English-speaking Quebec: Leave to study in their own language
Photo: Martin Lavoie
Katharina Urbshat, artist.
Sunday, 18 February 2018 17:19
Sunday, 18 February 2018 17:19
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The city of Quebec is no exception to the exodus of young anglophones, but the reasons are not the same as in Montreal.
“It is a phenomenon that we see also in Québec. It’s always been a bit like that. The English-speaking young people leave the area often to study in an English-speaking university in Montreal and then they leave the province,” responded Taylor Ireland. This last has established the company Workshops English conversation in Quebec city.
But Mr. Ireland has done the opposite course in leaving her Saskatchewan home in 2005 at the age of 25 years old to settle in the capital alone unilingual francophone countries. “I came to speak in French and I never left.”
“What I mean to say by members of the English-speaking community is that often when an employer is looking for someone bilingual, it means a francophone who speaks English. It also lacks models of English in the business community or in politics. It supports the idea that in order to do something, you need to leave”, he adds.
The fact that we live in a country that is English-speaking majority also has an impact, depending on the teacher. “It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of courage to move to Toronto or Vancouver for a native English speaker. And there are francophones who are also. And for them to go to Calgary poses more of a challenge.”
“When you hear Manon Massé of Québec Solidaire, we must do everything in French, even with other governments in Canada, the history of the ‘Hello-Hi’, this is the kind of things that can do and say, ‘I have to live with it all my life?’ It can give you the taste to go elsewhere. It’s been 13 years that I am here and it’s always the same debate”, he complained.
Mr. Ireland also holds that the anglophones of Quebec are more integrated than in Montreal. In addition, it feels very good in Quebec city. “I’ve never had the feeling that I was not welcome and I was well-received by the business community.”
Katharina Urbshat has seen the light of day in Quebec city during the one year when his parents –he German, she in-Toronto – have lived in the Old capital. High then in Germany, she returned to live at Quebec in the 1990s, then there is permanently established from 2005.
“I love the european side of Quebec city, its rich culture and mixed. It is a beautiful place to live for an artist like me,” the one who practices and teaches singing in both languages.
It notes that job opportunities are often the element leading to emigrate. “You are going to direct you where to work and where you will find the best job. I meet people from several countries. Some people come here to learn French. Bilingualism is important.”
Today, the one that considers Quebec attended the services and the shops, regardless of whether it will be served in English. “It wasn’t like that at the beginning. I was terrified to go to a dentist who does not speak English. But the organization Voice of English-speaking Québec (VEQ), which has given me a list of places giving services in English, it was extremely important.”
Ms. Urbshat recognizes the importance that the law protects the French language in the context of an English-speaking America. But in the daily interaction with people, she would appreciate being able to speak in English but its French-speaking interlocutors do not feel offended.