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Josh Freed Rides again. Letter to Josh Freed, Gazette Columnist

(Version anglaise seulement)
Ph.D., Université de Montréal, Directeur,®

Dear Josh,

You are always picking on Quebec’s language laws because you know little or no French. Have you ever written to your readers about a French film or a French book that you liked ? I remember how you praised Michael Applebaum’s command of the French language when he was serving as our Interim Mayor, while everybody laughed at his broken street French.

I wonder if you would still be as obsessed with our French language law if you knew what it’s like being a Francophone and having to receive treatment from professionals at our Montreal West end Health Services who barely speak French and are simply incapable to clearly explain in comprehensible French what your health condition is.

All the best. and let us be fair, do you think that is possible ? And, may be. just may be, you will also find one day something positive to write in your column about living in a Francophone society, the only French-language society in a continent of almost 400 million Anglophones.

Cheers, as they say in England ! 


More on Victor HERE 

Febr. 28, 2023, March 4, 2023

I have reproduced below the exchange I have had with Josh Freed on Facebook following my remarks. I am grateful that he has noticed my comments. I have posted my response to his reply on his FB page, which is also reproduced below. There has not been a reaction on his part to my reponse. I think very few Francophones react in English to articles in the English media about (French) Quebec. I hope more Francophones will do so as Anglophones unfortunately not only do not master the French language but have a tendency of amplifying what they perceive as being discriminatory.

Josh Freed
Desolé m teboul. I didn’t see this note till today. i I am sorry to hear about French language services difficulties you’re having in the West end I think every Quebecer should be able to get alll services especially health, in French absolutely but also in English if that’s the language, they communicate best in when discussing their personal health
It’s true I don’t cover Francophone films or other cultural events, but I don’t cover English ones either, partly because I’m not a reviewer it’s not my job, and partly, because if I covered one, everybody would want me to cover lots more, and that’s not the role I see myself playing here
that said my French is pretty solid and I read all three French papers every day to keep up with things here so I can talk to my Francophone, colleagues and friends. I am all in favour of this being a French dominant place and I don’t mind signs in French being predominant, but I think, beating up on small ethnicities, who are using their native language for communication amongst them selves is petty, and beneath the generosity, I believe most French Quebeckers have.
I understand the insecurities about the French language, and the need to protect it but that doesn’t mean everything done in the name of is automatically right and above criticism
I do my best to speak for the English community sometimes but I have great respect for the need to protect the French language, here, in ways that are sensible, humane, and help us all work together at it
Merci pour votre message. Josh f
  • J’aime


Victor Teboul
Josh Freed Re - My question about French films was just an example. I also asked if you had ever written about a French book that you found interesting. In fact, I wondered if there was anything that you have ever liked that was produced or created in French in Quebec and that you were happy to share with your readers. Reading the French newpapers does not really say much about what you really like or love about Quebec. Quebecois identity has evolved, it is not anymore «pure laine«. It is today an inclusive and vibrant culture, a reality not always taken into account by the English-language media, which is still obsessed wth the language issue. One final note, I am not in favour of only protecting the French-language, but in promoting it. Au plaisir, cher ami. 
Victor Teboul 
The FP Exchange posted here on March 16, 2023.


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par Victor Teboul

Victor Teboul est écrivain et le directeur fondateur de ®, le magazine en ligne sur la Tolérance, fondé en 2002 afin de promouvoir un discours critique sur la tolérance et la diversité. 

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