Sunday, March 15, 2009

Every Little Bit Helps

CTV's political roundtable today was discussing how the Conservatives have effectively "given up" on Quebec. Judging the sentiment, it looks like Quebecers have given up on the Conservatives, but let's not split hairs. It appears a Conservative MP is trying to help the process along:
Tory MP under fire for language comments about Quebecers

A backbench Tory MP from Quebec City has landed himself in hot water after describing Quebecers as a bunch of "illiterates" when it comes to the English language.

"Whether in elementary or secondary (school), English is practically swept under the rug (in Quebec)," Petit, 60, said last week at the House of Commons official languages committee. "At the university level, it's even worse. We have illiterates of the second language."

But Petit's remarks contradict recent statistics which revealed that French-speaking Quebecers were more likely to be bilingual than their English-speaking counterparts in the rest of Canada. A new research analysis by the Association for Canadian Studies concluded that many francophones are getting enough exposure to their second language in school to propel them to excel in bilingualism in their mid-teen years and after they hit the workforce.

"Whatever (francophones) have learned, however uneven or insufficient their learning is, it seems be enough to push them into a very significant degree of bilingualism, once they've finished school," said Jack Jedwab, executive director of the association, in an interview. "Anglophones in the rest of the country, don't seem to have the opportunity or excitement . . . about learning the other language."

Critics quickly pounced on the gaffe from the Tory MP who has developed a reputation for stirring up controversy.

Every little bit helps.


saii said...

Should we congratulate him for making the conservatives look like tools in Quebec, or for effectively stirring away people's attention about the recent remarks of our ever intelligent economist PM Harper?

Anonymous said...

Harper's Quebec strategy was based on only one person: Mario Dumont. Harpo free ride on him and when Charest ate Dumont for dinner, that was that.

The only consolation for Harper is that there will never be a Lucien Bouchard-Brian Mulroney bitter divorce. Now what we have are cranky Credistes in Con clothing: whingeing about immigrants and Jews.

sassy said...

I guess Petit did not see this article

"OTTAWA — The unilingual capital of Quebec appears to be succeeding at promoting bilingualism better than Canada's capital city, reveals a new study released Thursday by the Association for Canadian Studies."

Jerry Prager said...

It's fairly self-evident that both peoples of Quebec are far more likely to be functionally bilingual than anywhere else in the country, too bad the same can't be said for the functional intelligence of some of Harper's people.

Steve V said...

Isn't that the kicker Jerry.