CFN – It was an historic and emotional night at South Stormont Ontario Council. After a near 20 minute presentation from language activist Howard Galganov council voted unanimously to pass a new by law that categorically states that in South Stormont Ontario businesses can put any language they wish on their signs.
Galganov recent battles in Russell Township Ontario where it is law requiring both English & French on signs triggered the “Push Back” the first ever in over 40 years of official bilingualism in Canada.
Mr. Galganov’s speech also targeted MP Guy Lauzon whom Mr. Galganov stated he spoke to urging the MP to attend and support the intiative,but Mr. Lauzon was said to have commented that it was “too controversial. Several in the crowd called for the MP’s resignation showing their anger at his lack of support for them and their community.
Howard’s UNEDITED speech
The crowd responds to Howard’s speech and Mayor Bryan McGillis and council vote.
Mr. Galgonov and council drew three standing ovations from the crowd of nearly 300 with a very loud roar after council voted.
It’s amazing how one letter to the editor by Dr. Dany Tombler of the Cornwall Community Hospital and the perseverance of Nurse Christopher Cameron and his tiny group’s protest over bilingual hiring practices at the hospital have galvanized support in Eastern Ontario; not against the French language or culture, but of the unfair policies that are seeing a migration of young people from their communities and a seemingly unfair hiring and promotion process skewed to those that speak or are French.
MPP Jim McDonell did not attend the event either, but did send his executive assistant. No representative of Cornwall City Council showed, but we did wave hello to City Clerk, Denise Labelle Gelinas on our way in. It’s amazing how many top wage earners from Cornwall Ontario’s government live outside the city limits?
The meeting in Long Sault Ontario drew media from as far away as Ottawa!
For tonight the residents and government of South Stormont basked in the glow of their historic accomplishment. It should be interesting to see the response locally and across Ontario and Canada.
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