An Open Letter To Pauline Marois
Dear Ms. Marois,
My name is Jeromie Williams, and please note that should you form a minority or majority government, that I will be leaving the province as soon as I possibly can, because quite simply put I don’t need to feel your hatred for me every day as an anglophone.
Your platform is radical and divisive, and borders on racist and xenophobic and these are not values that I share with you. You may have scared and tricked enough people into believing that without your intervention this province is doomed, but besides your hatred and disdain for every and all non French speaking citizens, you are a carbon copy of Jean Charest. There is nothing different about either of you other than your opinions on language and unity.
When I attempted to learn French as an adult after I came to Quebec, there were ZERO free courses available for Canadian citizens, yet those immigrating to Canada were offered full time courses for free. Where is the fairness in that? How does that help preserve the French language? The answer is, it doesn’t solve the problem, it just alienates Anglophones even more.
When I was forced to enrol for unemployment 2 years ago, I attempted once again to learn French, thinking that with the extra time and effort I could put in that it would be a great opportunity to learn the language. The problem yet again, is that “chommage” didn’t cover French courses and the only way I was eligible was to either sign up for a different government program and take a 50% loss in monthly payments, or go on welfare.
I ended up taking the 50% loss in payments and enrolling in the other program because I was dedicated to learning French, but upon entering class for the first day and being given my “Learning French For Immigrants” exercise book, I realized that yet again the system was stacked against me. The course materials were remedial, often filled with Catholic church references and filled with racist, misogynistic and homophobic undertones.
I made it through to Level 2 of Level 5 but was forced to quit because of the pace of the classes and the proficiency of the other students who spoke neither French nor English and struggled so much that is stalled the classes from progressing.
I’ve tried to learn French, and anyone who says “it’s easy to learn” is being a generalist, because no language is easy to learn, especially when so many roadblocks and institutionalized prejudices are built into the system. If you want to protect the language in Quebec, you don’t need to rule the province like a dictator with an iron fist, you simply need to take away the road blocks and the obstacles that get in people’s way.
So, no, Pauline, you are not a new direction for Quebec, you are not the champion of the people, you are simply Jean Charest in a dress and some lipstick on and a mandate of discrimination and prejudice in your hand, and should you come to power I will be forced to leave and live in another province that more better reflects my beliefs in equality, diversity and understanding.
You are set to destroy something beautiful, and her name is Quebec.