tv Deutsche Welle Journal LINKTV December 13, 2012 11:00am-11:30am PST
inancouver, on canada's pacic coas asian imgration stirs a cultural conflict are distcte for eir n-english societies. that highligs the relaonship between globalonctionstirs a cuand cal ices.ct are distcte for eir n-english societies. andavid ho is one4, of theop reaestate agents in vancouverbritish combia andavid ho is one4, of theop reaestate agents caus kwsthiclare ok in vancouverbritish combia david's family contracting business designed and built this house specifically for asian buyers, like the hong kong chinese family who will be viewing it today. inside this $1.3illion home are many luxury atures which, davidays,redemanded.
e feature of ts ng roomisrsof e it's a very rge ving room. which, davidays,redemanded. e feature of ts ng roomisrsof e then it's the high ceiling. um... you know, it makes the room very spacious. narrator: space is extremely limited in the crowded city ohong kong, but in canada, families like this o can buy theidream me building these houses, however, rees down make omtion. dsf ui for new homes like these, which are more modern and much larger than their predecessors. the cultural landscape of vancouver is being transformed nfences of asia. in hong kong, people are scared. it'sid-'90s, andhi outoeassercorol
over the btishrotectore. it'sid-'90s, andhi wealthy milies are lookingfor. outoeassercorol one factor is distance. since aircraft f in great-circle routes, the closest mar cityn north america is actuay vancouver. pacific rim immigration is well-established cnatown.r.it hd but in the run-up to '97, there are many upscale migrants, anthey are not moving to chinatown. geogeravid leys beening the city's changing lascape. ase obsees w usere, wcaseeast side of r vancouver is essenally split intowoections. e city's divided io two halves-- west and east. the east side s always been the e city's divided io two halves-- west and east. of non-english-speaking immigrants--
some from europe, some from asia, buworking-class ople. and the landscape we see belows sis landscape of small houses, and the houses are very sie. and the landscape narrator most of the immigrant communities are cad which s siof nghoo thatrelmost concealed beneath the urban forest narrator: it is here in this greener, more affluent part of the city where the new asian elites have chosen to live. ma os ies are children of hong ko businessmen. their parents continue tol ma os ies in the asian omanufacturing industry. theyften commute between vancouver and hong kong.
they believe the best way to preserve their wealth is to invest in real estate, and the best way for their investments appreciate is to replace older anglo-canadian housesike these with newer, larger asian-style houses like these. as developers rush to accommodate these new arrivals, ey a teariown exisng homes. ma west side residents have become concerned byhehang they see igorer w lng around them. liss i knew ts house well, because i used to play across the street from it, anit had beautiful timbe inside and oak fors, and what we got in its place is this motrosity,
which certainly esn't fit intoheeighborhood at all. they're pi, ey're fluf, they're g,hey'riendly,here. and it really annoys me that people come in here and don't wa to blend into the neighborhood. narrator: like lissa forshaw, man: jthey either didn't want ous an older house, or they didn't want to fixt up, or money was no object, swith houses cong down and new houses going up, d the w houses unfortunately withhe existg archture. a cole of years o, this was just like a new suburb. there was just simply such an incredible density narratorto geograph, olr uses le this oneonstruction.
being replaced by newer ones like these, reflect more than just a local superficial trend. they are the result of global forces from f beyonthis region. here we are now in south shaughnessy in a street where i would guess more than half the houses have been rebuilt within the last five years, and it's a striking example of the meeting of the local and the global. to understand the landscape changes on this block, you need to understand the remarkable transition in canadian, and especially western canadian, society. narrator: while many asians are moving to vancouver, others are simply investing here. dung the 198, e onomicstng of i had been the drivingorce behi t econo ofrish columbia. in 1991, for the first time, re british columbian exports
were sent across the pacific ocean than across the border to the united states. many asian companies own major businesses throughout the city, and each y thousands of toua like this retail sppg mall. helping make tourism the second-largest sector of british columbia's economy. all of these ements ha created an increasedsian presence ancouver. the ho family business is thriving ankso this booming ast using toy's global communication systems, david closes many of his deals by fax and phone with clients still in hong kong and taiwan. ( cell(pspeang cneseo.
ator they tgrpres gees offered by their designs. but the hos are worried about the strict new rules now in place over house size and style. they are not sure their business can withstand the conflict of cultures. here the diaspora from europe is meeting a new diaspora. we are, in a sense, in a borderland, a meeting place between great international influences-- the age of the atlantic and the age of the pacific, europe and asia. and they're meeting more broadly they'rein this region.s city, or: the signuideney ar this english tudor exterior did not appeal to today's clients.
okay, thanks for coming. narrator: it is seven years later, and me oe lictssolv at both the local and the global scales. locall vancouver enacted a design compromise. ley: in this areathere was a menu of about a half dozen styles that builders were given to work with, but by far the most popular has been, in fact, this one, that i rather jokingly call the "neo-tudor," because it is a revival of what was the tudor revival of the 1900-1920 period. narrator: as long as developers built in details like traditional chimneys, steep pitched roofs and wooden facade work, the houses could be slightly larger than others. ley: i should say that this compromise
has been amazingly successful, and it shows that perhaps there is a future for multiculturalism after all. narrator: but the push to build new home s en slowe thaby a housing marketa future for muldragged 30% lowerer all. by forces at several geographic scales. at the global scale, vancouver actually experienced a return migration to hong kong following its reunification with china in 1997. ley: first of all, people realized that the political situation was not as serious as they anticipated. and secondly, not many of them have been able to make significant money here and have gone back and renewed old businesses or opened new businesses in hong kong. narrator: david ho's construction company now looks back on its past achievements. ho left a sagging residential real estate market to start an internet company.
links with asia, while strong, are changing throughout the city and the region. ley: part of the story, of course, where a lot of the raw materials is thefrom british columbia whii are exported. narrator: and even though the u.s. economy slumped its low interest rates have helped vault the u.s. back to its traditional role as b.c.'s largest trading partner. the major issue here is the lumber industry and u.s. house building, so that the b.c. lumber industry follows very closely the cycles of american home building. narrator: in vancouver itself, there is less new construction, and the older houses are bought by a new asian demographic.
in the last couple of years, wi the... with the decline of the business immigrants and the wealthier immigrants, 've hacontinuing a very signifi, and that movement is perhaps reflectemore by tse properties we see. we're in vancouver's east side now, a much more modest area, and people living here would be coming from india, from the people's republic of china, perhaps from the philippines. narrator: without great wealth and power, these new asian americans are not likely to encounter the same kinds of cultural conflicts. they just want to adapt and make new lives for themselves in a city of diverse local voices and ever-changing global connections. within north america, the subregion of canada is the second-largest country in the world. but with its harsh northern climate,
much of this land is sparsely inhabited. the streetlights in this nighttime image from space show the distribution of population in the eastern u.s. and canada. eighty-five percent of canadians live within 200 miles of the u.s. border. one of its biggest cities is montreal. as in vancouver, immigration has a major impact on montreal's urban and political geography. montreal is the primate city of quebec, a french island in an anglo-american sea. the québécois work very hard to preserve their language bugrowing onalism and e quebecovereign movement could ado e ku ofanadiaon bugrowing onalism and e quebecovereign movement class:♪ u aimes lei ♪ si tu aimes le soleil, frappe des mains ♪ ♪ si tu aimes le soleil, le printemps qui se réveille♪ ♪ si tu ais le solfrappeesn♪
rrat e fure of ch langueanculture ♪ilerintemps qui se réveille ♪ fact, ikehese.f rth amera-- ♪ si taimes le soleil, crieourr ♪ hourra! quel'un a pris la règle... teacher: oui... narrator: the children in this montreal school come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and at home, they speak many different languages. buevy day re ias they read, wri, and learn in french. why are these children so critical to the future of french quebec? the answer is demographics. narrator: like most of north america, quebecbut quebec's ban french-saking majori, known as the québécois, suffers from the lowest birthrate in all of canada.
the situation is so serious that the provincial government pays families $6,000 canadian for every child born after the first two. but still, the birthrate is low. so quebec has had to look outside its borders and welcome immigrants from around the world. the problem is these immigrants threaten french culture. they are arriving and multiplying at such a rapid rate that the francophone population may soon become a minority in the city of montreal. and many new immigrants do not want to learn french. sammy said, "no, you cannot play in the sandbox, because i am the king of the...?" when he goes away, he goes down the slide. okay, when he goes away, you can use the slide? narrator: victorlopeu isearning english. he and his brother tudor have come with their parents from eastern europe
to escape an unstable economy and political climate. okay, next day... narrator: from romania, the plopeanus headed west to search for a better life in canada. they settled in french-speaking quebec, in the city of montreal, homeo thest english-speaking community in the province. montreal is divided into two relatively distinct areas: the english on one side, the french on the other. the plopeanus have chosen to settle on the city's english side, for they believe that english is the key to success for their children. but for immigrants in quebec, choosing english has a price. dan plopeanu is paying to send his sons to this private english nursery school. although english public schools exist in the area, the only free education available by law to immigrants is a french one. tvharacter: feel like dancing?
sorry, i only dance with the boss. too bad. narrator: in spite of these laws, english is still readily accessible to victor and tudor. each day, they eagerly watch the english-language television transmitted to quebec from nearby cities. ( calling out greetings ) narrator: for the plopeanus, learning english is a natural choice, for they see this place where they have come to live as more than just quebec. how was the english class? woman: here is north america, so it's english first. so, uh, quebec is an island of french between a sea... you know, in a sea of... english. narrator: this sea of english is a source of concern for the quécois. althoe largest population french spearesides in quebec.out canada
yet all of them are surrounded, not only by english canada, t t lge anmost influenti english-spki count i thegio the. pierre-etienne la porte is the director of a government-run research organization called the french language council. translator: one has to keep in mind that quebec is in a very special situation as a result of its proximity to the american giant. from a geo-linguistic perspective, english has an influential presence here, because we are deeply integrated into american civilition, which is the civilization that surroundss. narrator: nearly half of quebec's seven million people live in the city of montreal, and it is here that the battle between french and english is most heated. the québécois recognize that protecting language
is the most effective means of preserving culture. to help get protection from english, the quebec government turns to the federal government. historically, it was montreal's english-speaking minority who held theconomic we inhe province. although this community was only one-quarter of the population of montreal, the language used in business and commerce, and on many public signs, was english. but signs like this one are now a relic of the past, since the french majority enacted laws to protect their language. one of their first actions was to stop written english on the streets. don cartwrights a cultural geographer who studies langge use in quebec. cartwright: as a geographer,
signs of the landscape-- the streetscape-- are vital.ds to take back the streetscape, and consequently in the '70s, they passed legislation which de unilengl he placeishethe siaw which meant that only french-language signs could appear on the streetscape. narrator: because of these laws, many english-speaking companies, like this one, sun life, began to leave in droves. overall, nearly 20% of the english population left quebec in the early '70s and '80s. today, this law has been relaxed, and bilingual signs are permitted. but the french language now dominates this landscape. even old landmar like the queeelizabethotel and windsor statio now show their compliance with these laws. the québécois have succeeded in their battle with the english-speaking minority.
but it is quebec's rapidly growing immigrant population that currently presents an even greater challenge to the québécois. in this immigration office, a poster announces that french is the key to success in quebec. and to ensure that these newcomers agree... ( people speaking french enthusiastically ) narrator: the government pays them. oui. oui. non. ( teacher speaking french ) narrator: immigrant families can receive up to 200 canadian dollars per week to be taught by the government how to assimilate into french-speaking society. ( class interacting cheerfully ) monique daigle works with quebec's ministry of iigration. on sut comprl'importance... translator: we have certainly come to understand the portance of integrating this immigrant population
into our majority frcophone society, if we want to ensure the continuation of the french reality. i don't like the idea of having to send my childre to a french public school and not being able to send them to an english public school. narrator: dan and doina plopeanu don't feel obligated to help preserve french language and culture. though moneys tight, th will try to sd ctor to a private english kindergarten next year. doina: we will do an effort. i don't know how, but i'm determined to do this effort, because i think it's e beer thi for him to... to go in ansh school. ( misprouncing ): "turkey is traditionally the favote itemhim on the thanksgiving menu." teacher ( correcting ): good-- "the favorite item
on the thanksgiving menu." narrator: in spite of the laws, the attraction of english remains, both for tanfoofuec'immigrants. narrator: ason cartwright explains, this attraction will always be a reality for the quécois. cartwright: they are always going to be in contact with the english language. it's always going to be penetrating into quebec through television, through radio, through magazines, and as a result, they simply cannot give up the vigilance that they take for the protection of the language and the culture. narrator: in 1995, french identity politics came to a head with the provinceide rere narrator: in 1995, fon quebec sovereignty.s would quebec break away and form its own country? the voteas very close: by a margin of o percent, the residents chose to remain canadian. the spatial pattern of the votes reveals much about social and economic divisions within quebec. in northern areas of the province,
native americans voted "no" to sovereignty. so did quebecers living near the canadian capital in ottawa and along the u.s. border. but "yes" votes predominated in most of the other ridings, or counties, in quebec, the heartland of french canada. most divided was montreal itself. here, the darker the color, the higher is the percentage of english speakers. so it was no real surprise that these west side districts voted "no" on the sovereignty question. here, the darkest colors represent the highest percentages of french speakers. as predicted, these northeast districts voted "yes" for sovereignty. but how would the remaining areas vote? here are the areas of the city where people live whose mother tongues are neither french nor english. the darkest colors show the highest percentages. even though many french speakers live here, too,
the allophones held the deciding votes. they did not want to leave canada. they tipped the referendum against a sovereign quebec, and these areas voted "non." it appears for now it's the immigrants who hold the key to quebec's future. the leader of the sovereignty movement, jacques parizeau, blamed the defeat on the ethnic vote and on anglo money. even though this was partially true, his statement caused an uproar in canada because it confirmed the "us"-and-"them" attitude. parizeau resigned, and the sovereignty movement has pulled back for now to regroup. immigration may be helping to offset quebec's declining birthrate, but it is not clear what it does to preserve the french language and culture. in the meantime, the u.s. c.i.a. warns that "canada's paramount political problem continues