Monday, April 15, 2013


April 16, 2013
Joanne Scullion, your letter is published on in the Blog Section, as My Experience Fighting Bill 14. Here is the edited version:

On the 9th of April, I had the honour to accompany Hugo Shebbeare, of the QC Office of the English Language, Antoinette Mercurio, of Unity and about 28 other brave dedicated individuals to Quebec City. Our goal and purpose was to provide support, as Hugo presented his brief against the infamous bill 14. Upon entering the Assemblé Nationale, we were greeted by a less than friendly security guard. I heard him utter: 'Oh c'est les anglophones.' He then proceeded to asked if any of us spoke French I assured him that we all did, he looked shocked I am asked him `êtes-vous surpris?' He said `mais oui.' We proceeded through the metal detectors, and we had to remove all our buttons that said Bill 14 with a black line through it.

We proceeded upstairs into the Salle de conseil legislative (Red Room), which, by the way, had a huge Canadian Flag at the back still. As we took our places and all sat down, I glanced around. We were told to turn off our cell phones, which we did, but what to my wondering eyes appeared, were members of Mme de Courcy Le Ministre's entourage texting and talking on their phones. I was not prepared for the total lack of respect some of the members of the PQ showed, especially one Member, Sylvain Roy, because when Hugo was presenting his brief, Mr Roy continuously appeared to be suppressing a laugh. Hugo made a passionate statement carefully outlining how the bill would decimate our community. Mme de Courcy was not moved and told us `bon retour' after thanking us from participating. To make matters worse, the Liberal Member, from the West Island, Geoff Kelley, commented that the brief was full of adjectives and a lot of anger. Mr Kelley used the old PQ defense, well they are in a 'SEA OF ENGLISH,' and talked about the influences of how we had to differentiate ourselves from the United States, how we had to avoid Hollywood and Bollywood. As I sat there I was in a state of shock. Only by the grace of God and the ability to bite my tongue did I not jump up, and resort to my outside voice.

Suffice it to say, the experience of sitting in the National Assembly being a part of something, trying to invoke change at the legislative level was an empowering experience. Whilst I stared at Mme de Courcy, she appeared completely disinterested, and unmoved. It made my resolve even stronger. I had a right and a duty to be in the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY! Any law that gives sweeping powers that over shadow our language police should be suspect. Any law that gives the Office de la langue française, powers to swoop down from their perch and target businesses, on the base of a secret complaint, and confiscate records, computers and the offending material, without a warrant, and press criminal charges, is fascist!

The other aspect of this odious law, sections 175, 175.3, 166 in particular, are that the OLF can appoint arbitrarily anyone to perform the task, if there are no inspectors available. So in essence your arch business rival could do the search and seizure. Any law that makes the changes, from ethnic to cultural community is suspect, because cultural communities would have no protection under the Quebec Charter of rights or in the International Court of Justice. Any law that asks Quebeckers to act as language watch dogs, to spy against their co-workers, for not respecting the French charter, is a vile piece of legislation, and is a consequence of the extreme ethno-linguistic nationalism in QC. In essence, you could be ordered to speak French in your place of work, by a co-worker, and if you do not comply, you would be obliged to appear before a language tribunal, as if you were stuck in a passage of Orwell's 1984!

If anyone thinks that I am hysterical and making this up, simply go on the site of the National Assembly website and do some homework. Please read Bill 14 yourself! Thus, why are we not out in the streets banging our pots and pans? Most people are not aware of the odious ramifications of the law. Ignorance is no excuse, if we as a community do not fight this tooth and nail, if we as a community do not participate in any demonstrations, if we as a community do not defend the interests of ALL Quebeckers we will lose our rights. Peter Blaike wrote a very truthful article about Bill 14. In sum, this odious bill, is to get the Anglos who have stayed to move out, thus to create the winning conditions, for another neverendum...

This is a battle that has to be fought in the courts, in the National Assembly and on the streets. I am not invoking violence, because when I say the streets, I mean for the all communities to get off their collective butts and walk the walk. I would strongly advise that sitting in the National Assembly defending my rights, your rights, everyone's rights, was an incredible and uplifting experience that I would strongly recommend to any concerned citizen.

*A foot note to Mr Kelley: we are no longer angry phones, we are furious-phones!
Phyllis Carter - I will share this on my blog at More than 95,000 people around the world have read my blogs to date. There is a particular interest from Russia, believe it or not. That surprised me. Well , so did Azerbaijan and Zimbabwe. But with the Net, the world is at our fingertips. This is a battle for freedom that we have been fighting for decades - since Rene Levesque was a Liberal. As long as extremists have power, it will continue.

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