Harper government divide and conquer – stirring up the language pot from the Nation’s Capitol – July 30, 2011 – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig

Harper government divide and conquer – stirring up the language pot from the Nation’s Capitol – July 30, 2011 – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig

Cornwall ON –  The Harper government seems to be tinkering with its divide and conquer policies in Canada, this time doing in our Nation’s capital, Ottawa.    Media reports state that the Federal government has hired secret shoppers to see if businesses are serving consumers in French.

While I 100% support people being served by the government in the language of their choice, across Canada is it the government’s place to force businesses to provide language support in both languages?  Isn’t Mr. Harper’s party about less government intervention, not more?

The root of this type of media report is of course to cause division at a time when Canadians don’t really need to be divided.

There is a root language issue in Canada.    And of course the spin on the latest media report are the comments that I’ve read in some of those stories; essentially if Ottawa should be checked for French service why not Gatineau for English, which brings the eye back to Quebec and that my dear viewers is what this is all about.

Even though la Belle Province clearly voted Federally in the last election and the ghost of Separatism is all but dead; most Quebecers did not vote Conservative, because most Quebecers are not Conservative.   They like the Arts, healthcare, a good quality of life, and the ability to retire with some degree of respect and comfort.   Most Conservative governments in Canada and around the world don’t support those areas.

So the results are the divide and conquer story.    Mr. Harper during the last election sure raised a stink about a possible opposition coalition sanctioned by the Bloc, but he sure has so issue stirring up the pot in Quebec if it could serve his purpose of keeping the opposition divided.

Canadians are great people generally.   We’ve gotten along through thick and thin for over 200 years without a civil war.    We do need language reform and evolution in this country.  Thing can be better, they just don’t need spin and being divisive.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

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James Moak

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John Lister

The Quebec language laws are crazy! If they permitted some English signs on highways and in tourist-areas, I’m sure their income would grow from tourism. I heard of a Maple Syrup producer who had to take down his website because it was in English, aimed at the eastern USA where much of his sales came from. I agree that the people of Canada generally get along and can fumble through language barriers pretty nicely. I’ve been at Quebec flea-markets and other venues where there was very little English spoken, yet I was able to be understood and to understand the… Read more »

PJ Robertson
PJ Robertson

Ah, Jamie, it’s disgusting. This man will stick at nothing in his lust to reform the country in his own image.


I do not see how this is designed to divide Canadians, unless they ordered Mr Thibodeau to order a 7up in French on Air Canada, or force the Russell Township politicians to create a sign bylaw. A big problem with the Official Languages Act is that over the years it changed to give government employees the choice to work in the language of THEIR choice. Where numbers warrant, bilingual service should be given, sure, but keep the government out of private business and provide the same opportunity for employment where numbers warrant. The 2006 census listed a number beside the… Read more »