Views and Visions: Canadians clash Part 2

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. tout / taʊt / (v.) – to say good things about someone or something, especially to make other people think that he/she/it is important

    The new manager was touted for his leadership skills.

  2. cuisine / kwɪˈzin / (n.) – a style or quality of cooking

    I enjoy eating Spanish cuisine.

  3. go back to (something) / goʊ bæk tʊ / (phrasal v.) – to have existed for a certain time

    Amy and Lily’s friendship goes back to when they were kids.

  4. troops / trups / (n.) – soldiers who are part of a group

    The president promised to bring the troops home before Christmas.

  5. get along / gɛt əˈlɒŋ / (phrasal v.) – to have a friendly relationship

    Kim’s son gets along well with the other children at school.


Read the text below.

Continued from Part 1…

For many years, French-speaking Montreal was the economic engine of Canada, only to be surpassed by English-speaking Toronto in the final decades of the 20th century. Today, Toronto is a major center for commerce and finance. Montreal, on the other hand, is widely touted for its culture, cuisine and architecture. If Toronto is a smaller version of New York, then Montreal would be a mini Paris.

The French versus English rivalry in Canada goes back to the very creation of the country, when troops from France and Britain fought over land in the New World. Unlike most of the battles to come on the ice hockey rink, it was the English side that won the war and that eventually led to a united Canada. Even centuries later, some French Canadians still want Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada, although that movement has grown less popular in recent years.

Nowadays, French and English Canadians mostly get along and Canada is fortunate to have enjoyed many years of peace.

But when the Canadiens and Maple Leafs get together on the ice, the nation’s intense historical divisions return, if only for a few hours at a time. (Joel Tansey)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Canada has two official languages, English and French. What do you think are the pros and cons of having more than one official language? Do you think your country should add English as an official language? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Some French Canadians want Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada, although that movement has grown less popular in recent years. What do you think is the reason for its recent decrease in popularity? Do you think it may become more popular again in the near future? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The author compares Toronto to New York and Montreal to Paris. Which Canadian city are you more interested in visiting? Would you compare any cities in your country to New York or Paris? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Toronto surpassed Montreal as the economic engine of Canada in the final decades of the 20th century. What city would you say is the economic engine of your country? Has it always been that way? Discuss.