebec. In Ottawa, the Bloc Québécois is now demanding that he leave his seat as president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie. The Bloc leader, Yves-François Blanchet, described the elected Liberal as “both rude and incompetent,” and maintained that Mr. Drouin insulted “all Quebecers,” since the cause of the decline in French “ is close to the hearts of almost all French-speakers in Quebec.”

During question period in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, indicated that he considers that his MP's apology is sufficient. “The reality is that the word Cambronne has been known for a very long time, all over the world, it was not our MP who used it for the first time. »

The Liberal leader ended his intervention by accusing the Bloc Québécois of attacking a Franco-Ontarian MP, proof “that they do not like Francophones who speak French outside Quebec.” He later analyzed that the strength of French in the country counters the arguments of Quebec separatists.

Simplistic message

On the merits of the case, Mr. Drouin considers above all that the conclusions of Mr. Lacroix and Mr. Bourdon on the peril of French in Quebec “are not unanimous within of the research community”. In his opinion, these speakers peddled a “simplistic message” by saying that the attraction to higher education in English contributes to the decline of French in Quebec.

The federal Minister of Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, defended this criticism from his colleague on Wednesday. He also offered his life journey as an example.

“I don’t think that when we have French speakers studying in Alberta, like me, at the Saint- Jean [in French], it can Frenchify the province of Alberta,” he answered questions from journalists, shortly before a meeting of the national caucus of the Liberal Party.

< p>The minister wanted to add that “if we look at the number of students we have in Quebec, it is not becoming anglicized. Neither does the province.”

With Alexandre Robillard

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116