Yes it is. I have lived in Quebec for almost nineteen years now. For most of that time, I have taught English as a Second Language to adults. Here are some findings:
You can live and die on Montreal Island and effectively live without knowing a word of French. No witch burnings, no spies who look like Marcel Marceau following you with a loaded baguette...just stating the facts. Fortunately I thrive in franglais. LOL
There are biingual signs in Quebec. The lettering for French content on commercial signs must be larger than the English content, but most can muddle through. Quebecois French borrows extensively from English and much of the vocabulary for goods and services are similar -- gaz is gas, frites are fries, etc. French is the language of business, but to operate globally companies must have a strong English presence. It is what it is.
I have lived here for the greater part of two decades as an English teacher and I can count on one hand the times someone has made me feel uncomfortable for being English-speaking-- and those were the usual alcohol-fuelled knuckle-dragging of young men that one can find all around the world. No biggie.
Quebec as a nation? Well, nationalism is that sticky, gooey thing that is like tacking jello to a wall and seeing what sticks. What sticks in the historical memory of francophones in Quebec is the legacy of conquest as it does with many First Nations across Canada. EVERY settler state on Earth has its history of accomodation, assimilation, genocide, and brutaility, each history being its own unique cocktail. In my experience, I've found it is difficult to lecture folks on what they should identify themselves with, so I try to understand and vive le difference.
I'm 3/4 Scottish and I get misty-eyed when I watch Braveheart. LOL Caca occurs. Nevertheless, I tend to be the guy with the "My Planet Includes Humans" t-shirt and then I work from there. LOL
- My fiancee is tres quebecoise, n'est pas? Again, people in Montreal living their own lives find and lose love, lose money, buy drinks, cavort along Crescent Street and Rue St-Denis, and experience life without all the nationalist, wedge-driving nonsense of politicos on both sides of the linguistic divide. Gilles Duceppe's early retirement is but one manifiestation of this current fact...people on the ground are simply not interested in the old politics. Quebec as an economic player on the world stage in many sectors IS where the debates are.
So does an extra sticker on a helmet only really become an issue on ticats.ca when there is relatively little to rip about when the Ticats are actually playing well and winning?
I encourage all CFL fans to come visit Montreal and Quebec and enjoy this part of the world.
One way or another, my team will have deal with the club from La Belle Province to get over the hump and hoist le Coupe Grey in Vancouver this November. Friday night was a sweet start to that mission!
Oski Wee Wee,