Transcript: Therese Boutin | Jan 23, 1992

(music plays)

The opening sequence begins.
Fast clips show the daybreak on a lake, birds flying in the sky, and a house covered with snow.

A song says TALK TO ME, SO I CAN HEAR
YOUR VOICE LIKE A LAKE
SO DEEP AND CLEAR
SOARING THROUGH THE
TOPS OF THE TREES,
DANCING BY MY WINDOW
LIKE A WIND BLOWING THROUGH
MY DOOR, DISTANT VOICES,
DISTANT VOICES
DISTANT VOICES
DISTANT VOICES

(music plays)

Thérèse appears on screen. She’s in her forties. She has short dark hair down to the neck and wears a deep blue blazer over a white blouse. The caption below reads "Thérèse Boutin. Radio News Editor."

She says NOBODY TALKS
ABOUT THE FRANCOPHONE
COMMUNITIES
OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC.
THERE'S A
MILLION OF US.
NOT A BIG CHUNK, BUT
THERE'S A MILLION OF US.
AND WE'RE PART OF
THE FOUNDING PEOPLE,
THE SAME WAY AS THE
FRENCH OF QUEBEC
ARE THE FOUNDING
PEOPLE.
WE'RE NOT A
DIFFERENT CATEGORY.
WE'RE ALL PART OF
THE SAME PEOPLE.
WE JUST EMIGRATED
TO OTHER AREAS
OF THE COUNTRY.
BUT NOBODY
MENTIONS US.
NOBODY REALLY CARES,
I THINK, ABOUT US.

The title of the show appears in yellow letters. It reads "Distant Voices, with Eva Solomon, CSJ."

A woman in her fifties, with long curly brown hair sits by a hallway table facing the screen. There's a window behind her. She wears a patterned white long-sleeve blouse, green trousers and a long contrasting necklace.

Eva says THERESE BOUTIN GREW
UP IN THE SMALL TOWN
OF VAL GAGNE, 50
KILOMETRES FROM TIMMINS.
SHE WAS RAISED IN A FAMILY
THAT SPOKE ONLY FRENCH,
AND ATTENDED A FRENCH
SCHOOL UNTIL SHE WAS 16,
AND HAD TO LEARN ENGLISH
FOR THE FIRST TIME
WHEN SHE WAS IN
GRADE 12.
THE PROVINCE THEN DID
NOT SUPPORT SECONDARY
CATHOLIC EDUCATION IN
THE FRENCH LANGUAGE.
SHE GRADUATED AS
VALEDICTORIAN FROM
AN ENGLISH PUBLIC HIGH
SCHOOL THE NEXT YEAR.
THERESE WAS THE ONLY GIRL
IN HER GRADUATING CLASS
TO GO TO UNIVERSITY.
SHE COMPLETED A DEGREE
IN POLITICAL SCIENCE,
AND HAS JUST FINISHED
HER MASTERS IN PUBLIC
ADMINISTRATION.
THERESE HAS KEPT
HER CONCERNS ABOUT
FRANCOPHONE ISSUES
CENTRAL TO
HER CAREER CHOICES.
SHE HAS WORKED AS
A CIVIL SERVANT,
AN EMPLOYEE OF THE
COMMISSIONER OF OFFICIAL
LANGUAGES, A BROADCASTER,
AND NOW AS ASSIGNMENT
EDITOR FOR RADIO CANADA.
SHE AND HER HUSBAND
LIVE WITH THEIR
THREE CHILDREN
IN SUDBURY.

Fast clips on screen show different spots in the city.

Thérèse says QUEBEC
IS ANOTHER,
IT'S ALMOST LIKE
ANOTHER WORLD.
WE TALK ABOUT THIS
DISTINCT SOCIETY
ALL OVER THE PLACE.
WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT
IT IN THIS COUNTRY
FOR THE LAST
FOUR YEARS.
AND WHETHER OR
NOT WE LIKE IT,
IT IS A DISTINCT
SOCIETY.
FROM THE POINT OF VIEW
OF A FRANCOPHONE LIVING
OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC, SO I
CAN JUST IMAGINE
WHAT IT IS FROM THE
POINT OF VIEW
OF AN ANGLOPHONE,
BUT IT IS.
IT'S ANOTHER WORLD.
THEY SEE THINGS
DIFFERENTLY,
THEY DO THINGS
DIFFERENTLY,
THEIR EDUCATION SYSTEM
HAS BEEN DIFFERENT
OVER THE YEARS.
THEY LIVE AS A
MAJORITY IN FRENCH,
WHEREAS HERE IN
ONTARIO, FOR EXAMPLE,
AND I'LL SPEAK
ONLY FOR ONTARIO,
ALTHOUGH I'VE BEEN
BASICALLY IN EVERY
OTHER PROVINCE.
BUT IT'S DIFFERENT
FOR US BECAUSE
WE LIVE IN AN
ANGLOPHONE COMMUNITY.
TRADITIONALLY IN
CANADA, THE MINERS
AND THE WOODWORKERS
HAVE BEEN FRANCOPHONES.
THE VOYAGEUR, THE PEOPLE
WHO EXPLORED THIS COUNTRY,
AND TRAVELLED
THROUGH THIS COUNTRY,
TRADITIONALLY WERE
FRANCOPHONES.
THEY WERE NOT THE
FARMERS OF IRELAND,
OR THE FARMERS OF
SOUTHERN ENGLAND, YOU KNOW?
THEY CAME FROM ROUGH
AREAS OF FRANCE, LE POITOU,
AND NORMANDY, AND OTHER
AREAS OF NORTHERN FRANCE.
SO THEY WERE EXPLORERS
FROM, YOU KNOW,
HUNDREDS OF YEARS BACK.
SO WHEN THEY CAME
TO THIS COUNTRY,
THEY WERE ALWAYS THE
FIRST ONES TO HEAD WEST,
TO EXPLORE NEW COUNTRIES,
TO FIND NEW AREAS.
AND I THINK THAT'S WHY
IN THAT AREA OF NORTHERN
ONTARIO, YOU WILL FIND
MANY FRANCOPHONES.
EVEN HERE IN
NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO,
MANY OF THE CITIES
FIRST HAD FRENCH NAMES.
RIVIÈRE A LA PLUVIEUX,
WHICH IS NOW
RAINY RIVER, LAC
DES BOIS,
WHICH IS NOW LAKE
OF THE WOODS.
YOU KNOW, MY ANCESTORS,
THE FRENCH ANCESTORS
REALLY EXPLORED
THIS COUNTRY.
SO WHEN THEY CAME UP
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO,
THEY WERE HAVING
DIFFICULT TIMES IN QUEBEC.
THEY EITHER WENT SOUTH
TO THE COTTON MILLS
IN NEW ENGLAND, OR
THEY WENT NORTHWEST
TO NORTHERN ONTARIO WHERE
THEY DEVELOPED LOGGING
COMPANIES AND MINING
AND TOOK A CHANCE
OF GOING THERE AND
RAISING FAMILIES.
THAT'S WHY THERE'S
SUCH A LARGE
FRANCOPHONE POPULATION.

As she speaks, the screen shows new sides of the city, including the industrial area. Next, a slate reads "Just under half a million (or 5.3 percent) Ontarians consider French to be their mother tongue. Just under one million, or 10.3 percent of the province, speak both French and English."

Next, a black and white picture shows a man in his forties posing next to a car. He has short black hair neatly combed and is clean-shaven. He wears a patterned suit and white shirt.

Thérèse says MY FATHER WAS A FARMER
LIKE HIS FATHER
WAS A FARMER.
HIS FATHER CAME IN THE
VILLAGE RIGHT AFTER
THE GREAT FIRE OF 1916,
WHICH KILLED
QUITE A FEW HUNDRED
PEOPLE, AND DEVASTATED
THAT ENTIRE AREA.
YES, IN 1916.
SO HIS FATHER CAME IN FROM
THE SOUTHEASTERN PART
OF QUEBEC, JUST EAST OF
THE EASTERN TOWNSHIPS,
IF I CAN PUT
IT THIS WAY,
AT THE BEGINNING
OF THE CENTURY.
HE MARRIED, AND CAME UP
NORTH ON HIS HONEYMOON
AND SETTLED IN
THAT AREA.

Next, a black and white picture shows the image of a woman in her mid-thirties. She has short wavy dark hair down to the shoulders and wears a white blouse and a matching hat.

Thérèse continues
MY MOTHER WAS
BORN IN MATTICE
JUST EAST OF HEARST.
AND HER MOTHER WAS BORN IN
COBALT IN 1905, ONE YEAR
AFTER THE MINES OPENED
UP IN THAT AREA.
AND MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER
AND GREAT-GRANDMOTHER,
HAD COME TO THAT AREA
AS NEWLYWEDS ALSO,
TO DO SOME
SILVER MINING.
BUT I GUESS MY
GREAT-GRANDFATHER WAS NOT MUCH
OF A MINER SO THEY MOVED
UP NORTH AS THE RAILROAD
MOVED UP NORTH, AND
THEY FINALLY SETTLED
IN THE VAL GAGNE
AREA ALSO.

A series of old pictures show images of Thérèse’s family posing.

Thérèse continues
SO I'M A TRUE BLUE
ONTARIAN IN THE SENSE
I WAS BORN HERE, AND MY
PARENTS WERE BORN HERE,
AND SOME OF MY
GRANDPARENTS WERE BORN
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO.

A new slate on screen reads "Val Gagné, which is almost totally French-speaking, celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1990."

Eva says IS VAL GAGNE A
VERY OLD COMMUNITY?

Thérèse says IT'S THE NORTHERN
PART OF THE CLAY BELT,
ACTUALLY.
AND IT WAS VERY
DIFFICULT FARMING.
IT WAS SUBSISTENCE
FARMING,
BUT IT WAS VERY
DIFFICULT FARMING.
I REMEMBER MY FATHER
DOING TWO THINGS,
TWO JOBS, LIKE MOST OF
THE MEN AFTER THE WAR,
WHO WOULD BOTH DO
FARMING AND LOGGING.
MY FATHER ALSO
HAD A BULLDOZER,
SO HE WOULD
BUILD ROADS.
MY FATHER BUILT THE
TRANSCANADA HIGHWAY
BETWEEN NORTH
BAY AND HEARST.
HE USED THE FIRST
BULLDOZER TO GO THROUGH
AND ACTUALLY
BUILD HIGHWAY 11.
MEN, WHEN THEY COME OUT
OF HIGH SCHOOL CAN GET
A GOOD JOB WORKING IN THE
LOGGING, FOR EXAMPLE,
OR IN THE MINES, BUT
WOMEN DON'T WORK
IN LOGGING OR
IN THE MINES.
SO IF THEY WANT TO
WORK, THEY HAVE TO GO
TO UNIVERSITY AND
GET A DEGREE.
SO THERE'S A CHANGE
AT THIS POINT.
BUT WHEN I WAS IN HIGH
SCHOOL IN THE 1960s,
IF YOU CAME FROM
A SMALL VILLAGE,
AND YOU WANTED
TO BE A TEACHER,
CHANCES ARE THAT
YOU WOULD COME BACK
TO THE SMALL VILLAGE AND
BE A SMALL-TOWN TEACHER
FOR THE REST OF YOUR
LIFE, AND THEN
GET MARRIED AND
STOP TEACHING.
SOME BECAME NURSES.
BUT THAT'S ABOUT IT.
SO THERE'S THE
DOUBLE PROBLEM HERE.
THE FACT YOU COME FROM
A SMALL COMMUNITY,
A RURAL COMMUNITY TRYING
TO GET INTO THE BIG CITY,
AND A FRANCOPHONE
TRYING TO MAKE A START,
OR TO MAKE A LIVING, OR
TO BREAK UP THE BARRIERS
OF THE ANGLOPHONE
COMMUNITY.
AND THE THIRD PRONG
OF BEING A WOMAN.
I THINK IN THE
'60s AND THE '70s,
WHEN I WAS AT UNIVERSITY,
WHEN I WENT ON THE MARKET,
ON THE LABOUR MARKET,
THAT WAS VERY,
VERY DIFFICULT.

Pictures on screen show the main entrance to a university as well as a younger Thérèse portrayed together with other people back in the day.

Eva says SO TELL ME WHAT IT'S
LIKE TO BE MARRIED TO
A FRENCHMAN FROM QUEBEC,
AND EVEN MORE SO TO
AN ARTIST, AND HOW YOU
GOT IN TOUCH WITH HIM?

Thérèse says I NEVER THOUGHT I
WOULD MARRY SOMEBODY FROM
QUEBEC BECAUSE ODDS ARE,
AND I LOOK AT MY OWN FAMILY,
WHERE THREE OF MY
BROTHERS AND SISTERS
HAVE MARRIED ANGLOPHONES,
THAT'S MORE LIKE
THE ODDS LIVING AS A
FRANCOPHONE OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC.
AND THAT IS ONE OF THE
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
THE TWO PROVINCES.
CHANCES ARE YOU'LL END UP
LIVING WITH SOMEONE
WHO IS AN ANGLOPHONE
AND NOT SOMEBODY
WHO IS A FRANCOPHONE.
THE OTHER THING,
TOO, IS OF COURSE,
WE'VE BEEN RAISED
DIFFERENTLY.
HE'S AN ONLY CHILD, AND
I'M THE ELDEST OF SIX.
IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
BUT WE WERE BOTH BORN IN
A SMALL FARMING VILLAGE.
BUT I THINK LIVING IN
QUEBEC IS VERY DIFFERENT.
YOU LIVE IN FRENCH
ALL THE TIME,
WHEREAS IN
ONTARIO, WE DON'T.
ENGLISH IS EVER PRESENT
IN THE COMMUNITY.
THAT'S WHAT LIVING IN
CANADA OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC
IS ALL ABOUT, IS THAT YOU
LIVE IN COMMUNITIES
WHERE THE MAJORITY OF THE
PEOPLE ARE ANGLOPHONES,
AND IN SOME AREAS,
THE FRENCH COMMUNITY
HAS ITS SCHOOLS AND
OTHER INSTITUTIONS,
AND IN OTHERS,
IT DOESN'T.
SO IT JUST INCREASES THE
RATE OF ASSIMILATION
WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.

A new slate reads "The rate of assimilation, or change of language spoken at home, among francophones (outside Québec) is 36.8 percent for people up to 24 years of age. Among Ontario francophones that figure is 39 percent. This rate peaks for 10 to 14-year olds, when the rate climbs to 51 percent."

Thérèse says I GUESS IF I WERE TO
EXPATRIATE TO ANOTHER
PROVINCE, OR EVEN
TO ANOTHER COUNTRY,
IT WOULD BE
THE SAME THING.
YOU ALWAYS HAVE THIS
FEELING THAT YOU BELONG
SOMEWHERE ELSE, AND I
THINK THAT'S VERY NORMAL.
WE DON'T SEE THINGS
THE SAME WAY
IN CANADIAN POLITICS.
WE DON'T AGREE,
NECESSARILY,
ON DECISIONS THAT
ARE BEING MADE BY
THE DIFFERENT
GOVERNMENTS.

A picture shows a little girl in a blue coat and a matching hat. Next, a little boy in winter clothes and then the two kids posing for a picture with a woman in her eighties.

Thérèse continues
IT'S INTERESTING, AND I
WOULD SAY IT'S DIFFICULT,
ALSO, FOR THE CHILDREN.
ALTHOUGH THE CHILDREN
WERE BORN IN ONTARIO,
THEY NOW GO TO
SCHOOL IN SUDBURY,
WE'VE NEVER AS A
FAMILY LIVED IN QUÉBEC,
BUT WE TRAVEL THERE
QUITE OFTEN TO VISIT
MICHEL'S MOTHER, OR TO
VISIT WITH FRIENDS.
THEY REALIZE THAT THERE
IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT
BETWEEN THE
TWO PROVINCES.
TO THEM, IT'S LIKE
TWO COUNTRIES.
ALTHOUGH THEY DON'T
REALLY KNOW THE NOTION,
THE POLITICAL OR
GEOGRAPHICAL NOTION
OF WHAT A COUNTRY
IS ALL ABOUT,
THEY NOTICE THERE
ARE DIFFERENCES.
AND WE TALK ABOUT IT.
I THINK IT MAKES FOR
INTERESTING DISCUSSIONS
WITHIN OUR OWN FAMILY.
BUT I THINK LIVING IN
QUEBEC IS VERY DIFFERENT.
YOU LIVE IN FRENCH
ALL THE TIME,
WHEREAS IN
ONTARIO, WE DON'T.
ENGLISH IS EVER PRESENT
IN THE COMMUNITY,
THAT'S WHAT LIVING IN
CANADA, OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC,
IS ALL ABOUT, IS THAT
YOU LIVE IN COMMUNITIES
WHERE THE MAJORITY OF THE
PEOPLE ARE ANGLOPHONES,
AND IN SOME AREAS YOU
HAVE THE FRENCH COMMUNITY
HAS ITS SCHOOLS AND
OTHER INSTITUTIONS,
AND IN OTHERS,
IT DOESN'T.
SO IT JUST INCREASES THE
RATE OF ASSIMILATION
WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.

(music plays)

A series of fast clips shows new sides of the city, gardens and landscapes in the area.

Eva says THERESE IS THE THIRD
GENERATION OF HER FAMILY
TO HAVE LIVED
IN VAL GAGNE,
A FARMING COMMUNITY IN
THE VERY NORTHERN PART
OF THIS PROVINCE'S
CLAY BELT.
IT WAS A PLACE WHERE SHE
OBSERVED THE CONCERNS
THAT DRIVE HER NOW, AND
GENERATED THE PASSION
SHE BRINGS TO HER
LIFE AND WORK.

Next, a picture of Thérèse in her twenties is followed by actual footage of her at work in an office.

Thérèse says WE REALIZE
THAT WE ARE SUBJECT
TO ASSIMILATION.
THAT'S THE BIG BAD
WORD, YOU KNOW,
IN THE FRANCOPHONE
COMMUNITY ACROSS CANADA.
THE RATE OF ASSIMILATION
IN SOME AREAS
IS 50 PERCENT A YEAR.
IT'S EXTREMELY HIGH.
SO THAT, YOU KNOW, WE'RE
ALWAYS ON THE EDGE
OF OUR SEAT, BASICALLY,
IN WATCHING WHAT'S
HAPPENING TO US.
AND WE'RE QUITE SEVERE
WITH OUR CHILDREN,
YOU KNOW, AS TO WHAT THEY
CAN WATCH IN ENGLISH
AND WHAT THEY CAN'T, AND HOW
MUCH READING THEY CAN DO,
SO THEY LEARN THE
SECOND LANGUAGE,
BUT THAT THEY DON'T LOSE
THEIR MOTHER TONGUE.
AND I THINK FOR
ANY MINORITY,
IN ANY COUNTRY
AROUND THE WORLD,
IT'S ALWAYS THE SAME.
IT'S ALWAYS THE
SAME SITUATION.
WHETHER WE TALK ABOUT
THE NATIVE COMMUNITY
IN CANADA, OR WE TALK
ABOUT THE BLACK COMMUNITY
IN THE UNITED STATES, OR
THE MEXICAN COMMUNITY.
I THINK IT'S
ALWAYS THIS DANGER.
YOU SEE YOUR PEOPLE
DISAPPEARING,
AND YOU WANT TO DO
SOMETHING FOR YOUR PEOPLE,
FOR YOUR COMMUNITY, SO
THAT IT CAN SURVIVE
AND GET THE BEST
OF BOTH WORLDS.

Eva says BUT IN ANOTHER
PERSPECTIVE,
IT'S NOT ANY
DIFFERENT THE WAY
THE FRENCH-SPEAKING
COMMUNITY RELATE
TO THE NATIVE PEOPLE,
THAN THE ENGLISH
RELATE TO THE FRENCH.
I MEAN, THE ASSIMILATION
IS EXPECTED OF US
THE SAME WAY MOVING INTO
THE FRENCH ENVIRONMENT,
AS IT IS WITH THE FRENCH
MOVING INTO THE ENGLISH.
THEY'LL FIGHT THAT ONE,
BUT THEY WON'T FIGHT
FOR THE MINORITY PERSON
IN THE NATIVE COMMUNITY.

Thérèse says I THINK IT'S
AS DOWN TO EARTH
AS SURVIVAL OF THE
FITTEST IN THIS COUNTRY.
I FIND IT DESPERATE.
I FIND THAT VERY
DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT.
I GUESS I COULD SAY
I UNDERSTAND IT,
BUT I FIND IT VERY
DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT.
BUT MAYBE THAT'S WHAT
MAKES THIS COUNTRY
WHAT IT IS.
I THINK THERE IS A
BETTER AWARENESS NOW,
AND I THINK THE
FRANCOPHONES IN ONTARIO,
OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC,
MAYBE UNDERSTAND BETTER
THE SITUATION OF THE
NATIVE COMMUNITY BECAUSE
IT'S SIMILAR IN
MANY WAYS.
BUT WE HAVE TO
SURVIVE, TOO.
YOU HAVE DIFFERENT
BATTLES.
I'M NOT TALKING
ABOUT HERE BATTLING
WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS,
INSIDE TYPE OF,
INNER BATTLE ALL THE
TIME, WHERE AM I GOING?
WHAT'S HAPPENING
TO MY PEOPLE?
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
WHY AM I SO INVOLVED IN
THE FRENCH COMMUNITY?
WHY DO I DO ALL THE
THINGS THAT I DO?
WHY DO I INSIST THAT MY
CHILDREN SPEAK FRENCH
AT HOME, AND DO
READING IN FRENCH?
WHY AM I ALWAYS
SCARED THAT THEY
COULD BE ASSIMILATED?
WHY DO I HAVE TO FIGHT
WITH THIS WHILE
I COULD BE DOING
SOMETHING ELSE?

Eva says WHAT DO THOSE
BATTLES DO TO YOU?

New black and white images on screen portray Thérèse as a little girl with her family.

Thérèse says I THINK THEY
MAKE ME WHAT I AM,
IN THE SENSE I THINK
BECAUSE I'VE ALWAYS
BEEN AWARE OF THIS SINCE
I WAS A CHILD,
BECAUSE UNTIL I WAS 16
YEARS OLD I DIDN'T SPEAK
A WORD OF ENGLISH, I
WENT TO, YOU KNOW,
GRADE SCHOOL IN FRENCH,
NOBODY IN THE VILLAGE
IN THOSE DAYS
SPOKE ENGLISH.
I MEAN, I'D BEEN LISTENING
TO ENGLISH RADIO,
AND ENGLISH TELEVISION,
BUT NEVER HAD TO SPEAK IT.
I KNEW A FEW WORDS
AND EVERYTHING,
BUT I WAS NOT FLUENT
IN THE LANGUAGE.
HAVING TO LEARN IT IN THE
SCHOOL WHILE LEARNING
EVERYTHING ELSE FROM
MATHEMATICS TO HISTORY,
I WORKED REALLY,
REALLY HARD.
AND I ENDED UP BEING
PUBLIC SPEAKING
CHAMPION IN ENGLISH.

Eva says WHAT EFFECT
HAS ALL THIS HAD
ON YOUR CHILDREN?

A picture shows three little kids posing for a photo.


Thérèse says THEY,
FOR EXAMPLE,
THEY LOOK AT THEIR
LITTLE COUSINS,
I HAVE A SISTER WHO
LIVES IN HUNTSVILLE
WHO IS MARRIED TO
AN ANGLOPHONE.
AND HER THREE CHILDREN
DON'T SPEAK FRENCH.
AND MY CHILDREN
DON'T UNDERSTAND IT.
I REMEMBER MY SON,
THREE YEARS AGO,
HE WAS FIVE YEARS
OLD, AND SAYING,
HOW COME MA TANTE
LAUREN SPEAKS FRENCH
AND HER CHILDREN DON'T?
HE COULDN'T FIGURE
THAT ONE OUT.
AND AT ONE POINT,
HE SAID, WELL,
WHY ARE WE A FAMILY IF
WE DON'T ALL SPEAK
THE SAME LANGUAGE?
BUT I WOULD SAY OF THE SIX
CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY,
I'M THE ONLY
ONE, LIKE ME.
NONE OF MY BROTHERS AND
SISTERS ARE LIKE ME.
YOU KNOW, THEY
DO ASK QUESTIONS,
THEY HAVE PREOCCUPATIONS,
BUT I DON'T THINK
ANY OF THEM...
YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT
SO STRONG FOR THEM.
BUT I'M A PERSON
OF PASSION.
EVERYTHING I DO,
I DO WITH PASSION.
I DON'T HAVE A JOB,
YOU KNOW, I WORK,
BUT I DON'T
HAVE A JOB.
TO ME, IT'S
A PASSION.
I LOVE WHAT I DO.
AND I GIVE EVERYTHING
TO WHAT I DO.

Eva says WHAT DOES THE FUTURE
HOLD FOR THESE CHILDREN?

Thérèse says I DON'T KNOW.
I'M NOT THE TYPE OF
PERSON TO LOOK INTO
A CRYSTAL BALL.
I'M MORE OF AN ANALYTICAL
TYPE OF PERSON.
I THINK, I THINK IT'S
NOT JUST A QUESTION
OF MY CHILDREN, I THINK IT'S
A QUESTION OF THIS COUNTRY.
THIS COUNTRY IS ON THE
VERGE OF A MAJOR BREAKUP.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S
GOING TO HAPPEN,
HOW THE BREAKING UP
IS GOING TO BE DONE,
BUT IT WILL BE DONE.
THE WAY I SEE IT NOW IS
I SEE A BALKANIZATION
OF THE COUNTRY.
WHICH IS WHAT NOBODY
HAS WANTED FROM
THE VERY BEGINNING, BUT WHICH
I THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
WE'RE GOING TO DIVIDE
THIS COUNTRY, LITERALLY,
AS ENGLISH CANADA
AND AS FRENCH CANADA.
FRENCH CANADA IS
GOING TO BE QUEBEC,
AND ENGLISH CANADA
IS GOING TO BE
THE REST OF THE
COUNTRY.
AND TOUGH FOR THE
ANGLOPHONES IN QUEBEC,
AND TOUGH FOR THE
FRANCOPHONES
OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC.

A new slate reads "Two percent of the North American population speaks French, including Acadia, Québec, and smaller groups in Louisiana, New England and Central American communities."

Thérèse says THE LOGICAL QUESTION OF
PEOPLE LISTENING TO ME NOW,
WHY DON'T YOU
MOVE TO QUEBEC THEN?
WELL, MAYBE I'LL
DO THAT ONE DAY.
MAYBE I'LL DO IT
FOR MY CAREER.
MAYBE I'LL DO IT
FOR MY FAMILY,
MAYBE I'LL DO IT FOR
POLITICAL REASONS,
BUT I DON'T THINK
THAT'S A SOLUTION
BECAUSE I MIGHT JUST AS
WELL MOVE TO FRANCE.
IT'S ANOTHER COUNTRY.
IT'S NOT MY HOME.
BUT MAYBE THAT'S WHAT
THE FUTURE HOLDS
FOR MY CHILDREN.
I WOULD HOPE NOT.
BUT IT'S A VERY
STRONG POSSIBILITY.

(music plays)

New footage of the city shows the beaches on a sunny day, a train moving across the snow in winter and the fall of dawn.

Eva says THÉRÈSE HAS BEEN
DEFINED BOTH BY THE FACT
SHE'S A FRANCO-ONTARIAN,
AND BY THE VERY STRUGGLE
SHE'S ENGAGED IN TODAY.
SHE WILL CONTINUE
BECAUSE THE ONLY OTHER
ALTERNATIVE SHE SEES
IS ASSIMILATION.
THE DISTANT VOICES
SHE HEARS SUPPORT
HER POSITION, AS WELL AS
REMIND HER OF THE LARGER
CONTEXT OF HER PASSION.

Thérèse says WE'RE HAVING OUR
OWN LITTLE, YOU KNOW,
DEBATE ABOUT WHO WE ARE,
AND OUR IDENTITY CRISIS,
AND OUR RECESSIONS,
AND, YOU KNOW,
OUR POLITICAL BATTLES,
AND OUR CONSTITUTIONAL
DEBATES AND
EVERYTHING ELSE.
AND THE WORLD IS
DISAPPEARING,
THIS PLANET IS
DISAPPEARING, YOU KNOW?
SO EVERYTHING HAS TO
BE PUT IN CONTEXT
ALL THE TIME.
AND I THINK THE
MAJOR PROBLEM,
I THINK WITH PEOPLE
LIKE ME WHO
ARE VERY PASSIONATE AND VERY
INVOLVED AND WANT TO MAKE
THINGS WORK, IS THAT MANY
OF THE THINGS WE SAY
AND MANY OF THE THINGS WE
DO ARE OUT OF CONTEXT,
YOU KNOW, BECAUSE
THE ACTUAL CONTEXT
IS THE WORLD.
AND WHEN I TALK
ABOUT MY OWN FAMILY,
OR WHEN I TALK
ABOUT MY HUSBAND,
WHEN I TALK ABOUT
MY CHILDREN,
IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO ME,
AND IT'S VERY IMPORTANT
TO MY OWN
PERSONAL BATTLES,
AND TO MY OWN
PERSONAL BELIEFS,
BUT IT'S NOTHING COMPARED
TO WHAT'S HAPPENING
WITH THE REST OF THE
WORLD, WITH THE DELETION
OF THE OZONE, AND WITH
FAMILIES, YOU KNOW,
GOING HUNGRY, AND PEOPLE
WALKING FOR MONTHS
IN DESERT FOR...
CHILDREN WALKING IN THE
DESERT FOR MONTHS
WITHOUT HAVING ANYTHING
TO EAT OR DRINK,
AND WITH TROPICAL FORESTS
GOING UP IN DESERTS.
THERE'S NOTHING TO
IT, YOU KNOW?
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, IF
EVERYBODY HAS THEIR
OWN LITTLE PASSIONS, AND
EVERYBODY HAS THEIR OWN
BELIEFS, AND NOBODY TAKES
ANYTHING FOR GRANTED,
ALL OF US TOGETHER,
WHETHER WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT OUR FAMILIES,
WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
OUR COMMUNITY,
OUR PEOPLE,
WHETHER WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT,
WHETHER WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT THE WHALES,
WHETHER WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT THE FAMINE,
BUT IF WE TAKE
THINGS INDIVIDUALLY,
AND WE BELIEVE IN
THE THINGS WE DO,
AND THE BATTLES
THAT WE FIGHT,
MAYBE WE CAN
GET SOMEWHERE.
BUT I WOULDN'T SAY
THAT I'M A MICROCOSM
OF MY FAMILY IS A
MICROCOSM OF THIS COUNTRY,
OR THAT THIS COUNTRY
IS A MICROCOSM
OF NORTH AMERICA.
YOU CAN GO UP
AND UP LIKE THIS.
I DON'T THINK
IT'S THAT.
I THINK WE HAVE TO
BELIEVE IN WHAT WE DO.
WE HAVE TO CONTINUE
FIGHTING IN THE SENSE
OF FIGHTING WITHIN
OURSELVES.
I'M NOT TALKING
ABOUT WAR HERE.
AND WE HAVE CONTINUE
TO WORK TOWARDS
WHAT WE BELIEVE, AND MAYBE
WE'LL GET SOMEWHERE.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Produced by Jim Hanley and Jim Hyder.


Directed by Dan Robinson

Executive for TVOntario, Marjorie Robinson.

Executive Producer, Jim Hanley.

A co-production of TVOntario and Sleeping Giant Productions.

The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. Copyright 1991.

Watch: Therese Boutin