How to discourage immigrants in Quebec?

Yesterday, The duty published a text about Ukrainian refugees who do not have access to French classes due to a lack of available teachers.

It is again the lack of staff that explains this sad situation. The Ministry of Immigration, Franciscation and Integration declined to answer the journalist’s questions Have to looking for an explanation.

Ukrainians who have already arrived in Québec are therefore eager to learn our language. One refugee staying with a family in Cowansville said she quickly understood the importance of French planning their future with us. However, before September it was impossible to take intensive French courses.

I am not surprised by the interest of these Ukrainians. 19 years ago I spent my honeymoon in Ukraine. As a writer, I had been invited by the cultural attaché of the French embassy to give a series of conferences in Kyiv and Odessa. It was March 2003. A week earlier I had married my Francophile Englishman in Paris.


The first shock in Kyiv was added to my dream honeymoon. When I was invited to give a lecture on Quebec at the university, I expected to meet a few dozen young Ukrainians. The cultural advisor had a whole surprise in store for me. I entered a huge, packed amphitheater. I was stunned.

In fact, I was even more blown away after my presentation, which was followed by a question and answer period. Students questioned me, in French that would make many Quebecers blush, about the election campaign then going on in Quebec, led by Bernard Landry. The PQ is defeated by Jean Charest’s PLQ a few weeks later.

I understand more than ever why the PQ was so passionate about these Ukrainian students.

I can imagine that many of them are fighting hard today to defend their country destroyed by Putin.

Two days later, more strong emotions awaited me in Odessa, where the Alliance française had invited me to this World Francophonie Day. I had to give prizes to young school children for excellence in French.


Almost 200 people registered with the Alliance française have gathered. All took French lessons. A boy of nine or ten, wearing a black suit and bow tie, spoke. “Dear Sir or Madam, we are honored to welcome you as a French-language writer from Quebec on this Francophonie Day. That’s why we offer you a song by your great compatriot Luc Plamondon. »

And the children sang in choir The time of the cathedrals. I burst into tears, couldn’t control myself for minutes. Then I took part in reading the texts of little Ukrainians, the literary quality of which was amazing.

Until then, I was not aware of the great interest in the French language in Ukraine.

And today, the Ukrainians who landed in our country are stamping with impatience to learn our language.

Will we allow refugees who want to stay in Quebec to be anglicized for lack of teachers? How can the CAQ government tolerate such laxity in managing its immigration policy?

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