Lake of Stew musician thinks PQ incites language tensions

Lake of Stew musician Richard Rigby blames the Parti Québecois for the increased language tensions since the election.
Lake of Stew was the centre of a language controversy in 2009 and musician Richard Rigby thought relationships were getting better. He doesn't think so anymore. (CBC)

Richard Rigby is a member of the Montreal band Lake of Stew. In 2009, the organizers of L’Autre St-Jean – the alternative Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebration – decided to remove the band from the list of performers because they sing in English. The ensuing reaction to that decision got them back in the line up. This is his story.

When our band, Lake of Stew, was taken off the bill of the L'Autre St-Jean concert in 2009, it was by popular uproar that got us back on.

It was mainly francophones disgusted with outdated ideas of nationalism that seemed to have no place in modern Quebec who supported us. We received overwhelming support and love from francophones and went on to a very successful career touring the entire province.

At the time I was very hopeful. There seemed to be a new Quebec rising, a generation of Quebecois with a strong sense of identity ready to end its isolation and take a place in the greater world.

There seemed to be an understanding that Quebecois culture went beyond linguistic issues. The video gaming industry was thriving and Montreal's music scene was internationally recognized. There was linguistic peace as there is today.

Then came the elections and the Parti Québecois' policy of division, isolation and ignorance. They ran a campaign that sought to raise the idea of a people cowering in a dark, cold corner of the world, oppressed with the threat of assimilation and after the corrupt Charest years, we held our noses and voted for them.

Unfortunately now, our beloved premier thinks that it's her job to sell her messed up ideas to the population instead of doing what she was elected to do: serve the people.

Richard Rigby sent his story through OurNews! What about you? What is your story of being an anglophone in Quebec?