First Published: People’s Canada Daily News, Vol 7, No. 169, July 11, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
On July 7, the PQ government unilaterally closed the hearings on Bill One, the “Charter of the French Language”. This announcement was made at the same time Premier Rene Levesque announced that Bill One will be “withdrawn” and that “substantial changes” will be made to the “Charter of the French Language”. The revised legislation, to be called Bill 101, will be presented this week in the National Assembly.
After the PQ became the government of the reactionary bourgeoisie and of U.S. imperialism in the November 1976 provincial election, Bill One was the first major piece of legislation to be presented in the National Assembly to whip up hysteria about the “independence” fraud. Bill One was tabled in the Quebec National Assembly by the Minister responsible for Cultural Development, Camille Laurin, on April 27, after a White Paper had been presented for “discussion” on April 1 of this year. Since then, the Bill being approved on first reading was before a Parliamentary Commission conducting hearings (a “forum for exchange” according to Laurin) since June 7.
Bill One can be summarized in five main points:
1. That French is, and was always, the language of the people of Quebec.
2. The government will take measures so that French is the language at the place of work, through a programme of “francization”.
3. The government will take measures so that French is the language used in labelling, publicity and place names.
4. French will be the only language used in the courts and in the Legislature.
5. Every child should be educated in French except when one of his parents has been educated in English.
Bill One is part of the “independence” fraud promoted by a section of the reactionary bourgeoisie to keep the nation of Quebec subjugated. Rene Levesque and his bunch of reactionary nationalists are part of the reactionary bourgeoisie in Canada which is the cause of the exploitation of the proletariat in Canada and which is the cause of the subjugation of the nation of Quebec and which is the assassin of the Native people of Canada. Through reactionary cultural nationalism, Rene Levesque and his Parti Quebecois are attempting to split the proletariat in Canada. It is the task of the proletariat in Canada to overthrow the reactionary bourgeoisie in Canada and its state dominated by U.S. imperialism.
The hearings on Bill One have been the opportunity for the PQ government to push the line of reactionary cultural nationalism in order to split the Canadian people and to divide the people within Quebec. The PQ government has used the state to cause divisions on the basis of reactionary cultural nationalism to attack the immigrant populations in Quebec. This was evident during the hearings on Bill One The Minister responsible for Cultural Development, Camille Laurin, who prepared and presented Bill One to the National Assembly has continually attacked representatives of the immigrant populations when they presented briefs during the hearings, slandering them and made chauvinist remarks particularly against representatives of the Italian and Greek communities as well as representatives of other national minorities living in Quebec.
The Parti Quebecois wants to use the various immigrant populations living in Quebec as scapegoats to mask who is the main enemy of the Quebec people, who is subjugating the nation of Quebec. The main enemy of the Quebec people is not the so-called “English-Canadian nation”, the “English” or the immigrant populations living in Quebec. The main enemy of the Quebec people, is the reactionary bourgeoisie (not just the section which is promoting the “independence” fraud for Quebec) and U.S. imperialism. The PQ wants to appropriate the fighting tradition of the Quebec people against the reactionary Anglo-Canadian state, which is and has always been the instrument of oppression of the nation of Quebec. By using outright national and social-chauvinism, the PQ hopes to divide the people along language lines, between “French-speaking people” and “English-speaking people”, etc. By deliberately obscuring the cause of national oppression in Quebec and promoting the “language question” as a major political issue, as a step for “independence”, Bill One turns language into a factor which disunites the proletariat in Quebec and splits the ranks of the Canadian revolution. This is the way traitors to the nation have historically promoted national chauvinism and reactionary cultural nationalism and have tried to undermine the fight for genuine national liberation and the struggle of labour against capital.
The hearings on Bill One have also been the opportunity for the Parti Quebecois to promote reactionary cultural nationalists who presented briefs to support this legislation. Reactionary nationalists like Raymond Barbeau and the Mouvement national des Quebecois have praised this languague bill to the skies and have been warmly greeted by the PQ. It is interesting to note that Raymond Barbeau was the founder of l’Alliance laurentinne, an organization founded in 1957 to promote the fraud of “independence” for Quebec. The programme of this organization was based on the fascist corporatist theories of Salazar, the butcher of the Portuguese people. This character said that Bill One is “the victory of the Quebecois nation over the anglophone occupier, the annulment of the defeat on the Plains of Abraham” and was congratulated by the PQ members on the commission forhis support for this bill. Another bunch of reactionary cultural nationalists who praised the Bill were the Mouvement national des Quebecois, whose speaker was Francois Albert Angers, a follower of fascism during the Second World War and whose movement has revealed their true nature as traitors to the nation of Quebec and supporters of the British colonialist rule over Quebec, with their organizing of activities to “celebrate” the 200th anniversary of the Quebec Act in 1774. The Quebec Act of 1774 was intended to further suppress the Quebec people and conclude a basic alliance with the traitorous seigneurs and clergy. These are the kind of characters who support this reactionary scheme to use national and social-chauvinism to divide and split the Canadian people and to divide the people within Quebec.
The Quebec people have nothing to gain from this line of reactionary cultural nationalism. This line is the line of national and social oppression, the line to keep the Quebec people in total subjugation, the line to divert the sentiment for genuine national liberation of the Quebec people in order to increase the sellout and plunder of the land and labour of the Quebec people to the U.S. imperialists and the Anglo-Canadian colonialists.
Rene Levesque and his Parti Quebecois are following the path of ,national betrayal, but the path of the Quebec people is the path of genuine national liberation for Quebec, and genuine independence, democracy and socialism for Canada.