CFN – Cory Cameron wrote a letter to the UN over language rights in Canada. We have graciously agreed to reprint his letter. You can post your thoughts and comments below.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
I am writing to you today to express my deepest concern of a subject that impacts all Canadians on a daily basis. I speak of the issue of ‘Official Bilingualism’. Over the course of the last few decades, Canadians have experienced what bilingualism has come to encompass. Originally, the Official Languages Act (OLA) and the French Languages Services Act (FLSA) were Canadian laws designed in mind to bring about the equalization of both the English and French languages; especially in regards to providing government services in Canada in both official languages.
What has transpired since the formation of ‘Official Bilingualism’ is nothing short of French Canadian elitism in all things government; especially in regards to seeking out employment in both the provincial and federal governments. Unfortunately, the very laws that were created to permit Canada’s two official languages to equalize has instead allowed the French language to surpass English in both importance and weight. Whenever applying for a career in the civil service, all education, experience and other merits don’t matter so long as one has the ability to communicate at an advanced level in French. I would like to know why knowledge of a second language supersedes that of merit when applying for jobs.
I attended French Immersion schooling and took courses all throughout my secondary and post-secondary studies in both the English and French languages. And still, to this day, I am not considered fully bilingual and therefore do not qualify whenever applying for jobs in the civil service. This difficulty has been exacerbated by the fact that increasing numbers of private sector jobs are also asking for bilingual applicants.
There is an ever growing concern about this issue of ‘Official Bilingualism’ nationwide. As of late, there have been protests and court cases in Cornwall, Ontario, Moncton, New Brunswick and most recently in Russel Township. Canadians all over the country are now questioning the cost versus benefit of this ‘Official Bilingualism’ policy. Canadian Newspapers and blogs are buzzing with the idea of scrapping the program altogether. For instance, many are inquiring to know why minority languages other than French are not being financially supported to the tune of billions of dollars each year; much like the French language is. And too, many citizens are supporting the idea that instead of spending the money traditionally earmarked for bilingualism, in its place it has been recommended to spend these billions on issues affecting us all such as improving our crumbling infrastructure. Why not pave or fix many of our Northern highways? Might this funding be better spent on increasing our social services? How about using some of this funding to build more not-for-profit housing to combat the housing shortage in this area? Moreover, how about using the money for feeding the hungry? These ideas are but a portion of some that I’ve come across in examining the issue of ‘Official Bilingualism’.
There is a more frightening, perhaps even sinister offshoot of this issue of ‘Official Bilingualism’. Apart from unfair hiring practices, we are seeing a gradual shift towards more, Quebec-like provincial politics in the province of Ontario. There are those of us who are concerned that perhaps one day Anglophones in Ontario will be treated much the same way they are currently treated in Quebec; jobs notwithstanding as an issue.
As evidenced by the following resulting directly from Bill 101 in Quebec:
Other Charter provisions, though, deeply alienated English-speaking Quebecers. The Charter cut off access to English schools to all but children who had a parent who had received their education in English in Quebec. The Charter also eliminated the Constitutional guarantee to English legal proceedings, eliminated English translations of Quebec laws, and banned the use of languages other than French from commercial signs. The law has therefore polarized Quebec along linguistic lines to this day. (Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-speaking_Quebecer)
The result of said Bill was the following:
Young highly educated anglophones, despite high rates of bilingualism and increased contact and openness to francophones, cite limited economic prospects caused by perceived linguistic discrimination and an unsatisfactory political climate as the major factors in their departure. By 2001, 50% of mother-tongue anglophones had left the province. (Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-speaking_Quebecer)
I already know of many friends who have left their hometowns due to this issue of not meeting the requirements of ‘Official Bilingualism’ and looking for work elsewhere. How many more of our young people will take part in this mass exodus?
I have already sent this letter to both my Canadian Member of Parliament (M.P) and Member of Provincial Parliament (M.P.P) offices as well as a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office. As of today’s date, July 23, 2012, I have only received a response from the Prime Minister’s Office acknowledging receipt of my letter and have been informed that my concerns have been sent to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, The Honourable James Moore.
As an interesting aside, a few months ago, two Canadian organizations named Canadians for Language Fairness (CLF) and Language Fairness for All (LFA) held a demonstration in Chesterville, Ontario protesting this issue of ‘Official Bilingualism’ in Canada. In attendance at this protest were both Guy Lauzon, Member or Provincial Parliament for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry as well as the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, The Honourable James Moore. Both the CLF and LFA have asked to meet with James Moore a total of 3 consecutive times and have been postponed and shunned each time. So, what has transpired, and is evidenced by these actions, are that private citizenry and organizations in Canada are being ignored by all levels of government on this issue of ‘Official Bilingualism’.
I am requesting today that the United Nations look into this matter as I believe that Canadian politicians are largely ignoring this issue. Hundreds of us have already written to our elected representatives and have asked to have this policy of ‘Official Bilingualism’ looked into. How many more times and how many more people must we solicit in order to elicit a response?
With Kindest Regards,
Cory Cameron B. Soc. Sc.
LMAO!!! ok, you have a right to your opinion Mr. Cory. If putting me down made your day and made you happy that’s makes 2 of us that are happy.
I will be back to comment on your loving comments towards me…….I have an important meeting coming up……but hang in there, I will be back **s**
MR. Cory…..good evening mon ame,
Let’s get down to business. I find it mind boggling to say the least how many of you and I mean many, could call Quebec citizens every name in the book, drag them through the mud and many many times show hatred towards them and claim to be proud of them at the same time. How can I dislike someone and yet say I am proud of them?? Seems hypocritical to me and just doesn’t make sense. You can claim all you want that’s it’s the province but many blogs would prove you wrong because these blogs were directed to Quebecers as in CITIZENS.
As for you saying my statement was a call to arms……get real……..LMAO!!!! Not even worth responding……too silly. Thinking if there was ever a childish comment, yours was one for sure. Does your comment “violence is the only action that can dictate change” sound mature to you? If you answer in the affirmative…then you really got me wondering.
Know what Cory, I don’t have to convince anyone nor am I trying to. Level headed people don’t have to be convinced of anything nor can they be fooled. Theres the difference.
As for the time I spend on line…..I really don’t think it is any of your business. Actually, if one had a way of figuring it out, you would come in a close second if not first **s** What is quite obvious though, is when the subject dies down…..you pop in. Thinking you should follow thru with the opening statement you wrote in your post. Certainly don’t want you to get stressed out. **s**
Yep my irate ways continue…..my hate mongering you name it I have them all LOL Let me say this and I know that it will be used in the future by others like it happened so many time before.
This is how I feel and live by:
Be who you are and say what you feel,
Because those who mind don’t matter
And those who matter don’t mind.
Should you need an explanation…….feel free to ask as I am always willing and able to help.
stellabystarlight B. SC. C………**smile**
Well I see you are still at it Mr Cory. . Do you think you are really going to change things. And I am touring NL and other eastern Provinces and no one is bitching about language like you.. Many people from Ontario. Too depressing for me. Change your attitude things might go better
So you think not talking about the issues in Canada will change things -apathy is the worst for issues ….just look at voter apathy -therefore 40% decide who runs the country!
You could be no further from the truth -most Canadians are sheep being lead .
People in other countries die for what most Canadians take for granted …voting and civic responsibility !
But poor Canada sooo divided ? Thats by choice!
People need to speak up be counted!
jane… agreed. Too many people bitching about things they don’t have..and complain because they didn’t get everything they cried for.
Highlander. Personally it seems to be Ontario (eastern Ontario)?folks doing the crying, not all Canadians.. I was in a travel info center today in Port Hastings. NS. A few motorcycle guys came who were from QC they asked questions in English and the info person immediately began speaking to them in French. So I really do not know what all the fuss is really about…Anglos get served in their language and Francophones get served in theirs. QC is a bit different but I lived there for 37 years and I survived.
Apathy… no one cares enough to make a difference… Pathetic ..No one cares because it isn`t really a problem about making a better difference…just sad…
Travelling is the best way to get the real life stories,.. not just reading one sided websites… Love to cross Canada welcomed everywhere!!!
Jane Doe, you wrote:
“Well I see you are still at it Mr Cory. . Do you think you are really going to change things. And I am touring NL and other eastern Provinces and no one is bitching about language like you.. Many people from Ontario. Too depressing for me. Change your attitude things might go better”
Well, Jane Doe, if nobody talks about the issue, nothing will change. While touring NL, did you travel through New Brunswick? I can tell you that in Moncton New Brunswick they have had many protests and the people are not happy there.
“Change your attitude things might go better”
Sure thing there Jane! I have a post secondary degree and am bilingual but still cannot find good work due to this policy! Pure laine, right?
Patrick…..you just described Quebec
Mariah, you have never been in Québec have you ? Just go to montreal, kirkland, pointe claire…then get back to me.
OMG……Mr. Cory is back in all his splendor!!!!
Let me say this: Any group that has to pound the pavement to try and garner support indicates that they don’t have the support they claim they do!!!
Thanks Stella for all of the free publicity…..
I want to thank you for using my tax dollars in an honest to goodness fashion. The more time you spend at work sparring with me on this forum the better I feel.
A word of caution though. The more time you spend on CFN the less time you spend doing your gov’t job. Sooner rather than later, I would fear that your supervisor(s) might start to take notice of this behaviour.
Bad publicity from Stella is better than no publicity at all!
Hey Mr. Cory either at the BIG demonstration or before you head home, perhaps you can get your brother to answer this question? I know….you told me before to ask him but he refuses to answer pertinent questions?
Chirs in one of his letters wrote: The interest groups have misled/misinformed people. SO….many are wondering how he could say that when Galganov sent out pamphlets showing how and why french should/could be abolished in Canada….especially that all of you are affilited. Gets confusing when you claim you do not want to abolish french.
Hey funny thing Stella!!! You don’t answer my questions. When will you take the time out of your busy day to answer any of my questions or are you just still ignoring me!!!!!!
Your questions have been answered a thousand times by myself and others……the problem is you don’t like the answers then accuse people of not answering.
Enjoy your vacation!!!
Galganov left QC since he did not get his way there and now stirring the pot in Eastern On. Even the Anglos there did not like him…..too radical!
And @ Cory. Yes I was in Moncton and talked with an old classmate from QC. He has heard of the bs over language so called discrimination etc. going on in Eastern On.. I also talked and listened to folks there. If you cannot get a decent paying job maybe there is something other than so called not being Enough French.. I don’t think I would hire you either.. You seem to be always the victim as many others are on here..
Again change your attitude!
What are you talking about Jane?
You keep harping about ‘changing my attitude’? Do you think that I walk into an interview crowing about all of this linguistic stuff? No I don’t! I study the organization before attending an interview, attempt to find out all that I can and even volunteer for awhile with many of the organizations before applying for a job. Please get real Jane!
“Yes I was in Moncton and talked with an old classmate from QC. He has heard of the bs over language so called discrimination etc. going on in Eastern On”
Is that right, Jane? I’m curious as to why this classmate of yours lives in Moncton now and not in Quebec? Was he/she not able to work in their province due to linguistic discrimination? Tell me, why do they now live in Moncton now instead of Quebec? Did he bring a few thousand of his classmates there too?
No no. If you read some of the editorials that were done in the reporting of our protest you will realize that we were peaceful and respectful. Actually, I spoke in French for about half of the time asking the public the same types of things I was asking them in English. Things like why are qualified people being overlooked for jobs just because of a language issue?
Anyways I hope everyone has a fantastic, productive day!
“And @ Cory. Yes I was in Moncton and talked with an old classmate from QC. He has heard of the bs over language so called discrimination etc. going on in Eastern On.. I also talked and listened to folks there. If you cannot get a decent paying job maybe there is something other than so called not being Enough French.. I don’t think I would hire you either.. You seem to be always the victim as many others are on here..
Again change your attitude”
So why did your friend move from Quebec to Moncton? For work? You see there Jane, this is exactly what happens, right? Francophones in cadres move to areas bordering Quebec and begin to exercise for French language rights in everything including socio-political arenas. French is pushed and pushed and pushed thereby forcing English speaking rights and peoples out of the equation – out of their homes, out of their communities. And this is being done in Eastern Ontario to the point where highly educated English people cannot work…
Change my attitude? Do you honestly think that I go in guns ablazing when I attend an interview and complain about language? Actually, most times, before an interview, I study the origins of the organization, call up and speak to a worker and ask for any pointers that might help me in the interview process. And too, if I can, I volunteer for awhile in the organization I am applying to. In addition to this, if I am not the successful candidate, I keep on the lookout for any positions that may come up in the Boards of Directors….
I don’t go in and criticize their hiring processes during the interview.
Come on Jane.
Jane…..thinking you hit the nail right on the head……especially about Galganov……
Any french person who listened to the video would know that Cory’ s french needs refresher courses not surprising he isn’t considered bilingual…….OMG…..LOL
@ Cory for your info I am Anglophone my friend is Anglophone and we are both retired when we moved out of province…We both agree that Ontario at least should be able to speak French..
Why two posts to me almost identical? Are you hitting the bottle too??? LOL.. It is a well known fact that many Ontario folks really dislike people from Quebec whether they be English or French and they think QC is controlling Canada..
Your comments are akin to those who bicker in high school….
Stop commenting on the commentators……….
And comment on the issues.
“Any french person who listened to the video would know that Cory’ s french needs refresher courses not surprising he isn’t considered bilingual…….OMG…..LOL”
Perhaps if some of that bilingual money came my way I would take a course or two in French!
Hymmm, when I speak French and make mistakes Stella my wife is quick to correct it and I learn is this fashion around 55% of the time.
Like like OMG Stella you’re like you know awesomely like ethnocentric and all LMAO LMFAO Smile “s” etc.
Can’t afford to drink Jane Doe
Beautifully written letter!
I do beleive it may be overlooked due to it being a little too personal! I do believe you lose some credibility when you allow things or mention personal experiences too often; as my critics quickly remind me! However, I am on your side when it comes to this because I feel that it is everyones personal experiences that fuel their fire and guide their heart felt opinions.
Ethical Leadership is leadership involved in leading in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of others! This where I have a hard time supporting this cause! I do not have a problem with our country being “Officially Bilingual”.
I do have a problem with holding merit over language but I do beleive some areas of Canada “need” to ensure that their social services are provided in both languages. I am sure it is not easy for either party and so many petty parts of this topic can be discussed for a very long time!
I hope we can some day return to an era of optimism where true liberty and freedom for all is something more oftened practiced rather than quoted!
Cory you keep saying the Gov is spending money for french programs……thinking you should have taken the opportunity and learn it.
As for commenting on the issue instead of the commentator….thinking there is nothing more to add to the language debate…….the only thing left to do is correct those whose claims are not quite accurate **s**
“As for commenting on the issue instead of the commentator….thinking there is nothing more to add to the language debate…….the only thing left to do is correct those whose claims are not quite accurate **s**”
Just because they are not the facts you choose to believe, you insist on continuing your vile mission? Why not take your own advice and just stop if you have nothing useful left to say?
awww dang it! I forgot the *s*! Adding the *s* makes all posts unbiased and uninsulting. and mostly educational and valid.
stellabystarlight said “Any french person who listened to the video would know that Cory’ s french needs refresher courses not surprising he isn’t considered bilingual…….OMG…..LOL”
Well, that tells me French immersion is an expensive waste of time, Cory has said he went through the immersion program to grade 12.
It also tells me, that no matter how hard an Anglophone tries, it is not good enough!
Thanks Mike for taking the time to have read my letter.
All the best to you and yours,
PLEASE LEAVE QUEBEC ,
WE CANADIANS WOULD BE BETTER OFF !
Oh bella b your last post was right on!
stellabystarlight said “Any french person who listened to the video would know that Cory’ s french needs refresher courses not surprising he isn’t considered bilingual…….OMG…..LOL”
Stella is it any wonder why unilingual English speaking Canadians don’t want to learn French when you exhibit this kind of attitude. I have heard at least a dozen times now how, when someone who is English is practicing their French by speaking to a Franco Ontarian or Quebecer, the French person will often roll their eyes and switch to English.
If you and I were to converse in French Stella, something tells me you would do the same. You have now several times made fun of me for speaking French. I see alot of this by you – as in making fun of something or someone with whom you don’t agree with.
Tell me, do you believe in ‘bilingualism’? I ask this because I’m curious as whether you would send your child or children to a French immersion or all French school? Surely if you believe in bilingualism would you not send your children to an immersion school?
Cory……with all due respect here I have always went to french schools. I was raised french but because friends and neighbors were mostly english, we learned the language by speaking with them and vice versa for those who were in french immersion. It was a pleasant mix and everyone made the effort because in all honesty it helped both sides. As for your question about children, if I had a child you could be sure he/she would be in a french school. Let me say this, the french school system teaches much much more then basic academics.
To be very honest with you Cory, I feel it is a personal choice and no one is saying you should learn french. By the same token, in a country that has two official languages the wise choice would be to learn both.
As for the Gov. funds for french language, it doesn’t affect me and won’t change my life one iota. It is what it is……but let me assure you that wise and mature students will opt to learn both.
Now tell me, should the Gov. cut some of the funds for french language, do you honestly think that there will be more job opportunities for the english speaking people? I don’t think so. There are only so many jobs to go around in a town of 46,000 population. The employer has their hiring policies and no one can dictate how those policies should be implemented. I will go as far as saying that they will continue to hire according to their needs…….nothing will change in that area. Then what will you all do?
Cory……This debate has become outrageous in many ways. We shouldn’t have to bash each other to death but because the french speaking people were dragged through the mud, of course we defended ourselves. Question: Why couldn’t the english speaking people go about their business without this mud slinging and name calling? The hatred shown towards us is repugnant to say the least. Why didn’t you guys do what had to be done in a professional manner, contact the appropriate officials and deal with them instead of creating all this BS? I honestly think you would have gained more respect and would have been taken more seriously by the people who can make a difference. The rallies have become a farce for many…you could take that to the bank.
Right on Cory. Yes Stella we all need refresher courses, because no one will employ us with the level of French we have. Now if we were hired because we knew some French and if the position was deemed bilingual because there was a real need and if the need was so great then don’t you think we would improve our level of French to the point of not needing refresher courses.
I think that I am one 1% to blame for unilingual anglos not learning french. Often, through lack of time or effort on my part, I will chose to converse in english even though I know the person I am conversing with is fluent in french. I take the 1 % blame because I am not giving them a chance to practice ¨le langage de l’amour¨.
– I realized another thing this morning, I take things too personal. Its causing me stress, I found my first grey hair this morning… I’m only 26….I guess its all down hill from here. (haha) Maybe I should apply for my seniors card a few years early, I’ll show them my grey hair.
Patrick……don’t get stressed out hon……LOL
Had we not been dragged through the mud and back again and had there not been the degrading name calling, that would have made a big difference. But no, they just couldn’t do that, they had to go for the jugular and still are.
It is shameful how this group is trying so desperetely to seperate a once peaceful nation. What do they have to gain? Like I said before, even if the funds towards french language was diminished, how will it help them find a better job. Even if the funds remain the same….then what? They will all be in the same boat as they are now. There is no JOB GUARANTEES for anyone anymore.
So having said that, the only thing that stands out is they hate the french and would like to wipe the language off the face of the earth plain and simple. However canada will always have two official languages and there is not a damn thing they can do about it…**smile**
Stella you wrote:
“Why didn’t you guys do what had to be done in a professional manner, contact the appropriate officials and deal with them..”
Stella, does writing to my MPP, MP, the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister Moore constitute as what you would deem to be contacting ‘appropriate officials and dealing with them’?
You see all of them have given token responses saying that further information is forthcoming but never is……
Hence turning to protests. Tell me, if after contacting your ‘elected’ officials and they didn’t respond and you felt your voice wasn’t being heard what would you do then?
stellabystarlight, I suggest you read Canada my Canada by Laurier Laperierre ( he also wrote 1759 battle for Canada). He discusses that English and French have been after each other for 100’s of years. Certainly the rebellion of 1837 is interesting as well.
Currently though, there are guarentees in Ontario for French workers, perhaps indirectly, perhaps not. A part of an institution signing on for the French Languages Service Act, guarentees funding while conditions are met.
Institutions not signing on, have no such guarentee. Man, are we stupid in this province to allow class systems like this. But, as said before, man made the rules, man can change them!
Cory….I will say like you once said “Rome wasn’t built in a day” It takes time to move mountains. I feel Mike Bedard’s comments were exceptionally well said and very enlightening but of course all you guys could ever do is attack him personally. Not good and very juvenile. Think you would all learn….nope, let’s go for the jugular.
Cory not to worry your leader will show you the way, he is determined come hell or high water to destroy our culture……you certainly don’t need our help **s** He tried before and failed and now with your financial help he is TRYING again. But let me say this: It will not help any of you to find better jobs…..you can’t rely on anyone but yourself when it comes to a better quality of life. NO one can do it for you!!!!
Eric……..all I can say is good-luck…..you definetely will need it. **s**
Get back to work Stella my taxes and many others don’t pay for you to put out propaganda.
All languages are equal in Canada, but one language is more equal than all others…