Eric Little of Ottawa Ontario on Ontario NDP Bill 49 to Increase French Language Commissioner Power

For the second year in a row, an Ontario NDP MPP has a bill in the House to increase the powers of the French Language Commissioner. Bill 193 last year did not make it past first reading, Bill 49 this year was introduced March 20 but both are very similar. They want to increase the power of the Commissioner to provide annual reports, special reports anytime with recommendations for improving the provision of French language services.

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Naturally, L’Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario is in support of this, however receiving the vast amount of funding from government the way that group does, should make one question the need for this bill and politics involved.

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Once any recommendations make it into the legislature, will there not be gravity to those recommendations and then increasing expectations for public servants to swiftly enact change or add more rules, regulations or laws? Are there not enough services in place now for approximately 500,000 of Ontario’s 13,200,000? The expense I assume will be more than just millions of dollars; it will also be at the job level with requiring bilingual only to compete for jobs.

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That would look like fairness is only one way and would rule out about 8 million job seeking English only speakers in Ontario alone. The 2006 census reports 97% of our language at work is most often in English by the way, even New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province, lists English as the work language used most often at 76%.

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Ontario and Canada need to reexamine the roles, needs, definitions and expectations of both the Ontario French Language Services Act and Canada’s Official Languages Act.  Very few are asking to remove all French services; however, if an audit shows our 5 French language clinics, French language school boards etc should be kept or amalgamated with other services already in place, we can have another discussion.  But let’s start talking without entering the room with clenched fists and agendas.

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Currently we have a French Language Services Commissioner and office with a mission to strongly encourage government ministries & agencies to proactively design policies and programs, 39 Ministries and agencies being supported by over 2 dozen French Language Services Coordinator positions, we have 222 agencies signed on to provide some or all services in French within 25 designated zones, French language school boards received $1.24 billion in 2010/2011(Ontario Finance document) and there are many Francophone associations accepting money from taxpayer funded sources, so French is not going away.

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Nor should it, English and French have been living and working side by side for generations. We just need less government interference, to reduce the expense and the associated human costs of the issues to be allowed to get on with our lives.
That approximately 500,000 people noted above, is also the number of English only speakers in Ottawa who are affected by the various governments’ push for bilingual jobs, why do they hate English speakers so much?

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You can email your MPP / MP / and Municipal representatives to start the discussion towards our actual needs and to provide definitions.  Don’t let someone else decide for you and your children!

Eric Little – Ottawa Ontario

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

Cornwall Free News

10 Responses to "Eric Little of Ottawa Ontario on Ontario NDP Bill 49 to Increase French Language Commissioner Power"

  1. Don't you dare, Dalton!   April 12, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Tim Hudak, where are you, wet noodle?

  2. Kim Lian Khoo   April 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Thank you, Eric, for your very well researched letter. We really appreciate it when writers like you are willing to spend time gathering data and analyzing statistics and present them in a way that makes it easy for most readers to understand the situation.

    Certainly it is time to re-examine the situation vis-a-vis the French Language Services Act that has gone over-board in correcting some of the situations found in Ontario at least 30 – 40 years ago.

    The pendulum has swung too far and it is incumbent upon our politicians to recognize that the time has come to stop before it seriously damages the relationship between the two linguistic groups, English & French-speakers.

    It is very difficult to understand why the NDP would want to further increase the power already held by the 4% French-speakers. Can’t they see that what has been done has already created a situation that has put the English-speaking majority in a highly disadvantageous position as far as jobs go? Why would jobs not be awarded on the basis of MERIT and not on fluency in a minority language?

  3. Tom   April 15, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    This is what the OLA says about unacceptable practice. What the Cornwall hospital board is doing is in violation of the OLA.

    Chapter 3-1 – Participation of English-Speaking and French-Speaking Canadians. Guidelines on Equitable Participation

    “Unacceptable measures

    Reserving positions or groups of positions for candidates of one official language group conflicts with the merit principle and the Official Languages Act and its policies. The following measures would thus be unacceptable:

    Identifying language requirements of positions ARBITRARLY TO FAVOUR the recruitment of members of ONLY ONE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE GROUP.
    USING IMPERATIVE STAFFING to achieve equitable participation objectives. ”

    http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/archives/hrpubs/ol-lo/chap3_1-1-eng.asp#policy

  4. James Quealey   April 24, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Mr. Littlle,

    As a former Montrealer who grew up in the 1960ès and 70ès in Quebec, I can tell you this is only the tip of the iceberg. The French will never stop until they not only define Canada, but control it.

    I have seen this movie before. They (the french ) will be subtle, quiet and very sneaky in their quest for dominance and power.

    One day we ake up and see , not only have given away Canada, but have lost any and all rights that we already have.

    To me, Quebec separation is just a matter of time. it is for this reason I believe Canada should have a moratorium on Quebec separation.

    Over the next 10-15 years iron out of of the issues that will be front and center regarding separation: borders, currency, trade agreements etc. and have Canada and Quebec come to an agreement over these issues, and then Let Quebec go, and bon chance .

    Canada can survive without Quebec, and we can finally put this nonsense of bilingualism to rest forever. Canada after Quebec separation would only be 4% French.

    We, as Canadians would have no problem finding work in English Canada.

    I saw what happened in Quebec to the anglophone community. I now seeing it here . The only avenue to stop this anti-English pro -french movement is to have a major political party fight for the English majority within Ontario. This will not happen soon, if at all.

    So I say take away the reason for bilingualism, have a Canadian referendum to see if we want a Quebec, that is, sadly anything but Canadian. Their racist homophobic and xenophobic laws are a refection of the anti-English sentiment that is rapidly making its way here.

    James Quealey

  5. edudyorlik   May 10, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Well said James Quealey

    I grew up in Quebec with a French mother and an English father. No problems with that at all. As matter of fact I love the diversity it afforded me then and the broadness of mind it has left me with now. However, I certainly did “get to know” concept involved within the “subtle, quiet and very sneaky in their quest for dominance and power” persona which you speak of. And, you are 100% right. They are gradually and quietly taking over. And we, the English are sitting idly by doing nothing. I read a quote not long ago that exemplifies this concept. It went as follows. “The French are playing chess while the English are playing checkers.”
    You are also right about the referendum. The time is right… RIGHT NOW. We must demand that Quebec MUST sign onto and abide by the Canadian constitution (without any more use of the not withstanding clause) or (as you say) we hold a “national referendum” as to whether we want Quebec as part of Canada or not.

    It’s our turn “to be the deciders.”

  6. mariah   June 8, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Eric, would the not withstanding clause that Quebec used against us now work in our favour?

  7. Eric   June 8, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I won’t pretend to know about the not withstanding clause, but it seems amazing to me how a province can say we reject one law, use others to thieir advantage, and say we never signed up in the first place and still get 7 billion a year. And more amazing, the public and legislatures allow them too…

    Anyway, beside this Ontario bill, read up on the Senate Bill S 211 & the federal NDP proposed Bill C 419. More push for bilingual only jobs!

  8. Richard Pelland   July 10, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    It is hard to fathom the minority of self-declared oppressed English language speakers of Ontario. Few rational Ontarians view French language services as a threat to their own social standing. Most Ontarians would say that they have no difficulty receiving English language services anywhere in the province. The same cannot be said of French language services, where individuals are often forced to either wait an inordinate amount of time or be served in English and contribute to the erosion of their own language. English is alive and well in Ontario. Live with it and stop whining.

  9. les habitants   July 11, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    question or statement! if there was no such obvious hatred for the “french’ component of Canada, as evidenced in LFA or CLF …then in turn there would be no need to encourage and protect the french language in Canada by legislative measures.. the fact that a few feel french is unecessary make the fair language of acessible french laws all the more important…SEE THE Problem.. Taxes and education fairness include 2 official languages.. and I highly agree with the statement by Mr Pelland

  10. stellabystarlight   July 11, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Richard….well said and true. Thank-you!!

    Reading these post brought a smile to my face…….

    Yep the English are being ostracized by the entire country. GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Must be difficult living with a persecution complex when in fact there is no reason for it. If this language debate wasn’t so pathetic…..it would be funny!!!

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