[an error occurred while processing this directive] CBC.ca Manitoba
Critical Mass
  Main

The Future of French in Manitoba
 

After 100 years of fighting for French rights, no one may be left to enjoy them. With the Franco-Manitoban population shrinking, what can be done?


Episode 1 Episode 1: Fighting for survival
Aired Monday, May 12, 2003
CBC Radio One 990

It’s a critical time for Manitoba’s French community. After fighting for rights and services for 100 years, the number of traditional Franco-Manitobans is shrinking so fast, there may not be anyone around to enjoy them in 50 years.

In Episode 1, we explore the rich history of francophones in Manitoba with personal recollections and treasures from CBC’s archives.


Episode 2 Episode 2: Where did they all go?
Aired Monday, May 12, 2003
CBC Radio One 990

The recent census shows there are barely over 1000 children under the age of 5 who are considered to be Franco-Manitoban by their parents.

In Episode 2 of Critical Mass we explore the road to assimilation through the eyes of several current and former Franco-Manitobans. We discover the stress on some families to continue this tradition is so great it can sometimes lead to divorce.


Episode 3 Episode 3: Who is assimilating who?
Aired Tuesday, May 13, 2003
CBC Radio One 990

There may be a huge drop in the number of traditional Franco-Manitobans but there are more Anglophone Manitobans who speak French than ever before. More than 100,000 Manitobans now speak both official languages. But is Manitoba’s francophone community willing to open up and welcome this new Anglophone element?

In Episode 3, we discover how difficult it can be for a community to let down the gate, when its very survival is based on closing its ranks.


Episode 4 Episode 4: Bringing back the disaffected
Aired Tuesday, May 13, 2003
CBC Radio One 990

Manitoba’s francophone parent federation is on a recruiting drive. It wants to convince parents in mixed marriages (French and English) to send their children to French School instead of immersion or English schools. Many feel it’s the key to the community’s survival. But others, who are desperately trying to protect their children from the influence of English, feel this will only dilute the quality of the French education.

Episode 4 explores the difficult balance between the two.


Episode 5 Episode 5: Immigration
Aired Wednesday, May14, 2003
CBC Radio One 990

In an effort to bolster its numbers, the Societe Franco Manitobaine is hoping to attract French-speaking people from other countries to Manitoba.
But are the newest members of Manitoba’s francophone community feeling at home here? Episode 5 looks at the challenges of fitting in.


Episode 6 Episode 6: What's in a name?
Aired Wednesday, May 14, 2003
CBC Radio One 990

Are you a Francophile? Francophone? Exogamous? Endogamous? In the final episode, CBC's Kathy Daley and Patrick Rey look at all the labels assigned to people who speak French and how these labels can cause alienation.

Finally, we try to answer the question: what defines a Franco-Manitoban? You might be surprised by the results.

About the Reporters

Kathy DaleyKathy Daley was born in Ottawa and has been working in journalism since 1980.

She's been a host and writer/broadcaster in television and radio with CBC since 1988.

"After more than 20 years in journalism I can honestly say the experience of putting together Critical Mass with Patrick Rey, my colleague at CKSB has been the most gratifying yet. It was also the most challenging experience. Journalists aren't supposed to admit to their opinions, let alone talk about them in their stories. This project forced me to experience the story personally and for that reason it will probably always be dear to my heart. "

Patrick ReyPatrick Rey was born in Saint-Boniface and has been working at Radio-Canada since 1994. He is currently a journalist and works the newsdesk at CKSB-Radio-Canada in Saint-Boniface.

"My experience with Critical Mass was one I will never forget. This was the first time two reporters from both English and French CBC/Radio-Canada services have joined forces to explain story of an important part of our Manitoba heritage, the Francophone community. When my supervisor asked me to undertake this project, I was ecstatic, because I knew I would learn a lot about myself and as a reporter. As you could probably imagine, putting 2 journalists together is quite a challenge, because they both have a different way of explaining things.

I hope people who have had a chance to listen to Critical Mass will have a better understanding of the problems facing the Francophone community, but have also discovered it's rich contribution in the provincial landscape."

 

^ Top Of Page
Listen Online

Episode 1Episode 1
Fighting for survival

Listen in English
Listen in French

Download audio [ mp3]

English
[8.70 MB, runs 09:30]

French
[9.18 MB, runs 10:02]

Episode 2Episode 2
Where did they all go?

Listen in English
Listen in French

Download audio [ mp3]

English
[8.47 MB, runs 09:15]

French
[9.88 MB, runs 10:47]

Episode 3Episode 3
Who is assimilating who?

Listen in English
Listen in French

Download audio [ mp3]

English
[9.21 MB, runs 10:03]

French
[10.8 MB, runs 11:51]

Episode 4Episode 4
Bringing
back the disaffected

Listen in English
Listen in French

Download audio [ mp3]

English
[8.50 MB, runs 09:17]

French
[9.32 MB, runs 10:10]

Episode 5Episode 5
Immigration


Listen in English
Listen in French

Download audio [ mp3]

English
[7.99 MB, runs 08:43]

French
[10.6 MB, runs 11:38]

Episode 6Episode 6
What's in a name

Listen in English
Listen in French

Download audio [ mp3]

English
[5.90 MB, runs 06:26]

French
[6.54 MB, runs 07:08]

TV specialTV feature, Canada Now
The Future of French in Manitoba

Watch in English


Related Links

CKSB

The Societe Franco Manitobaine

The St Boniface Museum

Division Scolaire Franco Manitobaine

Federation Provincial des comites de parents

Canadian Parents for French

CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external sites. External links will open in a new window.