We are very fortunate to live in this country and have better lives because of good works and efforts of many, past and present. Often though we the taxpayer do not pay attention the way we should to ensure a similar quality of life for future generations. Yes many of us elect people to various boards, commissions and levels of government to represent us and what drives those people to take those positions must vary, but a common link (wishfully perhaps) is that they represent or promote what is best for all of us instead of special interest groups.
There is a failure right now in the Ontario Legislature by our Members of Provincial Parliament. A failure to actively research bills prior to House debates, or if they are, it is not brought up. Bill 49, like Bill 193 last year that did not get past first reading, is designed to increase the powers of the French Language Commissioner. My question to that, is it truly needed? Hansard does not offer clues to that question being answered and was certainly not asked.
Reviewing some Hansard debates for the Ontario Legislature, not just on French language services bills, leads me to a difference of opinion on what debate means. There is very little actual discussion on need, cost or long term effects mentioned. Should our elected leaders and paid staff not be first researching then presenting findings of short, medium and long term effects of a proposed bill? We should expect projections on costs in dollars and human capital both short and long term? And also of some importance, is the bill really needed and how will it affect all Ontarians? We cannot afford to give everyone whatever they want and we have surpassed core service levels long ago!
With technology today, research or opinions are easier than ever to acquire. Newspapers with on-line versions often have live comment sections below articles and special interest group input is usually detectable within them, Twitter accounts could offer concise input even. However learned, the guiding rule to address should be how will this, if implemented, affect all Ontarians! Bill 49 does not help all of us, it is designed to increase beyond what is needed, a larger voice and with that cost (in dollars and human), for just over 4% of the population, who are not in any less dire straits than many others in this province.
This province and country is in need of a tune-up, first cancel this Bill, then have honest discussions on needs and costs of both the French Language Services Act and the Official Languages Act. Taxpayers have a right to offer input, and each of us should be working towards providing our children and grandchildren with the quality of life we inherited. It is up to you, contact your elected representatives and remember inefficiencies on voting day.
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Anyone that has gone to the theater to see a play can be excused for observing without really seeing the man or woman behind the curtain. Marketing, ticket takers, accounting, set builders, costume makers, line writers and so many others combine with actors to make or break the memory.
We have another play going on in Ontario (and New Brunswick) with many people involved and I am unsure if it is a comedy or drama, but it certainly has the makings for a mystery. We have the Ontario Ministry of Francophone Affairs. A Commissioner and office for French Language Services with a few dozen coordinator positions to direct other Ministries and government entities with including French in everything they do. Over 220 institutions signed up under the French Languages Services Act. We see 20 regional councils grouped under the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO), including Prescott & Russell, Ottawa, and Thousand Islands which includes Brockville to Trenton. (New Brunswick has 30 chapters under the Acadian Society banner by the way) http://www.acfomi.org/fr/ACFOMI/about-us
It is no mystery of funding, Taxpayers, of which the majority are English only speaking cover that. Ministry of Francophone affairs has a 5.5 million dollar annual price tag. The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) has revenues of 1.4 million in 2010 / 2011 and 1.2 million of it from Provincial and Federal Ministres / entities including universities. We pay the government, they pay associations and institutions and they pay other associatios and institutions. Administration costs alone are who knows how much and a program is needed to follow it!
For anyone who would like to do some research, can you find out how and how much money is provided to accept the French Language designation in Ontario and associated requirements? La Cite College in Ottawa is about to accept the designation, with the thinking it will provide a quasi constitutional protection. College Boreal has it and Hearst University plus Laurentian are studying the issue. Of course there are over 220 institutions already on the list.
It is interesting in le droit paper there is concern that Conservatives might look at their funding and appears to be moving them forward even faster for designations.
The French Language Commissioner is not happy reporting to the Ministry only and is bringing the message to the Franco-Ontario community, so the Ontario NDP are helping currently establishing Bill 49 in the House.
Let’s pause, reflect and discuss our true needs of the Ontario French Language Services Act. No matter how you feel about the subject, taxpayers deserve a chance to review Acts and policies from 25 and 40 years ago.. Common sense, where numbers warrant and efficient use of taxpayers’ dollars should be the mantra by all, not the rush we see now.
It is past time the English just said NO. Amen.
COME & SAY NO TOMORROW- MAY 26 SATURDAY @
EQUALITY FOR ALL: PROTEST RALLY
Saturday morning on Chorus radio 104.5 Dr Paul from the Health Unit was talking about a health hazard warning about summer foods.He had a women trying unsuccessfully to speak about it in English.I could not not make out her attempt to speak English,this is exactly what happens when 100% bilingual requirement prevents QUALIFIED Anglophones from working at the Health Unit. I for one will be switching stations if this nonsense continues!!!
Mariah Seaway Radio is back on the air this Fall. 🙂
That is great, please remind me when it begins
Re Ontario Bill 49, An Act to amend the French Language Services Act
Why Ontario Hansard does not translate debates to the Bill?? Madeleine Meilleur’s speech was almost entirely in French, with only 2 paragraphs in English out of 16. They keep the public and the unilingual English legislators in the dark!