There’s a surprisingly lengthy article in the Montréal Gazette newspaper by feature writer, Kate Sheridan, on the growing number of Irish-speakers and learners in Québec’s largest city, and the cultural organisation, Comhrá, which is bringing them together. “Siobhán Ní Mhaolagáin has been teaching the language in Montreal since September, when she first arrived to accept a year-long position as Concordia University’s… Read More The Irish Language In Montréal
For the last four or five years of An Sionnach Fionn I have been promoting the potential benefits of “language tourism” for Ireland’s economy. The indigenous culture of this island nation represents a largely untapped source of prosperity for the national economy, and not just the education sector or the Gaeltachtaí. As I stated in the second month of ASF’s existence, way back… Read More Putting The Éire In Ireland
Canada’s National Post newspaper, a staunchly federalist (aka. “Unionist”) publication, carries a typically angry tirade by the writer and presenter Dan Delmar against laws in his home territory of Québec promoting equality between Francophone and Anglophone citizens. Delmar argues that such regulations are needlessly onerous and that: “…sympathetic allies in media are all too willing to indulge… Read More Speak White
In light of two recent posts, “The Acceptable Form Of Racism In Ireland” and “Sinn Féin’s Bluff And Bluster On Irish Rights”, and the subsequent contributions in the Comments (for which thanks to all), I thought this short article over on Diaga, “Language Resistance 2 – Ambivalence (Québec)”, makes some excellent points of its own. Meanwhile the… Read More Ambivalent Language Masks Intolerance
Forgive the “Animal Farm” paraphrase in the title above but it seemed appropriate when contemplating some recent articles written on linguistic equality by Anglophone journalists in Ireland and Canada. The first comes from the newspaper columnist Catherine O’Mahony in the Sunday Business Post where in two pieces she both praises and criticises the Irish language… Read More Some Irish Are More Equal Than Others
The one thing that stands out when you examine the ideological underpinnings of British nationalism (or Unionism) and Canadian nationalism (or Federalism) is the commonalities they share when it comes to dealing with those territories Britain and Canada “acquired” in times past. For the British (or rather the English) the island nation of Ireland –… Read More The Partition Of Québec
Despite (or perhaps because of) all the controversy surrounding the proposals by the Parti Québécois to restrict the display of overtly religious symbols in public workplaces the formerly lacklustre PQ government in Québec is now riding high in the polls. Unsurprisingly rumours of a snap election are circulating in both the Francophone and Anglophone media, albeit… Read More The Self-Determination Spring
One of the more amusing spectator sports of recent months has been derived from watching the seething antipathy expressed by the anglophone and federalist media in Canada towards the governing Parti Québécois in the province of Québec. It goes far beyond mere political animus and into the realms of existential angst as many “Unionist” Canadians… Read More I’m Not A Racist But…
The drive for autonomy seems to be in the air. We begin with news from the resurgent Iberian nation of Catalonia where the leaders of the main Nationalist parties have agreed on a date for the upcoming independence referendum (albeit with a two-part question to quell the nerves of the conservative CiU government in Barcelona).… Read More The Winds Of Change – Catalonia And Québec
The debate in Québec over Bill 60 or the proposed Charter of Values, secularist legislation being advocated by the ruling Parti Québécois (or PQ), is throwing up all sorts of interesting political phenomena. On one hand it is reviled by Canada’s Anglophone news media and federalist (“unionist”) establishment, as seen in a controversial opinion piece… Read More Québécois Secularism Rattles Canadian Unionism
Justin Trudeau is probably the nearest thing Canadians have to some home-grown royalty of their own (as opposed to the Germano-English variety). The photogenic son of the influential former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, who led an English Canada kicking and screaming into the policy of official bilingualism in the late 1960s, he became the leader… Read More If It Is Good Enough For Canada
Following on from my post here about the controversy surrounding suggested new regulations in Québec promoting greater secularism in the public workplace this is a surprise. From The Star in Canada: “Québec’s proposed ban on the wearing of religious symbols has drawn criticism from across the country, but a new poll suggests it has strong… Read More Is The PQ’s Secular Charter A Vote-Winner?
Mixed polling news from Québec where Pauline Marois’ ruling Parti Québécois has recorded a slight rise in popularity but is still well behind the opposition Liberal Party, a Canadian federalist or “Unionist” party. From the survey by Le Presse-CROP: 40% Québec Liberal Party – Parti libéral du Québec 29% Parti Québécois 20% Coalition Avenir Québec 7%… Read More Québec: Polls And Secularism
Hard to disagree with this description of the Parti Québécois by Jean-Martin Aussant, former PQ politician and disillusioned ex-leader of the rival Option Nationale, in an interview from Canada’s National Post newspaper: “Mr. Aussant, 43, was first elected under the Parti Québécois banner in 2008, but he soon lost patience with what he saw as… Read More Parti Québécois, Power For Power’s Sake?
Couple of articles looking at the faltering fortunes of the sovereignty movements in Scotland and Québec when compared to the dynamism readily observable in their Catalan equivalents. The first comes from Patrick West in the contrarian Spiked and reflects a broadly British Unionist Nationalist viewpoint: “On the face of it, Spain and the United Kingdom… Read More Catalonia, Scotland And Québec
Several commentators, including myself, have recently speculated about the possibility of Sinn Féin and the SDLP maximising the regional Nationalist vote in the north-east of Ireland through the fielding of agreed or joint-candidates in a number of marginal constituencies at the next Stormont Assembly elections (and possibly Westminster). This has come about as a response… Read More Sinn Féin, The SDLP And The Québec Comparison
More new from the Pax Anglia, via the Dunfermline Press: “… councillor Dave Dempsey is proposing that road signs in Fife be in English-only. His motion, “Council agrees that there is no need, point or advantage in road signs in Fife being in any other language or languages than English” went before fellow councillors yesterday… Read More Language Wars – Coming To A Sign Near You Soon
Some more news on the continuing protests by the indigenous peoples of Canada as they seek to build on the momentum created by the Idle No More movement and the recent hunger strike by the Theresa Spence. From the Star: “On the frozen shores of Hudson’s Bay in January, a small group of Great Whale Cree strapped on their mukluks, pulled on their parkas and… Read More The Journey of Nishiyuu – Indigenous Rights In Canada And Québec
Interesting article on the two rising stars of political nationalism in Québec both of which have begun to challenge the traditional dominance of the Parti Québécois (PQ) when it comes to eliciting support from the province’s separatist-minded voters. The first is the left-wing Option nationale, led by Jean-Martin Aussant, a party that is attracting a… Read More The Rising Stars Of Québec Nationalism
More news from Canada and beyond in relation to the hunger strike by Theresa Spence, leader of the Attawapiskat First Nation (one of the indigenous peoples of Canada), and the protests by Idle No More, the aboriginal rights’ movement. From the BBC: “Protesters supporting a Native Canadian chief’s 23-day hunger strike have blocked a rail line in eastern Quebec. While the Attawapiskat leader has continued her fast,… Read More Support For Hunger Striker Theresa Spence Grows
Interesting article in the Toronto Sun on the phenomenon of a party-within-a-party represented by the separatist inclinations of some Québec-based members of the ostensibly federalist New Democratic Party (NDP) in Canada. Since the party’s electoral landslide in Québec during 2011’s federal elections across Canada (which effectively knocked out the once dominant nationalist Bloc Québécois) accusations… Read More The NDP – A Separatist In Federalist Clothing?
A quick post to note the results of the election in Québec where the nationalist Parti Québécois (or PQ) under leader Pauline Marois has had a narrow victory over the incumbent Liberal Party led by veteran politician Jean Charest. However the PQ celebrations were soon interrupted by news of a lone-terrorist attack by an Anglophone extremist on a PC rally… Read More PQ Electoral Victory In Québec Sparks Political Violence