Sense of Belonging

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) includes a question that may be a bit off topic but it’s a good one nevertheless. The survey asks whether a person’s “Sense of belonging to local community is somewhat strong or very strong”.  In the most recent four years that data is available, there has been a strong drop in the percentage of people confirming a strong sense of belonging to a local community.

There has been a fairly significant drop in this indicator in the four year period.  I can’t quite understand the Moncton figures unless it is related to the in-migrants not quite feeling attached to the local community.  But I am more concerned with the Northern NB numbers.  The Bathurst/Acadian Peninsula area has witnessed a deep decline in sense of belonging – now only just over 1 in 2 adults say they have a strong sense of belonging to the local community.

I have a theory that chronic and sustained economic development challenges spill over into the social realm as well.

Sense of belonging to local community, somewhat strong or very strong

Statistics Canada. Table 105-0502 – Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).

44 thoughts on “Sense of Belonging

  1. Interesting ‘theory’, let’s test it. First of all, IF that theory were true, why did Campbellton’s score increase? St. John has actually had GOOD economic data, so why did theirs go down?

    I checked PEI’s data, it showed no change, Newfoundland showed no change, a couple went up. I checked Thunder Bay, a region with chronic underdevelopment and ‘outmigration’ and there’s went up.

    There are other theories as well, what about ‘cultural’ ones. What about the increased rigidity of EI. There is also statistical anomaly, which can easily play a part.

    It’s an interesting theory, but needs more proof than this table provides. I suspect work provides at least some measure of ‘belonging’, and it doesn’t seem to be the case that ANY region with high unemployment has low sense of belonging. Are they just catching people who are working in some regions but unemployed in others?

    The francophone communities have long talked about the difficulties of maintaining ‘community’ in the face of globalization, so ‘belonging to a community’ can mean belonging to a CULTURE for some people, but simply paying taxes and playing sports in another.

  2. “The francophone communities have long talked about the difficulties of maintaining ‘community’ in the face of globalization”

    Should tell you something, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
    Like maybe we should cater to them more. Keep trying to indoctrinate our little 5 year olds more. Bring in more sophisticated Quebecers.

  3. It’s interesting and worrying but I find it raises a lot of questions for me, such as demographics. Are there differences in the score based on age groups? Are there age differences between north and south? What economic differences might there be (high wage, low wage etc.). And as Mikel points out, how groups interpret “community” may differ. I’d also like to see these stats against other provinces – for example, provinces like Ontario or BC that might be more ethnically diverse, and then again compare those stats and demographic breakdowns (age, income etc.) to see similarities and differences and what conclusions might be drawn from all of that.

    As it is, the stats indicate something to worry about but not what that something might be.

  4. Bill, until the first data you mention comes in I don’t think there is something ‘to worry about’. St.John’s change is statistically irrelevant, so were virtually all the areas I looked at-in Ontario, PEI, and Newfoundland. I didn’t go through a huge number, you can go to then in the ‘search’ area you can type in the table Davide references and pick wherever you want.

    Why campbellton would be different than Edmunston and Bathurst I don’t know. I suspect cultural rather than economic reasons, but they don’t give much information on the terms they use. THey also don’t say how many people they talked to or the demographic information Bill refers to, so like the Moneysense ‘survey’ it’s interesting but doesn’t tell us much. Often when ‘times get tough’ people feel a more keen sense of belonging, much like minorities. It would be interesting to look at other economically deprived areas, and some native communities, to see how they rank, unfortunately, they aggregate all the data when you select all the regions of the province at once.

  5. “I have a theory that chronic and sustained economic development challenges spill over into the social realm as well.”

    No doubt. Do u think divisional linguistics may have a sullen effect on sense of belonging? How do we compare with the rest of the maritime cities in [NS, PEI and NL]?

  6. First of all, Statistics Canada is held up world wide as a model for its statistical accuracy so one should avoid comparing it to Moneysense. Second, I think it is fair to be concerned about specific changes like this – even though we would need far more explanation to figure out why the change. To dismiss a 14 percentage point drop over four years in ‘sense of belonging’ doesn’t make much sense. It certainly could be an anomoly – and if you look at the raw data there is information on confidence levels, etc. but I think some of that is beyond the scope of a blog.

    To Scott’s point, there may be some correlation to language but it seems a bit counterintuitive. I would think that minority language communities (in communities where they are clustered) would have a greater sense of being part of community. We know that in the 2003-2007 period there was strong out-migration of people – but we also know that several thousand went to Alberta and sent back big fat paycheques. The data is robust. The interpretation is not.

  7. Nobody said compare Statscan to Moneysense, I said THIS falls in the same catagory for the same reason-we simply don’t have enough data to draw any conclusions. We don’t have the data that this is derived from, we don’t know how ‘robust’ it is. Statscan has been known to do sloppy work, they are NOT held up worldwide-just go to the US databases and check out their stats. Statscan is better than a lot of countries, but it often leaves a lot to be desired, particularly since the mid nineties when much of their funding was cut. In case David missed it, the last census was farmed out to a private corporation, we got a census in the mail and I was going to be part of a group that was refusing to take part because of privacy issues but then discovered that the census asked for virtually NO information-no private data, not even any economic data, so I really don’t know how they are going to publish our family data in the census when they didn’t even ASK for any. Like any poll I don’t know ANYBODY who has ever taken part in a statscan study.

    What we DO know is that in predominantly french areas there is a drop. In doing a quick search for ‘belonging’ and ‘french’ the first paper up was “Sexuality, Modernity and Ethno-Cultural Belonging: French Canadian Daughters Negotiating with Parents over Sexual Freedom”. That introduces a whole other sphere-religion. Francophone communities in NB are different than those of Quebec and the ‘quiet revolution’ in these quasi rural areas tended to be much more diffuse.

    So ‘community belonging’ could very well mean relations between an individual and a CHURCH, moreso than a municipal structure. Religious people have a VERY different idea of what ‘community’ means than an atheist or ‘soft’ religious person. Of course we are only talking about a four year stretch here, not generations, but again, these are almost philosophical questions-‘community’, ‘belonging’, ‘sense’. It’s a VERY interesting topic, but given the data the conclusion that its attributable to economics is a stretch, and seems to be wrong.

    So again, why would a town like Campbellton be at the canadian average and increasing yet the number is decreasing in every other city? Even in city’s where the economy has actually been doing fairly successfully. Why would other economically disenfranchised regions show it increasing as well? I was BORN in Campbellton and half the family tree is there but I have no trouble calling it a dump, and economic prospects are nil. I remember a blogger from there made his first post about how he couldn’t even buy bananas from the grocery store.

    If anybody even knows how to go about getting answers to these questions, or to why the number is decreasing in New Brunswick they’d be welcome. One thought is that at least the regulars can ask family and friends, maybe post the question on a facebook page and see what pops up.

  8. You may notice, that there are few communities along the Quebec, NB or the Quebec, U.S Border, till you hit Ontario! There must be a reason!

  9. I can understand that french speaking communities are losing a sense of belonging as globalization has widespread impact. Canada has gone out of its way to accomodate the french, however, such treatment is not likely to be extended from a global economy (with the exception of perhaps France which is a minor player). Since it is no longer practical to be insulated form the global economy, I can see the sense of belonging slipping in these communities.

  10. I think this discussion is solidifying (somewhat?) Joe Clark’s old “communities within a community” theory.

    Mikel makes a valid point that religion, culture and education may draw the lines more then an official municipal boundary, especially in Quebec. At least that’s what I took from mikel’s last post. Correct me if I’m wrong mikel.

  11. I don’t know about Quebec, I didn’t check any of their communities. I wouldn’t be surprised if theirs was different than the francophone areas of New Brunswick. OK, i’ll go look…I checked two, one had an increase, one saw little statistical change. So perhaps Bill and David are right, there may be something to ‘worry’ about, particularly with such huge drops. For english New Brunswickers apart from the fact that these areas are getting smaller they are very much a mystery. But there are regions of PEI, Ontario, NFLD and NS that are also getting smaller but dont’ see their scores going down.

    The boundary question gets murkier because most of the ones I saw were the health regions, not official municipal boundary markers. There is usually an in depth account of the terminology somewhere on the statscan page, I just haven’t bothered to look. I would suggest that municipal boundaries mean little to most canadians, look at how few bother to vote in municipal elections. In american cities, and in much of the world, political decisions are made very close to communities. In Switzerland many towns still practise ‘open air’ democracy where the people meet once a year and make municipal law by casting votes on each item. THAT would instill some sense of community. Just by way of comparison, its interesting to note that in Switzerland, even if you no longer live in the country or region you STILL have the right to vote there, in fact they encourage it. In Canada, well, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I shouldnt’ even COMMENT on ‘goings on’ in New Brunswick simply because I no longer live there. That says A LOT about ‘sense of belonging’ and notions of ‘community’.

  12. Ok, I did some more research. There is yet another factor to consider, and that is people’s perceptions of the question. For example, some people may feel that the question is trying to ‘rank’ their ‘sense of belonging’. Statscan also does research keeping track not only of ‘sense of belonging’ to a community, but also to a province or territory.
    It’s no coincidence, I think, that the highest voter turnout is ‘usually’ at the federal level, and the ‘sense of belonging’ is MUCH higher at the federal level than provincial or community.
    But its an odd thing, since most people don’t KNOW most other canadians, yet the sense of belonging is highest for ‘belonging in canada’. But that is usually where the propaganda and identity are aimed. COmmunities rank the lowest, yet they are the level where people are usually most ‘involved’ and know the most people.
    It is possible that it is GOOD news, perhaps the local sense of belonging is being replaced by a more pronounced sense of belonging to a province-or a country. We don’t know that, but it IS possible.
    According to a statscan study, the sense of belonging increases with age, so its also possible that this time around they got hold of more young people.

    I just found yet ANOTHER factor to toss into the mix, and that’s the public education factor. It’s been well established that the educational system is worst in francophone regions of the north, they regularly have the least funding and poorest scores. The United Nations Association of Canada had a program called, appropriately enough “A Sense of Belonging”, which, not to set off our anon poster, but was about racism and tolerance and building a more cohesive community. It is also possible that New Brunswick’s poor education funding meant that many regions and the province in general didn’t take advantage of this program to the extent that other provinces did. In other words, some communities could simply be doing a lousy job at PROMOTING ‘belonging’. That is simply a public policy difference.

  13. To David’s point, it would be interesting to see if there was an increase in out-migration to the oil patch in the same time period (sorry, I don’t have time to do the search myself).

  14. “A Sense of Belonging is a 2-year initiative to identify and address local issues of racism and discrimination while promoting integration in communities across Canada.”

    So is this saying that I am not the one that is causing all the trouble, but is wide spread? And is the U.N whose workers are oft reported as being charged with serious abuse in these poor countries or the same outfit that has not made a dent in its effort to stop the worlds biggest killer, malaria ? Considering I treat EVERYBODY with the same respect, would I be, just, the gentle racist? I don’t mind being racist, but don’t call me a U.N well paid racist.
    Besides it doesn’t take a racist to see the obvious in NB and Canada. Any fool could figure it out. Sort of like the difference between Iggy and Harper! Iggy talks a big show and Harper just gets it done. Well good luck in all of you who are going to force this:

    The preamble to the Canada Multiculturalism Act states:

    “…the Constitution of Canada provides that every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination and that everyone has the freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion, expression, peaceful assembly and association and guarantees those rights and freedoms equally to male and female persons…”

    You see this works great, with you and your Lawyer! But apparently doesn’t help much with the “sense of belonging”. The difference of learning by force or learning by education.

  15. We do know that there was ‘some’ outmigration to the oilpatch. The big guy in Miramichi, I forget his name, the guy that owns the highway maintenance companies-he gets most of his money from development he does in the oil patch. He used to fly guys out of the miramichi and back again. Unfortunately, we don’t have good data on how many, but they were making regular trips. Bathurst didn’t see as much outmigration because up to about a year and a half ago mining was booming and Bathurst was actually growing. So its also possible that NEW workers in the region got the call from statscan, and obviously somebody who just moved in from somewhere else isn’t going to have as much connection to the community.

    I found a presentation by Barry Edmonston (ironically I was looking for ‘edmunston’) and it shows that outmigration has been FAR worse from Newfoundland, and in NB its identical to Nova Scotia. So again, David’s theory doesn’t explain it. The presentation does point out the obvious-young adults move most often, and apparantly there ARE quite a few studies out there on the migration patterns of working adults.

    The other obvious things seem true, such as that migrant ‘patterns’ are usually set up, so if guy x from Edmonston goes to Calgary, his friends will go as well, people tend to try to ‘stay together’, however, close interpersonal networks are usually not thought of as ‘communities’.

  16. That’s the guy, didn’t know he was McKenna’s brother in law. This is also off topic and for Dave I promise it’ll be my last comment on it:

    Insecticide-Treated Nets

    UNICEF is the largest global procurer and deliverer of ITNs, procuring over 24 million nets in 2006.

    Major recent efforts to scale-up the availability of ITNs in Africa are yielding impressive results. Some countries with new coverage data have already shown remarkable progress. For example, in Togo, ITN coverage increased from 2% to 54% in just 5 years (MICS 2000 and CDC/MOH 2005 preliminary results). A number of other countries, including Kenya, Rwanda and Malawi have greatly increased the number of ITNs distributed recently, and are therefore expected to make significant progress toward achieving the Abuja targets for ITN coverage.

    Together with its partners, UNICEF distributes ITNs using routine health services and campaign approaches. UNICEF works with Ministries of Health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as community and village health workers to develop local distribution systems.

    The onion in the ointment on that issue hasn’t been the UN but their funding partner-the WORLD BANK (surprise surprise).

  17. Not worth reading. It hits on the exact result of our people leaving. and the fact, retaining our people is the only way that can work, BUT carefully avoids the reason for the decline. Imagine , A small province, a small population, a well known University, and they can’t find the answer? I just say, lolol
    Or they could refer to:

    Governor Lamm of Colorado said, “If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let’s destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall, and that, “An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.”

    “Here is how they destroyed their countries,” Lamm said. “First, turn America into a bilingual or multi lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar Seymour Lipset put it this way, “The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension and tragedy. Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Lebanon—all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons and Corsicans.”

    Governor Lamm continued on how to destroy America, “Invent ‘multiculturalism’ and encourage immigrants to maintain their own culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences! I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds

  18. Well mikel, did you know liberals have the whole of NB tied up with a nice fat check, and how do you think this came about.
    A QUOTE:
    That’s What I Think, Saint John on 26/02/09 09:47:00 AM AST
    We already pay tolls. The government pays MRDC for each and every car & truck that travels between Moncton and Longs Creek. Instead of a motorist dropping a toonie into a bin, the government cuts Doug Young a fat cheque once a year. A family in Bathurst or St Stephen, who never use Route 2, help pay the tolls on behalf of truckers, tourists, and everyone else who travels that road.

    Another good reason to get out of this province: Its not what you know, but who you know! Along with the option to say,oh, your french is not good enough. What a place!

  19. Those are all separate issues. Some governor from the states? Who cares what he says? Of all the issues in the US, language is about the bottom of the list. Switzerland has had THREE linguistic cultures in a TRILINGUAL country and is amongst the longest running successive countries in the world. It’s the oldest running democracy beginning even before the US.
    There is no doubt that HOW language and culture is handled is a huge social issue, and there’s no doubt that in politics and economics, it often comes down to who you know. The toll highway is another issue, there isn’t any new info there, we’ve talked about that pretty thoroughly before.
    Those would all be pertinent in a discussion about a ‘sense of belonging’ to a PROVINCE, but we’re talking about communities. Like Davids, theory, IF the province were pouring money and favours into francophone communities, then the ‘sense of belonging’ would be going UP, not down.

  20. Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood upand gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audiencesat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of theUnited States. He said, “If you believe that America is too smug, tooself-satisfied, too rich, then let’s destroy America. It is not that hard todo. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. ArnoldToynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that ‘Anautopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'””Here is how they do it,” Lamm said: “First, to destroy America, turnAmerica into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country.” Historyshows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonismof two or more competing languages and cultures.

  21. Repeating a quote from a crackpot over and over again isn’t evidence of anything, and is pretty off topic. Here’s another way to ‘destroy america’: embark on a series of illegal international wars, invade countries, prop up dictatorships; suspend the constitution and arrest protestors, hold a series of illegal elections and use the courts to discount large percentages of the citizen’s votes; use chinese funds to put the country into deep deficit and add to debt so that a generation is indebted to China; relax regulations so financial speculators can ruin entire economies; admit and use torture extensively and kidnap citizens from all over the world with no charges. I can easily go on. Language?who cares?

    As for California, go watch “Enron:The Smartest Guys in the Room”, this was a state that virtually went bankrupt when energy was privatized and speculated on. But oh wait, let’s blame the MEXICANS.

    In Canada, I still don’t get what the big deal is. Quebec has a different language and culture, so what? Quebec may separate…so what? In that speech the Governor points out that the chief problem with distinct cultures is that they may want indepedance. For most of the world that’s not a PROBLEM. Czechoslovakia separated into the Czech Republic…who cares? The world didn’t end. Personally I fully favour independance for natives, its too bad they don’t get the same referenda rights that Quebec does. A province can vote to leave, yet natives are imprisoned-AND we keep their land. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a party for the northern part of the province, when people want independance, it takes a LOT of work and heartache, so there’s usually a good reason (ask an irishman).

    Every country in the world is different and has issues. Especially now, language ranks pretty far down on the list of ‘things to worry about’.

  22. Three Prime Ministers of Canada widely hated, One who spend his last term raving how if Quebec wasn’t given special status, Canada was ruined, destroying his party! Four Premiers of NB nefariously forced bilingualism on New Brunswickers, who reacted by leaving, or dropping out. Billions spent trying to create the image of a bilingual country, which remains , unchanged, in 40 years. An education system, a federal police system, a military system, a civil servant system, all once the best in the world, all now a joke. A country that dropped from 3rd to 17th on the corruption index.
    Billions given to an unaccountable organization, to force french immersion on every district in Canada. Absolutely no record of where the money goes, nor any sign of accomplishing anything!
    And a country, lead by New Brunswick, 50% illiterate, where the education minister tries to do something about it and is vilified!
    PLEASE, A joke is to kind of word. No wonder the U.S is slowly making it impossible for such a backward dangerous people in cross their border!
    And you say language the last thing to worry bout!! lol
    Check your provinces and watch as each one that begins to be forced to go bilingual slips into poverty! Ontario received its first welfare check! Notice Alberta is not so stupid! Suddenly their books don’t show a surplus!

  23. That’s the thing about ‘prejudice’, it makes a person see EVERYTHING as a conspiracy. In Germany whenever ANY social problem came up, it was ‘blame the jews’. In the states its ‘blame the immigrants’. I listed the extent of problems in the US, NONE related to language, now I’ll do the same for Canada.

    To think that Mulroney or Chretien are ‘widely hated’ because of Quebec is a joke, right? Mulroney had ‘special status’ put into the Charlottetown Accord, and canadians were given the opportunity to vote on it in a referendum-they rejected it. Free trade, the GST, and the numerous charges of corruption (see Stevie Camerons’ “On the Take”) were why canadians hated Mulroney.

    Canada was ranked as the best country in the world in the mid nineties, WELL after official bilingualism was brought in. And again, I know it doesn’t need to be said, but the idea that Ontario’s economy is faltering has to do with language is completely insane, we might as well say its because the province ‘has groundhogs’ and thats why the economy is bad. It’s well established that Ontarios’ manufacturing sector is tied intimately to the US, and they are in the midst of an almost depression. The province was doing fantastic just three years ago, so there is simply no way that theory holds true.

    Illiteracy is no joke, but that’s largely due to massive underfunding of education and poor educational policies, in New Brunswick I’ve noted that an officially bilingual province SHOULD be spending MORE than other provinces for the obvious reason, but instead spends far less, the lowest in fact.

    Corruption is also no joke, but it depends on who is doing the ranking. The OECD has a ranking, and Canada is listed 9th, well ahead of the US, so obviously its not perfect, but not a huge problem,certainlly not one attributed to french: “Canada, the high scorer in the region, maintains its place among the ten countries with the lowest perceived levels of corruption, and therefore serves as a benchmark and inspiration for the

    In the Global Integrity Index Canada ranked fourth amongst 55 countries, and the chief complaint was “The annual report for 2007 criticizes the country’s judicial system, citing the government’s executive hold over quasi-judicial appointments and the absence of rules around gifts offered to the judiciary.”

    In a 2002 poll, 76% of Atlantic Canadians ranked bilingualism as ‘very, or somewhat important’, that’s pretty high support even though only 15% of anglophones actually speak french.

    Bilingualism and culture are HUGE issues, and moreso in New Brunswick and its true that little emphasis is given them-particularly in media, but the idea of essentially blaming EVERYTHING on french is absurd and does little to address the problems. I too have to wonder how a province can afford a million dollars for a cultural centre in Dieppe yet won’t help an animation company that has employed over 100 people, but that has nothing to do with the cultural centre, if it was a mall or a tourist attraction I’d say the same.

    Political graft is also a HUGE issue, but Doug Young isn’t french, and the toll highway and about a dozen other big issues facing NB have pretty much ZERO to do with language. If the province were spending more than any other province on its educational system and still failing, then I’d perhaps agree, but the facts speak otherwise. This is a province whose blunders are too many to mention. As noted recently, the wealthiest one percent are getting huge tax breaks, all while the government is axing social programs and breaking more campaign promises. Language issues simply are not on horizon, and for good reason.

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  25. I have been skipping most of mikel’s postings lately, but I have to take my hat off to him for his last two comments. I personally don’t agree with bilingualism in NB because I think that a poor province cannot afford it. But blaming bilingualism or multiculturalism for the “destruction” of a country is laughable. Let’s just take a quick look at Iceland to test Anonymous’ theory about the impact of ethnic origin, bilingualism, multiculturalism, etc. on the economic misfortunes of a country.

  26. It has become a pretty good blog, but more thanks to me and mikey than YOU! So you just find something else to do. Considering not one iota of useful information on bettering the situation in this cronyistic Province! Can we guess why?

    Now that anony has told me my theory is laughable, has he got the address of millions of others who are firmly aware of said observation, so as to inform them. Or just explain why the Boom of the 70’s disappeared in NB? Never to be seen again, unless Nb becomes Americas partner as an Energy hub, bypassing the compulsory disastrous language laws.
    What Iceland and its 300,000 people who lost their fishery has got to do with anything is beyond me. David will likely ask you to leave or accuse you of criminal actions if you continue with such ridiculous references!

  27. “What Iceland and its 300,000 people who lost their fishery has got to do with anything is beyond me.”
    My point, precisely.

  28. So I give you your point and you don’t even say
    I see you didn’t expand on it any! We probably know why.

  29. I am sorry but ferries and Eric Allaby are not relevante subject matter for this blog. There must be somewhere you can post your stuff? Have you tried setting up your own blog? Keep the content at least marginally related to economic development and the subject of the thread or I will be forced to delete it.

  30. Well, this one DOES at least border on ‘culture’, unless there is more to add, we’ve pretty much discounted the original theory of economic retardation leading to a decrease in community spirit.
    Although off track, the above makes a VERY important point in bringing up the seventies. Even David has posted that during the seventies outmigration has stalled.
    For READERS, its worth examining- those who don’t already have pet theories. In fact, the seventies were the years immediately following Robichaud’s bilingualism project. In interviews with him he stated that he knew that Irving wouldn’t let him win a third election, but felt satisfied that Hatfield would continue his linguistic legacy.

    During these years outmigration ceased all over the country. The government was about ten times its current size, in relation to the private sector, and corporations were contributing about 40% more to the budget than they currently are.

    So just like Sweden and most scandinavian countries, we know that nationalizing most industries is far better for citizens than the private market. In the seventies, there were tons of public sector jobs, and university tuition was almost nothing. It was $500 at one point. This enabled people from all over the province to get a decent education.

    This is far different from today. For those who actually want to learn, check out the NextNB link I posted above, where UNBSJ brags that over one third of its students come from abroad. That would all be fine with me except that post secondary education is now beyond the means of most canadians. In ontario, this province has a lower percentage of people who attain post secondary education than in the neighbouring states, where tuition is REALLY nasty.

    In the seventies, the emphasis on linguistic equality let many of the disenfranchised minorities get good jobs that they were educated for. This has changed, because the government has no doubt noticed that its far cheaper to NOT spend money on education, and import french speakers. This is a repeated pattern in NB, although there is chronic unemployment, virtually every industry sees companies importing workers, primarily from Quebec (forestry, rogers cable).

    So in the seventies the Canadian economy was much like the scandinavian economies today-and we KNOW from objective sources where the best place to live is. I was in Geneva last fall, and in a city ten times the size of Fredericton, I saw ONE person begging for money, and she actually didn’t look too hard up.

    So actually its the reverse of the above-its from considerable emphasis on french training and education that made the seventies economy halfway successful in NB. THen it became ‘bureaucratized’ and marginalized, and acadian society itself became polarized. Anybody that thinks there is ONE ‘french culture’ in NB doesn’t know much history. A quick example is Charles Leblanc’s ‘chiac’, exemplified in his statement to a Quebecer that he can’t understand him. So a counter theory would be that it wasn’t a linguistic issue at all, but an economic one-those french with more resources were able to ‘gain admittance’ to government positions because they had the ‘right french’-they rolled their tongues instead of their larynx.

    So bilingualism is an issue, but not in the way its being portrayed here. If anything it has been a BOON to the province, although it has also alienated many people-because EVERYBODY doesn’t have a government job.

    I was going to try to BS my way into making that more relevant to ED and marginalized economies, but can’t think of how to, so if it gets deleted, thats ok with me.

  31. Back on topic, David may be right. It’s not a coincidence that the biggest numbers are in french disenfranchised areas. The other ones are english. The ranking is only for the past few years, and Campbellton’s mill is fairly ‘stable’ now. Miramichi is the only ‘english’ area, and has one of the biggest decreases, it also lost two mills.

    One way to look at this is to do an experiment. Take two examples. First, you live in a town where the main industry just closed. Statscan calls and asks you to ‘rate your sense of belonging’. Which of the four would you choose? If you are in Saint John does the shipyard closing make YOU feel a lower sense of belonging? Say, if some of your friends moved away for jobs elsewhere.

    Second, YOU just lost YOUR job at company X. How do you answer then? That seems to be where the definition of community kicks in. If you are amongst a large group of recently unemployed, you may be in a support group, which would make you feel a HIGHER sense of belonging.

  32. Well thats BS for sure, because I returned here, for the first time in 1970, and the boom had nothing to do with French because that was just starting,being one parent, who just got out of Quebec, was asked to sign an agreement putting my 5 kids in French immersion.lololol
    Well you can imagine. I was NEVER that dumb. I went to the superintendent of schools to see what the H going on and he agreed with me. Not long after a GREAT educator was moved upstairs to Fredericton and the downhill slide of NB slowly began. My kids worked hard,with little help to gain their university degrees and are now soaring, having spent years traveling and working all over the world, because they were blacklisted here, because I refused to go along with the racket, and NEVER will, simply because its a no brainier idiot idea. My kids and their Friends were the last of the educated Nber’s. And it shows.

  33. That’s garbage, education is different for every child, and the idea that there are no educated kids NOW as opposed to the early seventies is balderdash. Because an english student succeeded means nothing, LOTS of english kids succeeded, and lots failed. Lots of french kids did as well, and same with bilingual. That’s not relevant and is like saying “I know a poor black guy from St.John who became a doctor and THEREFORE there are no racist issues or reasons why poor people can’t get good jobs”. It’s the “I know a guy…” theory, and its garbage.

    In the past twenty years its becoming a problem because we are seeing an almost virtual epidemic of learning behavioural problems. We are seeing a world of increasing distraction for students, and where kids can gulp down half a gallon of caffeine before class. We are also seeing NOW a world where these kids can barely afford college, and have zero motivation to go because there is no work even if they do. And funding, particularly in NB, hasn’t increased to combat it.

    The ‘french revolution’ enabled french kids to get out of abject poverty. In rural areas french is still underfunded, but its far better than it was. For english who refuse french, its true things got tougher, that happens in any ‘colonial’ economy. French speakers were shut out of industry and virtually every facet of government, so when they got more power, obviously somebody had to lose power.

  34. I’m not sure why people think they should have free reign to post whatever they want on other peoples’ blogs? Is it some weird sense of entitlement? Some notion that if it is on the Web it is free and open to all? If you want to hammer French and French speaking people, go find another venue. There must be others and if not, I suggest you go to and set one up. But keep that crap off my blog. I fully support French Immersion. I fully support Acadians/Francophones and their right to have government services in their mother tongue.

  35. The post of mikels is garbage. With his first statement that education is different for every kid indicates he is on his way to a bunch of useless drivel, on his skirting trip again. Statistics are statistics and some “poor Black Guy” (racist) does not affect statistics, nor what his or davids family or next door neighbour does. You better start expanding your knowledge!
    I mean here are two who easily lose the meaning of a conversation, especially if they are chewing gum at the same time.
    The facts, are still the facts.

    This summations below is enough to make you sick, if you were hoping for any improvement anywhere!

    The ‘french revolution’ enabled french kids to get out of abject poverty. In rural areas french is still underfunded, but its far better than it was. For english who refuse french, its true things got tougher, that happens in any ‘colonial’ economy. French speakers were shut out of industry and virtually every facet of government, so when they got more power, obviously somebody had to lose power.

    The English I know are not finding anything tougher, but in fact are finding things FAR better, by contracting in Alberta. Yes English are shut out of Industry in New Brunswick, but from what I see NB is suffering, not the English. An English guy I know was just refused a two day extension on a contract in his home town because he had to acquire a safety certificate, a contract that he knew he would be lower than the other two bids from away therefore saving the province money, but nope! Well he just finished putting in a multimillion dollar bid for Edmonton Alberta.

    Anyhow with all the nationalities in Canada, odd that the poor french are the only ones that suffer so much eh? Sort of like Haiti, and every other french country, in Africa.

  36. There aren’t actually any ‘facts’ or statistics mentioned so there really is nothing to debate. It may be ‘sickening’ but its true, and its GOOD for the french, who were living in abject poverty and whose educational system was funded locally by property taxes, which were non-existent in order to bring in some industry.

    English certainly aren’t ‘shut out’ of industry in New Brunswick, that’s ludicrous. The whole energy sector, IT sector, and construction sector is dominated by the south, and largely english businessmen. The McCains are not french, and the Irvings CERTAINLY aren’t. Barrett Xplore is Woodstock based, and as mentioned elsewhere, Doug Young and that brother in law of Frank McKenna, both of whom got rich from NB highways certainly aren’t french.

    The french in rural areas are still suffering a lack of resources, thats’ not linguistic, because in english rural areas the story is the same. The difference is that rural english are usually at least relatively close to larger urban areas. So that’s not a language issue. And again, its simply prejudice to claim that Africa or Haiti have anything to do with language issues. The Congo was Belgian, does that make it different? Haiti is dirt poor because Canada, the US, and France all overthrew a democratically elected President who had to go into hiding. Africa is simply a large scale colony still. Language issues are NOWHERE on the map.

    Anyway, I agree that its not too constructive, although its interesting. For David, you can’t gripe about irreleveance when you guys go on about baseball at ED threads:)

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