The Gazette, Letters to the editor, Tim Thomas
As a former scholar and policy analyst, and as an anglophone who has lived in Montreal for more than 50 years, I have been struck by the resurgent themes on the Opinion page of The Gazette when it comes to Bill 14 and the language issue. Thoughts of Bill 22, St-Léonard in the 1970s, Bill 101, Alliance Quebec, the Equality Party, Howard Galganov and the partition movement have all flashed through my head.
“Here we go again,” I thought at first.
But then I realized that’s not really true, that Quebec is a much different place than it used to be.
The forces that have always driven the Quebec sovereignist movement — the desire for cultural preservation and the need for a nation-state — have been transformed dramatically by globalization. Increasingly, English has become a tool for global commerce and communication. Most forward-looking Quebecers realize this, and are telling their children that English is a necessary tool of advancement in the global economy.
The best way to live and prosper in French, then, is to nurture a healthy economy that is fully capable of dealing in English, but not threatened or overwhelmed by it.
Who knows, someday, having an English-speaking minority might even be perceived as an asset.