Daily Protest of Cornwall Ontario Community Hospital Continues – Rally Called for Saturday March 3, 2012

Photo courtesy of Barry Brown

CFN – What started out as a simple letter to the editor is now picking up steam.    Dr. Dany Tombler’s letter to the editor regarding the issue of the Cornwall Community Hospital’s Bilingual Nurse and Staff hiring policy has kindled a fire in the community and area.

South Stormont’s mayor, Bryan McGillis, and council passed a motion to with hold funds to the hospital fund raising efforts until this issue is dealt with.

They also passed on this motion to the United Counties who rebuffed it and the debate continues at Cornwall Ontario City Council Monday night, February 27th.

A daily protest and petition that started with only one nurse, Christopher Cameron,  has led to more support and a major demonstration is being called for the community for Saturday March 3rd in front of the McConnnell street location from 1-3 PM.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6sW2V0YTlc

Cornwall politicians have been in the Witness protection program so far in this debate.   Jim McDonell, the MPP for this region has also waffled and fuddled on taking a position even though his mayor Brother has clearly sided with South Stormont.

The group has a Facebook page as well for the event.   LINK

It is time to draw together as a group to abolish unfair hiring practices,this is your last chance to make a big difference.The most qualified person should be the person chosen for a full time job NOT based on what lanquage you can speak….so if your tired of sitting in the back of the buss…Come & together we can evoke change!!! See you this Sat March 3rd at 1pm until 3pm

You can post your comments below.

Bobs Vac

43 Responses to "Daily Protest of Cornwall Ontario Community Hospital Continues – Rally Called for Saturday March 3, 2012"

  1. Stéphane Groulx   February 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    I agree with the premise that these jobs should be offered on the basis of qualification not language, and that bilingualism should be considered an asset not a condition of employment however that being said, the rally mentioned is demanding the abolition of the French Language Services Act.

  2. Stéphane Groulx   February 26, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    French has been spoken here in Ontario for close to 400 years now, and FLSA was only adopted in 1986 to recognize that francophones had the right to service in their mother-tonque here in Ontario as Anglophones do. Seeing as N.B. is the only province to be recognized as officially bilingual it is this act (FLSA) that allows francophones in certain designated regions of the province service in Canada’s other official language.

    “Agencies that are partially funded by the province (hospitals, daycare centers, group homes, etc.) are not automatically subject to the FLSA. These agencies may ask to be officially designated, in which case Cabinet will pass a regulation to designate them as official providers of services in French” <— direct quote from http://www.ofa.gov.on.ca/en/flsa.html (Ontario government)

    This should not be a problem with the Government of Ontario offering francophones the same level of service as Anglophones, but rather an issue with the CCH's hiring practices.

  3. Eric   February 27, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    Stephane Groulx, the Mohawk language has probably been spoken longer, in 2008 Canada took in as many immigrants who spoke Urdu as French. The only difference is that federally we have the Official Language Act for English and French and a few people are pushing French where numbers do not warrant.
    Canada needs to have a conversation on cost versus benefit and what the real need is. Money is being thrown at organiztions, government and not, to “promote” French. Well, we don’t have the money, people are not being treated fairly, and services are being less funded for this “promotion”.

    The hiring practices are not the only issue, it is just what is floating on top, and we need to have a look at the whole iceberg.

  4. Benoît de Champlain   February 29, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Fortunately the city council of Cornwall has shown that it possesses wisdom and discernment. I hope that its decision and that of the United Counties not to withhold funding for Cornwall Community Hospital will cause the neighbouring community of Stormont South to feel pressured to resume its own funding.

    On the other hand I am quite appalled at the attitude of Mrs. Laurie Branchaud (based on my reading of an article published in the Seaway News). It seems to me that, of all people, she should definitely understand that citizens of this country have a right to receive services in the official language of their choosing, especially when it comes to health care. Therefore, since every nurse in this hospital is certainly bound to be regularly in the presence of French-speaking patients in her or his normal line of duty, it only makes sense to ensure that all of these nurses can communicate fluently both in English and French.

    I should like to add, not unlike Mr. Michel Thibodeau in a similar matter, that the fact that a natural French speaker is also fluent in English does not negate her or his right to receive services in French where the Official Languages Act or the French Language Services Act applies.

    Indeed, I may happen to be fluent in English and other languages – up to varying degrees – and be able to use them in various situations as well but if I am ill or injured and need some health care, the hospital staff must be able to talk to me in French, so that I can tell them what my problem is exactly and how I feel precisely. One should remember that, in such a context, to put things bluntly, it may be a matter of life and death.

    So it’s not the 2% of the population who speak French only that must be taken into consideration in this case but the 30% who speak it as their mother tongue.

    And, seriously, I thought that we were past this kind of issue, that the recognition of the rights of French-speaking citizens in this country (who make up one of its two founding nations, I might add) was a given now.

  5. left-or-right   February 29, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Benoît de Champlain says:

  6. left-or-right   February 29, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Benoît de Champlain says: “And, seriously, I thought that we were past this kind of issue, that the recognition of the rights of French-speaking citizens in this country (who make up one of its two founding nations, I might add) was a given now.”

    First, I think you would find that long before the official French designation was requested by the hospital board in able to increase funding that there was always adequate service in both official languages in the Cornwall Community Hospital. I don’t think anyone was ever denied service. This was always about money and less about service, otherwise the hospital would make sure there was always someone readily available to speak Mohawk.

    Secondly, this issue is about a fair and equatable hiring practices, the hiring of capable employees based on knowledge, experience, and merit as opposed to filling positions with French speaking employees merely to fill a quota to maintain extra funding. Remember contrary to what the hospital administration and board are saying, the CCH actively applied for the designation, it was not mandated by the province.

    Lastly, what about the rights of English speaking citizens, the vast majority that have seen their British heritage ripped from their history, their job opportunities and chances for advancement limited, and their tax dollars wasted on the same French Language Services Act that steals their livelihood and their future? The French and English may have founded Canada, but the British conquered the French and had they forced the French to learn and conduct all business in English at that time we seriously would not even be having these kinds of issues today. When will the French begin to acknowledge the rights of the English majority?

    That ought to ruffle a few feathers!

  7. Benoît de Champlain   March 1, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Left-or-right, before we even get on with the argument or debate that we are having here, I should like to point out respectfully that I had the courage and honesty to give out my real name on this forum, not any invention (as you obviously have done). Therefore, until you do likewise, I shall not reckon that I have to take all of your points seriously.

    Qui plus est, chère amie ou cher ami, si vous êtes incapable de lire le présent paragraphe et de le prononcer correctement en français alors que moi, j’ai fait l’effort et eu l’habileté d’apprendre votre langue (ainsi que d’autres), je verrai une raison de plus de ne guère prendre au sérieux les arguments que vous employez. Merci.

    Now let’s discuss the points that you have made one by one, shall we?

     ‘‘[…] long before the official French designation was requested by the hospital board in able to increase funding that there was always adequate service in both official languages in the Cornwall Community Hospital.’’

    That may be quite true but the hiring policy that is being implemented is only a further guarantee or assurance that adequate service will indeed keep on being provided both in English and French. (Please do acknowledge the fact that I am not focussing merely on French service but on service for the two main linguistic groups.) As we French-speaking citizens have seen much too often unfortunately in this country of ours, such matters cannot be left to chance.

     ‘‘I don’t think anyone was ever denied service.’’

    Again, what you are saying may be quite true but I would like to find out from a French-speaking resident of Cornwall or its surroundings whether there has ever been any lapse at all in terms of French service at Cornwall Community Hospital. I, for one, indeed know what it is like to go to a place where French service is supposed to be provided only to be told that the one employee who is fluent in French – amongst a staff of several – is not there, out for lunch or away for a while and that I need to come again later.

     ‘‘[…] otherwise the hospital would make sure there was always someone readily available to speak Mohawk.’’

    True, there is a Mohawk community in the region, due in particular to the proximity of the Akwesasne Reserve. Now I may not have said it in my first comment but I do acknowledge that basically a third founding nation should be added in to the notion of the two founding nations, to which I have referred. (Here I am talking about the First Nations.) If, indeed, the actual language of the Mohawks is still spoken in significant numbers – I honestly do not know about it – and they use the services provided at CCH, I admit that the addition of a third language should definitely be considered here (at least on a regional basis).

    However, if there is one thing that I cannot stand, it is the fact that a fair number of English Canadians regularly attempt to play the First Nations and other ethnic groups against the French Canadians. In other words, they use the good old ‘‘divide and rule’’ tactic. Therefore I am afraid that there is an element of hypocrisy in such a discourse.

     ‘‘[…]this issue is about a fair and equatable hiring practices, the hiring of capable employees based on knowledge, experience, and merit […]’’

    I am sorry but, here, I would be very much tempted to chuckle – by the way the word ‘equatable’ does not even exist; you must have meant ‘equitable’ – because the other option for me would consist of reacting angrily, and that could damage my health (as it could anyone’s) … It isn’t as though I didn’t care about fairness and equity in employment but, again, I consider that it is the patients’ rights that matter the most in this case.

    As far as proficiency in French is concerned, it is only one criterion that goes along with knowledge, experience and merit but, just like the latter, it is nevertheless a sine qua non in such a setting. Now, it is not as though professionals whose first language is English had not been given the opportunity to learn French sufficiently. Perhaps they should have paid more attention in class during their mandatory schooling. Perhaps they should have really realised that they are not alone in this region, in this country. Perhaps they should have actually cared to learn the other official language, just as French-speaking professionals generally make a good point of doing. Consequently, if English-speaking nurses, for instance, cannot find employment in Cornwall due to their failing to make sure that they would meet this criterion, they have only themselves to blame.

     ‘‘[…] as opposed to filling positions with French speaking employees merely to fill a quota to maintain extra funding.’’

    Well, in this case, it looks like it’s your word against that of the hospital administration, doesn’t it? Therefore, whom shall I believe? You, whom I do not know from Eve or Adam, or identifiable professionals who must be accountable as duly hired or appointed administrators?

    Besides, if that were actually true, the administration of many other hospitals all over Ontario would be tempted to have them designated as well, would they not? However, last time I checked, French services are only supposed to be provided in thus designated regions, and Cornwall is situated in one of them.

     ‘‘Remember contrary to what the hospital administration and board are saying, the CCH actively applied for the designation, it was not mandated by the province.’’

    I perceive a little bit of an outright lie in this one. Indeed, I have read the newspapers and pages of their Web site and I have watched televised reports, and I do not recall seeing or hearing that the CCH administration and board had said that they were required by the provincial government to have the hospital thus designated. What I do remember is that they have always been open and honest about it, and that they said that seeking such a designation was only meant for them to be perfectly certain that they would keep on being able to serve the public adequately.

     [The entire next-to-last paragraph.]

    I would not advise you to start me or any of my fellow French Canadians on this one!

    By saying that English Canadians have lost their British heritage in Canada due to the acknowledgement of French Canadians’ rights, you are blowing this issue way out of proportion. As far as the Official Languages Act is concerned, much too many French Canadian communities all over the country yet have to see a real difference in practice as the law is hardly respected in many regions. The reason for it is that, unfortunately, many English Canadians have done and still do everything they can to cause the bilingualism policy to fail; in that respect, they show bad will or act malevolently every chance they get.

    Saying that the bilingualism policy is a waste of public funds is akin to telling me that I, culturally speaking at least, am a waste of public funds.

    By saying that many English Canadians have been deprived of their livelihood and future due, again, to such a policy, you are attempting to distract people from the fact that there was an actual injustice in the past at the expense of French Canadians and the fact that the Official Languages Act was only meant to set things right in this regard. You are also implying that acknowledging rights to a group always necessarily leads to the loss of rights for another group, which, too, is false.

    Finally, by making the point that seems to be prominent in the last two sentences of this paragraph, you are only reminding me of Lord Durham (who, if my recollection of my history lessons is accurate, did not last more than several months as the Governor General of Canada), and you strike me as Francophobe, pure and simple. You also seem to want to make me feel as inferior to you, as though the Conquest were constantly taking place all over again. Well, I’ve got some news for you: vous ne m’avez pas conquis et je ne suis pas près de me considérer comme inférieur (ni supérieur, d’ailleurs) à vous.

     ‘‘That ought to ruffle a few feathers!’’

    Maybe someone’s, but not mine (metaphorically speaking, of course). I would like to be given just one good reason as to why, after reading this very last sentence in particular, I should not think that your entire comment was the action or the work of an Internet troll.

    Paix ! Peace!

  8. left-or-right   March 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Oh my Benoît , what a bombastic piece of tripe , rather insulating too! To begin with, I apologize for not using a real name here, but I have several members of my immediate family employed at CCH. In fact my immediate family ties to the hospital in Cornwall go back more than 50 years which includes positions in the front line medical, administrative, support, and even the board. For that reason there is the possibility of retaliation for my comment against family members which are still working there which is hardly fair yet factual. Besides, although I believe yours to be real, I could have easily said I was James….James Bond for that matter and all the good it would do.

    You said, “Now, it is not as though professionals whose first language is English had not been given the opportunity to learn French sufficiently. Perhaps they should have paid more attention in class during their mandatory schooling. Perhaps they should have really realised (I believe you meant realized) that they are not alone in this region, in this country. Perhaps they should have actually cared to learn the other official language, just as French-speaking professionals generally make a good point of doing. Consequently, if English-speaking nurses, for instance, cannot find employment in Cornwall due to their failing to make sure that they would meet this criterion, they have only themselves to blame.”

    Nothing condescending or no superiority displayed in that statement. Sounds quite bigoted, but that’s just the troll in me. You see, in a region (SD & G) where 83% of people have reported speaking English in the home and only 13 % French (StatsCan 2006 Census) I believe your statement flies in the face of fairness. It fact, English speaking Canadians who speak French are rarely considered bilingual by the French as they will not accept English accents or mispronunciations of words whereas butchered broken English with accents as thick as a mud is frequently passed off and accepted as bilingual by the English. Besides, although you will disagree, it is a known fact that most language skill tests are skewed in favour of the French and against the English. Besides, the English are far more tolerant of French making an effort to speak English than the other way around and perhaps more English would speak French otherwise.

    As the two Cornwall hospitals were being amalgamated the board used consultants to point out where savings and funding could be found. It was a recommendation of the consultant to seek the French-service designation in order to increase funding. It didn’t happen overnight, it took a few years. Employees of the hospital were updated on the efforts regularly during that period, so please check your facts before calling someone a liar and feel free to ask someone other than the board or administration from the hospital for their account of the change. By the way, I think that you will find that only hospitals that fall within a certain criteria of population and language diversity can apply for this designation it isn’t a given.

    Also, I did mean “equatable” in my statement, “this issue is about a fair and equatable (or equal) hiring practices”, feel free to look it up.
    Equatable, variant of equate, transitive verb equated, equating
    1. to make equal or equivalent; equalize
    2. to treat, regard, or express as equal, equivalent, identical, or closely related: to equate wealth with happiness.
    Although I agree the word “equitable” is quite suitable in the context of my statement as well and I thank you for pointing that out for me.
    As far as me saying that the Official Languages Act is a waste of public funds, I stand by my statement that many Canadians, English and French for that matter, see the billions and billions of taxpayers’ dollars being squandered on a policy, which has not in nearly 50 years of existence seen s substantial increase in bilingualism, as a gross waste of their tax dollars.
    In actuality what this policy has created, especially in public service, is an imbalance of French/bilingual essential to English essential job positions and this robs the English majority of their right to the potential of many jobs or the possibility of advancement in many instances. This is not to say that the French should not have equal opportunities, but I and many others believe the “Where numbers warrant “policy is the most practical and financially prudent.
    I also find it abhorring that the French almost always resort to the protecting our culture card to legitimize their bigotry whereas if the English dares to protest what has now become a swift and grossly unbalanced role reversal they are accused of extreme prejudice and ignorance.
    As for your last thought, “ I would like to be given just one good reason as to why, after reading this very last sentence in particular, I should not think that your entire comment was the action or the work of an Internet troll.” I would like to respond in saying; I believe your feathers are quite ruffled and I don’t really care what you think of me. Thank you.

  9. Reg Coffey   March 1, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    One thing I would like to know. Why is it that the English are the ones who have to learn French? Why not let’s get the French learn English? According to the statistics that are being touted on this subject, there are a number of people in Cornwall and area who are uni-lingual Franco-phones. Why haven’t they assimilated to the language of the majority?

    Could it be that not everyone is capable of learning a second language? And if you are capable of achieving official bilingualism that does not necessarily mean you are good at anything else.

  10. Tom   March 1, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    “…much too many French Canadian communities all over the country yet have to see a real difference in practice as the law is hardly respected in many regions.” – Benoît de Champlain (supposedly…lol)

    I have news for you, “Benoit”: The Ontario FLSA is not applicable to “all over the country”. Language falls under provincial jurisdiction. The federal act – OLA – applies only to federal institutions.

    The entire bilingualism idea has become so perverted by unscrupulous application, it went so far away from the original idea of providing “frontline services where numbers warrant”, that it’s time to SCRAP it altogether. “It (bilingualism) has led to no fairness, produced no unity, and cost Canadian taxpayers untold millions.” Francophones should accept the fact they are conquered people. It’s time to adjust and speak the language of Victors without a grudge. To demand victors to learn the language of the defeated is INSANITY!

  11. Eric   March 2, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    “The entire bilingualism idea has become so perverted by unscrupulous application, it went so far away from the original idea of providing “frontline services where numbers warrant”, that it’s time to SCRAP it altogether. “It (bilingualism) has led to no fairness, produced no unity, and cost Canadian taxpayers untold millions”
    That deserved to be said again!

    There is so much frustration as we see perfectly bilingual people fighting to get French on traffic tickets in Alberta, 7up on Air Canada, Dieppe NB forcing French only signage and the constant expansion of French language services for so few who actually need it.So it is natural for all of those frustrations to pile on when yet another issue is brought into play.

    I don’t think anyone needs apoligize if not using a real name as long as the issue is being discussed.

  12. Nick   March 4, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    I can’t stand it when people try to revise history, so let me set someone straight on a very important fact. First, here is the offending qoute:

    “…Benoît de Champlain says: “And, seriously, I thought that we were past this kind of issue, that the recognition of the rights of French-speaking citizens in this country (who make up one of its two founding nations, I might add) was a given now.”…”

    There are no two founding nations. There never have been. There are two significant cultures who helped shape this country, but Canada is a direct descendant of the British Crown. The father of the country is Maj. Gen. James Wolfe. With his victory at the plains of Abraham, he ensured that Canada would become an English colony and we remained so for over 100 years. Our founding documents are called the BRITISH North America act, not the FRANCO – BRITISH North America act. There was no need for approval of the French government, no contingent from Paris, only the Great seal of the English crown. This must never be forgotten if we are to understand our own history correctly and not allow it to be revised for modern day political sensibilities and agendas.

    As far as th hospital is concerned, the idea that this is somehow an insult to the Francaphone population is utter nonsense. They too deserve the best person for the job regardlessof linguistics. Political correctness has no place in the medical profession, and to insist that language be a priamary consideration for hiring at this or any other medical institution, is nothing more than language apartheid.

  13. Steph   March 5, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Enough with the rhetoric and bigotry! They truly belong in the past.

    First, bilingualism is not some insidious plan to make Canada French. It was designed to correct a social injustice by making French and English-speaking Canadians equal in the eyes of the law. The objective was also to make French Canadians at home in all of Canada (outside of the traditionally French-speaking regions).

    Second, the Canada Act of 1982– a bilingual act of Parliament and successor of the BNA Act– has the distinction of being the only French legislation to have been passed by the British Parliament (i.e. Royal Assent) since Norman French stopped being the language of the English government.This fact has little to do with numbers (some of the ones I’ve read so far are questionable), ‘conquest’ , ‘political correctness’ or with ‘ modern day political sensibilities and agendas’.

    Third, French Canadians are NOT a conquered people who need to be assimilated. I suggest the person who wrote such a silly comment re-read his Canadian history books (i.e. Baldwin and Lafontaine). He should also travel more.

    Fourth, French Canadians also pay their taxes; therefore, they also have the right to get services in their language. How would you (the uniligual Anglos) feel if you were in hospital and couldn’t get served in English?

    Fifth, what is wrong with learning/knowing French, especially if you’re a medical professional who also serves francophones? Medical skills, language skills and empathy are all abilities that a medical professional needs. Knowledge is power. The more you have, the more opportunities you have.

  14. Pete Dick   March 5, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    You nailed it Steph. This “tempest” is nothing less than bigotry displayed by a small but vocal segment of the population that feels threatened by the fact that there are people who’s language is not The King’s English. I can speak French very badly, and if I wanted a good paying job in the health industry in eastern Ontario, I’d sure as hell improve my French before applying for the position.

  15. Mike Bedard   March 5, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Well said Steph! The issue is motivated and spearheaded by the notion that “We don’t need French!” and everything relating to this topic screams of bigotry and stinks of hatred!

    There is room for improvement from an administration point of view but there is also room for some politicians and citizens to improve their knowledge.

  16. Reg Coffey   March 5, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Steph, “Fourth, French Canadians also pay their taxes; therefore, they also have the right to get services in their language. How would you (the uniligual Anglos) feel if you were in hospital and couldn’t get served in English?”

    Do you mean like in Quebec?

  17. Paul   March 6, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    “How would you (the uniligual Anglos) feel if you were in hospital and couldn’t get served in English?” – Steph

    Why would not we be served in the English language in our English cities, in the English province in the English country? What a silly question! Since francophones who live in English Canada all speak English, why would they expect 50/50 service in French, in the first place? They are employed in all government institutions in much greater numbers than their proportion of the population at the expense of anglos who started to feel strangers in their own country, if you add mass immigration to the mix.

    Spare us your condescending lecture on learning French (easy) by someone who was born into a bilingual family and learned both languages as mother tongues.

  18. Eric   March 6, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    And this is why we need a country wide discussion! Somwhere we (Ontario) stopped providing services to the few French only speakers, and started serving the bilingual and now the bilingual want to work and be managed in the language of their choice. We seem to have stopped the idea of providing service to the few who need it. Calling people bigots and worse is just wrong, the next time there is a rally, go, walk among the group. I did and did not hear the hatred or the attitudes expressed on CBC-CBOFT TV after the rally.

    There was a Paris Treaty giving up parts of what we now know as Canada to the British by the way, anyway, yes we all pay taxes. Over 600 million dollars a year from all tax payers (which are mostly English) goes towards bilingulism in Ontario is one estimate, and 2.4 billion all over Canada.

    Fairness is what is being asked for, towards stopping the ever increasing bilingual budget, hiring and providing services only where warranted only. Expanding the definition of Francophone is an example of waste as it was done to inflate numbers only.

  19. Eric   March 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Reading this link will explain why country wide discussions with an open mind are needed.
    http://metromonctonnews.com/bilingual-contradictions-cont-barry-irvine/

  20. Steph   March 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    To Reg Coffey/ Paul: Although they make less than 10% of the population of Quebec– and live mainly in Montreal, Anglophones do get services in English. You just have to look at any Quebec government site. Anglophones had to fight for their rights because years ago it was thought ‘Anglos’ had no reason to be served in English because the language of the majority is French– they just had to learn French. Does that sound familiar? The majority of Anglo-Quebecers speak French (especiallly the youth and the professionals), which was unheard of a generation ago– they didn’t feel the need then. They do now because they know that to speak French opens doors. Do they still have the right to get services in English/ the ‘language of their choice’ ? YES!!!!! A right is a right.

    To Paul: From what I gather, you are unable to speak ‘la langue de Molière’. You probably didn’t get the opportunity to learn it and it’s a shame. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the better you are. This is especially true in today’s competitive world. It is one of Canada’s assets. How is stressing the importance of learning or speaking French condescending? By the way, I am trilingual.

    To Paul: I don’t live in an English or French country/ city/province, I live in Canada where mainly French and English are spoken.

    To Eric: I would love to go to a rally. However, I could never willingly support anyone or any group who advocates the end of official bilingualism and a return to the English-only policies of the past (our history is riddled with these injustices). We must move forward and not backward.

    Bilingualism does cost a lot of money but it is worth it in the end. How much did supporting the ailing automobile industry cost the taxpayers of Ontario and of Canada? How about the exhorbitant cost of buying all of those F35s or building those penitentiaries when services are being cut and Canadians are asked to tighten their belts even further?

  21. Pete Dick   March 6, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    My uni-lingual anglophone aunt lived happily in Lachine all her life until around 2007 when I had to move her to Ontario so I could take care of her. She had excellent hospital care, home nursing care, Meals On Wheels, and every other service, ALL provided in English. After she died in 2009, I had to deal with various Quebec government agencies while settling her estate. All correspondence was conducted in English with absolutely no problems.

  22. Tony   March 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    The issue, for those that have forgotten it, is the hirering of bilingual first vise education in the profession.
    Not everyone has the ability to learn languages and to handicap them based on that inability is wrong.
    Just think of some of the greatest minds that have come in history who spoke 1 language and may have never had a chance to excel at their chosen profession because they were limited by a language policy.
    The bilingual policy in no way shape or form means that one person has to speak both languages.
    The policy states services will be provided in both languages.
    For example…. according to stats Canada 20 % of Canada uses French ( be it unilingual or bilingual).
    So take a government department and split it in such a way that 20% speak French and 80% speak English. Anyone who is bilingual can work for either department. The immediate supervisor for each department can be unilingual but the department head would need to be bilingual (since they will oversee the English and French sections of the department). That way there is only 1 position that is bilingual mandatory and 100% of Canada can apply for government jobs that they are force to fund thru their taxes.

  23. Reg Coffey   March 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    I would like to know that if a functionally bilingual applicant for a nurses position doesn’t pass the “Official” French test does the hospital count them as an anglophone?

  24. Steph   March 6, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Tony, according to the ‘Office des affaires francophones’ site, the francophone community of Ontario is vibrant and present throughout Ontario (the second largest community of francophones after Québec). Not only is it vibrant and growing, it is also diverse. About 10% of Franco-Ontarians come from other parts of ‘La Francophonie’ (e.g. Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East). Now who said there are no reasons to learn French?

    Tony, not everyone has the ability to speak French but there is help out there. I also believe there are enough qualified people to fill any vacancy.

    It isn’t a question of percentages, numbers or dollars, it’s a question of accessibility of quality medical care provided to francophones in their language. Would you ever go to a hospital where the staff didn’t speak your language?

  25. Stan   March 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Steph: You’ll find that most hospitals in Quebec speak French as it is the ‘working language’ of Quebec. They have no room for English. Bill 101 and the Office de la langue francais have made sure of that. We are not applying their draconian rules here in Ontario, we’re just saying that experienced English-speaking nurses shouldn’t be passed over for French-speaking nurses.We require our children to learn English here in Ontario so why are we wanting to hobble them where jobs are concerned?

  26. Eric   March 7, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    Tony says “The bilingual policy in no way shape or form means that one person has to speak both languages.The policy states services will be provided in both languages”

    For the policy to be filled, “service provided in both languages” you need bilingual people, not unilingual English! Where do all of these bilingual people come from?

    Anyway, using your premise”The bilingual policy in no way shape or form means that one person has to speak both languages”, we should be able to affix a certain percentage of jobs then as unilingual English. Let’s get started.

  27. Reg Coffey   March 7, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Steph, you seem to have skipped over the issue of french language clinics in Ontario refusing to treat anglophones. If you want to discuss providing medical treatment and language you cannot disregard the inequalities that are present within the francophone community.

  28. Mike Bedard   March 7, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    RE: Stan. Your comment “English-speaking nurses shouldn’t be passed over for French-speaking nurses” is the whole problem. Who is to say that the employee being hired is not qualified? What you essentially just said and this group has said consistantly (in a round about way) is that the “The english speaking candidates are BETTER (or as you said “experienced”) then the bilingual candidate!”

    Remember the hospital is hiring FULLY BILINGUAL staff not FRANCOPHONE staff and not all are required to be bilingual acutally not even half!

    P.S.- We don’t “require” our children to learn english it is the preferred choice of the majority but not all! We do have a French shool system as well, less we forget!

  29. Mike Bedard   March 7, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Re: Reg Coffey. Can you name me the french only clinic? I looked in the yellowpages and googled it and could not find it! I am interested in this topic more precisely because I have been told “There is no French only Clinic!” There is only a shared doctors office with French doctors who make weekly visits to the city due to the lack of French speaking doctors! These are family practitioners who are NOT a WALK-IN clinic!

    Are these people wrong or are you just stating heresay!

  30. Hailey Brown   March 7, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    This should have never become a French issue and should have remained a discrimination issue.

    Now what has been done is to escalate a health issue to a language issue. You can only imagine the repercussions had it been a male only or female only position, thought the later seems to be a more attainable expectation for some unfair reason.

    It begs the question, iare there any Bengali, Hindi, Bodo, or Malayalam speaking nurses at the hospital? Do we have Italian, German, or Polish speaking Nurses?

    Has anyone reviewed the ratio of people from other countries here to see if they are a higher majority of populous?
    Or maybe they just learned English’

    Mr. Bedard
    You may wish to look into Centre de Sante Communautaire de l’Estrie, I believe that is the institution in question. In 2006 it was challenged for not providing services in English.
    Mr. Bisson, the clinic director, insisted that the health centre’s refusal to treat the patient, Mrs. Ravary was a matter of policy, not discrimination.
    Therefore at this time I would say the same could be said for this position of employ at the hospital

  31. Steph   March 7, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Reg, I can’t believe medical staff (e.g. a doctor) would willingly deny medical care to someone because he speaks another language. All doctors have something called the Hippocratic Oath.

    Hailey Brown, if nurses speak languages other than English, the better it is for the hospital. However, we are speaking of offering serves in English and French– the two founding communities of Canada. I salute the Ontario governement in its efforts to improve services in French. It corrects the injustices of the past. I had parents and grandparents who lived in Ontario and had to suffer discrimination and taunting because they spoke French. We must never go back to this.

    Health boards are called ‘Centre de Santé et de Services Sociaux’ or ‘CSSS’ in Québec and there are 95 of them. They are required to offer services in English to the anglophone community.

    Stan, if you were interviewing two cadidates to fill a position (one unilingual and one bilingual) with the same qualifications, who would you choose?

  32. Tony   March 7, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Steph says:
    March 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm Tony, according to the ‘Office des affaires francophones’ site, the francophone community of Ontario is vibrant and present throughout Ontario (the second largest community of francophones after Québec).

    First mistake… reading info from a group that has been caught falsifing the Franco-Ontario numbers… It is 4 % in Ontario according to Stats Canada … the folks that collect the data from you and me as per the census.

    Tony, not everyone has the ability to speak French but there is help out there.I have tried school and private lessons… my second languages are computer ones

    Would you ever go to a hospital where the staff didn’t speak your language?

    ABSOLUTELY… i can get a translator… but if I needed a heart operation I want the best, Language is not an issue. But if Language is an issue and the best is forced to move somewhere else because of a bilingual policy then we all lose.

  33. Tony   March 7, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Eric says:
    March 7, 2012 at 9:18 am Tony says “The bilingual policy in no way shape or form means that one person has to speak both languages.The policy states services will be provided in both languages”

    For the policy to be filled, “service provided in both languages” you need bilingual people, not unilingual English! Where do all of these bilingual people come from?

    Man … can you go back and read my post again… wait ill repeat if for you… 20% FRENCH MANDATORY /80% ENGLISH MANDATORY (percentages based on stats Canada numbers)
    Now a FRENCH only person , an English only person , or a bilingual person has an equal chance of applying for a government job.

    So if 20% are French and 80% are English the service is provided in both official language. Look outside the box.

    And FYI … I support bilingual services since we all pay taxes to provide that service… i am not hung up on people being force to speak two languages when unilingual people can work together to ensure the 2 languages are provided for any given service.

  34. Richard Komorowski   March 7, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    @Mike – I think what Stan meant was that “English speaking nurses should not be passed over for *less qualified/experienced* French speaking nurses.

    @Hailey – The world must have stopped spinning on its axis, or the magnetic poles have shifted, or it really is flat or something, because I’m finding myself in agreement with one of your comments LOL!

  35. Reg Coffey   March 7, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Potatoes, potahtoes Mike. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and looks like a duck…it’s a duck. Is an office with doctors in it where they treat patients a clinic? No where did I say a walk-in clinic…. Or are you stating hearsay?

  36. Steph   March 7, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Tony, I am glad you support services in both Official languages and the rights of the people to receive them in one of the official languages. Again numbers or statistics (or the ones one chooses to believe) have strictly nothing to do with the right to receive medical services in the official languages of one’s choice. If, as you have said, qualified anglophones, francophones and bilingual candidates may apply for a position–and the hospital staff can continue to offer quality care in both languages, all the better. Enough with the hair-splitting!

    By the way, Ontario does have the second largest French-speaking community in Canada, after Quebec.

    Erratum: Anglo-Quebecers make 13.4% of the population of Québec (Stats Can 2011) and not less than 10% as I have stated.

  37. George   March 5, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Well here in Quebec they don’t treat the English with any kind of respect at all.There making the English do French tests to get a job at the hospitals here now,their so hard that the French people cant even pass them.Its funny how they demand fair treatment but refuse to give it in their own Province.If the second language is to be respected through out Canada then why is it the second language here in Quebec is being demolished and not respected.To the point that English people pay for their bus pass each month but can not receive service in their mothers tongue.The even go as far as refuse to serve us if we don’t reply in French.Now come on people,you left the English dangling in the wind so long here in Quebec that their moving outwards.I came to this site to look for hospital jobs outside Quebec because its clear were not wanted here in Quebec anymore and look what im seeing here,French demanded in the work place.If you waver in your attempts for equality you will be run out of your province also.I’m hard working and spent alot of time learning my craft,but because my French is not good they refuse to hire me even though i’m certified.Wish me luck people,im confused and I cant provide for my family here.I love Quebec but unfortunately it does’nt love me back.

  38. Cory Cameron   March 5, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Hello Hailey you wrote:

    “Mr. Bisson, the clinic director, insisted that the health centre’s refusal to treat the patient, Mrs. Ravary was a matter of policy, not discrimination.
    Therefore at this time I would say the same could be said for this position of employ at the hospital”

    Certainly Hailey and you nailed it, right. The administrators will hide behind these token responses when challenged with issues like fair and equitable hiring practices within government and now increasingly, non-governmental job vacancies.

    The fact that Mrs. Ravary was refused treatment on the basis of policy and not discrimination is simply verbal spaghetti!

    For the policy itself is discriminatory in practice! So, hiding behind this thinly veiled response is akin to someone supporting a law simply because it is law. Although it is a law, oh well the thought pattern goes, if it benefits me or a group of people or ethnicity for which I belong so much better for me and mine and screw the others. This is exactly what is going on in all levels of our civil service as of now.

    I believe our current CCH administrators constantly re-word, revise, and redo this over and over and over again to the point where most job applicants give up and just leave for greener, less discriminatory pastures. (i.e: the other provinces farther away from Quebec’s tentacles)

    Notice I wrote, “MOST’.

    For we still have many unilingual English speaking nurses still not working or who are employed in token part-time positions – the likes of which many may never be employed full-time if the powers that be had any say in it…

    Curiously, I believe our golden girl Heather Villeneuve may still be pumping gas or at least employed in a similar minimum wage job – a position for which she is way overqualified for despite being educated in a field whereby she should be earning a decent living and not just existence.

    All of these issues continue to make me go hymmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

  39. David Oldham   March 5, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    @George

    Read every word and they struck home. Best of luck, George, and to your family also. Life will work out !

  40. Cory Cameron   March 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    @ George,

    Bravo for speaking up George. Now folks is your time to do something about all of this nonsense. Ask yourselves if you want to end up like George, too. Not being able to provide for your families due to this language nonsense. Not being able to receive services in your mother tongue, despite the fact that you pay taxes and/or out-of-pocket for services.

    Remember now, there are others coming forward with their own stories such as George.

    And still to this day with have people like Stella and Pierre who vigorously defend these discriminatory laws and hiring practices.

    For nobody and I repeat nobody can have their heads this much in the sand such as Stella and Pierre and truly believe that what is going on is ethically correct or just.

    In other words, they are bigots serving in a bigot’s race to the finish!

  41. stellabystarlight   March 5, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    OMG……desperation at it’s best. This article is dated March 2012……how pathetic.

    You english freedom fighters need help…..unbelievable……LMAO!!!!

  42. stellabystarlight   March 5, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    @George: I have friends who live in Montreal who are unilingual english, do not speak one word of french….actually one is American and guess what? They have no problems whatsoever being english. One is a dentist and the others have good paying jobs also……they are all doing fine. No one bothers them about this language BS.

  43. highlander   March 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Hey Stella {MODERATED} its as valid then as it is now ,years of discrimination.
    George let me tell you just because you are not bilingual enough does not mean you are less a person no matter if your government encourages this discrimination.

    Funny how you keep mentioning your imaginary friends ,yet in social media there are daily issues with Quebec language laws from who QUEBECERS who actually live in Quebec instead od your imaginary friends.

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