According to the National Post, Quebec Immigration Minister Yolande James has announced a policy that will require future immigrants to Quebec to sign a declaration promising to learn French and respect Quebec’s “shared values.”
The shared values are:
- Quebec is a free and democratic society;
- church and state are separate;
- Quebec is a pluralist society based on the rule of law;
- men and women have equal rights; and
- rights and freedoms are exercised while respecting those of others and the general well-being.
Also stressed is French as the official language. Signatories will declare their intention to learn French if they do not already speak it. Ms. James said:
“Once our new Quebecer has got off the plane at the airport, she will follow a course on how to live in Quebec, how things work here, what the socioeconomic realities are.”
The issue of integrating cultural and religious minorities has been an important though emotional topic in Quebec for some time now, and I am pleased that Premier Jean Charest has put some official policies in place to address it.
The people of Quebec are understandably proud of their traditions and values and are taking action to protect and preserve them. If only our federal and Ontario governments would do as much to protect traditional Canadian values and not allow them to be washed away by a flood of immigrants with far different traditions and values.
Just today I read that the Toronto District School Board is attacking our Halloween tradition. What sort of country are we going to have when all “common” traditions and values are gone? Is it any wonder that many Canadians identify primarily with “not being American?” They have no other identity to espouse. Soon none of us will.