Oh, there are exceptions, to be sure. I know some highly intelligent and motivated francophones who became fluently bilingual despite the legal sticks in their spokes. But many others have only a partial command of English, and many more have no English to speak of whatsoever.
In large parts of Canada and the United States, English is so predominant that most people grow up unilingual. Even if they study a second language in school, they have little opportunity to practice it, and they rarely become fluent. Anglophones who grow up in Quebec, like I did, have a great opportunity to grow up bilingual. Would making it easier, instead of harder, for francophones to have a similar opportunity really endanger Quebec's culture? Or would it enrich that culture, just as it would enrich individuals growing up with windows on two worlds?
An election has just been called in the province. The Parti Québécois is promising to toughen the language laws if they win a majority of seats, which they seem poised to do. And then there's the Charter of Values, targeting, let's be honest, non-Christians in the name of neutrality. Personally, I'm not crazy about any political party. But I'd love it if we could stop this one from shrinking our horizons instead of helping us open ourselves up to the wider world out there.