Multiculturism is great and should be included in the school curriculums; communities should also offer taining centers (whether instructor only or combined with training materials such as books and/or software based) in public libraries or other public centers. Real life skills and practical real world learning is essential in today’s global village. Prioritizing a compulsory French immersion program through institutional bilingualism is a sample of government misrepresentation and an obvious sellout to Quebec and lobbyist demands. This restrictive and undemocratic practice violates Section 16.1 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms that stipulate the right (as is the affirmed role of government and the legislature) to equal representation and specifically mentioned is distinct educational institutions.
Jody Carr, Education Minister for NB, could not, or did not, answer why our laws were being broken to enforce this institutional policy, He then went on to state that there will always be an insertion point for the French Immersion Program and that the stakeholder forced this policy. This was on Rogers’ Voice of the Province for a call in program; I’ve been notified by someone in Moncton that the program was rebroadcast but my first call, as well as two others, were censored. An exemption form for French Immersion for English kids stated that the program was compulsory in NB. It also stated in the third paragraph that there would be less opportunity in higher education and the work place for kids choosing to quit. So much for equal opportunity eh!!
As Bill 14 looms in Quebec we already see how this institutional racism that promotes Forced Immersion fails to acknowledge the more predominant Spanish or Mandarin as top languages prevelant in Europe as well as much of North America, including Canada. We should note that these policies, combined with Language Commissioner’s granting municipal councillors the power to accept Bill Z22 (sign laws), taken almost verbatim from Bill 22 and now called Bill 101, have crept across geographical boundaries and been enacted in the Russel Townships and municipalities in NB. These constitutional level laws have been classified as violations of the Freedom of Expression but allowed through a ‘notwithstanding’ clause with no other explanation than it furthers the French in our country. Allowing municipalities to promote such controversial laws through unqualified Councillors with no legal training, is misrepresentation by our government and its agents. The criminal behaviour and ineptness of this and previous Quebec Prime Ministers demonstrates that there is indeed “…something rotten in the State of Denmark.” as Shakespeare penned.
I hail from a French / English family and have an Acadian heritage. This is to no avail simply because I was brought up in the English school system and don’t consider myself bilingual, although I speak more French than most French people can speak English and are certified bilingual. The current system of bilingualism has high benchmarks for English – bilingual certification whereas there is little to certify French – bilingual. The system has no evaluative measures to check on the reprecussions of the societal effects of this affirmative action program that was created to appease the Quebec Seperatists and Acadians some half a century ago. The onus is always on the Majority population and the benefits laregly empower French first bilingualism.
Merit hiring has succumbed to the lobbyist (stakeholder) pressure and French has become the top prerequisite in government job banks here in Campbellton, NB. Our town has a French only community college, a French hospital administration and label, the next township (Atholville) has declared itself French (as did Dieppe, NB) and accepted Bill Z22 sign laws. There is a French only immigration center to the east of Campbellton (Dalhousie, NB) despite this area being predominantly French. This did not happen through atrition but more social engineering through minority funding and development through heritage dollars. Remember that English Acadians, or Anglocadians as I call them, are not considered in any of the French only Acadian papers that are free. There is no seperation of identity between French and Acadian around here so if you speak French you are accepted as Acadian.
I’ve written to all levels of goverment with these various observations, including our Prime Minister. I’ve yet to receive an answer, despite my comments in those correspondance that I represent a group of approximately 1000 members concerned with the discriminatory effects of this system of bilingualism enforced by our government. I’ve submitted proposals for removing the discriminatory effects of this system as well as for the Education Sector. I’ve always stipulated that this is a governmnt affair and that only a democratic and diplomatic solution should be considered. I am also a member of other National Language rights groups and have been drawn into this active role of democratic rights’ protection for 15 years.
My Facebook group, Equal Rights for New Brunswick Anglophones, has over 715 members currently. It is an open and inclusive group. I stipulate that we do not protest French Rights but instead focus on English rights and those areas that discriminate against us. I am ostericized in my own hometown and have been approached and threatened (online and off) for voicing my concerns. And that is echoed throughout Quebec’s streets. It is also reflective of the contradictory nature of the one-sided laws and policies that claim one thing but produce quite another. The government is apparently the only one not reacting to the growing voice of discontent to this ineffectiveness of office.
I implore each and every one who reads this to start considering a more active role in demanding their equal rights and representation. UNESCO, the international watchdog for Language Rights, acknowledges that the Freedom of Expression is the touchstone to heritage and cultural development. NATO forewarned of Nazi-like similarities to Quebec’s sovereignty and Bill 101. Others in the international community recognize language as a form of racism and some even go so far as to label institutional bilingualism as a form of institutional racism – but not OUR government. NOW is the time to act before we lose our voice completely.
More importantly, I implore all readers to PLEASE DO NOT confront individual citizens. This is a matter created through an undemocratic policy by government and only they can change this – but nothing will happen if YOU DO NOT ACT NOW!!
Thank you for your unity in advance.
Concerned Patriot – Campbellton, NB
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