Potential Map of Canada (A Rejected Toronto Star Editorial Cartoon from March 13)

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The thing is, most of the francophone population lives in the province of Québec or in Acadia (name given to the historical region in the north of the province of New-Brunswick just east of the Qc border).

The francophones are mostly historically settled in the east because that’s where New France settlements were. In fact they used to be pretty much all over the east side of the continent, they founded many US cities especially in Lousiana (Nouvelle-Orléans, Baton-Rouge, Lafayette etc.) but also along the Mississipi river, in the Ohio valley, and in the modern provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. Most of these local cultures were either assimilated into the melting pot, or migrated to Québec or France. Which is why today in these regions you’ll find these French city names but no significant francophone population.

There are a few exceptions like the cajun country in Lousiana. There are significant francophone communities since the 1800’s in Manitoba along the Red River and also, from what I’ve seen, in the city of Ottawa as well (makes sense, the canadian capital is just across the Outaouais river separating Ontario from Quebec, and plus it’s full of government offices and workers whichdemand french-speakers)

Which brings me to my next point. With the francophone population spread out like this in multiple provinces, the language issue had to become a country-wide thing and not just an internal Quebec thing. So the official languages of Canada are english and french… Therefore our public broadcaster provide French and English public information channels for TV and radio, nationwide. Also all public services are supposed to be bilingual (but depending on the region this is often not applied at all). The prime minister always does two speeches for the medias. And that’s also why you have bilingual labels on all commercial products etc… it makes life easier for everyone. As a francophone, I do feel “at home” even when I’m in British Columbia. Many english folks know a bit of french because albeit the fact there arent major french hubs in BC or Alberta, the rocky mountains and pacific region is FULL of quebecers, travelling or working.

So there you go: even though we live mostly in the east, pretty much all of the country is accomodated for a francophone person to have their linguistic rights respected, thanks to much painful legislation and cultural and historical debates and all that stuff, people are still on this yet it did have positive outcomes to this day.

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