(Globe and Mail) Lysiane Gagnon: Lose the religion or lose the subsidy

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This is a textbook case of going from one extreme to the other. For decades, the Quebec government slept in the bed of the Roman Catholic Church. Nowadays, its secularist agenda is so radical it applies to three-year-old kids.

Earlier this month, Family Minister Yolande James announced a ban on religious instruction in subsidized daycare centres. Ms. James’s ministry will triple the number of inspectors, to 58, and violations will be punished by the suppression of funding, which amounts to $40 a day per child, since parents pay no more than $7 a day.

How will these bureaucrats make the distinction between culture and religion?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

1 Comments
Posted January 3, 2011 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:

Québec continues to circle the drain. It has, indeed, been unable to find some semblance of a reasonable centre point. It remains the only place in North America where mothers will swell with pride and say Mon fils est bureaucrate.—“My son is a bureaucrat”—or a politician will quite seriously state “We’ll be putting our best technocrats to work on the problem.” and assume that will reassure people that things are under control.

Québec’s fundamental problem is a nasty intersection between culture and demographics. After the Romans were pushed out of effective political power the birthrate crashed. Québec is a place where between about 1880 and 1940 the birthrate was closely approaching the theoretical maximum for the human species, yet since 1960 any possibility of hitting natural replacement rate is a far distant glimmer on the horizon. When I was living there (1978 to ‘91) many of my colleagues had been raised in families of more than a dozen children. More than 20 was not rare. Today, one child is the norm, and many couples opt for no children at all.

Therein lies the problem. Québec wishes to maintain its cultural (and linguistic) purity but the population of “pure wool” Québecois is crashing. In response they have, for the last generation, required children of immigrants to be schooled in French. What does not work, and cannot work, is that language is not the same as culture.

My sons are native speakers of French, but they think like Anglos, and in particular, like Americans. Same problem with Greeks, Russians, Congolese, and so on ... they don’t think and believe according to the cultural norms of the old Québec.

Preserve your language, or preserve your culture: choose one. This op-ed merely describes one symptom of Québec’s horrible dilemma.

January 3, 1:45 pm | [comment link]
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