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My Dad was the Anglo on the Bill 101 Appeals Commission

STORY BY: Moira Dann
YEAR: 1977

Moira describes herself as a "Boomer Montrealer", and was pleased that the city figures so prominently in BOOM X. She holds very fond memories of Montreal, although she originally left to go to University in Ottawa, "just to get the heck out of my hometown, as most people do when they're 17." She now regrets it, wishing instead that she had gone to CEGEP and completed her studies at Concordia University. "But 'C'est la vie', as they say dans La Grande Ville." Moira's favourite gift from her Quebec heritage is bilingualism, and the world that it opened her up to. Her father was an appeals commissioner for Bill 101 (Quebec's notorious "Charter of the French Language" law passed in 1977 after the PQ took power in the province). If you broke the law, you at first "got your finger wagged at you", and you could write to the appeals commissioner. The commission was usually composed of a francophone, an anglophone and an allophone (an immigrant whose first language is neither French nor English). Her father was the anglophone, and recalled that most of the appeals were "from anglophones not wanting to send their kids to school in French." Her father agreed with Bill 101 in a lot of ways, "he just didn't agree with the way it was made manifest." Thanks for sharing, Moira.

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