J.J. McCullough is wrong about Quebec

A week or so ago I stumbled upon a video by the Canadian journalist and YouTuber J.J. McCullough, which I'll link to below.


In the video, McCullough goes over the messy consequences of Canadian official bilingualism in a country where the only provinces with significant French-speaking populations are Quebec and New Brunswick. These are just grievances which disproportionately affect Canada's immigrant populations, many of whom are effectively asked to be trilingual lest they be discriminated against in Canadian public life (especially in government). The YouTuber questions why French should receive special status in, for example, British Columbia, where the greatest minority language is Cantonese. And that's a valid question to ask. But McCullough makes a grave mistake by comparing French Canadians to Canada's recent immigrant populations - the implication being that the Québécois are no different to Chinese Canadians, East Indian Canadians, Mexican Canadians and so forth, and should be afforded no greater minority rights. This, I believe, is dangerous thinking which should be intellectually stamped out before it can spread to other Anglo-Canadians dissatisfied with the status quo.

The Québécois - as well as the Acadians, Brayons, and Métis for that matter - are not simply "French people in Canada", as McCullough seems to imply. Ask any true, European Frenchman, and he'll tell you how silly the Quebec accent sounds. The fact of the matter is the French Canadian peoples are as different to the French as the Anglo-Canadians are to the English. The Quebeckers are a unique nation with a unique ancestry and culture and tie to the land of Quebec. They need some kind of political guarantee that their individuality as a people will be preserved - this can either come in the form of Canadian bilingualism (with all the problems McCullough describes), or the long-overdue establishment of an independent Québécois nation-state. They're not just "French people in Canada"; they are not immigrants for they have nowhere else to go, and nowhere else in the world can their unique heritage be preserved. This is the difference between them and Chinese Canadians - the Chinese Canadians have China. The Québécois have only Quebec.