Do Montreal anglos need to rebrand themselves?

MONTREAL — At immigration hearings in Quebec City Thursday, the St. Jean Baptiste Society testified that anglophones are bad for French culture.

“Allophones who do not speak French behave linguistically just like anglophones,” Maxime Laporte said, implying that this isn’t good for Quebec culture.

“English is progressing while French is regressing,” he said.

The St. Jean Baptiste Society said it wants Quebec to rein in employers who require their staff to speak English, and give immigrants more incentives to learn French.

So that in 10 years anglicization is not only stopped, Laporte testified, but also so that Montreal can reclaim its title as the second largest francophone city in the world.

WATCH: Anglos bashed at Quebec immigration hearings

That got us thinking, are anglophones really the problem when it comes to French culture?

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The statistics certainly don’t bear that out. In fact, anglophones are integrating into French culture more rapidly now than they ever have in the past.

According to the 2006 census, there were about 3.5 million people living on the island of Montreal.

Around 800,000, or 22 per cent, of those people declared English as their mother tongue.

But here’s the interesting statistic: of those English speakers, 66 per cent said they were bilingual, and that number jumped to 75 per cent in people under 40.

The English people who have chosen to stay in Quebec are clearly integrating, and making an effort to learn, speak, work and live in French.

So why isn’t “that” message getting out there?

Dan Delmar from Provocateur Communications suggested that the language disputes in this province are driven by politicians, journalists and pundits, and have nothing to do with how people are actually functioning in the streets.

More and more parents, Delmar argued, are sending their children to French schools so that they are fluently bilingual.

WATCH: See the full interview with Dan Delmar below

Do you live in Quebec, and if so, does this reflect your reality?

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Is your English family making an effort to integrate into Quebec society?

How should we get that message out there?

Leave your comments on our Facebook page here or share your perspective in the below.