Letter to the Editor – Cory Cameron asks if Bilingual Nurses are Necessary? Southern US numbers.

I have been a regular contributor for the last half year now, writing ‘Letters to the Editor’ to various Cornwall media on the Language Debate that seems to have anchored itself within the City of Cornwall; especially in regards to government hiring practices.  There are those of us who have outlined and made aware to the public at large how Canada’s laws such as the French Language Services Act (FLSA) and Official Languages Act (OLA), have allowed for a hiring atmosphere that greatly favours a minority French speaking populace to the detriment of all other applicants.


As a Board member and supporter of Cornwall’s Language Fairness for All (LFA) Group, I have taken part in protests around the city and sought to bring about public awareness to unfair government hiring policies.  Some of my ‘Letters to the Editor’ have generated tens to hundreds of responses from both supporters of equality in hiring policies to those who currently embrace the status quo.  It is the latter reason for which I have embarked on this project and decided to write this piece.  I have tasked myself with answering the following:  Can any legitimacy be generated by the hiring of a 100% bilingual Nurse force?


We have seen over these past few months an increase in Language tensions and Human Rights Issues within not only the locale of Cornwall, but outside the greater outlying areas as well including Russel Township and South Stormont.  Outside of the Province of Ontario, there have also been protests in Moncton, New Brunswick and most recently in Montreal Quebec on the eve of the latest Parti Quebecois victory.


I wanted to take the time and effort with this submission to try and examine the issue from another angle.  I wanted to instead focus this issue of language fairness in regards to hiring not on the CCH or the Montfort (which most of us have already written and commented on) but on hospitals located within the territory of our Southern neighbours, the United States.  Because of the nursing protests in Cornwall, I tasked myself in examining this issue in the hiring of full-time nurses to the exclusion of all other government civil servants for use as a comparison.  As part of the research of this project, I chose to contact representatives of hospitals in the three states of New Mexico, California and Texas, incidentally, continental states with the three largest percentages of Spanish-speaking people.  For the benefit of the readers of this article, the state of New Mexico has a Spanish-speaking population of 823,352 or 43.27% of the total percentage population of that state, California has a Spanish-speaking population of 12,442,626 or 34.72% of the total percentage population of that particular state and Texas has a Spanish-speaking population of 7,781,211 or 34.63% of the total percentage population of that state. (Taken from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_language_in_the_United_States


I contacted representatives from hospitals including UNM (University New Mexico) Hospitals Human Resources and Nurse Recruiting Departments of Albuquerque, New Mexico, UC San Diego Health System, La Jolla and Hillcrest Human Resources and Nurse Recruiting Departments as well as Texas Children’s Hospital Human Resources and Nurse Recruiting Departments.  All representatives indicated to me that in no uncertain terms does the lack of knowledge of a language, ANY Language, prohibit the choosing of a successful candidate.

A cursory examination of the ‘Careers’ section of the above hospital’s websites gives us a few clues as to how the issue of language is worked out within these institutions and how the Spanish speaking people are serviced.  For instance, the UNM website has a very efficient and detailed section on their website,http://hospitals.unm.edu/language/ that provides information on Spanish language interpretation services available to those who have little to no understanding of the English language.  (In other words, because of this service, there is no need to have a 100% bilingual staff rate – especially in regards to nurses.  Of the three hospitals listed above, not a single nursing job (either full or part time) listed online within their institutions as of Tuesday October 16, 2012, required the knowledge of the Spanish Language as a requirement for ANY of their nursing positions.


So, we need to ask ourselves, why is it that our hospitals insist upon demanding that in order to work as a nurse full-time, you need to be proficient in French – let alone advanced French?  The sky doesn’t seem to be falling on our Southern neighbours with their nursing employment policies…


Something doesn’t quite add up here.


And I haven’t even tackled the issue of other civil service jobs yet in regards to language.  The key word being yet.

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  1. By the way, my apologies to CORY Cameron as HE, not Chris was the intent of my suggestion that he run for provincial or even federal MPP/MP member with the primary intent of fairness for language disparity between the french and the English.

    Particularly, Ontario needs to repeal Bill 17 that we were conned on. My take is that once Ontario wakes up to require English as our parliamentary spoken and written language only all other 8 provinces and territories will eventually follow suit.

    Again WHERE NUMBERS WARRANT is important between the two officiaal languages. It should be noted that the third largest language groups of Chinese and the Philopeans most already speak English and most can work in the language as well…some better than we English as well.

  2. You know, a fourth party could end up being the KING maker that would bring the change we need in government to bring common sense to this whole language chaos con game fiasco.

    We’ve been taken to the cleaners by the french and it is high time an English backlash got some teeth to it.

    French, perhaps but English predomenant and NOT at the expense of jobs….anywhere.

  3. Actually, the French language does require capitalization of geographical places (rue Molière, l’océan Pacifique, el pais France) and nationalities (Canadien, Français), but not when you use it as adjective or when talking about the language, e.g. la culture française (adj.), le français (French language).

  4. Merci le Canadien

  5. Thanks Dukers1!

    Wow, what a compliment! I am thinking about going this route. I find it shocking, abhorrent to say the least that in order to try and bring some language fairness to the table, we need the likes of, and the efforts of, dozens of willing participants to speak and be heard at council meetings and protests at organizations.

    This situation speaks volumes, doesn’t it. To me, I have to question the logic of several power brokers in our Parliamentary Democracy as to their intentions. How is it for instance, that the NDP have tried to institute a private members bill only allowing bilingual people to serve in our elected legislature? I think this statement sends a very,very clear message to our voting public.

    “You can vote, but only for the best possible French candidate.”

    What the hell is happening in our country? I can say, with absolute certainty, that this type of discrimination lacks in socialist Cuba. Keep in mind that Cuba is one of the country’s whom the United States has classified as, “State Sponsors of Terrorism”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Sponsors_of_Terrorism

    Well, if they are, at the very least they may terrorize other countries and not their own populace!!!!!!!!!!! I wonder if we can say the same thing in Canada?

    No, I don’t believe that American propaganda one bit. I’ve visited Cuba twice and found nothing but friendly outgoing people. Not just the people as well but government/community leaders too.

  6. Cory, I see Chris in the mix two. I am not that familiar with family connections but if you are related please confirm for the rest of us who by now should have known which is which.
    I know that my wifes name as well as mine both start eith D. so we too when addressed in mail to D. … have to double take to be sure which of us is refeenced.
    Mute point to some but, hey, if only one runs we need to be sure aye……..


  7. Chris Cameron in my brother and is the nurse who started protesting at the CCH. I have written various letters to the editor on this language issue. Chris is President of Language Fairness for All and I am a board member. You can see what I look like from the picture of the protest that took place at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. I am the one wearing the red shirt. Chris is in nurse scrubs.

    In the near future I may run for office. As of recent I talked to my wife about it and were still debating the issue.

    Whatever happens to either Chris or myself, we will both fight the good fight and stand up for Language Fairness for All and fair hiring practices. Some nasty things have been said about us. We have been compared to the Castro brothers; we have been called the captains/generals of King Galganov and Queen Trudeau. You name it, we have faced it. Some of our members of LFA have even had their lives threatened.

    But we will soldier on….no matter what the cost. As-a-matter-of-fact, I have told people that if I didn’t do anything about this subject I couldn’t see myself being able to look my nieces and nephews in the eyes later on in life. I owe them that much. I owe the next generation a chance at a better life and I will not settle, nor stand for the current caste system we have here in Canada.

    All the same, if I didn’t do anything about this so-called bilingual situation, I couldn’t live with myself – I know it is wrong and it would probably kill me if I sat back and let the likes of ethnocentrists/racists kill the Canadian idea.

  8. Cory ,

    ” I owe the next generation a chance at a better life and I will not settle, nor stand for the current caste system we have here in Canada.”

    We all owe this to the next generation, patriotism in Canada is lost,I feel patriotic and will fight to have my Canada back including the Canadian flag back in the Quebec legislature.

  9. I will be sending out in the next week or so a total of 3 additional letters to various international governments asking for thier input on this unique Canadian phenomenon. (Human Rights Issue)

    I prepared these letters a few months ago; waiting for how this language problem would be handled by our provincial and federal governments.

    I believe the time has come to send out these letters to the government’s respective leaders.

    Why do I advise CFN readers of what I do? I am not looking for attention and nor am I a showboater as well. I do it because I want to show the utmost transparency on how I think, feel about this subject. Nothing less would be to dishonor my fellow Canadians and would invite a sense of, ‘what are they doing behind closed doors attitude’ that some may try to take advantage of. I simply cannot stomach this type of behaviour and will do everything within my power to show the utmost sincere, honourable approach.

    Heather, if you’re reading this, all I can say is that you did the right thing and have the support of LFA and it’s supporters. We are proud of you to say the least.

    With Sincerest Regards,


  10. Heather and others reading this,

    A few weeks ago we had one of these status quo Language supporters tells us that she had one of her French friends lose out on a job to an English person. We were so upset about this particular language case that several of us here offered our services to try and get this person their job back.

    Only to have this blogger turn around and tell us that the whole thing was made up, that in fact she was just trying to prove a point. So imagine this, that this person ‘cried wolf’ as it is and sought out our empathy; only to turn around and tell us it was a hypothetical situation and not to fret about it.

    Jamie offered his services to bring the story to light; and several members of Language Fairness for All (LFA) offered to protest against this obvious injustice. All of this to say Heather and other readers that you don’t know to what extent some of these people will go to try and manipulate us.


  11. What do you mean by, “the NDP have tried to institute a private members bill only allowing bilingual people to serve in our elected legislature”. Do you mean MPs would be required to be bilingual?

  12. I was just wondering, if I were chinese(example only) and I could NOT speak either english or quebec french, would the hospital find an interpreter for me? Who would pay for the interpreter? Would they refuse me like the french only clinic?
    I wonder.
    Have a nice day.

  13. bigfellow November 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Good point ,but the hospitals do not provide interpretation services for the other 200 languages.

    In the united states most hospitals have iinterpretors ,either through interpreter services ,but most hospitals consider the laguage needs of the community and consider All languages an asset and hire with language diversity in mind.

    To better serve the community ALL languages should be considered an asset,Cornwall has 13000 Mohawks who use the hospital -keep in mind same as francophones yet what services for language are available to them?

    All languages should be an asset to better serve the community for mandating one language neglects all the others.

  14. Yes, I agree, highlander,but you brought up a very serious question, If the Mohawks were one of the first, here, is there not a qualified bilingual Mohawk nurse employed in this hospital? If not, There is a certain english word that shows how serious as to the urgency of employing a certain language.
    Have a nice day

  15. @bigfellow RE: November 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm POST
    Bigfellow asked, “if I were chinese(example only) and I could NOT speak either english or quebec french, would the hospital find an interpreter for me? Who would pay for the interpreter? Would they refuse me like the french only clinic?”

    Not to worry Bigfellow, it’s only the French clinics that refuse people based on language. Canada and the English do everything possible to accommodate EVERYONE. Heck, just look at what we are doing for the French and the “province” of Quebec 🙂

  16. edudyorlik
    November 19, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Not to worry Bigfellow, it’s only the French clinics that refuse people based on language. `

    Yup payed for the taxpayer yet those 80% in Cornwall can not use it for just one reason -Language!

    If that`s not discrimination tell me what is!!!

  17. Good morning Timmins followers,

    For those of you who I have spoken to over these last few weeks about the ongoing language right’s battles unfolding before our very eyes, I would like to make you aware of some articles here on CFN and abroad.

    A simple search of the following here on CFN of Cory Cameron, Eric Little, Language Fairness for All, Howard Galganov, South Stormont and South Glengarry will give you a plethora of material in which to understand what we are dealing with.

    Cory Cameron
    Board Member Language Fairness for All (LFA)

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