Francophobia is donning new populist clothes in Canada
by Stephanie Chouinard/Serge MiVille, The Globe and MailNovember 2018
In the next few weeks in New Brunswick, Blaine Higgs’ Progressive Conservative Party will form the new government with the support of three MLAs from the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick (PANB).
Mr. Higgs was a founding member of the former Confederation of Regions Party (CoR), a populist movement that openly fought bilingualism in the 1990s. The PANB, which campaigned on abolishing the official linguistic duality of New Brunswick, has revealed itself to be the ideological heir to the CoR . It justified the hiring of unilingual personnel and proposed major cuts in a number of sectors serving the Acadian population – health and education among them – by using “economic common sense” rhetoric.
In Ontario, this same economic common sense discourse has been used by another Progressive Conservative party to eliminate the office of the French Language Services Commissioner and to kill the promised creation of a French-language university in Ontario. Premier Doug Ford and Finance Minister Vic Fedeli thus multiply the attacks on historic francophone communities under the guise of “fiscal restraint.”
Insisting on the idea that all Canadians must be a single and indivisible people, they imply that minorities do not deserve protection because their existence delegitimizes that project. Click To Tweet
Authoritarians are very dependent on social reinforcement of their beliefs, and cultural mores. This happens because they like to screen out sources that will suggest that their beliefs may be wrong.
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