Many people have heard of Bed & Breakfast accommodations or the Bold & the Beautiful Soap Opera , but a whole generation has now been living under another B & B. Canada’s Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturism, also called Bi and Bi Commission with Chairs Andre Laurendeau (Le Devoir) & Davidson Dunton (Carleton University) plus another 8 bilingual members.
I don’t know how much discussion by the Taxpayers who paid for it went on, as the commission was first established in 1963, but it should have made every English speaker in Ontario stand and shout. Why? Well, the B&B recommended Ontario and Ottawa become officially bilingual, mentioned little about Quebec but much about the rest of Canada adopting this, and of course, how to pay for implementation is nowhere. Even today, Ottawa has about 500,000 English only speakers and Ontario can boast 97% being able to speak English but never had more than 5% Francophones, what was the push really about? People want to get along and will WITHOUT this government funding of hundreds of associations.
I take the view that the policy that came out of this commission has been about social engineering, and as proof, ask yourself, how much further apart people and communities are now, after the Official Languages Act was put in play? With billions of dollars spent, countless translations and volumes of books few will read, thousands of education hours by thousands of students spent learning a language they may never or rarely use, who are we helping? In the National Post this week, Dan Delmar writes “49% of Quebecers have trouble reading French”, how can the rest of Canada manage or to be expected then without the same immersion of French surroundings?
We hear the same things every time a discussion is asked for, redneck, you don’t understand, other countries have multiple languages, it will create a better Canada and on and on. Where is the proof after this 44 year old experiment of the Official Languages Act then? Even now, our Official Languages Commissioner is part of a partial cross Canada tour celebrating the 50 year old B&B Commission with discussion points such as;
• Past and present tensions
• Impact of the Bi and Bi Commission
• Intellectual heritage of Laurendeau and Scott
• The vitality and diversity of “la francophonie”
• The legacy of the Bi and Bi Commission
• The debate surrounding Canadian identity
All I am asking is, why do we keep spending money and adding more French without proof it was wanted or needed? The constant number of bilingual people proves very little has been accomplished; certainly an unbiased audit would show that, however, we all should be demanding an in depth retrospection of this subject, as our deficits are crying to be addressed? How about a Been There Done That Got the T-shirt Commission?
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