Canada’s Minister of Official Languages, James Moore, Admits Official Bilingualism isn’t Working – EXCLUSIVE

Beth Trudeau, Chris Cameron, Bryan McGillis, and Jean-Serge Brisson met with Canada’s Minister of Official Languages, James Moore

CFN – During Tuesday’s much-anticipated meeting on Parliament Hill between regional language rights advocates and Canada’s Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, James Moore, reportedly Moore admitted that forcing bilingualism on Canada’s citizens simply isn’t working.

In the words of meeting participant Beth Trudeau:

 “He [Moore] confirmed that EVERY level of government has the right to make language laws. He said he KNEW it wasn’t working, not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES! He said it is trial and error and said he is basically in a no win situation, to which I asked WHY even have language laws, which infringe on our right to Freedom of Speech. He responded that we need those laws so that Francophones can get service in their language.”


Members of LFA and CLF caught Moore and Lauzon off-guard on May 31


Tuesday’s meeting came about as a direct result of an “Act of Activism” by the local Language Fairness for All and Ottawa-based Canadians for Language Fairness last May, as detailed in CFN’s exclusive report. In spite of plans which were well-publicized on social media, demonstrators caught Moore and M.P. Guy Lauzon quite off-guard by their presence outside the May 30th Conservative fundraiser at the Chesterville Legion at which Moore was the keynote speaker. Tuesday’s meeting in Ottawa was the fulfilment of a promise made by Moore at that time to meet privately with the groups prior to the summer Parliamentary break to hear and address their concerns away from news cameras.  Lauzon attended Tuesday’s meeting, but reportedly had little to say.




South Stormont Mayor Bryan McGillis

Municipal government

Chris Cameron

Language Fairness for All

Beth Trudeau

Canadians for Language Fairness

Jean-Serge Brisson

Bilingual Francophones

South Stormont Mayor Bryan McGillis explained to Moore how Cornwall and area is disadvantaged by the loss of its youth who are forced to leave the area simply because they are not bilingual. McGillis also spoke of how provincial institutions hire outside of the province to fill Cornwall area jobs. Additionally, he addressed the loss of freedom of speech in Russell Township (Galganov and Brisson vs Russell Township) & showed Moore a stack of more than 200 e-mail messages received from concerned citizens, saying that tensions are at a boiling point.

McGillis believes that there are more pressing priorities that the billions of dollars spent annually promoting official bilingualism could be put towards, such as addressing the economy, outdated infrastructure, health care, education and the needs of our seniors. On the matter of Cornwall Community Hospital’s preferential treatment of Francophones with regard to hiring and promotions practices, the South Stormont Mayor told us that twice Moore agreed with him that: “this is not right!”  Speaking out against language discrimination in all forms, in McGillis’ own words, is “a no brainer.”

LFA’s Chris Cameron reports that he advised Moore of his desire to have representatives of other language rights groups from across the country participate in their dialogue. Although a date has yet to be set, Moore agreed that he and his team would meet with such a group.

Referring to M.P. Guy Lauzon’s statement that, in the Cornwall area, the Canadian government has filled more than 60% of government jobs with bilingual applicants, Cameron voiced concern that Cornwall Francophones claim to comprise 22% of the local population and are therefore disproportionally and unfairly represented in the job market. Cameron called for hiring practices to be brought in line with representation by population. He was referred to Minister Clement.

Jean-Serge Brisson asked Moore if all government language tests are equal; Brisson was assured that they are. Brisson further inquired of Moore if the English and French language tests are of equal difficulty. Moore wasn’t so sure about that, recommending that the group meet with Treasury Board President, Minister Tony Clement.

In response to Moore’s statement that the federal government is only promoting bilingualism in areas where it makes sense (“where numbers warrant”), Beth Trudeau had this to say:

“I challenged him [Moore] and asked about the report on Sun News’ Byline Monday night, where Brian Lilley showed Graham Fraser’s latest report, where various cities are identified as being on the Czar’s list of places to force bilingualism ‘Where numbers warrant’! How does Newfoundland, where 0.2% (that’s right, 0.2%) are Francophones, manage to get on their list of ‘where numbers warrant’? Moore asked where Lilley got his numbers from, because he wasn’t aware of it.”

Trudeau was referring to a political commentary in which Sun News’ Brian Lilley was worked up about what he referred to as a federal government “push for the Trudeaupian vision of bilingualism.” In case you missed his Byline commentary, it’s here in the archive.

James Moore

In late May, Minister Moore launched the first in a series of Government of Canada pan-Canadian consultations on official languages. There is also an online questionnaire which anyone may complete. In his Lilley Pad blog Monday, Brian Lilley strongly encouraged all Canadians to participate in Minister Moore’s online questionnaire which can be found here.

Some would say that the questions are biased or leading in that there seems to be an assumption that all Canadians are in favour of imposed bilingualism and that it will happen regardless of the will of the good people of Canada. Whether or not you agree with the current governmental approach, please do take a few minutes to participate, wording your responses accordingly.

On the government website, the questions are presented one at a time, with the reader seeing the next question only after answering the current one. In order that CFN readers may have an opportunity to ponder their written responses, we’re re-posting the five questions here. Each of the five responses is limited to 1,500 characters.

1.) What are issues that should be prioritized in order to promote linguistic duality and raise Canadians’ awareness on the advantages and benefits of our two official languages?

2.) What are issues that should be prioritized in order to contribute to the social, economic and cultural vitality of official language minority communities?

3.) What are the challenges associated with improving quality of services and access to services (e.g., health, justice, education, immigration) in the minority language within minority communities?

4.) How can we ensure an increased efficiency in the delivery of programs dedicated to official languages?

5.) In your opinion, how can we ensure a more direct impact of our investment to citizens?

Here at Cornwall Free News, everyone has the opportunity to have their voice heard. As always, readers are welcome to enter into meaningful dialogue by posting comments below. Without a doubt, this is an issue that many are passionate about, but please make our moderator’s life a bit easier by addressing the issues rather than descending into personal attacks against others who post comments.

And, please do let our government officials know where you stand on this matter by completing the survey as well as by any other appropriate means, such as by your presence in the gallery at the South Stormont Council Meeting on September 26th. Council is expected to vote on a precedent-setting language rights resolution put forth by human rights activist Howard Galganov. Details are available here.

By Don Smith, Former CFN

Former Media Consultant at Cornwall Free News


  1. Excellent reporting of meeting with Minister Moore with Mayor McGillis, Chris Cameron, Beth Trudeau & Serge Brisson. Thank you for representing all of us who demand a stop to forced French. We demand a return to unity & democracy

  2. Impressive writing and tenacity of the quartette pictured above to promote fairness. Thank all of you, CFN and Mr. Moore as well.

    This story needs to go cross country!
    Who ever came up with the government survey questions appears to have an agenda.

  3. Exactly, Stella. Yeah! And, if official bilingualism is not working, whose fault is it exactly? I bet that this is a question that the organisations respectively known as Canadians for Language Fairness and Language Fairness for All would not even care to answer…

  4. “Stella”, the fact remains that the official languages crap you spout ONLY applies to federal institutions and the courts. Don’t even TRY to claim Canada is bilingual when Kaybec is not.
    And the fact that francophones are WAY overrepresented in government positions shows a bias that English Canada has the duty to correct.

  5. Blue Fox, “official bilingualism is not working” because the premise for it was / is an ideal.
    It may be more palatable and cost effective if a teaching method would include helping people to order from a menu or follow a sporting event, instead, there are hundreds of hours of verbs and tenses. Few will use it daily or weekly within the vastness of Canada and most parts of the world.

  6. It is social engineering plain and simple. To force someone to speak a language that is NOT their own is as much an attack on our Freedom of Speech right as not being able to use our own language is an attack on Freedom of Speech. Get away from language. Only those that want to control by dividing and conquering, use the “bigot” insinuation. And yes, English AND French Canadians belong to CLF and LFA. Not all French believe in the incredible waste of our tax dollars on such a useless, backwoods endeavor
    of controlling the majority.

  7. Yes Stellabustarllight – there are two official languages. That does not mean that ALL of us across the country speak both of them. MOST of us speak ENGLISH and in most democracies the majority rules. In the case of language rights, the majority does not like being forced to learn the minority language which has led to discrimination and hostility. It isn’t practical or cost efficient to force bilingualism.

  8. Canada is NOT a bilingual country. It has, however, one unilingual province Quebec, one bilingual province New Brunswick, The ROC has two official languages.

  9. I have to weigh in ON this one.
    “Stella”, the fact remains that the official languages crap you spout ONLY applies to federal institutions and the courts. Don’t even TRY to claim Canada is bilingual when Kaybec is not.
    And the fact that Francophones are WAY overrepresented in government positions shows a bias that English Canada has the duty to correct.

  10. Ahh! Two official languages? In your dreams. Go to Quebec and see what is real – one French language on all road signs plus buidings and stores–Valleyfield is only a half hour drive from Cornwall
    Go and find bilingual–in your dreams!!!

  11. Canada is the only country in the world that discriminates against the use of the world language, spoken in certain off-limit places or seen in print when it is either larger than French or too bright or placed in the wrong place. Need I say more? How can any average intelligent person still say we are a bilingual country when Quebec is living only in the French Language and under French Civil Law? Only in Canada! What a disgrace.
    Dot Fuhrman

  12. well beth, you just don’t get it. No one is forcing anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. In eastern ontario, we have guarantees to protect the french language. And, as far as russell, good for the them to recognize the importance of bilingualism. Google translation can help anyone out in translations. It is not a question of cost, because we have proven that bilingualism cost less the 1 % of the national budget. Its like I have said before, curtesy … plain and simple. To some, not all anglos, ( and although very few some francos in Québec) if we learned english and can express ourselves fluently, that means that unilingual anglos don’t have to return the favor.
    – If you’re looking for employment and one of the requirements is being fluent in both official languages, and your not. THAT IS NOT FORCING YOU. It is one of the requirements that you chose not to fulfill.

  13. Way to go, Mrs. Tammy Hart. For a politician, you have shown a lot of class… Not!

    Never mind the fact that your arguments do not hold water.

  14. New Brunswick is now holding a public review of Official Bilingualism that is required every ten years by legislation.

    They are holding it in secret to keep the will of New Brunswickers from New Brunswickers.

    There is no limit to how low supporters of OB will stoop to advance their cause.

    Thank God Moore has finally admitted Bilingualism is not working. Common Sense at last.

  15. Seems to me as a country we are having as many ‘non-complients’ in most of Canada in learing the others language as we do in Quebec as a whole, yet ALL the costs of transitioning the population (social engineering if you wish) is being born by all but Quebec, even though it lies in their favor. How dumb is that when most Canadians DO NOT WANT IT.
    Would it not be one heck of a lot cheaper to just segregate the country?

  16. Thanks Don for the coverage. Thank you Jean-Serge, Beth, Bryan and Chris for an excellent job done. Nice job too Beth on Sun News last night.

    It’s nice that upper echelon politicians are finally taking our case seriously and that there is the possibility to right this wrong.

    Best of luck Howard in next Wednesday’s South Stormont meeting.

  17. THANK YOU. The facts that OB was a failure have always been there. The latest census statistics has total population numbers and the declared first language spoken in the home by Canadians shown as either English or French or a language other than English or French. These actual numbers and percentages show that English is the primary language for the majority and Canada is in fact is multi-lingual. When we view these percentage figures in terms of one number out of a hundred it becomes easier to relate to and compare.
    In the four Western Provinces, the three Territories and Ontario eighty-four (84) Canadians out of a hundred (100) declared English as their primary language, fourteen (14) declared a language other than English or French and two (2) declared French.
    In all of Canada, excluding Quebec, eighty-four (84) out of a hundred Canadians declared English as their primary language, thirteen (13) declared a language other than English or French and three (3) declared French.
    In the province of Quebec, with one official language of French, eighty-two (82) citizens declared French as their primary language, eleven (11) declared English and seven (7) declared a language other than French or English.
    Quebec with a majority of their citizens declaring French as their primary language took a logical procedure and declared French as their One Official Language. The rest of Canada using similar logic for the majority should declare English as their One Official Language. Official Bilingualism by law has been a costly failed policy and if no longer in effect could save Canadian consumers and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

  18. Way to go Beth, Chris, Bryan, Jean-Serge!!!! So pleased that you were able to speak with James Moore and get the people’s message to him. Yes, official bilingualism is NOT working, but only causing segregation and discrimination.

    South stormont council will make history on Wednesday, Sept. 26th when they attempt to pass a law that will protect our rights and freedoms as was laid out in the charter. Best council I have seen in a long time!!!!! Standing up for the people, standing up for what is right……they listen and they get results!!! Thank you so much Bryan McGillis, Tammy Hart and team. I urge all supporters from near and far to come out next Wednesday to show your support for freedom of speech. It is never to late to join the majority.

    Keep up the good work everyone!

  19. I am glad to know that they see that forced bilingualism is not working and causing havoc.

    That’s why I am so proud of our country. Our government listens and cares about people.

    Actually, Quebec is the one who should be saying that they are bilingual.

    Look at the stats …

    Quebec has 40.2% of people who claim to be bilingual and even more in Montreal.

    It’s just that most refuse to speak or use English because of a false perception in which they think that their language is endangered. Like one language makes another disappear or something. If Inuits still speak their language within Canada, how can French be endangered? They also speak English.

    Time to end the pity party.

    If you speak in multuple languages in CANADA that”s GREAT.
    But,don’t override the use of languages to override the positions of employment with it. That’s what this is all about. The CIVIL SERVICE IS NOW OVERLOADED WITH LINGUISTIC FEATURES THAT NOONE CAN CAN GET ANY INFO EVEN WITH THEIR LANGUAGE.

  21. Thanks to bill 101 and forced language laws that tell you you are not allowed English language and English signs is totally bullying and racist to start with. Lots of taxpayers’ money spent on this instead of creating jobs. We pushed the big companies away and our friends from USA and Canada. They don’t like this language law. And Canada and USA believe in freedom. Nuff said

  22. Thank you Guys for Standing up for us again. Nothing is clear cut when it comes down to Equality and Fairness. But understanding when you have been let down many times like myself, it’s not about job quality or providing a language because we would have to offer all languages, as we are a multicultural area just not Quebec’s neighbour. So forced bilingualism is discrimination. Some really do understand how much this has affected me and others in job fairness and in quality of life. Someone will take notice because I do think Canadians live in the balance of humanity. Respectfuly, Cathy Jodoin. Language Fairness For All!

  23. Wow…just wanted to take a moment and thank all the hard working folks at: Language Fairness for All, Canadians for Language Fairness, Howard Galganov, Serge Brisson, Beth Trudeau, Hugo Shebbeare, Tammy Hart, Mayor McGillis, Cornwall Free News, Brian Lilley, the Sun News Network and Minister James Moore!!!

    It is about time for some Canadian common sense. Thank God, the Conservatives and Minister James Moore are finally admitting, what English Canadians have known for a long time. It’s time to talk about killing the sacred cow, called: Official Bilingualism (OB) Policies and Agendas.

    OB was foisted on Canadians, by the Liberal Party under P.E. Trudeau. The policies of OB have ensured and promoted the linguistic discrimination of the English majority of Canadians, over the last 42 years. OB policies and agendas have been a massive colossal failure, divisive, and an astronomically expensive boondoggle of all times.

    If you have to legislate a language into usage, it is already dead and irrelevant. That is a cold hard fact, that the French find to be a bitter pill to swallow but it is truth, nonetheless! The World has embraced English, as the universal language of business, trade and commerce. Throughout Canada and the World, French is obviously in decline. As Asian Countries, India, Spain and Italy embrace English, it’s (English) popularity will continue to soar throughout the Globe. As more and more Countries embrace English, as a second language, it’s Global domination is assured.

    In Canada, it makes little sense (fiscally or otherwise) to force the English majority to embrace French. Especially as it’s now clear that the French minority in Quebec, is erasing and eradicating all evidence of English language, rights, culture and history.

    Let’s put OB Policies/Agendas, to a National Referendum! Let the chips fall where they may;) After all, enough is enough and it’s time that the English indeed “Woke Up”!

  24. Nice going Beth. they all know it’s not working but their hands are tied, (because of the laws). If (unjust laws) can be put in they can be taken out; nothing is written in stone.

  25. Moore said “it is trial and error”. OK, the government now finally sees official bilingualism is not working, so correction is in order. When will the government take corrective action? How such a ridiculous policy made its way into the Constitution, in the first place, despite massive opposition of the Canadian people?

    This is my suggestion to you, Mr. Moore: tomorrow, introduce a bill similar to the Bloc’s, which demanded federal offices in Quebec to work in French-only. The Conservative bill, however, would add same leverage to English Canada as well – to work in English-only in federal institutions . That would be only fair. With one bill the Conservatives would kill two birds and please both solitudes.

    Let the Bloc’s wish come true, please :).

  26. I want to make sure that the last point I made to Moore is not missed. My comment was; if someone is applying for a job at the federal government which has been defined specifically as being bilingual, why are the applicants not required to be tested in BOTH languages?

    If you are going to ask for merit in language, I believe that it is the ONLY way that it should be done. To take for granted that your family name indicates that you are from one culture or another is actually discriminating towards the person being tested. In order to illiminate all aspect of discrimination, just simply give the test in both languages.

  27. This language testing issue is going on for years now, but nothing really changed when Public Service Commission pronounced bilingualism as a merit criteria for government jobs. However, nowhere in the OLA and its Regulations “merit” is defined. It’s solely an administrative edict by the Public Service Modernization Act, 2004. It’s is relatively easy to reverse, Mr. Moore. If there is will, there is way. Do you really have the will?

  28. Thanks Jean-Serge! You make an excellent point and one not overly discussed in this forum. Reading, writing and speaking testing should be done in a specific manner if bilingualism policies are to be followed in the first place.

    Testing should be fair, equitable and responsible. It shouldn’t be followed that if I can read, write and speak in one language then being tested by only speaking in another is adequate for this purpose.

    I think this is currently being done for both French and English testing though.

  29. I hope I made it clear that bilingualism as “merit” should be replaced by “asset”. It’s a minor tweak and could be done quickly.

  30. I have doubts about Mr. Moore’s sincerity. He was quick to assure Jean-Serge Brisson that all government language tests (English and French) are equal. However, he was not sure whether they were of equal difficulty. Hello…!

  31. Excuse my language but you people up there in Ontario are “freaking awesome”, and that includes the Cornwall Free News staff.
    Great pic of Beth, Chris, Bryan and Jean-Serge BTY!

  32. To clarify for some ” Canada has 2 official languages” That does not mean people have to speak both. It means the government will provide services in 2 languages. There is nothing wrong with splitting some departments into two parts … an English section and a French section. Bilingual services are thereby maintained.
    It is a very simple solution to bilingual services. That way a uni lingual English or French person can work for the government in most departments. It truly is that simple. This way those that cant speak both languages with high level of proficiency are not denied a career working for our Country.( only about 10% {stats Canada} are bilingual). Can you imagine denying the best doctors and nurses jobs at hospitals because they are not bilingual. Too late , already happening in Ontario. Absolute stupidity.

  33. Patrick, you said no one is being forced then you mention Russell Township (and 3 others) where business owners ARE being forced over language. Being forced to learn another language is not “courtesy” or “returning the favour”!
    Also, why do we need to protect the French language as you say? Providing some bilingual service is the country’s role; maintaining the language is up to the parents.

    A Comment said New Brunswick has an automatic review process of 10 years. Too bad the Official Languages Act and Ontario’s French Language Services Act does not. Federally, they are trying to just add on, evolution I think is the wording from Mrs Chaput…..

  34. Congratulations all around to Jean-Serge, Beth, Chris and Don.
    The gauntlet has been thrown and those in power can finally get a feel for the pulse of English speakers.
    This meeting was long overdue as the reluctance to even address this issue has prevailed over all previous attempts to bring a bright light onto this expensive affirmative job action program.
    To elevate a linguistic minority over the majority language speakers is not only impractical but the ensuing discrimination has created stresses on fully capable job applicants seeking meaningful employment.
    The underlying frustrations and stresses on families is the reality never mentioned. With so many English speaking Canadians lives disrupted over the last 4 decades it is time to realize that their concerns are relevant and pressing if we, as a nation, are to continue as a unified entity moving forward.
    One country, one language…save billions

  35. ‘To force someone to speak a language that is NOT their own is as much an attack on our Freedom of Speech right as not being able to use our own language is an attack on Freedom of Speech.’ Quote from Beth Trudeau.

    So why is it appropriate to force francophones to speak a language which is NOT THEIR OWN? Do francophones not qualify as ‘someone’? Are we cattle? Without bilingual government services, francophones are welcome to die in hospitals in English, because nobody needs to understand them?

  36. Howard Galganov left Quebec because the English community there did not support his extreme views. I come from that community. He ‘took the 401’ but, unfortunately, exited at Lancaster instead of Mississauga as most others did. He tested his views locally in 2008 running against Conservative MP Guy Lauzon. The incumbent garnered 25,846 votes or 57 percent of the total cast.
    Galganov received 2,581 votes. The people of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry had spoken after hearing his opinion. Howard, it’s time to get back on the 401 again… Mississauga and Oakville are calling your name!

  37. Thank you for making this point, Mr. Gerry Flaherty. I am indeed grateful, as what you have said about Howard Galganov is what I already seemed to know about him.

    However, no, Howie should really go yet somewhere else. We, in the Greater Toronto Area, do not want him either… 😀 😀 😀

  38. Official Bilingualism is dead. Take that Ottawa and say it is so, in the house. Just because people believe in this DOES NOT PRECLUDE A SENSE OF BIGOTRY, BIAS, ALIENATION OR ANY OTHER STUPID EXCUSE TO BEDEVIL THE THOUGHTS.

    It should be removed from the Constitution and declared that English and French are the mainstay languages of choice of all Canadians. Period. No more forced language requirements. All languages should be voluntary by choice only. Yes, even for government jobs. Recommendations to immigration should sill be a requirement inable for them to become Canadian citizens as it has been up to now. If they speak both fluently, good for them.

    People are not stupid. If they are to communicate appropriately in this country then it is up to them to decide which will get them citizenship, jobs and benefits.

    Canada must also continue to ‘share’ and follow up from province to province, especially with welfare and health duplications on reserves as well as with immigrants double and triple dipping.
    Heard a story once of a woman with 5 kids and 4 fathers collecting through St. Regis with Quebec and Akwasasne with Ontario, full welfare plus baby bonus, no child support all health benefits and working in Ontario. What a sham if it was true. A mockery of justice at the least.

  39. Gerry…..KUDOS!!! Imagine the radical activist is put on a pedestal by this group. He is their fearless leader……go figure. I knew galganov went down in a resounding defeat but wasn’t aware of the exact number..thank-you for sharing.

  40. Yes finally the Federal Government is listening to its people.
    LFA wants representation by population ,perhaps our government can hire fairly.Unfortunately it takes a push to bring “fairness” to the equation.

    Great article Don & thanks Language Fairness for ALL for standing up for others .

    Thanks, Beth of Canadians for Language Fairness for your continued support.
    Thanks, Mayor Bryan McGillis for making a stand for your constituents.

    Thanks, Jean-Serge Brisson for standing up for your principles and making a stand in Russell with Howard Galganov -Government should never have the rights to tell a private company what they have to put on their signs .

    I have but one question …..where is the Standard Freeholder on this? You would think that some locals talking to a Minister with this portfolio would interest the local newspaper!

  41. What the heck does howard galganov have to do with this ? The man was thrown out ( not officially) of Hudson Québec. He’s a man that likes to start trouble. I agree gerry, keep driving howard, this place is not for you ?
    I can’t wait to see how Minister Kenney will try and get out of this one. A man that gave a crap and learned both official languages is smart. He’s like most conservative politicians, he tells people what they want to hear, then he does the opposite.

  42. You maybe right, Richard, that James Moore “he tells people what they want to hear, then he does the opposite”. He was suspected of that by many people with respect to bilingualism issue. Perhaps, his constituents in British Columbia should give him a second look.

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