From The Walrus: Guilty Memories from an Anglo Montreal Childhood
“Like many English speakers growing up in Quebec, I saw myself as a victim. But within our own enclaves, we often acted like bigots.”
– Jonathan Kay
I didn’t live the 80s reality of this piece, but 90s Jewish/Anglo NDG/Cote St Luc was similar – a community that intentionally isolated itself from and denigrated the francophone majority. It wasn’t until university that I started to understand that contrary to what the baby boomers who lived through the War Measures Act & the installation of Bill 101 taught us, participation in French Quebec was something that would enrich my life, not detract from it.
Attitudes are certainly shifting in both solitudes to the point at which there are no more solitudes, in fact. Now we’re more like neighbours living, working and playing together, and the relationship will only continue to improve as we teach our children the benefits of togetherness.
The future is bright.