“L’erreur de Statistique Canada sur la langue maternelle des Québécois ne doit pas faire oublier que le français est en recul au Québec, même si le phénomène est moins prononcé qu’on ne l’avait annoncé précédemment, disent des organismes de défense de la langue française.”
The federal agency has revised their language numbers following their initial release on August 2nd. The initial error consquently augmented French decline as mother tongue in Quebec.
The QCGN, an English-language advocacy group, also mentions that their linguistic minority is in decline. Their director general Sylvia Martin-Laforge specifies that English-speaking Quebecers speak French since they know it’s important for them to live in Quebec.
“Statistics Canada has published revised Census numbers after admitting an error in language stats for Quebec.”
After releasing numbers earlier this month showing a massive spike of anglophones in Quebec, Statistics Canada now presented data which shows only a very slight increase in Quebec since 2011.
The Quebec Community Groups Network says the revised data proves English-speakers are not a threat to French in Quebec.
“Statistics Canada has officially set the record straight on a computing error that led it to publish false information on the decline of native French speakers in Quebec last year.”
An error which impacted a specific subset of questions from the census was corrected by Statistics Canada. The data shows a small decline in native French speakers, although the situations remains stable both in Quebec and Canada-wide.
For the English-speaking population of Quebec, the data reveals that Quebec residents who learned English as their official language increased. Sylvia Martin-Laforge welcomed this as a sign of growth which means potential more social services to meet the demand.
“Statistics Canada has corrected itself when it comes to the linguistic breakdown of Canadians. Earlier this month the agency incorrectly reported that the number of mother-tongue anglophones in Quebec had increased by 57,325 people between 2011 and 2016.”
News of the increase inflamed worries among “protectors” of the French language, but the increase was reduced with corrected figures from Stats Can. English has even decreased when looking at the numbers of people speaking solely English at home.
Sylvia Martin-Laforge hopes this increase goes in-hand with augmented social services.
“Even though revised census figures show the number of mother-tongue Enlish-speakers in Quebec is declining, a leading Anglo advocacy group has found a sliver of good news in the updated numbers.”
The number of English-speakers only went up by about 2,000 people. According to QCGN, these numbers seem more reflective from what we’ve been hearing in our community. Sylvia Martin-Laforge continued by saying this minor bump could mean more funding for services in Quebec.
Alison Brunette interviewed a few young participants during the Bishop’s Forum.
Watch Director General Sylvia Martin-Laforge’s interview at CTV News Montreal at Noon.http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1188587&binId=1.1332485&playlistPageNum=1
During an interview for Quebec AM with Marika Wheeler, James Hughes talks about Bishop’s Forum.
“Devant les membres de la Commission-Jeunesse de son parti, Philippe Couillard a lancé, dimanche, un appel aux anglophones du Québec. « We need you », a-t-il clamé dans son discours de clôture. Son gouvernement n’a pourtant aucune solution pour contrer le déclin du réseau scolaire anglais. Aux anglophones comme aux francophones, son message est le même : l’équilibre linguistique est atteint. En matière de langue, l’inaction s’impose.”
The rejection of a proposition made by the Young Quebec Liberals to allow French-speakers to English schools inspired Robert Dutrisac to observe enrolment decline in English school boards. Although French school boards also face slow demographic growth, Bill 101 limits free access to English schools. However, he states the vitality of the English-speaking community isn’t threatened because universities and CEGEPs are well frequented.
Even the QCGN hasn’t suggested to allow more French-speaking Quebecers in English schools to limit its enrolment decline. The QCGN rather wants Bill 101 to allow Commonwealth residents that immigrated to Quebec in English schools.
“Working together with the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), Bishop’s University (BU) has organized a week-long forum gathering nearly 60 English speaking students and over two dozen guest speakers set to start this Sunday night. During the forum, the youths will be learning about the type of society they live in and how to get involved within it.”
Bishop’s principal, Michael Goldbloom, is very excited about the forum which is completely free for its participants. He hopes that the forum will give participating youth a better appreciation of how Quebec institutions work.
QCGN’s main focus in working on the forum was to foster more English-speaking representations in positions of power in the province, said Sylvia Martin-Laforge.
Sylvia Martin-Laforge of the QCGN speaks about the Stats Can admission that its Quebec language numbers were wrong.
Statistics Canada has recognized it made a mistake in its recent calculations on the number of English-speaking Quebecers and will correct the data.
But the fallout from the incident continues with representatives of the English-speaking community saying such “alternative facts” have likely already done lasting damage to their efforts to shore up a fragile minority — especially in the regions.
Quebec Community Groups Network director general Sylvia Martin-Laforge said the erroneous data coupled with other data showing French in decline probably has “fed paranoia” in some circles that English is a bigger threat in Quebec than previously believed.
“Statistics Canada is blaming a computer error for results that indicated a surprising increase in the number of English-speaking people in Quebec. The agency said roughly 61,000 people were misclassified when the results of the 2016 census were compiled.”
English-language groups alerted Statistics Canada to possible discrepancies earlier this week. Most errors were found on a local level in some parts of the province where few English-speakers were reported previously.
The QCGN partnered with Jack Jedwab to compare number of English-speakers to English school enrolment rates and Quebec immigration rates. Jedwab was pleased with the speed at which StatsCan acknowledged the errors.
The group that represents Quebec English-speaking community groups says it’s shocked by and skeptical of new Statistics Canada numbers that show a surge in the number of people who speak English as a mother tongue.
“It was a surprise,” said Sylvia Martin-Laforge. She said the QCGN was anticipating very little growth in the number of anglophones and was shocked when the new Statistics Canada numbers showed some communities have hundreds or even thousands more English-speakers than they did in 2011. “This bowls us over, because that’s not what we were expecting,” she said.
The QCGN partnered with historian and demographic specialist Jack Jedwab to take a closer look at the figures. “The increases, I would say, are impossible,” said Jedwab. “I don’t know where the people are coming from.”
“As the month of August signals the end of vacation for many university students across Quebec, students may be looking to squeeze in a last-minute vacation before hitting the books this fall.”
Some students were selected to partake in the Bishop’s Forum Youth civic institute which is designed to educate self-identified English-speaking Quebecers about civic engagement in Quebec society. Panels will be offered in both French and English, and director James Hughes hopes young people will feel closer and more connected to their province.
The program is funded by the Quebec government’s Stratégie d’action jeunesse, and supported by the Quebec Community Groups Network.