Friday, April 12, 2024

The end of the two founding peoples?

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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I have written it several times…

The lower the demographic weight of French speakers within Canada, the more difficult it is to defend the concept of “the two founding peoples”.

We had proof of this back last Friday at Toronto Sun.

“colonial regime”

The Toronto Daily has published in its “Views” an open letter from Arjun Singh, a political science graduate from the University of Toronto, stating that it is time for Canada to “change the national narrative” and abandon the old concept of “the two”. Founding Peoples”.

why ?

Because this concept imprisons Canada in a colonial logic and marginalizes newcomers who speak neither English nor French as their mother tongue.

“This theory of two founding peoples excludes ethnic minorities,” Singh writes. It forces non-English-speaking and non-French-speaking Canadians to put up with having a glass ceiling over their heads. »

“Given that most minorities severely lack the resources to learn the ‘other official language’, they are de facto Excluded from the public and private sectors. »

“This unequal system means that cabinets, councils, and courts are overwhelmingly white, even though we are in the 21st century and profound demographic changes have transformed the country.”

“If someone comes to a managerial position without being bilingual – as happened to an Air Canada CEO – they will be attacked for promising to learn ‘the other official language’.”

“In the name of the concept of the two founding peoples, an entire class of Canadians is treated as colonial subjects and denied equal opportunity…”

intolerant province

For Arjun Singh, not only do we have to put an end to the concept of “the two founding peoples” – a myth, he says, disconnected from the new reality of Canada and forcing Canadians to tolerate a boycott that has adopted a repressive law like Bill 21 – but Canada must “embrace a pluralistic idea where it is treated people as individuals and not as members of a linguistic community.

Otherwise, he says, Canada will be doomed to remain a “neo-colonial nation”.

I confirm that this text was not published on an obscure website, but in pages Toronto Sunin the context of competition (” talk about ourselves ”) created by the Macdonald Laurier Institute.

The more immigrants in Canada, the more difficult it is to get Canadians to understand that French is more important than Mandarin or Hindi, and the greater the pressure to change the “national narrative.”

No need to have the gift of clairvoyance to foresee what is likely to happen: eventually (and sooner rather than later, if you ask me), French speakers will not be regarded as part of one of the founders of the two peoples, but as representatives of one of the many cultural communities that make up New Canada.

The choice is clear: either we separate and secure our future as a people, or we integrate into the greater Canadian whole.

There is no third way.

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