Francophones have been criticized by their Anglophone counterparts who feel discriminated against because the law requires French as the only working-language (in large companies, since 1977). The expression pure laine ("pure wool"), used to denote Quebecers of French descent, has often been cited as a manifestation of discriminatory attitudes. Pure laine has been portrayed as an expression of racial exclusion in Quebec, while counter-critics deem the term obsolete.
Critics note the low percentage of minority participation in any level of the Quebec public services. While some efforts have been made to increase the percentage of minorities (i.e. Montreal Police Force), the public service of Quebec (Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec, MSSS, etc.) is largely European-Canadian and francophone.
Some writers have described members of this elite as criminals and compared them to people such as Pol Pot or the Devil. The administration of the Government of Quebec has been described as corrupt, sometimes with the derogatory term of "banana republic".
Language laws in Quebec that promote the use of French and restrict the use of English are believed to reflect nationalist goals designed to preserve and strengthen the French language within the province, which is criticized as excluding non-French speakers. The
Commission de protection de la langue française (CPLF), and the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) that it has been merged into in 2002, which enforce the Charter of the French Language, have often been called the "language police". It has been criticized for enforcing sign laws requiring that French wording dominate English and other languages on commercial signs. English-speaking Quebecers strongly oppose these sign laws. The public servants of the OQLF have sometimes been compared to the Gestapo or "brown shirts".
Some unrelated events have been linked to the independence movements and the language laws, such as the departure of the Expos baseball club from Montreal, suicide rates in Quebec and has affected tourism in the province.