2011/08/15

A Québec colony in the USA?

Hmmm... what's this [in French only]?... the city of Burlington, Vermont, just passed a resolution to heighten the presence of French?... interesting...

Turns out one of the municipal councilors thought that it was "an appropriate time to send a message across the border that we're extending the hand of friendship." The majority agreed to it on August 8th and the resolution passed. It simply is an encouragement to local merchants and has no legal bearing... a courteous gesture that acknowledges some of the state's heritage. About a third of its resident are of French Canadian descent, the name "Vermont" is an adaptation of the French words verts monts, i.e. green mountains, and its capital was named after the French city Montpellier as a tribute to France's aid during the American Revolution.

Unfortunately, some people don't agree with this resolution. And they give their beef a somewhat bitter taste. Click here to read about it.

6 comments:

Simon said...

hi Michel...I've always loved Burlington with its big old houses, and the university, and the scenery....especially in the fall. And I think it's a lovely gesture of friendship in these intolerant times. As for the ugly naysayers they just look cheap, as we say in Quebec. ;)
And there are always some in every crowd...

Ian Gillman said...

Nice gesture to be sure, but honestly, will it really encourage more Quebekers to go there than we already do? I agree that the tone of Lauren Oden's blog post was a tad caustic, she needs to lighten up. See my post in response to her article for my thoughts.

Jeanne du Lys said...

Bonsoir le Vermont.

Sylvie R. Tremblay
Montréal, Québec

edgy said...

I find it kind of funny that you guys think the blog post is "bitter" or "cheap." Seems to me, that's the same general reaction that Anglophone visitors get in Quebec all the time.

Last time I checked, all the tourist maps around Montreal were in French and French only. Even better, last time I used the facilities at the Quebec Welcome/Tourist Center on Highway 15, all the signs above the water fountains that said "Do not drink the water, not fit for human consumption" were in French and French only.

I guess when it happens in Vermont, it's rude or insensitive but when it happens in Quebec, it's simply necessary to protect a fragile culture. *sigh*

Michel Bolduc said...

You're basically right. The situation of French in Québec doesn't compare very well with the situation of English in Vermont. And if it's any consolation to you, many Québécois are bitter or cheap when it comes to providing space to English.

Raman said...

I'd be very surprised if Montreal's tourist facilities didn't have English indications. Hard to explain, then, why that industry keeps growing every year. But I'm sure Edgy managed to find the 1 or 2 examples that fit his view...

But Edgy reminds me of a guy from Ontario who told me of his visit to the CHUM hospital some years back. He was outraged that the 1st nurse who greeted him wasn't comfortable enough in English that he had to wait until they found another one who was. OUTRAGED ! How is that possible in CANADA ?!!!
On the other hand, he wasn’t at all moved when I explained to him that Francophone Quebeckers being treated at the Royal Vic or Jewish hospital (officially “bilingual”), going in for brain cancer or for delivering a baby – 2 actual stories –, can’t be treated in French all through their stay.