Anticipating a new spate of repressive linguistic measures, leading anglophone opinion leaders are pleading for a balanced approach from government towards our community. Balance, the linguists will tell you, is a deceptive cognate (“faux ami”). In English, it means measured or proportional. In French, “balancer” often means to reject, or more colloquially, to chuck.

The CAQ government has chucked basic principles of governance. For example, the principle that the provisions of a given law should be consistent with one another. After stating in an introductory provision that one of the principles of laicity is freedom of conscience and religion, Bill 21 then goes on to deny that very freedom in the workplace. Another basic principle of governance is that laws should not only be internally consistent; they should be consistent with one another. The preamble to Bill 101 says that the National Assembly will be “respectful of the institutions of the English-speaking community of Québec, and respectful of the ethnic minorities...”. Bills 40 and 21 contradict Bill 101, generally regarded as the holy grail of laws by Quebec governments of all political stripes.

Aristotle says that when one contradicts oneself, one is deemed to have said nothing. An exception to this would be our government, whose contradictions speak volumes about its lack of good faith and fairness.

Me.Howard Greenfield

Montreal

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