bad news for French both within Canada and Quebec

The latest census figures are bad news for French both within Canada and Quebec, says a French-language rights group.

Jean Dorion, the president of Soci騁 St. Jean Baptiste said he is disheartened that French speakers in this province are losing ground both to immigrants and English speakers, in figures released this morning by
Statistics Canada.

In Montreal, for example, the number of francophones fell to below half of the overall population.

"We're not going in the right direction," Dorion said. "The numbers seem to confirm some trends we have seen in daily life in Montreal, where more English is being spoken. In the workforce in particular, we have seen a lot of young people who were obliged to go to school in French are attending CEGEP in English."

Dorion said while most of the decline of the French language in Quebec is due to immigration, he said the Quebec government can have a policy of opening its doors to immigrants while increasing the French profile. He
said Quebec should make it compulsory for those attending French high school to attend a French CEGEP.

"Immigration could play in the favour of the French language," Dorion said.

"But the legislation in place doesn't help."

Dorion said he's also concerned with the census figures that show that French-speakers have once again declined in comparison to the overall Canadian population. That decline has been steady since the 1950s. However,

Dorion said the numbers released today are particularly alarming.

"The decrease is constant," he said.

"When I was a child, the first time I took note of Census, francophones made up 32 per cent of the Canadian population, now it's 22.1 per cent. That means the political weight of francophones will eventually become insignificant. We will soon fall below 20 per cent, that's a psychological barrier."

Top ten reason to consider French in decline:

1. It is not spoken (only 79 million around the world)

2. It is the weakest international language

3. It is not spoken in Asia

4. There is not a big area where French is spoken by more than 100 million as native language, like English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian or Arabic.

5. French was official in 35 countries, now in 29. In 2050, it will be official probably in 22 or less.

6. in Africa is the weakest international language. So, Swahili, Hausa, Wolof, Arabic and English will be more important than French, even in French Africa

7. It will disappear in Belgium (Dutch country), in Switzerland (German Country) and in France (Arabic country)

8. The number of students is falling dramatically. It is a pitty to see French schools without students.

9. French Africa is the poorest area in the World. Countries like Niger, Tchad or Mali want to be considered English or Arabic Africa, but not French one.

10. According to all experts, French will be the international language with the most important fall in number of speakers.

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