Monday, January 01, 2007

60 Minutes report on Quebec language laws

On February 8, 1998, the CBS news program 60 Minutes reported on Quebec language laws. It did a fine job of ridiculing the ridiculous parts of the law.

The report is described this way on the 60 Minutes website:
As the Canadian [p]rovince of Quebec moves toward a French-language-only policy, critics charge the provincial government with "genteel ethnic cleansing" because the policy seems to be driving English-speaking people out. Morley Safer reports. Steven Reiner is the producer.
Here is the report as it aired in 1998 or click the play button below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Genteel ethnic cleansing"?!?! Do you know what ethnic cleansing was? It was the mass murder, rape, and forced deportation of tens of thousands of people in Bosnia in the early nineties. Do you really approve the use of that term to compare to the regulation of the size of lettering on certain advertising signs?

You can argue Bill 101 isn't perfect if you want to, but at worst it causes minor annoyances. And maybe these annoyances are sometimes one of the factors that make some people decide to move elsewhere. But to use the same term that is used to describe war crimes and genocide is so silly that no one is going to take it seriously.

If you exaggerate your grievances so much that people can't possibly sympathize with you, then you are no better than those who aren't forceful enough with their rhetoric. That's a lesson that William Johnson and Keith Henderson will never learn (which is why their political careers went nowhere and their groups disappeared) but it's still something you can keep in mind.