For those of you who have been regularly following this blog, you have perhaps read the series I wrote on the uptick of bilingualism across Canada among Anglophone Canadians, and the massive immersion movement in Anglophone Canada.
Here is another example of how far Anglophone Canada is coming with respect to its grassroots bilingualism drive. A couple of nights ago, while still in Saskatchewan, I tuned in to Regina’s 6pm CTV evening television news. Usually the lead television advertisement which opens the news is one of the most “high-profile” (and perhaps one of the most “expensive”) advertising time slots of the evening.
You’ll never guess what it was. I just about fell off my chair when I saw that This type of ad is now taking prime-time time slots. It was an advertisement by a citizens movement in Saskatchewan to continue the grassroots drive towards French bilingualism (among Anglophones) in Saskatchewan!
Here is the advertisement. (Remember, this was “the prime-time” television advertisement in Southern Saskatchewan the evening I saw it, and perhaps also in Northern Saskatchewan if it was also broadcast in Saskatoon):
The website for this grass-roots, Saskatchewan movement is found here: http://www.bonjoursk.ca/
Here is the Government of Saskatchewan’s French website: http://www.bonjour.gov.sk.ca/
I’m amazed that we’re coming this far, this fast, in Anglophone Canada – and how far we have come as a country since 1995.
The unfortunate thing is that the majority of people in Québec may not be aware of such transitions (at least that’s the sense I get from the ground). Nor are many in Québec aware of these types of efforts so many in the rest of Canada are making towards bridge the Two Solitudes.
Here is something I found quite interesting: I sent this advertisements to a couple of self-declared long-time “soft sovereignist” friends in Québec (but for some time, they have been leaning more-and-more towards federalism and we talk rather openly about these sort of things). Their first reaction to seeing that these sorts of advertisements have made their way into prime-time television was of amazement. Their second reaction was that they wished Québec’s media was not so insular, blind (their words, not mine) & Québec-centric towards changes outside Québec – to the extent that it prevents the general public in Québec from seeing these sort of things. Their third reaction was that they do believe more people in Québec need to do a better job in educating themselves regarding Anglophone Canada and Anglophones elsewhere (especially in Western Canada), from the standpoint of 2015 versus 1995.
One of the people to whom I sent this video overtly stated that he has long begun to openly question and criticizing the validity of the sovereignist movement considering that he too sees that Anglophones across Canada making such substantial overtures and gestures towards our shared heritage with Québec, towards Canada’s “French fact”, and towards our shared linguistic and cultural duality. He said that he’s not alone in his thoughts.
He gets the sense that many other “soft-sovereignists” in Québec are also slowly becoming aware that the sovereignist movement has been duping the public by trying its best to hide these sorts of new Anglophone Canadian realities – either through manipulation of the media, or through the complete twisting (or silence) of the facts regarding realities in Anglophone Canada. Both were in agreement that constitutional matters can come later. In the meantime, what matters most are gestures by ordinary people.
Regardless, the conversations it provoked were interesting – interesting enough to warrant making a post of it.
Related posts are listed below:
Series: Canadian Blingualism Trends (4 posts)
- 1. Western Canada trends in bilingualism (#68)
- 2. Ontario trends in bilingualism (#69)
- 3. Québec trends in bilingualism (#70)
- 4. Bilingualism in the Atlantic Provinces (#71)
SERIES: FRENCH IMMERSION (4 POSTS)
- French Immersion across Canada – Some maps (#163) – PART 1 of 4
- General USA Immersion programs, and French Immersion in the USA (#164) – PART 2 of 4
- The significance of Canada’s French Immersion Program – for Québec (#165) – PART 3 of 4
- L’Importance du programme d’immersion française au Canada anglophone – pour le Québec (#166) – PART 4 of 4 – (pour ceux qui prétendent que rien n’a changé au Canada anglophone depuis 1995).