In my column for the Naitonal Post, I discuss the decline of French Canada:
The recently released results from the 2011 Canadian census read very different in French and English.
In English, the census tells a story of growth and prosperity. In French, the census announces the decline of Quebec's standing in Confederation - and of the French language's place in North America.
Lester Pearson predicted that he would be the last Canadian prime minister to speak only English. To date, his prediction has held true. But not for much longer, by the looks of things.
The 2001 and 2006 Censuses showed sharp declines in the relative size of the population that claimed French as a "mother tongue," down to barely more than one-fifth.
The 2011 census, once its results are made fully public, is likely to show another and probably even sharper drop. The first release of census data this week already shows that the total population of Quebec - including all linguistic groups - continues its rapid decline relative to the rest of Canada. It's a good guess that the French-speaking population will report the steepest decline.