The Montreal Gazette, letters to the Sports Editor
As a director of an organization that promotes French as a second language across Canada, I appreciated the information that you included in your article on Andrei Markov (Sports Editor’s Column, Aug. 1, “Markov should learn some French”). There are about 300,000 students in French immersion across Canada, many of those in provinces where you would not think that there would be an interest. We really have to thank the teachers who help to inspire students to learn a second or third language, especially in areas where it might not be commonly used. I find it hard to accept that we still have sterile debates in Canada over the value of two languages, while many countries around the world consider it normal to speak two, three or more languages. Recently during the World Cup, I read that South Africa recognizes 11 languages. Here we make a mountain out of what should be a molehill. Two languages (or more) are a door to the rest of the world.
Lawrence Depoe is Executive Director at Canadian Parents for French-Quebec
I, too, was upset when I read Richard Martineau’s column in Le Journal. I was upset by both Ted Bird’s blog and by Martineau. Most Quebecers, be they English or French, show much more openness toward members of the other official language. Unfortunately, they do not get the same amount of press. Almost two-thirds of Quebec anglos are bilingual, and that percentage is growing generation by generation. But while anglophones are apparently making a much greater effort at learning the language of the provincial majority, people like Bird make it look like the English-speaking community lacks respect, and the whole community suffers the backlash.
Rita Legault is Director of Communications at the Quebec Community Groups Network