Re Lise Ravary’s “Lise Ravary: Confessions of a federalist Quebec nationalist” in The Gazette
I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the rejection of multiculturalism by the francophone political and media class. This is not just a Quebec issue, to be sure, but I’m looking at it from a Quebecer’s perspective.
Just as I believe the promotion of French through Bill 101 does not diminish the English language, it doesn’t make sense to me that the addition of multiple beautiful cultures to the Canadian mosaic could somehow injure our historial Anglophone and Francophone cultures.
Rather, as an outward-looking and open-minded nation, I see Canada as a place that becomes better the more we embrace new and different peoples. From the simplest experiences of eating at a Persian or Haitian restaurant to more complex cultural experiences and to the highest levels of academia, I see multiculturalism as opportunity to make all of us better.
As a second-generation Anglophone Quebecer of the Jewish faith and of Eastern European descent, I feel that exposing myself and my children to new and different ideas and experiences has never once diminished my ability to maintain my own language, culture and beliefs – if anything, experiencing these difference has allowed me to better appreciate my own background and made me want to learn more about my own family’s history.
Granted, I’m not Francophone, but I strongly disagree with Ms. Ravary’s statement that “to remain a happy federalist, a francophone has to believe in a bilingual and bi-cultural Canada…”
If, as Mr. Ravary states, francophones are open-minded enough to appreciate that our historical bi-culturalism is to their benefit – and, I might add that there is a clear willingness to be more open to Canada’s indigenous cultures in mainstream Quebec today – how could having more opportunities to learn and grow from others possibly be a negative?
It doesn’t add up.