Letter to the Editor – James Borer on Monument to Francophonie in Cornwall Ontario – September 13, 2010

Good evening,

I am an Anglophone not originally from this area married to a Franco Ontarian who’s family has been in the Cornwall area for quite some time.

Seeing the monument unveiled today and the recognition for the importance of the contribution from the Franco community to the Cornwall area since the arrival of Europeans here was very moving.  I believe that it is vital for my children to grow up knowing their heritage and how it has enriched the lives of not only our area but all of Canada.  I was happy to see one gentleman wearing the sash of a Voyageur.

As with many families of mixed Anglo and Franco parents, my wife Julie and I have wanted to raise our children bilingually since we first discussed marriage.  Our case turned out to be perhaps a little more challenging than most.

Both of our children were born deaf.  Thankfully they have both had devices called Cochlear implants surgically placed in their heads that allow them to hear and listen to speak.  My wife and her parents were devastated when the doctors and therapists said that we should only focus on learning one language at first and possibly ever.

The reason was because of the difficulty for our children to learn to listen.  We all resolved ourselves to the fact of our children were never likely to learn both languages of their heritage.  We were just happy that they could hear.

Well it is my great pleasure to share with you that both my son Marc (6) and daughter Jenna (4) are now both learning to speak french as well as english.  The joy this has brought to our extended family is immeasurable.  The fact that my children will grow up not only knowing their heritage but being able to experience both cultures is such a gift.  Having their mother, aunt and Grandmother all being French teachers is an advantage.

So many thanks to all those who made today a reality.  Thank you for helping us celebrate all that makes us different yet the same as members of a community so great as Cornwall!

Thank you,

James, Julie, Marc and Jenna Borer

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

EOTBMoustache Joes


  1. Interesting how the group that pushed to have this monument installed is always after people to have Bilingual signs and people to serve them I am a 14 generation French Canadian and have pride in my french background but I am also Canadian not french not english Canadian and find the lack of English on the construction signs the monument is an insult to common intelligence thats says if you demand your neighbour to do something the very least is you show the common courtesy to show you live by your very own convictions. and they wonder why English are upset GO FIGURE!!!

  2. I wanted my children to learn french as well as my mother tongue so they could get jobs. I do not wish on anyone the humiliation of being turned down for employment you are qualified for otherwise.
    I held back my frustration with signage going through Quebec this summer, but I did not feel welcome as a tourist.

    Most of us have friends and family of the two solutudes and our lives may well be richer for it.

  3. yep just lost an opportunity for not being bilingual. I thought that is a form of descrimination. French ca take a hike

  4. Beautiful family and beautiful story. Félicitations!

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