You can't make this stuff up:
But on Monday, Diane De Courcy, the Minister Responsible for the Charter of the French Language, returned to another flank in the PQ’s war for the perfect society: The battle to eliminate the friendly bilingual “bonjour-hi” greeting one often receives at businesses in downtown Montreal — and “not only in Montreal,” she warned a business audience.
Speak whatever you want at home, she said, but “there is a difference with what is institutional and [enforcement] must be without mercy.”
We must adjust our assumptions. Quebec is indeed a distinct society. Quebec politicians, however, live in a parallel universe. This is a universe untouched by logic, truth or hum-drum reality. Like in that episode of the original Star Trek when a transporter accident puts Kirk & Co in a parallel dimension where the Federation is evil. For an Anglo living in modern Quebec everyday is a trip to the Agony Booth.
The sensible question, at least to anyone who doesn't work at the National Assembly, is why anyone cares what language is spoken in stores? The answer is that sane and well adjusted people do not care. Wandering through Toronto one overhears dozens of different languages. The only annoying part is trying to get customer service in something resembling English. Doesn't always happens but it happens.
The solution to such a problem is to stop patronizing stores where the shop attendants have not bothered to acquire basic English language skills. No government intervention required. If the store in question can pay its way by servicing people in its own language, that's their business. I don't have to pay for it so I don't particularly care.
Here is where we get to the distinctive nature of Quebec politics. It's not that they speak French. Quebec nationalism has little to do with preserving the French language. That's just the excuse. It's about preserving a statist-collectivist way of life under the protection of the Canadian government. Been that way since July 1st, 1867. People of different language, ethnic and racial groupings have been getting along to one degree or another in the ROC since Simcoe. But none of these groups were offered the vast fortunes that have flowed to the Quebec nationalists these last few decades.
People response to incentive. If you tax a behaviour people do less of it, or they go underground. If you subsidize a behaviour you get more of it. Pay people to bitch and complain about how they're being oppressed and they'll spend their days bitching and complaining. It sure beats real work. You also get the added advantage of being perpetually smug. Here's a picture of Pauline Marois. It don't get any more smug than that.
Let's drop the pretense. The Quebecois long ago stopped having legitimate grievances against anyone for anything. The Feds locked up the Japanese during the war for no real reason and they've moved on. When was the last time you saw Japanese-Canadians demanding government subsidies? I'm excluding David Suzuki because he's a pseudo-science grievance monger not an ethnic grievance monger. A slightly more respectable profession.
Quebec nationalism is a racket. It's time we stopping subsidizing the racketeers.