A francophone resident of Quebec has accused his province of “colonialising” his home country.
The francophone man, who asked to be identified by his surname Le, said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC)In an interview on CBC Radio’s Quebec City morning show on Sunday, the Quebec-born, French-speaking Le said he believes he has been the victim of colonialism, after his father was elected to the Quebec legislature in 2016.
“It is colonialisation, it is colonisation, but also it is just an attempt to divide us, just to divide Quebec,” Le said.
“I’m very tired of this.”
Le, who lives in Quebec City, was born and raised in the Quebec city of Montréal.
His father is a member of the Quebec Assembly.
He and his mother both immigrated to Canada from the US.
Le said his father, a retired army colonel, and his grandparents immigrated from the same province of the French-Canadian country, Quebec.
In his interview, Le said the colonialist policies he saw in his native province had led to his own isolation.
“When I was a child, we were separated, but the first time I heard the French language was when my mother brought me to school,” he said.
“We were not allowed to go to the library or even to the cafeteria.
We had to read in French and the only books we had to buy were textbooks and we had nothing else.””
This was the only language that was spoken, but it was also the only culture that was protected,” he added.”
So we were isolated.
It was this big thing that was happening.”
Le’s father, who is a veteran of the Vietnam War, was elected a provincial Liberal MP in the province in 2017.
He has served as the leader of the party since 2016.
Le said he feels he has a unique position in the party because he is the only French-Canadien MP in his riding.
“This is a province that is very rich in culture and history and history is a very important part of the fabric of our identity.
So to see people being excluded from that heritage is extremely painful,” he told CBC Radio.
The Liberal Party of Quebec said it was aware of Le’s concerns.
“While we are disappointed to hear about this, our team is focused on continuing to strengthen the role of francophone representation in our party, particularly in our leadership team,” spokesperson Krista McEwan told CBC News.
McEwan said that while the party supports the rights of the francophone community to participate in the political process, it supports their rights to their own language.
“We believe that the best way to foster an inclusive society is through a more inclusive, diverse and inclusive Quebec,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade Department said the department had “received Le’s complaint.”
“As this matter is under investigation, we are unable to comment further,” she told CBC.
In 2016, the government announced a $2.5-billion initiative to boost French-language services in Quebec and its territories.
The plan includes an initiative that will give more French-Speaking Quebecers the right to apply for jobs in French-owned businesses.