If Frenchization was important

It is quite embarrassing for a government that claims to be very concerned about the Frenchization of immigrants to do the opposite of what the experts it has hired to study and recommend in depth recommend.

Posted at 5:00 am

It’s quite embarrassing, but that’s exactly what happened with certain measures contained in Law 96.

In order for the most vulnerable newcomers to be Frenched as well as possible, their well-being must first be ensured so that they have better learning conditions. First you have to give them time. The time to “settle down, settle down” before they start classes.

This is the very first hidden research report recommendation I have received under the Access to Information Act

the Legault government has refused to release it amid the Bill ’96 debates.

I have already mentioned the existence of this “invisible” report, submitted in April 2021 to the Ministry of Immigration, Franciscanization and Integration (MIFI), whose recommendations violate Law 96. (1). It should be noted that this update to Bill 101 imposes a six-month period after which newcomers cannot be served by the State in any language other than French unless “health, public safety or the principles of natural justice so require”. – Exceptions, the exact scope of which is still to be clarified.

The large-scale research project, led by Garine Papazian-Zohrabian, professor at the Department of Psychopedagogy and Andragogy at the University of Montreal, clearly shows how unrealistic and inhumane this six-month deadline is for immigrants at high risk.


Garine Papazian-Zohrabian, Professor in the Department of Psychopedagogy and Andragogy at the University of Montreal

When I asked MIFI last month to send me the study in question, they refused on the pretext that it was produced “for administrative purposes”.

Reading the 148-page report up there on his hidden tablet, we quickly understand that he is being protected from prying eyes perhaps for political rather than administrative reasons.

The office of Minister for the French language, Simon Jolin-Barrette, claims that there is “no contradiction” between the report’s recommendations and the six-month deadline set out in Bill 96 by Professor Papazian-Zohrabian, who, like me, advocates a better one franking is. “I fully understand the need to strengthen French and make it the common public language. At the same time, we must use the right means to do this. Respectful means towards these vulnerable populations. »

The six-month rule does not meet these criteria, although some say it is already “generous” compared to the more assimilative models of France or other European countries. This is to forget that Quebec is ahead of Europe in this respect. Imitating Europe does not bring us forward on the path to harmonious integration, quite the contrary.

If Frenchization really mattered in the eyes of the government, reading this study we would have understood that the refugees who arrive here with their share of trauma and trying to survive in precarious conditions need more time, flexibility and support to to be able to learn a new language.

We would have listened to the Franciscans who testify how difficult it is to educate people who are fleeing war and are concerned about the fate of their families left behind. We would still have listened to those teachers who bemoan the Ministry’s rigidity and lack of time and adequate resources. “In general, I don’t think the program is long enough,” says one of them, adding that it’s “a bit crazy” to think that an illiterate can become functional in French in a single year.

If Frenchization were important, we would have given more support and appreciation to the teachers at the end of their tether whose mission it is. Like this professor, who explains the energy it takes to educate people in need: “It burns you because you’re on multiple fires, okay? »

If franking were important, we would have understood that it does nobody any favors to be inflexible after six months with a refugee who does not speak French well enough to talk about his child’s difficulties at school or his right not to be exploited. . Neither for the refugee himself, nor for his child, nor for Quebec society, which wants these people to be able to integrate in French. In a human and efficient way. In collaboration with William Leclerc,

The press

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