Little me saw my first human, a doctor, in downtown Montréal in 1979. I lived there a few years, moved once or two… but my entire life, from 1985 to 2004, I lived in a north suburb called Repentigny. Its approximately 15 minutes from Montréal via the highway, but a bridge on the other side got us right in the island.
I had the chance to have parents that were bilingual. My father, an engineer at CN Rails, talk both french and english with me since birth, TV shows at home were in both languages. My parents were very neutral when it came to the province’s extreme political views, and I am thankful that I grew in this environment. In comparison to some of my fellow Quebecers from my generation and those after, I consider i’ll be able to work anywhere, interact with everyone and be able to survive on my own everywhere, as I am fluent in the international language. Not only this, as a kid, I have learned to have no prejudice, never knew what racism was: One of my babysitter was a black Haitian, one of my neighbors that would “borrow me” were hardcore Italians, there’s homosexuals in my family, and so on.
You would think that Montréal, as a multicultural major Québec city, the citizens would be “tolerant”. Yeah…. No… Forget it. The suburbs are worst. For that reason (but there’s also others), I’ve always wanted to get out of the province, and yes, I am an authentic French-Canadian from the province of Québec, believe or not.
So when I moved near Ottawa, but on the Québec side, I got close to my goal. I also been able to go deeper in Ontario and interact with Ontarians and people from other provinces and I am sold! They tend to say that us Quebecers are a warm, social population. Hum.. No, at least not as much as you would think. I have experienced true warmth, and you can find it in the rest of Canada. You see and feel that the rest of Canada is happy, welcoming, very social. Everything that I wasn’t used too. In Quebec, you don’t often get that Tim Horton’s girl joking with you even though she does not know you, you get the one that doesn’t like her job. So you get the basic chatty-chat. So yes, I have this reserved personality by default, yet I am enjoying the happy-go-lucky personality I get here and brings my social side out!
I will still miss Montréal once in a while, I mean, you can take a girl out of Montréal but you can’t take Montréal out of a girl! But I don’t want to look back, life-wise and for what I have mentioned earlier.
Now, Quebecers, when they talk about Ontarians, it’s never positive. My ex-supervisor was the worst. It was exasperating. For some reasons that we don’t know, there’s an ongoing war between the two provinces, but I do suspect it’s more Québec that creates one. Insecure, selfish and easy to bend under fear domination, the Québec population tends to believe thing that at the end are absolutely ridiculous. Mostly the ones that absolutely doesn’t know a word of english. For example, a certain party and the french league says that if we don’t “separate”, and authorize bilingualism and such, the french language will disappear. How completely absurd! A french born family will always keep their language alive within the family and community, like the Italian families and Portuguese. And even better since Québec is originally french! And it’s not because a person knows other languages and that there’s bilingual signs, that the french language will disappear from Québec. No, It will only make it more FRIENDLY. Mostly since this government actually decides if I will send my kid to a french or english school… very smooth, Qc, thanks for controlling my life… I sometimes wonder if I won’t ever get a fine for watching movies in english or if the Sureté du Québec will knock to my door when I leave Québec to bring me back!
We have the most beautiful country, but we can’t get along. Why? And if someone brings up the Abraham Plains battle and such, I’ll freaking slap them in the head “GET OVER IT”! We are more intelligent than this!? And why not declare war and ignore the Germans because of their past while we are at it?