In the heat of a nasty Quebec election campaign, it is always refreshing to see initiatives like J’ ♥ l’anglais! (J’aime l’anglais!).
Two concerned West Island businessmen are hoping that this little sentence will be a way for Quebecers of all backgrounds to express their love and support for English communities within the province. Itsik Romano is the co-founder of the Unity Pin Group, an advocacy organization that is selling a wearable pin emblazoned with this slogan. His partner, named Mitch, prefers not to give his last name.
Romano says the pin is not only a way to show one’s pride, but a portion of the proceeds from each pin sale will go to help finance legal support to defend actions brought on by the Office québécois de la langue française against local businesses.
“Our main objective is to give people a powerful way to express their objection to the recent surge of the Marois government versus the English language with the enforcement of Bill 101, the introduction of Bill 14 and the abuse that some small businesses are taking from the OLF," said Romano. “It's time to unify. And not just our politics or our ideologies, but our people. Our Unity Pin is exactly that; a shout-out to the powers-that-be that we are ‘unpinning’ ourselves from the shame and humiliation of being made to feel like second-class citizens.”
The Unity Pin, as well as other Unity products, can be found at www.unitypin.ca . Special orders can be made to show support for different languages with pins, coffee mugs and bumper stickers that say "J'aime I'italienne!", "J'aime l'arabe!", "J'aime l'espagnole!" and "J'aime la chinoise!" The Unity Pin Group also hosts a blog on their site.