Currently a University Professor at UQAR-Campus de Lévis, I have had the privilege of working for 10 years as an advisor to four ministers in three different parties. I was vice president for two of them.
Although the signature ink of our new ministers is still fresh, I will no doubt make some recommendations to each of them, but I will go to my first minister, Jean-Francois Roberge: Get closer to your minister of state, Pascal Déry. Ideally, add economics and innovation and international relations and La Francophonie.
Why? Because it seems clear to me that the rule of the French language is closely connected with science. In the French-speaking world, we do not always share the same idea of what a university is, we do not have a common vision.
Why? To talk about this, I’ll use the words of Quebec’s Premier François Legault following the October 3 election: “The first duty of a prime minister is to [au Québec]It is to ensure that the French language retains all its space and all its vigour”!
However, the most important linguistic crisis did not take place in Montreal. It takes place in science. I need not say more: all those who work in science are more and more subject every day to the imperatives of the English language, because our societies do not offer an equal or better scientific life to the people emerging in the French-speaking sciences. . Students, at the forefront, need to master English for a variety of reasons, which continues in the workplace.
- Listen to an interview with Martine Maltois every morning at 6:50am live on Philippe-Vincent Fossey’s show QUB-Radio :
To change the situation, Quebec must first do two things:
- Stop supporting English-language recruitment of students coming to Quebec to study;
- Gain the largest possible foothold in the French-speaking world, especially through the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie.
In this developing Francophone space, scientific literacy in French must not only halt the decline, but promote it. And this affects the production of scientific articles in French or their translation, but also access to a wide range of manuals, books and online learning activities. It means preferring conferences also in French, but above all offering a rich and rich scientific life to the young people who follow us while training in French.
Build relationships with Francophones everywhere
Maintaining the French truth depends on the attractiveness of French-language colleges and universities, everywhere in our territories, and the people who attend or can attend them: the best faculty, administration and other staff, the best locations, the best learning environments, the best teaching practices, the best technologies… the research work. Naturally it can be done in French, which is also a challenge for the Minister of Economy and Innovation.
Our Prime Minister is right when he says that the first duty of a Prime Minister is [au Québec], is to ensure that the French language retains all its space and all its vigor. But this cannot be done without science or without building strong relationships with other francophones around the world.
Martin Maltese, Professor of Finance and Education Policy at UQAR, Lewis Campus