EOHU Refuses to Comment on Forced Bilingual Protester Nurse Chris Cameron in Cornwall Ontario

CORNWALL Ontario – Nurse Christopher Cameron if anything is a very determined person.

 

He has been protesting in front of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit which allegedly only hires bilingual staff in spite of Ontario not being a bilingual province and the vast majority of the city being English speakers.

When I attended to interview Mr. Cameron I asked the EOHU to speak to Dr. Paul or anyone.   After twenty minutes wait I was told that nobody would be available and a statement would be emailed to me, which it wasn’t.

(Eric Duncan Photo: Facebook)

I also visited MPP Jim McDonell’s office next door to the EOHU.  The MPP was not present, but Eric Duncan, campaign Guru, Warden of the Counties, and Mayor of North Dundas was.  Sadly he hid behind the walk in cooler in the back room refusing to speak to me which was most bewildering…

Mr. Cameron did state that Eric brought him a hot dog while they had their office opening the day before.

One of the most frustrating things that Mr. Cameron and his supporters have expressed is that not one of the three main parties or candidates have publicly supported his cause.  He stated that in Ontario it’s not against the law to discriminate against language.

Many of the staff at the EOHU speak with very thick and sometimes hard to understand French accents.  As well many of those working in Cornwall have Quebec license plates on their cars.   Is there are shortage of health care staff in Ontario that we have to reach out to our neighbors in Quebec?

Mr. Cameron’s wife, Deborah, after having difficulty in gaining promotion locally, now has advanced to a management position working at an upstate NY hospital.

Should Hospitals In Ontario Only hire BILINGUAL Staff?

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While nobody is suggesting that service not be offered in French at hospitals in Ontario does it have to be at the expense of long term non bilingual staff?   Do all staff have to pass high level proficiency testing or is the basic ability to communicate enough?

And the irony is if it’s so important to force nurses or staff to be bilingual why not Doctors?  Surely if it’s not urgent enough for Doctors to be bilingual it’s a bit farcical to force it on morgue attendants?

What do you think CFN viewers?  You can post your comments below.

78 comments

  1. In wartime throughout the ages, medical people have treated the wounded of foreign tongues without a problem. Why would
    Cornwall be any different?

  2. I really enjoy reading a want ad for a nurse that says certificate in CPR is an asset. This group has 192 full time and 160 volunteers, surely they all do not need to have good communication in both languages! What is going on when a morgue attendant needs more than one language, is the client not on the Ouija board of directors at that point?

  3. Is this mandatory bilingualism limited to the Cornwall hospital and the EOHU? Would a nurse need to be bilingual to work at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital or Brockville General? My opinion is that people are generally complacent and don’t feel inclined to rock the boat for issues that don’t touch them personally. It’s unfortunate for Mr. Cameron and others in his situation because this issue has employment consequences but politicians aren’t interested in fairness or commonsense anymore (if they ever were?), just votes and popular support. If they rally to Mr. Cameron’s cause even though it’s “right” by measure of commonsense, they could lose votes from francophones who are comfortable with the way things are. There are obviously not enough anglo constituents making enough noise about this for anyone to take up the cause at a party level. If you are mayor of Cornwall Jamie, what could you do to help Mr. Cameron?

  4. I lost my Crown Corp job 35 years ago and was replaced by a Francophone, for no other reason than I am English.
    I can sympathise and empathise, and know what is going on just as Chris Cameron does. Wake up Anglophones, do not be afraid to be unilingual English and stand up for your right to work regardless of language. Wake up because you could be next.

  5. In response to Greg Reynold yes come to Ottawa and look at the job boards in the hospitals and you will see that bilingualism is a “must have” and if you are not bilingual forget about it. Our own doctor speaks at least 3 languages fluently and Jesuit educated and his own secretary who is not fully bilingual but gets by said the same thing that “you have to be fully bilingual to work in the hospitals here in Ottawa and a lot of Ontario” or forget about getting in anywhere. A lady that we know who is from Mexico and used to be a dentist in her country speaks French as well as her husband who is an economist with the Canadian government and has her young daughter learning French in a French school in Gatineau and loves it very much. The Latin languages help to know French since French is Latin but Canadian French is “Pig Latin”.

  6. Hey all you people out there that do not speak the government sanctioned language .Continue to watch your children and grandchildren and perhaps yourself leave to greener pastures where language is not used as a discriminatory tool.
    Are you willing to let your rights be so readily taken from you?
    Do you consider yourself a second class citizen in your area because merit is second to language .
    There are many of you out there and those political leaders need to hear your voice on this discrimination.
    Don’t let others speak for you ,these are YOUR RIGHTS let it be known that the government will not take your right to equality away ….you are the majority stand proud for your rights!
    Thanks Chris for standing up against discrimination!
    The question is will others stand up for their rights or are they willing to watch what they have left erode further ? stand or stand down it is your choice people!

  7. So Jules you said this: “In response to Greg Reynold yes come to Ottawa and look at the job boards in the hospitals and you will see that bilingualism is a “must have” and if you are not bilingual forget about it.”

    That statement simply reinforces that discrimination by language is practiced there as well considering 14% of Ottawa is francophone.why exclude the majority from the hiring practices based on language ..how about colour ,race, religion next is that good for you too?
    It remains discrimination based on language enforced by government !

  8. Dear Sir,
    The only country in the whole ride world that discriminates against the number one language of the world. It is worse than living under a dictatorship. Who would have thought “Bilingual today and French Tomorrow” written by J.V.Andrews 40 years ago is coming true. Trudeau and his cohorts knew it would.For that comment I am considered a racist and a bigot.
    My Grandparents came here because it was an English speaking country -they and my parents would turn over in their graves if they saw what has happened to the land they loved. It upsets me greatly and I am happy I do not hear that unattractive language from one year to a the next.
    Imagine a minority group taking over our country while being unable to govern their own province. Their culture has not control over their graft and corruption. It is their way of life.
    The French hate or language and British government but they haven’t the guts, intelligence or courage to leave us and run their own NATION.
    Dot Davies Fuhrman

  9. Highlander I speak fluent French, I write it and read it fluently and I had to in my day after all the ear pinching, hitting on the hands with a ruler and what not to learn the language. I had quite a punishment in my day which isn’t allowed today. As for religion this is on a shaky grounds things that I have read but will not disclose it and it is up to everyone to find out just what I have learned which is not good at all for any of us. I see many foreign lab technicians, nurses and doctors here in Ottawa more than our Canadians. This is something that I rarely ever saw in the past but they are taking over our professional jobs. I have experienced Russians, people from the former Yugoslavia, Islamic people, Mexicans, etc. etc. etc. taking over medical jobs and that includes lab technicians, nurses, doctors, etc. Our Canadian people complain about language where these people speak other languages and I have heard them myself as well as my daughter who goes every three to six months. I think that Chris Cameron can also vouch for some of that since he also works at the Civic Hospital here in Ottawa. Our Canada is no longer the same and people find fault over French when other tongues have taken over the most.

  10. Oh dang! The Anglo Freedom Fighters are back! I’m not sure, but I suspect that most of these warriors support conservative (libertarian) causes. Now is the perfect time to approach Tea-Party Tim Hudak and get him on side. No?
    We don’t need no stinkin’ French spoken in our hospitals!
    As the old APECKERS used to say…”If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for us!”
    *smile*

  11. Furts -I take it all you can contribute is sarcasm? Here and the freeholder -awe never a stat, info or relevant data .
    But then again you do this for giggles while the majority is discriminated .obviously you agree to discrimination -enough said to this bow hard .

    Jules stated “Our Canada is no longer the same and people find fault over French when other tongues have taken over the most.”

    But the government isn’t using those other languages as discrimination are they? By mandated it well beyond needs !

    It remains discrimination ,its fine to provide language services as representation by population but every provincial entity practices discrimination through language. .Government sanctioned discrimination .Merit is not even considered .I call a spade a spade I will not white wash it !

  12. Still pretty worked up eh, Dot? Last time I was in Kelowna a few years ago, I didn’t hear a single word of French spoken. There you are living in a pretty much French-free paradise, and you still have your panties in a knot because Canada has two official languages? Canada is worse than a dictatorship? Really? Usually, with age comes wisdom, but obviously there are exceptions.

  13. Not sarcastic at all Highlander. Well, maybe a bit.
    Fight on! Life ain’t easy in a bilingual dictatorship.

  14. Jules, it is VERY WRONG that “you have to be fully bilingual to work in the hospitals here in Ottawa and a lot of Ontario or forget about getting in anywhere”. Ottawa and Ontario and the entire country (except Quebec) are ENGLISH. The way the Ontario French Language Services Act was brought to Ontario requires investigation that could topple this questionable legislation.

  15. Thank you Chris Cameron! There is absolutely NO reason that every job needs to be bilingually designated and not just at the hospitals either. We have translators available and utilize them very effectively, for a great many languages. There is no reason why we couldn’t use their services for the French language, as well.

    For such a small minority it makes little sense to mandate ALL the jobs be bilingual. For that matter, this logic applies to many different jobs and fields in Canada. If there is a genuine need, then hire staff directly proportionate to that need. Not to mention, this is encouraging the hiring of citizens from outside OUR Province. This should not be allowed or encouraged, they should have to hire from within our Province…first and foremost!

    The overwhelming majority of citizens are English (Canada wide, outside of Quebec) and therefore it makes perfect sense that English language proficiency is absolutely mandatory. Likewise, in Quebec (especially since the massive exodus of the English over the years) it makes sense that French is the predominate language.

    Merit over minority language skills should be a no-brainier for everyone to understand. The currant policies of the Hospital and a great majority of jobs/fields in Canada, disenfranchise and discriminate against the English majority!!!

    The only reason that the French and their supporters aren’t complaining is because these practices actually unfairly benefit them, directly. The truth is that these discriminatory language policies are exploited, demanded and entrenched by the french, at the cost and expense of their English brethren.

    Merit, knowledge, skills, training and expertise trump minority language skills…any day of the week!

  16. Hugger its only the beginning ,this cant be put behind us only in front of us …am I to assume that you agree to language discrimination as you want the status quo by leaving it behind us?

    Hey segregation was legislated ,therefore legal but I guess those individuals should have put it behind them as well and not fight for equality !

  17. Highlander….I do not believe in language discrimination in any form. I don`t care what language they speak, as long as they do their job properly. I am just so tired of all this crap.

  18. To quote GardenGirl those darn “FRENCHIES”
    oOOPS i mean Montreal Canadiens sent cheap shot artist Chara to the sidelines winning game 7
    Now its those damn anglo New York Rangers next…lol
    Mr Furtz is right
    This is like the good/bad old days England VS France sorry i mean english vs quebec or whatever battles that used to rule here at CFN

    SF comment section
    gardengirl13 • 17 hours ago

    Cornwall must be just chock full of liberals judging by the posts. is it all the frenchies or what?

  19. Melman POINT OF CLARIFICATION – that is not the same person that writes under the name Garden girl on CFN.

  20. Hugger- “I am just so tired of all this crap.”
    Think of the majority who cant get employed for the same crap.

    Melman did you actually read and see the video? This is not English vs French as you describe it. Its the government against those who are not bilingual (the majority) where language requirements surpass merit in priority .

  21. Recently at the Cornwall Hospital my wife after realizing that all the publications in the waiting room were in french inquired at the main desk why nothing was available in english. The response in broken english was that it was hard to obtain english publications. Did that mean that a directive made it hard or a lack of english requisition forms…the individual would not elaborate other than to state that they might eventually obtain some english magazines in the future.

    The Winchester Hospital seems to have no problem having magazines available to taxpayers who support the hospital in french or english. Maybe the issue in Cornwall is not the administration but rather a distribution issue caused by our geographic location. Who knows ?

  22. Melman, what if the job ad said English or French only need not apply? Because that is what is happening at an increasing rate, removing opportunity for people to stay in their hometowns.

    Hugger 1, what if the job ad said English or French only need not apply? Because that is what is happening at an increasing rate, removing opportunity for people to stay in their hometowns.

    Furtz, the Ontario PC’s are French friendly, PC candidate Roxane is quoted saying that in Lapresse yesterday.

  23. Some food for thought re: nurses and bilingualism…

    I am a Registered Nurse, unilingual Anglophone, who has worked at the Ottawa General in the past. Bilingualism was not a requirement at that time. I don’t know that this policy has changed.

    In the past I have worked for two different community nursing agencies and have personally had hundreds of French speaking patients in the Alexandria-Hawksbury-Alfred-Plantagenet area. These communities consist mostly of people of French descent and whose first language is French. I have only had a handful of occasions where translation was needed and even less incidents where the patient or family was upset because there nurse could not speak French. There seemed to be a shortage of French or bilingual nurses that wanted to do community nursing in that area. Bottom line is that the French people in those areas, almost always could and were willing to speak English.

    The community agencies that I worked for were contracted by the CCAC (Community care Access Center). The nurses that work at the CCAC as case managers and spend well over the majority of there time in an office setting, are required to be bilingual, yet they do not do patient care. So…. I could work for an agency (Community nursing) where the pay is less, the hours fluctuate and I need a car to drive to each patients house, sometimes driving up to 300km’s per day, seeing patient’s whose first language is French but I was not “qualified” for a nice government job with the CCAC, in an office, with very little driving or patient contact required, where the pay is much better, and the hours are stable. Go figure…

    I presently work at the Cornwall Community Hospital, where as far as I can tell, by looking at current job descriptions, a functional level of oral French is considered an asset, not a requirement.

  24. Highlander agreed. But at this point in life I have no desire to put up with more language debates. As I’ve said before I don’t care what language they speak, as long as they do their jobs properly.

  25. Eric, if all the parties are “French friendly” maybe you should consider starting up a new party. You could call it the “French Unfriendly Party”.

  26. Certainly not with those initials Furtz!
    Today as before, speaking up for English only speakers seems to be wrong, guess it will be different as a minority.

    Trevor, there has been a push to sign on government entities, in exchange for guaranteed funding in law. Here is the current list, and looks like morgue attendant was removed. Perhaps you can verify if the name was changed, see # 92 http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_930398_e.htm

  27. Trevor as you can see from your experience its not merit that is considered mandatory isn’t it?

    Hugger you don’t have to participate but like you said” I’ve said before I don’t care what language they speak, as long as they do their jobs properly.”

    With mandatory bilingualism are these the best “QUALIFIED” People to do the job and why discriminate against the majority ?

    Hey you the majority are your rights not worth standing up for? or is second class your option? -stop language discrimination ask your politicians stand up for fairness.

  28. David when you go to most provincial offices in Cornwall and area there are ample French brochures yet not enough English …when prompted by people its stated there is no demand for French.

    Next time you go to the LCBO (which practices language discrimination as well) look at the brochures often they run out of their circulation in English but as always plenty of French copies for a reason there is NO DEMAND but like all provincial entities it doesn’t matter much like the hiring practices.

  29. Are there really a lot of cars with Quebec plates parked at the EOHU? It’s not the West Quebec Health Unit. Those jobs should be filled by locals who will spend their money in the Cornwall economy. Jamie maybe you should keep digging around. Who funds the EOHU? Who do they report to? I visited their website… there’s a fascinating video of handwashing on there as well as tons of links to the federal health site which makes me think of duplication of services. I encourage everyone to visit their website. Click around.

  30. Ok I deeply apologize..
    admin says:
    May 15, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Melman POINT OF CLARIFICATION – that is not the same person that writes under the name Garden girl on CFN.

  31. Greg Reynolds
    You and I send money to the provincial government, they spread it around a bit and give some to the Local Health Integration Network. That LHIN spreads it around as well and the real local LHIN’s like Champlain here in Easter Ontario.That LHIN spreads it around to various entities
    like the EOHU. They may all be doing good work, but it a lot of administration to pay for, and of course, they all have advisers to the advisers.

  32. Bravo, Chris!!! Your lonely vigil for the right of English-speakers in an English-majority province to work in the language of the majority shows your belief in what you’re standing for. The French-speaking minority should be ashamed that they don’t have a sense of fair-play (I understand that this is not an inherent trait with them) and that they don’t know when to stop. Pierre E. Trudeau pulled the wool over our eyes when he wrote into the language legislation that it will only apply “where numbers warrant”? Who can quarrel with that? By deliberately NOT defining what that phrase meant, he was able to force through a legislation that was open-ended and could be interpreted anyway the governing body wished. The French-dominated Liberal Party that was in power for most of the ensuing period after that legislation was entrenched in the 1982 Constitution made sure that “where numbers warrant” had NO meaning at all. It could be ignored at will and having no sense of fair-play the French just pushed it to the limit. Now most of our top level civil servants are French and as blood is thicker than water, they made sure that any chance they had to put a French-speaker in place, they did just that.

    Keep on fighting, Chris!!! We have only ourselves to depend upon and the truth will set us free!!!

    Kim

  33. This concerns me as I live in N.B. and we are going through the same language crap here. We have duality, One English hospital and one French hospital. French hospital has Francophone staff, they wouldn’t even hire a non- Francophone to clean their toilets. the push is on for the English hospital to hire even more bilingual nurses ( read French) If people are not willing to take a stand against this discrimination then they will find themselves and their children severely limited in their career and job opportunities. I respect people like Christopher and Debbie Cameron for standing up to the injustices of forced bilingualism. ( read forced Frenchification)

  34. The machinations of the late Pierre Trudeau and the French language zealots not withstanding, Canada, including Ontario is not bilingual. Outside of Quebec and part of New Brunswick the overwhelming number of Canadians work in English. Bilingual services are not necessary. There can be translation services available for French if really needed. Ontario is an English speaking province and that includes Cornwall. It is strange that Quebec can be unilingual French by law and yet demand that the rest of Canada be bilingual. English Canadians must stand up and say enough is enough. Providing Health services in hospitals is more important than placating a few ethnocentric language zealots. The nation and provinces can not afford the costs associated with bilingualism.

  35. Just a polite reminder to all to try and keep your comments short, focused, and not attack individuals. Please keep our comment section safe and pleasant as we are here to inform and entertain.

  36. This has gone mad, and leads to more discrimination, by those that have the upper hand. It is time to revisit the Official Language Act, and make it reasonable, or else , it will continue to divide the population.

  37. Eric, I couldn’t say if the title for morgue attendant has been changed or not as I haven’t heard anything about this. It may fall under one of the depts/categories listed in #92 of the link you provided.

    Highlander, If by merit you mean ones ability to do the job , then Yes, that would be the case with the Cornwall Branche of the CCAC and EOHU. No argument there. While I believe a certain quota of bilingual nurses is necessary, that quota would be very small

  38. Jessica: N.B has had duality of healthcare and other services how long now .

    Montfort was initially to be a French only institution ,but with Federal money (Defense Department)they now claim to be bilingual !

    We already have French schools here Not bilingual (French) only. This is just the start of Ontario in a number of years will be like N.B and have duality of systems.
    But of course it wont be just that 4% of Ontario Francophones that pay for it.
    I want my privileges but I want you to pay for it!

  39. I think we need to look into the funding more so than EOHU.

    In order to receive additional revenue from the French sector they must have a expected percentage of French services.

    That is the main drive behind all this

  40. Hailey: well in reality 4% of the population has 760,000,000 thrown at them to support one of the 200 cultures in this province .

    Our province could not afford 180 billion to lavish out to 200 cultures but its not really about culture its about JOBS and that minority of 4% getting 65% of the government jobs….including the LCBO .

    YES Eric one day Regular Ontarians will wake up and ask how did this come to happen ?why am I not allowed to work for my own government?

    People ask the political leaders to stop language discrimination …it will only get worse ask those in N.B. in that you will see our future coming .

  41. I was born a Francophone and it is my mother tongue however, it is no longer the language spoken at my dinner table. Marrying an Irishman can do that to you LOL

    So my advice to all of you who are distressed by the forced bilingualism is copy the practices of the successful Francophone population in Quebec. Our family is an 8th generation family living in the Ottawa Valley. My daughter right out of a masters of health administration from Ottawa University applied and won the CEO position in one of the senior homes in Quebec – Pontiac area where most are Anglophones. We celebrated that she would not be moving far from home! How thrilled we were !! The next day she received a phone call asking about the address she had on her CV and was told that since she did not live in Quebec, despite the fact her parents had been raised and educated in Quebec, they could not offer her the job as only residents of Quebec could be successful candidates. How disappointing !! She then worked as a volunteer at the General here in Ottawa for the CEO as a project leader for some of their services. When a permanent position became available she inquired if he would support her application for the position. Being a French Immersion student she passed their language requirements well however he told her that he would contact some people in Toronto to help her get a position there as despite knowing French she would not be
    “culturally appropriate”. In terms of a career path he told her that it would be best that she go to Toronto where there would be more opportunity than remaining in Ottawa.

    There you go folks … let your families be split up because you do not have the gonads to stand up for your rights. Keep paying the price … you, your children and your grandchildren !!

    Best you educate yourselves by googling “Canadians for Language Fairness” and see the information of their website. Now the francos are pushing Watson to make the city of Ottawa officially bilingual but local politicians will not admit that this is happening. Apparently to date Watson has stood firm against it but give my French brethren time and they will get what they want. Will you??? Not likely because you lack the concentration to get the job done.

  42. That’s a horrible story, Pauline. But not nearly as horrible as my cousin Iris’ experience a few years ago when she drove to Montreal to pick up some pizzas. It’s too long a story to repeat now, but believe me, the abuse and misery she suffered was awful.
    Fight on!

  43. Furtz, I am somewhat amazed that you would post that and fail to see how it shows how this subject is anything less than entertainment for you!

    Pauline Pilon, it is terrible that families are separated when doing all the right things we are told do(education, learn another language), and end like that.

    People need to look around and see how the Charter of rights and suggestions, funding to a minority group, Human Rights that do not include language,court decisions (7UP, Alberta speeding tickets)etc are changing the landscape. Provide some service in French yes, but let’s look at how much is really needed.

  44. Pauline I am sorry to hear now your family is separated because your daughter was not” culturally appropriate” A more polite term to describe “not pure laine FRENCH”.

    She may have the qualifications but she wasn’t the right colour ,race ,ethnicity (oops )type of person they were looking for…you see discrimination thrives in our public institutions and Pauline’s family is just one of many to experience it.

    Furtz -do you hear the deafening sound of the crickets in your direction? Nobody wishes to respond to an individual who only recourse in defense of discrimination is not relevant info but ALAWYS SARCASM AND INSULT TO OTHER POSTERS .I think it not possible with your type of character to actually be considerate of others …
    FIGHT ON FURTZ …THE CRICKETS ARE LISTENING

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