Captain Canadien?

Sports et politique

They too will become a little more expensive in future offseasons. The unfortunate part is that the labour of learning French for symbolic purposes is not easily fungible. If you need someone to shovel your driveway, or do your shopping in French, you can hire a servant or an employee. (One notes that the Finnish-born Mrs. Koivu is said to be fluent.) But if you don't want to learn French yourself, no one can speak it for you with your own tongue.
Most fans, perceiving that Mr. Bertrand has just made life a little more difficult for the management of the Canadiens by bringing ethnolinguistic tensions into the open, will probably argue that the norm shouldn't apply to a business competing under tough conditions for international athletic talent. Pretty much everybody in Quebec wants the Canadiens to do well, even at the expense of an English-speaking locker room. Very well: what about every other business in the province that depend on talent and is competing with the best in its sector? Couldn't it be argued that Bombardier and Alcan and CAE and Hyperchip are already facing just as large a disadvantage in the market for cognitive talent and creativity as the Canadiens would in the hockey standings if every new Hab signing had to learn his " je parle, tu parles, il parle" on pain of public bullying?
Quebecers, to be sure, have long since absorbed and learned to accept the profound economic cost of their unique species of linguistic sovereignty. The question is, do they realize that asserting cultural sovereignty over francophone religious nonconformists is, to some degree, an entirely separate enterprise which is likely to double the existing economic burden? And just how many self-defining exercises can a nation go through before there's nobody left in it, anyway?

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