Moncton — Amid the turmoil surrounding the Francophonie Games, which will likely be held in the Greater Moncton area in 2021, a group of New Brunswickers has taken it upon itself to defuse tensions and restore linguistic equality in the province. The head of the citizen group, Jock V. Pafford, feels the upcoming Francophonie Games “represent a form of discrimination, segregation, slavery, genocide and everything in between!”
Convinced these games are part of a larger plan to portray New Brunswick as a French province — and ultimately to turn it into one — Pafford makes one thing clear: “As far as I know, we won the war and this is an ENGLISH country, not a Francophony one. Heck, I have yet to meet a single New Brunswicker who speaks French!”
According to Pafford and his group, the Francophonie Games are nothing short of divisive. “Why do they need their own separate games?” asked Pafford. “Can’t they be happy we let them take part in ours, provided they speak white…I mean English? Sorry, old habits die hard.”
Pafford insists that, on the other hand, the Anti-Francophonie Games he is planning for the same week in July 2021 are all about inclusion and are open to all Canadians, apart from those who come from “Kebek,” a province whose name he categorically refuses to spell properly.
“When I heard there would be a French event in a majority English region, I knew right away that an anti-English event is what it really was. The Anti-Francophonie Games we are working on won’t be anti-anything; they will be open to everyone.” As he puts it, “Kebek’s mere existence is divisive — they literally separate us from the rest of English Canada! So they’re the only ones who aren’t welcomed in our inclusive event.”
The Anti-Francophonie Games would present various original competitions, as well as more traditional athletic ones such as a 1,500-metre run “out of French-only Dieppe.” The opening ceremony is to feature the lowering of the Acadian flag, and one of the main events, Pafford’s favourite, is the “CBC Comment Section Brawl.”
“Folks are going to be sitting at the computer machines we’ll get our grandkids to hook up for us, and they’ll be given random news articles about anything — politics, sports and even the weather — and then they get five minutes to write a comment that links the news to the French Conspiracy or otherwise puts the blame on French-speakers. The three comments that receive the most ‘likes’ make it to the finals, and the entry that gets the strongest reaction out of Michel Doucet is crowned the winner.”
Another competition that has been announced is the “French First Flip-o-thon,” in which teams of four are each assigned an aisle in a grocery store and compete to be the fastest to ensure that all items on display have their English label facing the front.
Just before shooing our journalist away to catch the NASCAR race on TV, Pafford added, “If for some reason our event doesn’t manage to attract enough people, we might just call it off and go picket the other games, and give folks from around the world a taste of the real New Brunswick culture.”