Reaction to the Dr. Tombler Letter Regarding Bilingual Nurse Policy at the Cornwall Ontario Hospital PART 1 – POLL – February 3, 2012

CFN – Leave it to a Doctor to stir controversy regarding nursing!   That’s exactly what Dr. Tombler has done in Cornwall Ontario.

The good doctor lashed out, and I have to admit, I agree with him, about the Cornwall Hospital policy of only hiring bilingual nurses full time.


“The reality is that the hospital functions virtually entirely in English, from the senior administration to the very board which approved the ad in question. I sat on the hospital board when French language testing was made policy; I, and the other two physicians who sat on the board, voted against this policy. We quite rightly made the point that nursing skills were more important to patient care than proficiency in French.”

Can anyone really argue that point; especially when there’s a shortage of nurses that qualify as whatever bilingual is interpreted to mean and non bilingual nurses rack up immense overtime hours.

In these days of watching every penny in the medical system does this make any sense?

Is it really about offering services in both official languages?   Should that come ahead of offering the best possible services?  Many I spoke with this afternoon were upset that they get labeled as “prejudiced or racist” to protest this policy pointing out this is a financial issue and right to work issue, and of course patient care issue in the end.

Cornwall Nurse Julie Johnston had the following to say:

Speaking French should not be requirement to attain employment. I would like to know how many doctors are bilingual?

To not get promoted to a full time job as a result of not passing their french exam is discriminatory. I speak French but would not pass their test.
I agree with Dr. Tombler 100%.

Should the Cornwall Hospital ONLY hire BILINGUAL nurses FULL TIME?

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Also, if you’re a doctor or nurse in Cornwall we would love to interview you for the next part in this series.

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  1. Interesting that this would come out on the second day of Mr. Galganov & Brisson in appeal court with the township of Russell over bilingual signs being forced on a business. Which just stifles choice.

    There are bilingual services around Cornwall and the Monfort in Ottawa among others now, this can not be about health care or equality if one segment are refused jobs.

  2. I personally was extremely proud to call myself a Cornwallite after reading two great comments written in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder!

    1) John Markell, a highly respected developer, expressed his concern for the proposed Condo even though he could potentially benefit from such a project. He sat back and simply stated the facts! Condo’s aren’t as desirable and as easy to fill as some people may think and that there are plenty of better spots (like the Si Miller property or Domtar) which should be developed first! I am so happy to see more people getting involved who are both well respected and make great points!

    2) Dr. Tombler – First of all he is right! I have been in the service industry (sales and service) my entire working career and I can honestly say I can count the number of people who can’t speak any english on one hand! The job posting should say “french would be an asset”. All this and I am definitely a french speaking advocate since I only speak french to my daughter.

    However, and again “I agree with Dr. Tombler 100%!” but he did state that approximately 10% of people are French speaking and if we did change the policy then we would potentially run into a situation were no nurse, nor Doctor (if it isn’t a requirement for doctors to speak french), will speak french were again potentially 1 in every 10 (10%) of people walking into emergency can not communicate properly with any health care professional on staff.

    In essence, what I am saying is that it is important to ensure everyone is taken care of and if we really do have a shortage of nurses than the change should be made but if we have absolutley no problem filling nursing positions with bilingual applicants then what is the problem? Is it because we believe our Bilingual Nurses aren’t qualified for the job ….I highly doubt that and I don’t think we want to start questioning anyones education because really doesn’t a bilingual candidate technically…and really mean technically (all bias aside)….have a better skill set if they can operate in both french and english?

    Either, way I am sooooooooooo happy to see people I highly respect getting the word out and trying to exact positive change! Again, some will lash out at these public figures with the “how dare he” comments but in reality their right and for lack of a better term these items are ridiculously crazy!

    Keep up the Great work,
    Mike Bedard

  3. The frequent depictions of nurses as sexually available females undermine real nurses’ claims to adequate respect and resources during the global nursing crisis, and can encourage sexual abuse of nurses in the workplace. That is because even “jokes” can have a powerful influence on how people think and act–which is why ads like this use them so often to affect consumer behavior. I urge you to change the picture to a more appropriate one. If your intent is to help nurses, then help them.

  4. I live in Ottawa and have worked at CHEO for 25 years. Yes I am a nurse and have been striving to furthur educate people about how professionalism and nurses go hand in hand. I do agree with Dr. Tombler that the language of the nurse is secondary to how you are treated and dealt with while in hospital. The main reason I am writing this is, the picture accompanying the article is SO degrading to the hard working nurses out there who strive to get away from this type of thinking. Shame on The Cornwall Free News for using it, this is obviously not a typical nurse in her working environment. The newspaper should apologize to the Ontario Nurses for this error in judgement. Thanks for listening everyone.

  5. I agree with maryelizabeth. That picture looks like a still from a second rate porn flick. Not cool.
    If the hospital is requiring all the nurses to be bilingual, that’s nuts. I can understand that a some bilingual nurses should be on staff, but certainly not all of them.

  6. Author

    If one of the nurses complaining sends in a pic of herself in a nurses uniform that we can legally publish I’d be happy to change it.

  7. it is really too bad that you are going to let a bad choice of photo overshadow an important issue for our hospital and care environment. it really is offensive but i am sure you are well aware of that. any view is a good view, i guess. too bad you will alienate people who may have spoken out with you on this one.

  8. Eric, I just came back from Queens park, the Appeal Court of Ontario…Galganov/Brisson vs Russell Township over forcing all businesses to have French and English on their signs. Hope we win!
    Mike Bedard you have finally come to your senses your just a little nicer about it.

  9. Author

    Interesting…. if nurses fought half as hard to change things at the Cornwall Hospital as they have to have us change our stock photo for this story maybe Dr.Tombler would never have spoken out…..

  10. Why is the admin getting into this, almost sounds biased to me. And again I do agree with Dr. Tombler and I am pleased that he has spoken out. I have watched someone, ie. my wife, who has 25 years experience in a dialysis unit in Ottawa, lose a full time position to a 1year exp. graduate, barely out of school get the job, why, because she was bilingual, does not sound right to me.

  11. re: Tammy A. Hart,

    Thank You, Tammy! I agree with on this front, whether you wish to put french and/or english signs in your store should be completely your decision and whether you wish to teach your children or send them to an all english, french or french and english school should be completely your decision as well!

    However, since Hospitals, Road Signs, Schools, etc. are PUBLICLY funded they should ensure that both OFFICIAL languages are posted when it makes sense! I completely understand peoples point of view but I think everything depends on where you live!

    Again, if something is personally funded then the store owner or owner period should be allowed to post only english or only french signs if they wish. People who want a government job West of Ontario should not have to be bilingual! The problem is we live practically on the Quebec border and makes sense to have bilingual signs and bilingual individuals in important positions such as health care and certain other public services but again I agree “but not all”!

    I am a huge advocate and think everyone would enjoy living in Canada and understanding both languages but it is a choice! I hate the notion that someone would lose their job such as how lounger10 has posted and I would be the first to stand beside you and say that this crazy! My mother has been a PSW for 21 years and does an amazing job! If she lost her job because she does not speak french (which she doesn’t) I would be extremely angry!

    But again, I promote learning a second language and learning french should be encouraged living in our area because the majority speak english a large portion speak french and within 30 minutes of your home the majority of english to french switches to french!

    Tammy I understand were your heart is but your position on the Long Sault Parkway’s sign made you look foolish because you are an elected official that should be promoting the fact that you welcome your neighbours instead of, in a round about way, saying you want to alienate them!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  12. I’m thinking that Mike Harris is moderating this site.
    It is nice that the picture of the “slutty nurse” has been replaced.

  13. Thanks to Dr. Tombler, the CCH French only language hiring policy has finally been publicly addressed. Lets remove this ridiculous hiring policy and focus our attention and health care funds where they belong…on the best possible patient care!

  14. Mike Bedard,
    I respectfully beg to differ. You decidedly took my message on the Long Sault Parkway sign issue and twisted it YOUR way. I suggest you go back and do your homework. I welcomed the French language on the signs but there is a protocol already in place. Representing the majority has always been my position while respecting the minority. By the way, I too have French in my family and speak French to my grandchildren who by the way are fluent. I have no disrespect with the French language, I can speak it and I continue to study it.
    Charter of Rights and Freedoms, costs, fairness and priorities are what I stand for. That’s always been my position.

  15. Bonjour Tammy,

    Merci pour la remarque, mais si vous parlez français vous n’auriez aucun problème à répondre à cette réponse. Je pense que tu vas t’utiliser un traducteur car je crois que vous vous cachez derrière le fait que vous essayez d’apprendre français mais honnêtement ne peut pas appeler vous-même vraiment bilingue !

    Vos messages ont été très clairs ! Vous êtes contre ayant français de prendre une position égale dans notre société et notre souhait pour tout les gens francophones d’apprendre l’anglais car, à votre avis, toute la population de S.D. & G. devrait seulement parler anglais ou déménager !

    Il est préférable de construire des ponts plus à la construction des murs !

    Je suis le seul entre moi et mes 2 frères qui parlent français, parce que j’ai jamais cessé de tenter d’apprendre ! Je tiens à vous féliciter pour avoir essayé d’apprendre une nouvelle langue, et encore une fois je suis d’accord avec le Dr Tomlber mais votre approche et sont du Dr Tombler est complètement différente – une approche est professionnel et l’autre totalement opposé ! La raison de pourquoi je soutiens lui et non vous est parce qu’il a choisi un sujet précieux et vous n’avez pas !

    S’arrêter à écrire des lettres et déclarant que vous parlez français, parce qu’en réalité vous ne pouvez pas parler français !

    Mike Bedard

  16. I wont play your game Mike…your much smarter than I.

  17. Tammy, despite my aggressiveness I do respect your position and wish you well in your endeavours! I don’t back down and as you can see it isn’t really personal; just passionate about my believes just like you!

    Special Note: I agree with Dr. Tombler that most people in Cornwall atleast understand english but there are huge problems with Dr. Tombler’s comments as well! The more I discuss his comments with members of the community the more I realize “His comments may have caused more harm then good!”


    Firstly, he publicly states in his letter to the editor that everyone should stop donating to the hospital! For a health care facility, that really does rely on donations to pay for certain equipment to help our practioners diagnose and heal patients it is ridiculous for a doctor to tell people to stop donating money because the hospital executive chose to ensure nurses were bilingual! Actually, his comment could be considered an abuse of power and I am sure telling people to not support the local hospital must be against a practioners code of ethics and if not it should be! I think if he omitted this statement he still would have gotten his point across. Hey! We all make mistakes and this was definitely a case of verbal diarhea.

    Secondly, I am not sure if this is true since I heard it from a citizen discussing it in my store but he stated that the hospital actually receives additional funding if the hospital meets the governements criteria of being bilingual! Here is the kicker this is not the case for all hospitals, despite what the anti-french advocates state, and it does not apply to all employees including doctors. It applies to mainly front-line staff! I agree with testing staff to ensure they truly are bilingual because over the past 5 years I have received hundreds of resumes and the majority of applicants claim to be bilingual but when I simply spoke to them in french and started a conversation I could quickly determine whether they were bilingual or simply knew “Oui”, “Merci” or “Non”! In short, checking to see if someone qualifies through testing is the best way to ensure they are honest and capable! Also, the bilingual funding seems to be linked to our local populations statistics and if selecting bilingual nurses gets our hospital more funding or a bigger piece of the pie then what do you expect the hospital management to do they are not politicians? And Dr. Tombler specificly blames the decision on the local board and management and left ot this specific detail!

    Lastly, to all those people who claim to speak french or have french family members and claim that their opinion, to eliminate french signs or bilingual requirements for staff, is strictly to ensure equal rights………….I call your B&llsh$t and raise you two B*llsh$ts………..You can barely speak french, if at all, and you hate the fact that someone who speaks french is considered for a job before you and that sometimes you see french signs in your community and because you can’t read them you think they shouldn’t be there! To those people I have one final note:

    “You look and sound like an uneducated red-neck!”

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  18. Mike,
    How can you say its not personal when you call me “foolish” and ask me to step down from my position? Is that not personal?
    We are all human beings who need to WORK in order to feed ourselves whether we are French or English maybe that’s why anglophones exaggerate their abilities to speak French at your interviews. Did you ever think of that? For someone who is supposedly a professional in the field of running his own business and resorts to name calling in your posts, speaks volumes about yourself.

  19. Thank you Mr. Bedard for calling the 75% anglophone population “Rednecks”. This is the type of language politics and language bullying that is causing the groundswell of resistance to Official Bilingualism in this area.

    I am very disappointed in your attitude on this topic. Anglophones have a right to express their opinion without being verbally attacked by the privileged bilingual minority.

  20. There is more here that meets the eye. The problem is that the language issue at the CCH is also a funding issue. The hospital must fill a required percentage of staff that French/ English bilingual to receive a provincial bilingual designation and therefore a higher funding level from the province. Technically bilingual does means two of any language. If the staffing goes below that percentage they lose money. Unfortunately I believe you might find that much of the senior and middle management are unilingual English, or at least not technically French/English bilingual. Therefore front line medical staff must have a higher bilingual rate to make up for the short fall of the overpaid management. It really is more about money than language and service at the hospital. I advocate not donating money until management not only freezes their wages and perks which have increased drastically since the merger of the two hospitals, but actually rolls back some of their exorbitant increases. Instead of reducing duplication the merger created higher salaries and even more management positions than pre-merger.

  21. Hi Reg,

    Sorry, that I didn’t make myself clear enough but my “redneck” comment was geared solely towards Mrs. Hart and absolutely no one else!

    Re: Tammy, I strongly disagree with your thoughts, approach and tactics! Your comments have been hurtful and have angered not only myself but many others! I am very passionate about everything I do and I hope even though I am aggressive in nature you appreciate atleast the fact that I am straight forward and truthful! Unlike, many who will be nice to your face and trash you behind your back. Atleast, you know where I stand!

    To further add to this frustration, your refusal to apoligize and see that maybe just maybe your approach was wrong is why I am relentless! I think you can be a great politician but please be more respectful of others or people like myself my fight back!

    If you truly apologize then I will gladly put aside the difference of opinion and be extremely happy to move forward but if you really don’t see that you have done anything wrong then my position stands!

    In an effort, to demonstrate my ability to move forward after this altercation: I will officially jump on the peace train by stating I am sorry for any insults thrown your way and hope you see that your comments do hurt others! Some people take the jabs and move on where others (like myself) may turn and jab back! I am fighter not coward and so are you! We are very similar, at times, even though we may completely disagree on topics. Please consider my request!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  22. New study just released by Brock University stating:

    Dr. Gordon Hodson reports:

    “Lower cognitive abilities in youth are directly related to prejudice attitudes in adults!”

    Or as Forest Gump states: ” Momma always said stupid as stupid does!”….lol Too funny!

  23. Mike Bedard, I appreciate many of your comments and wonder what am I missing in this language debate. I don’t expect you to speak for or justify the continuous push for French language services, frankly, a cost benefit analysis could surely not, but I would appreciate if you and others could prepare some 500 word articles for this paper to sway my opinion though. Topic of your choice of course, and I could suggest a few.

    1867, British colonies of Province of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia become Canada

    Why bilingual trumps unilingual for gainful employment (even if not dealing with the public)

    Why Ontario changed the definition of Francophone

    New Brunswick, Canada’s only bilingual province has more English only speakers than French

    Official Languages Act, 42 years later, statistics barely budge

    Why a perfectly bilingual government worker sues Air Canada over a soft drink, and wins

  24. Thank you Eric,
    I too would rather see Mike write something constructive instead of attacking someone personally who does not happen to agree with him.

  25. In response to Mike Bedard’s veiled insult to anglophones: “Dr. Gordon Hodson reports: Lower cognitive abilities in youth are directly related to prejudice attitudes in adults!”

    Do not mistake anglophones pushing for job equity, language fairness, and justice as merely prejudice attitudes or as lower cognitive abilities. In fact it is more about many from the huge Anglophone majority who have finally come to realize that they can no longer remain complacent in the face of a growing prejudice against their rights. The difference is, the Anglophone will wage their language battles without resorting to terrorist actions such as seen by the FLQ in the 70’s. There is far more prejudice against the English from the French than the other way around.

  26. Mr. Bedard:

    Let’s clarify, shall we! The official (enforced) languages act was illegally forced on Canada while federal support for a unilingual Quebec went unabated. The French Language Services Act in the province of Ontario was never asked for by the overwhelming English speaking majority.
    There was never a political platform discussion or debate on either of these 2 insidious pieces of legislation that has created an elitist attitude, such as yours, so how does one corelate the people’s non choice of these legislations with your stance that all of us should be bilingual.
    We are not a bilingual country and to assume so is the division that keeps us feuding, with the majority English speakers being forced to sit at the back of the bus.
    To personally have a few languages under your belt is one thing but the denial that the great majority are basically unwanted you somehow can overlook and justify. When seeing a job posting that states bilingual required, you lose out on the 83% of applicants that WILL NOT BOTHER even trying to apply.
    You see no problem that the 4% of francophones living outside Quebec can take ALL meaningful jobs even if bilingual means we can hardly speak English but we’re on the minority side so it’s OK.
    You state that ‘since Hospitals, Road Signs, Schools, etc. are PUBLICLY funded they should ensure that both OFFICIAL languages are posted when it makes sense’.
    Where does it make any sense that Kingston, Hamilton, Durham, Winchester etc. etc. have been designated bilingual when there are virtually no French speakers.
    Where does it make sense when 85% of the population in Ottawa are English speakers but now ALL meaningful jobs are designated bilingual.
    I guess that you feel so enlightened that us “rednecks” aren’t happy with this elitist attitude because you are part of the 17% of bilingual Canadians. You will continue to extoll the virtues without giving second thought to the thousands of English speakers relegated to second class status while paying for our own demise.
    We, as taxpayers, demand that the majority English speakers have access to meaningful employment. Our children are being driven out of New Brunswick and now Ontario and we can thank people like you, Mr. Bedard, as we hug our children and say goodbye. They head west where merit is rewarded and this insidious language debacle is not as entrenched as Eastern Canada.
    You said you would be mad if it was your mother. Well, it’s not your mother, it’s our children and their children who have been forced to leave and you’re just fine with that because it’s not your mother. No one hates the French, like you state, we hate the arrogance of people like Pierre Trudeau who rejected the notion that Canadians will work out their language issues without legislation. We, also hate the idea that our provincial leaders, quietly, without debate hoisted this language mandate on the citizens of Ontario.
    On the flip side, Mr. Bedard, I assume you are totally alright with Quebec all but banishing the English language and the blatant discrimination against anyone who speaks English.

  27. I have re-stated my position atleast 3 times on this comment section! I AGREED THAT WE ARE MORE ANGLOPHONE AND BILINGUAL SHOULD BE AN ASSET NOT A MUST! I am trying really hard not be insulting but some of you I think live in a bubble and facts can’t penetrate the bubble for some reason!

    My opinion was that you should lobby the provinical and federal governments and NOT the hospital administration! It was the government that handed down these guidelines to the local administration. Our local funding level depends on our bilingual status. WE CAN NOT RISK PATIENT CARE BY CUTTING FUNDING AND DONATIONS!

    To stop donating to a hospital is a bad idea. I think we can atleast agree that we do not want patient care to suffer and I think that is more important than anything!

    Also, just because Quebec is wrong in forcing French upon everyone does not make it alright for us do the same thing! Are we lobbying for improvmenents or revenge?

    If the true goal is equal rights then why are talking about stopping donations at all! All you are doing is threating the local administration! Has a single one of you callled Jim or Guy, our local MP or MPP’s, to discuss this issue or has anyone talked to anyone who works directly in administration at the hospital?

    I have spoken to 6 individuals and counting and did my homework! Have you?

    Tammy A. Hart, I commend you for atleast using your real name! Atleast, I know who I am talking too! I sometimes wonder if one person is using several different names to create the illusion of a majority opinion?

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  28. The hospital board made the decision to apply the Bilingual Status to the CCH in order to increase funding from the provincial government and must adhere the strict guidelines to maintain funding. This was not forced on our hospital by the province as Mr. Bedard would have us believe.

  29. Furthermore, these language restrictions apply to the entire staff, not just nurses. All front line health workers as well as kitchen staff, house keeping, and other positions which do not require the interaction with patients or other members of the public can be affected by the provincial bilingual funding guidelines as well. It is all about percentages of French speaking workers for dollars for the hospital. Oh and by the way…the name is Bond…James Bond…lol…so much for using a name!

  30. Mike Bedard, to lobby a government you often need a ground swell of support, a public speaker and organizers to keep the ball rolling, thank you for that idea.

    Are we not risking patient care by only recruiting staff from a lower number of candidates? The French clinic or some bilingual staff are not going anywhere.

    Risking donations is possible, but meanwhile, all taxpayers are paying the government to pay a hospital or agency to exclude many of those same taxpayers from gainful employment.

    About real names, why can’t we just attack or comment on issues?

  31. Well, since my last post was obviously not accepted let’s try again! The definiton of a Redneck is: An undeducated white farmer! Ms. Yee Haaart …lol….Tammy don’t get your panties in a bunch…(blue colared humour-with typos and all) is starting to sound like she represents more the red collar then the blue!

    I think Mike is reasonably upset with having to repeat himself! Hell, he even said in French…lol…..and you still didn’t get the MEMO……lmfao! OK, OK, enough with the redneck jokes!

    Eric, I think the ground swell you were looking for just came from the grave Mr. Trudeau rolling over in his grave! Mr. Trudea’s famous slogan was…..”Reason before Passion!” Mr. Trudeau worked tirelessly against seperatists and created the Charter of Rights and Freedoms!

    This hospital under great reason should be bilingual……end of story! To see Mike passionate for good reason is better then listening to everyone else sound like the seperatists of the 70’s!

    Ohhh and while I am at it! What is Cornwall City Council doing ……… never mind ………they must be painting the fence on the corner of Pitt and Second…! Just kidding….or am I!

  32. Mike Bedard wants Tammy to apologize – I’m not sure what for. Tammy made an issue of pointing out that the Seaway signs are in French first and to the left, contrary to the F.I.P. (Federal Identity Program) which specifies that the majority language in any area should be FIRST and to the LEFT. In Quebec, this would be French first and to the left; in the Rest (Most) of Canada, it would be English first and to the left. Is that so difficult to understand, Mike?

    Unilingual French-speakers in Cornwall are few and far between and it is easy enough to designate a certain number of French speakers to service those people. It is absolutely UNNECESSARY to force only the hiring of bilingual (read French-first) nurses.

    As for the awarding of extra funding for the hiring of bilingual nurses to certain hospitals, it is disgraceful that the Ontario government would allow this despicable social-engineering exercise to become such a policy, at the expense of their English-speaking majority. To counter such a policy, I approve of the call for all donations to be STOPPED. It is a shame if the hospital finds itself short of funds but that’s the price it pays for not having the common sense to put Merit ahead of language proficiency in a minority language. The hiring of nurses, like in every profession, should be based on experience and qualification, not on a criteria that puts the needs of a minority ahead of the majority.


  33. Hi Kim Lian Khoo,

    Firstly, the french was not placed on the left of the sign it was placed on the top! It was also grammatically correct and a prejudice remark! Prejudice means that you are making assumptions without knowing all the details! Mrs. Hart either did not know or understand that grammatically “Chemin du” must be placed in front Long Sault or else it would be backwards! Also, if you placed “Parkway” first, as you have suggested, then the Long Sault Parkway would now become the Parkway Long Sault!

    This simply makes no sense and was definitely seen as an act of dislike towards the french speaking community!

    Secondly, I have publicly apologized to Mrs. Hart, on this very site, for reacting out of passion and still have not had a response from her! My request for an apology was for her comment made in the standard-freeholder which stated that the government should not fund french education programs! My daughter attends Notre Dame and I was disappointed to here an elected official make a comment that would diminish the options available to our community!

    Her comments are made with a lack of knowledge! I think after reading today’s response from the Hospital many people have gained a better insight as to how the hospitals hiring practice actually works and it contrary to many statements made by Tammy and Bryan! This is why it is important to look before you leap! Properly wording a speach doesn’t mask the message or the opinion of the writer and the message/ opinion given by South Stormont was that French candidates where given special treatment and that nurses were not allowed career advancements if they were unilingual; ALL FALSE STATEMENTS!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  34. I thought the sign issue was because Les Parcs Du Saint-Laurent (along the top) was on the left, making it against the rules in place for predominate language placement.

    People can’t say anything anymore about a sacred cow without hurt and accusations, did the Scots who came here speaking Galic face the same concerns? There was a Galic only newspaper in Lower Canada before Confederation.
    Anyway, this all distracts from the original post.

  35. So The smell of Domtar is gone but another stench of discrimination hangs over this city. the French only clinic that discriminates against Anglos where a few years ago I was rudely told to get out your not French
    I will not forget that day,Then we have the hospital which discriminates against English nurses by the written French exam,yet many can speak French,My granddaughter will graduate from Queens university this june in nursing very high marks, but even that she can speak French she cannot write , So this community will lose a great nurse, no wonder this community will never grow , Yep we spend close to 3 billion ayear on bilingualism population of canada close to 35million, mother tongue of Francophones 7 million, we pay the brunt of bilingualism an still our youth cannot get good jobs, the FLQ changed Quebec
    we need a party to change Ontario– our politicans are sitting on a fench

  36. Let’s atleast agree, that Cornwall has more citizens capable speaking english then french! That being said it is easier to get by and to raise children in Eglish then it is in French! I know form experience growing up in an english household that communicating in public was never an issue!

    Howver, my wife and myself only speak english to my daughter because we believe she will easily learn english from other people such as my mother and other interactions with friends and member of the community!

    My daughter is 2 years old and my thoughts are “What if she was injured (at any age) and we (heaven forbid lost her) because no one at our “only” hospital could understand her in French?” The fact that this could happen to 22% of us is even scarier!

    Why would we not ensure we always have someon who can speak French on staff? I understand the view point that nurses should have equal opportunity, but should we sacrifce “patient care” to ensure the predominant language remains dominant or should we ensure everyone is cared for properly?

    After, reading the FAQ that the hospital released I believe they are working extremely hard to:
    1) Promote from within
    2) Ensure both languages are served
    3) Hire Unilingual candidates if a Bilingual does not apply or if they already have enough bilingual candidates on staff to meet requirements and serve the french community!

  37. Let me turn that around on you Mike. Should we sacrifice patient care to ensure that the minority language remains dominant?

  38. Hi Reg,

    You are assuming that the bilingual staff are unqualified! If you have two people applying for a job that deals with the public and both candidates are equal in all aspects except one is bilingual and the other isn’t then YES the bilingual candidate is MORE qualified!

    I don’t know if you have ever had to recruit for a position that deals with the public but I have personally hired over 50 people, over a 5 year period, personally and the following is most common:

    1) We place the job ad stating that French “would be an asset”; just as Dr. Tombler himself has recommended for the nursing positions!

    2) We look through the resumes and look for education and job experience first! As I am sure the hospital does as well! Also, do not assume that you are looking at just a few resume’s, generally you are looking through 20 to 150 resumes!

    3) Thirdly, we take all of the qualified candidates and begin to find the most qualified 5 to 10 resumes for the first round of interviews!

    4) Lastly, we conduct a panel interview with 3 interviewers (sometimes even clients are asked to take part) and if two candidates receive a fairly equal score then either a second interview is performed or a practical test is administered!

    Often, you will find several candidates that are perfectly capable of doing the job and if you have ever taken any Human Resources classes, which I ahve taken – Recruitment and Selection @ St. Lawrence College – you will know that proving your decision is extremely important! If someone beleives that you have chosen someone less qualified then them then they could legally sue you for discrimination!

    During these interviews many times the bilingual candidate will get the position because they possess an asset the others didn’t! Hence, the “french would be an asset”! Also, it easy and fair to say that eventually one candidate will stand out or generally it comes down to just two candidates! If one is bilingual and the other isn’t then YES the bilingual candidate will receive the job offer and they are more qualified! Hence, a professional and fair general practice!

    People are assuming that this is not being followe and although different it seams that the Hospital is following a very similar procedure developed to meet all the criteria that they must abide by and minimize the risk of litigation due to discrimination!

    Posting an Job Ad stating “french is a must” is not illegal and yet, I agree it should state is “an asset” to attract more candidates and ensure we have a larger pool of candidates to choose from!

    I just think we are assuming too much and maybe the administration ensures that unilingual staff are hired because they are the best but the hospital can’t advertise that due to the FLA! Have you ever thought of that?

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  39. No Mike, what I am saying is that by limiting your selection to 30% of the population it is improbable that you will get the best person for the job. When you limit your field of choice then you reduce the overall quality of the candidates. You are not the only person who has ever hired people.

  40. Hi Reg,

    No, I understand what you are saying and I have heard a few stories of long time workers being refused advancement due to their inability to speak french fluently and I don’t think that is right either! Nor, the statment of “french a must” vs. “french an asset”!

    However, I do agree that their needs to be a minimum number of Bilingual staff on at all times! So I guess if you already have too many anglophone employees and truly need someone who specifically needs to speak French to be added to the team, then in this case I guess you really don’t have too many options! Which is exactly what I think the hospital is trying to say!

    Yes, there seems to be some mismanagement and stories of how someone didn’t get a job over someone else but just remember the hospital is our largest employer and I truly believe many of the stories are embelished!

    I love this one liner : “There is generally 3 sides to every story your side, their side and then the truth!”

    This debate has become frustrating and I see why so many people don’t bother responding! The smart people know that no matter what they say to the wrongfully ignorant crowd, these people are not smart enough to even comprehend reason and thus do not wish to deal with the frustration of repeating themselves or feeling like they are beating their head up against the wall so they just don’t bother with people they consider (for lack of a better term) “stupid”!

    I personally still don’t think that many of these advocates even understand the hiring practice after it was spelled out for them and I guarantee you if they were polled or tested on their knowledge of the topic in question they would fail miserably! Hence, making the wrong decision!

    Now, I don’t think anyone is “stupid”! I think people make decisions based on the information they have been provided and I believe Dr. Tombler’s along certain politicians comments are misleading and lead people to believe that more things are wrong then the topic at hand! Which may or may not be true! The only way to find out is to research!

    Too many people have begun such a negative approach that they officially don’t believe anything that the hospital representatives have said! Now, thats were I begin to think …..”OK, now the conspiracy theorists are out and now running the show!” ….and we know were that will leave …….hmmm, Galganov……and I am afraid South Stormont has already spearheaded the “TOO FAR” bandwagon!

  41. Mike stated on another page: “It is a shame and very frustrating to see the same sickness that plagues Quebec, coming to Ontario. Quebec places priority on language over qualifications. I believe Ontario has already allowed the sickness to mutate into allowing designated French Only clinics which is absolutely asinine. Allowing segregation into Healthcare…what a concept!” We do have a French-only clinic here in Cornwall and the question we must all ask of ourselves is “Do we want a French-only hospital too?” That Quebec-cancer must not be allowed to flourish here in Cornwall. BRAVO South Stormont!

  42. Mike, I believe actions speak louder than words and people have become very aware of marketing spin in business and politics after the proverbial shit hits the fan. The South Stormont council is responding to their taxpayers concerns and are very skeptical to the hospital’s marketing spin. My experience with the Mayor and council is that they are very practical and organized and they listen to the people in their township. The council meeting is tomorrow evening if you would like to come and see for yourself.

  43. I am happy to see the English taking a stand on this long over due issue. People are reacting to years of the baby steps rolling into what appears to be an attack on a way of life. No longer can people finish high school, get into a mill, work for life and get a pension. They are seeing the estimated 2.4 billion dollars being spent on bilingulism affecting programs many have worked hard to put in place.

    Altering the language definition of Francophone (Ontario 2009) to increase the numbers just to provide more services and more government jobs while decreasing work options, does not sit well and of course, removes available money from the core service envelopes.

    There must be enough rules, regulations, laws and services in place already, to service the true French only speakers and their small numbers. At the very least, let Canadians vote on the Official Languages Act that is not in place to help the English within Quebec.

  44. If I chose yes, I’m bad and I kill people
    If I chose no I’m a good person for stopping the insanity
    Not at all biased!

  45. @ Paul… Huh?

  46. Sorry Paul. I see what your saying.
    Did Vic Toews come up with the poll questions?

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