“Language Debate won’t be solved by Us”
As this debate becomes ever more heated, it is apparent from recent editorials and blogs nationwide that this event is quickly becoming polarized. Canadians from Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast are commentating on the need for the existing policy of ‘Official Bilingualism’ – some for, some against, but all feeling very strongly one way or another towards this subject.
Never before in our history has there been a subject that has caused so much division amongst our citizens. Canada is a cultural and linguistic mosaic, made up from people of close to 90 languages and cultural backgrounds. The languages spoken by the majority of our citizens are either English or French. As of late, there have been questions raised by the merit of having ‘Official Bilingualism’. People have been asking questions pertaining to the cost/benefit of such a policy. There are growing concerns in editorials and blogs pointing to the fact that perhaps the money traditionally earmarked for bilingualism should be spent elsewhere. Some bloggers have pointed out that the money would be better spent on: healthcare, education, welfare, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and a host of other social assistance programs. These bloggers have a good point and make a convincing argument. With government cutbacks taking place across the board, would it not be a good idea to use money set aside for ‘Official Bilingualism’ on other issues affecting all Canadians?
One thing is abundantly clear with this issue of language debate and ‘Official Bilingualism’. We cannot keep going along the same lines as we always have. The current situation is causing a division between Canadians; with one group reaping a distinct advantage over all others where provincial and federal government careers are concerned. And it hasn’t ended there. Increasingly, across much of Eastern and Northeastern Ontario, the private sector is also becoming victim of this policy. The irony of this language policy of ‘Official Bilingualism’ is that the creation of it was originally sanctioned to bring about the equality of the two languages spoken by the majority of Canadians and to ensure that Canadians had access to government services in both French and English. This is clearly not the case now. Thousands of young Canadians have missed out on jobs with both the provincial and federal branches of government. All too often they have been told things like, ‘You’re not bilingual enough’, which in reality, equates to not being French enough. Others have been offered jobs upon condition of passing a French language written examination, most of which they fail. Why is this the case? If ‘Official Bilingualism’ is the idea that the two languages are equal, where are the English examinations for those who are the successful candidates?
There are either two ways in which this issue will be solved. One is to have Revolutionary justice or civil war if you want to term it that. Things are getting so bad now that the NDP is trying to push a private member’s bill called the ‘Language Skills Act’ that would require all Parliamentarians to be bilingual. Thought of this way, imagine if an American citizen had to speak Spanish in order to serve in the American Congress? Now, this whole idea is ludicrous and reeks of elitism! There is absolutely no way to justify this, whatsoever! I say revolution because our elected representatives are not listening to us. It’s not hard. Read the newspapers, watch the protests in New Brunswick and Cornwall, look at a lack of minority English rights in Quebec through various Bills, check up on the FLSA/OLA in Ontario, examine the Russel Township bilingual sign ruling. Any neutral politician worth his/her weight would take a look and say, “Wow, the people don’t really want these things to happen.” Unfortunately for both us and them, (politicians) they’re not listening. But I think something more sinister is going on here. It has to be! The evidence is pointing in this direction. There is a constant, organized and well-led attempt at the takeover of Canada by pushers of a French language agenda who wish to turn our country into a sort of caste system reminiscent of India.
The above is one direction this problem can go. There is one other though, more peaceful way. We need to stress to the United Nations what is happening in Canada at the moment. I think an independently led panel of International Human Rights lawyers/judges needs to examine how fair some of our laws are and if they’re deemed not to be fair for all Canadians, then something needs to change. This should be done at both the provincial and federal level and laws need to be heavily revised or revoked altogether if deemed necessary to do so.
With Kindest Regards,
Cory Cameron –
(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.)
Cory I completely agree with your letter. I know how all of this is making me feel as a Canadian. I feel very much like a second-class citizen.
I felt something this Canada Day that I have never felt before. I had no interest whatsoever in celebrating and when I drove by a very large Canadian Flag waving beautifully in the wind, all I wanted to do is drive by as quickly as I could. I hated the feeling. Your comment “not bilingual enough” hits home big time with me.
How true. This language issue is tearing Canada apart. The whole matter of bilingualism needs to be revisited now. Your suggestion of a UN panel is an excellent one. They could look at the matter Objectively.
Fully agree with the article up to the point of the last paragraph. The United Nations is useless, bureauratic empire, achieving notning, the provinces can handle it by refusing the fund Ottawa
it is a matter of political conviction we see so littyle of, sadly the
loudest is the “WE WANT” society KEBEC.
Well said Cory,
And there are three things that are exceptionally clear to me that must be said surrounding this issue.
#1) Whenever the French are on the opposing side of this subject and they “attempt” to come back at those of us who raise these concerns and issues they use terms like “bigot” and “Anti French” and so on.
These false claims, accusations and simple minded attacks could NOT be further from the truth. In my case (as just one example) it should be duly noted that I am half French myself.
I grew up immersed in the French culture and, as a matter of fact if one must know, I absolutely loved it. Thus, I am anything but, a bigot or anti French in any way.
So those who attack me without understanding this are only doing themselves a disservice by showing how narrow minded they are and basically showing there inability to form a valid rebuttal or counter arguments without just simply calling someone names and bowing to un-intellectual and feeble minded attacks.
#2) Whenever the French side of this issue bring up the — anti this and anti that, or the — you are a bigot — type comments with regard to this situation I simply point to the “province” of Quebec and say…
Oh, well if you think I am anti this or anti that, or as you say, “a bigot” then what do you think of the people in the “province” of Quebec… ?
How do you explain the barbaric anti English laws in Quebec that completely outlaw a language to the degree that English cannot and should not even be spoken, or for that matter even seen on street signs in that “Province?”
How can you justify the fact that the “province” of Quebec can have total disrespect for the English Language, the English people, The Canadian flag and everything else Canadian (and there are plenty of examples for this) yet with a straight face be able to complain about the (those among the 80% English people) outside the “province” of Quebec who are simply demanding the same kind of rights as majority Canadian citizens of this country?
There is no justification for that, and 99 % of the time whenever anyone brings up that factual English side of the argument the French simply ignore it and move on as if it was nothing. And, often times this is the precise moment when they begin to call you a bigot or anti French or whatever else. This is obviously because they really have absolutely no honest way to argue back or rebuke that side of the argument in an intelligent way, except to maybe say, “well the “province” of Quebec MUST protect itself.””
Yeah right! A lame excuse for treating the citizens “in that province” in such a distasteful way while demanding more respect from their kinfolk elsewhere in the country as a whole. Nicely done ass%&*)les…
#3) The outdated and silly idea that the English continue simply asking for “fairness & equality” outside of the “province” of Quebec.”
They (the French side of this) certainly don’t seem to be asking for fairness and equality.
English people and the English language in that “province” has basically been turned into a disease. As a matter of fact anything Canadian is practically spit on. Right from the Canadian flag, to the national anthem and right on through to the monarchy.
The English have to wake up and realize. There is no fairness and equality involved in this calamity anymore. The English have tried this for years and it is NO LONGER valid. It certainly is not something they invoke on their side of this issue so why should it be something the English look for on their side. Time to wake up and realize…
It’s time to say to the French… OK, you can damn well have the “province” of Quebec and call it your own country. Be gone with ya. We’ve had it…
The rest of Canada, with it’s 80 % majority English speaking proud Canadians can do without you and get on with an English only country where by French is just an awful experimental dream which we did everything we could to try to make work but, it didn’t work out… A dream which we are now waking up from and will soon be a just a “thing of the past.”
Let’s see how fast the 7 or 8 dollar a day day care programs in a “province” which detests Canada so much will last once it has been tossed out with the dishwater along with all those Federal tax dollars which stop being shipped their way.
Have a nice day…
Well said Cory. However, I too have concerns with escalating Canada’s situation to the United Nations which unfortunately no longer works as it should. I believe it did make a ruling against Canada with respect to its policy related to the treatment of the English many years ago. I have long wished for a better international body that would serve as a sounding board for all countries that are straying too far off the boundaries of common decency to its citizens. One has to wonder what it will take to make politicians realize this situation can no longer continue.
For Cory, a very well said letter! As an example in my case, I moved here from the US. I was born in Canada and found my roots in the Gaspe of Quebec. I was able to buy a house on land that belonged to my 3rd great grandfather. No one here or any government website ever warned me how hard it would be to survive without speaking French. I was in the US from the time I was 8 till I was 52. I could not get a job here, my 11 year old son was not allowed to go to an English school. I thought for sure I would be able to get a job across the bridge in Campbellton, New Brunswick because that was a bilingual province. Nope you had to speak French just to wash dishes! The true bilingual aspect that was put into place has been blown out of proportion! Now it is impossible for someone who has a tremendous amount of experience to get a decent job unless they are fluent in French. But this seems to all be one sided some how because when the person that gets hired who is French and is suppose to be bilingual can not speak English clear enough for anyone to understand. There are no classes available to learn the language unless you pay a very high price for them. How can you pay this high price if you can’t even get a job to begin with??? At this rate there will be some kind of unrest. This bilingual law has taken away our Charter rights! This keeps going and it is bound to escalate.
Thanks everyone for reading my article and commenting on it. These days the issue really irking me is that Quebec rapper who raps about killing Canadian soldiers and was given a grant by the Quebec goverment! Folks, some have commented on this media outlet of people’s remarks approaching that of hate crimes but I have to tell you, is this not a perfect example of a hate crime? Throughout history, people have been put to death over less insidious remarks.
At the very least, I think it would be appropriate to have this guy make a public statement (town hall style) apologizing to the family members of Canadian soldiers that have died fighting in Afghanistan. Imagine if you were a family member of one of our lost soldiers and you came across this article!? Talk about a slap in the face. I can imagine a mother going into depression over something like this.
I once read the back of a Canadian soldier’s t-shirt at a Tim Horton’s in Petawawa that read, “Sometimes there’s Justice and sometimes there’s Just Us.” I never knew how true that statement could be.
gives us an update on your ‘meeting’ with heriatge minister Moore. after all the hoopla ,why are none of you talknig about it Cory? or is that Beth Trudeau`s bg revelation to come? Intersting that much ado was made of that meeting but no followup. maybe one of the reporters can do a sit down with her and find out!
and i too am dismayed at the funding of a so called rap performer who is glorifying the “enemy” and the “taliban” but what does that have to do with the issues of 2 official languages in Canada?and the rights of all Canadians to services?? lots of Van Doos from Quebec were among the sacrificed soldiers. Why paint all Quebecers as disrespectful to Canada?
the bottom line is if a worker is being discrimanated against by whatever means, they are recourses to rectify that… blaming bilingualism as a whole or as the “entity” and root of all evil is not the way to go!!!
Congratulations to Cory Cameron for a well-written letter that expresses the frustrations of a lot of Canadians, even those who are bilingual. Mainly because many of us still believe in “fair play”. The policy of Official Bilingualism which has been distorted totally out of shape is no longer acceptable.
One error though, Cory. The infamous Montreal rapper is being funded, not by the Quebec government, but by the Federal government under the ministry of James Moore. Read about it here: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/29/government-subsidized-montreal-rapper-manu-militari-pulls-video-from-web-after-tories-complain-it-glorifies-terrorism/
Quebec and the French fact is something that has dominated Canadian politics for a very long time and this has resulted in Quebec getting much more than its share of attention, much of it undeserved. The reason is that they’ve been encouraged and funded to speak up and to demand “equal rights” in having the minority language put on a pedestal in the Rest (Most) of Canada while English is forced to take 2nd place in Quebec.
English-speakers are told to learn French or accept that they are not good citizens and should get used to being ignored by the politicians and even the mainstream media. Thank God for outlets like the Cornwall Free News for giving us a voice. More of us should take advantage and speak up – now is the time while the behaviour of Quebecers is making many Canadians understand that they don’t deserve their 1st class status.
It is time to turn things around!! It will not be an easy task because French power is well entrenched in many of our institutions and many unilingual English-speakers are silent for fear of their French bosses.
As expected, Official Languages Minister, James Moore, postponed the initial “tentative” meeting date of June 13th on Parliament Hill, to June 21st in his “Gatineau” office. Then, that was postponed to June 26th. Then I received a call on the 25th from his scheduling secretary, informing me that we were so fortunate because, although he had to cancel the meeting on the 26th, my delegation would be the SECOND meeting when he comes back from summer break. Like I believe that. Like his language Commissar Graham Fraser, Minister Moore is afraid to meet with groups representing VICTIMS OF FORCED bilingualism, which is social engineering and a 2.4 BILLION waste PER YEAR that we taxpayers have to suck up…for linguistic roadmaps and cultural inventories and L’Echo d’un peuple which got funding, went bankrupt (even though was volunteers), got more funding, went bankrupt again, opened up under L’Echo d’un Nation in Northern Ontario, and is not running this summer.
SEND A MESSAGE TO THE HARPER CONSERVATIVES:
• Conservatives won a majority by gaining more seats in Ontario and Western Canada
• Conservatives lost seats in Quebec during the last federal election
• Quebec receives more transfer funding than any other province in Canada, approximately $8 billion /$17 billion
• Quebec is NOT a bilingual province—Quebec’s Bill 101, 178, 122 and 86 outlaws and restricts the use of the English language
• Quebec politicians criticizes Alberta’s energy sector on an international level—Alberta’s energy sector is responsible for providing much of the funding so that Quebecers can enjoy the cheapest day care, education, health care and electricity costs in all of Canada
• Francophones dominate jobs within the federal public service especially management positions due to enforced bilingualism. Enforced bilingualism gives francophones an unfair hiring advantage over all other Canadians
• NOW, HARPER AND HIS CONSERVATIVES WANT TO CONSULT WITH QUEBEC ELITES THROUGH BRIAN MULRONEY ON HOW CANADIANS CAN BETTER SERVE QUEBEC?
IT’S TIME TO SEND HARPER AND THE CONSERVATIVES A MESSAGE TO STOP PANDERING TO QUEBEC OR THEY WILL NOT GET OUR VOTES IN THE NEXT ELECTION
Send To: Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET QUEBEC DOMINATE US ANY LONGER!!
A very well written letter, Cory; and I certainly agree with alot of the comments on here. It’s very plain to see that the provincial and federal governments seriously need to re-visit the Official Language Act and all the bilingual issues that have come up in the last 40 years and make changes to have all our lives more equal !! and not all one-sided . . . and the funds to be of benefit to everyone instead of cut-backs in everything, except bilingualism for one group only !!
For the les habitants. You wrote:
“gives us an update on your ‘meeting’ with heriatge minister Moore. after all the hoopla ,why are none of you talknig about it Cory?”
Well sir/madam, I cannot comment on any meeting with Minister Moore because I don’t have the specifics and respectively, am not a member of LFA. (I think you are referring to that). But as you can see from above, Beth Trudeau I believe has updated that here for you. (Thanks Ms. Trudeau)
Kim, thanks for the correction of how that rapper was funded.
Les Habitants you wrote:
“and i too am dismayed at the funding of a so called rap performer who is glorifying the “enemy” and the “taliban” but what does that have to do with the issues of 2 official languages in Canada?”
Well it has nothing to do with it really (issues of 2 official languages in Canada). And that’s why the issue wasn’t included in my, “Letter to the Editor”. The fact that he came from Quebec was just a fact and part of the story. If I had said that he was from Ontario or British Columbia, it wouldn’t have made any difference but this is not the fact though is it? Had I written, say he was from “Alberta”, everyone (I hope), would have corrected me and said he was from ‘Quebec’. Please, enough with the leading questions, it’s tiresome to have to correct all the time!
Les Habitants, you wrote: “Why paint all Quebecers as disrespectful to Canada?”
I’m beginning to see sir/madam, that this is becoming a commonplace thing all throughout Canada. More and more and more, it seems that the majority of stories of people’s experiences in Quebec (who are non-French speaking; whether living/visiting), seem to be negative in nature. There are personal stories above that testify to this. I have also heard of Ontario vehicles’ tires being slashed on a regular basis as well while the vehicle(s) were in Quebec. Why has this been done? I’m told because the license plates read simply, ONTARIO! So, if we can blame unfair laws like Bill 101 on the Quebec political process and Quebec politicians in general, we cannot blame the politicians themselves on slashing vehicle tires. That must be private citizens doing this. And where, by the way, are the citizens in Quebec to stand up to these unfair laws and demand their abolishment? Moreover, where are the courageous politicians to step up and speak out against this?
I’m not trying to paint Quebecers as disrespectful to Canada but I have to comment that your statement says it all, right? Let’s examine that statement with more scrutiny here. You wrote:
“Why paint all Quebecers as disrespectful to Canada?”
This is telltale about the feeling in general, isn’t it? Last time I checked, all ‘Quebecers’ were fellow Canadians. And Quebec was still a province within Canada.
You should have asked here instead:
“Why paint all people living within the province of Quebec as disrespectful to the rest of Canada?”
You separated the concept of Quebec with the concept of Canada. THis is telling.
Now whether this is due to mistreatment of minorities in Quebec through political means, a federal party hellbent on separating a province from the rest of the country, naive arresting joggers running through Canada
“Now whether this is due to mistreatment of minorities in Quebec through political means, a federal party hellbent on separating a province from the rest of the country, naive arresting joggers running through Canada.”
Sorry, the above paragraph was to be included as part of the response. It should have read, “…naive police arresting joggers…” and would have been inserted into Para. 6.
I think we have to stop using the phrase “the English” because it suggests (especially to the French) the BRITISH – their historic enemy.
Rather I suggest we use the people who “speak English.” Many among us are bilingual or trilingual and we comprise the greatest percentage of this country’s population. In other words, we are Ukrainian, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Greek, Arabic, Romanian, Croatian, Vietnamese…all who use English as the unifying component to being citizens of Canada.
Cory, you get hooked by the franco troll’s bait each and every time. IGNORE him! We don’t care what French language zealots have to say anymore. They ignore our valid concerns and arguments – pay back the same. Our efforts must be focused on lobbying politicians and media.
You’re right Pavel! Thanks for the reminder!
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by:
The United Nations General Assembly
Definition of genocide
Article 2 of the Convention defines genocide as: any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national; ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
2. (b): Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
2. (c): Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
2. (e): Forcibly transferring children of one group to another group.
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article 2
The following articles relate to all unilingual-English Speaking New Brunswicker’s.
Article 2 (a): “Mental harm”
Article 2 ©: Refusing job opportunities due to bilingualism. The minority Francophone’s are currently employed in 90% of the management positions within the New Brunswick Civil Service and 60% of the financial sector.
Article 2 (e) Forcing children of unilingual-English families to learn French exclusively (currently happening in northern N.B.) Children from Unilingual-English parents, receive as little as 3-1/2 hours of classes, of English language curriculum per week from “English language illiterate” Francophone teachers.
Article 3 defines the crimes that can be punished under the convention:
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.
— Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article 3
Adopted by 140 states including Canada.
The governments of New Brunswick and Canada are guilty of Genocide.
Need more Corry Camerons and less the stupidity of Dan Delmar. The latter knows nothing.
If Canada wants to it can easily kick quebec out (the reason I don’t capitalize quebec – or is it kebec? – is the same reason I don’t capitalize s**t) and there are many ways to do this, not withstanding Coyne’s milk toasting. The eunicks in Ottawa should put their (sic) brains to this task.
Canada can and should look after its own interests (that’s us) rather than what the UN would think. Split up quebec. Give them (it’s a donation) of a strip of land on the north shore, including Quebec City (who wants it?) put a razor wire fence around it and watch them eat them selves up alive. quebec won’t do nor ever has done anything positive for the country. Think what we could do with the $8+M (closer to $20M all things considered) that quebec gets without even a thank you! Think baby think!
So get on with it. Canada has nothing to lose except quebec, that is Canada has NOTHING to lose. Get some pride back into this country.
No matter what our origin or nationally, we have the English Language in common. We speak and use it every day. It unites and binds us together.
First and last, we are Canadians , with no hyphen.
And with Quebec gone, we’d get to Toronto faster
Special interest groups are killing this country!