31 March 2014
Prime Minister of Canada
Sir, the language laws and Charter of Rights and Freedoms put in place since the P.E. Trudeau era and other laws provincially and municipally, are having a negative effect on everyday life to the majority. Although isolated cases are being seen more often, not being able to speak English in a Quebec store break room, forcing bylaws on Ontario (or Dieppe NB) businesses to put up dual language signage when most did anyway, migration patterns due to language, separate schools and French only (not bilingual) health care facilities, and more and more demands for bilingual staffing while bilingual numbers outside of Quebec are stagnant, is expensive and divisive.
I believe the majority of Canadians have been very respective of the rights of others, to the point of not getting jobs because of a failure or inability to learn another language. Outside of Quebec, we see provinces and territories with under 5% Francophone and the majority of those can also speak English very well. One such individual has gone to the Supreme Court (with help from the Commissioner of Official Languages) because an Air Canada Air Attendant did not serve a 7up to him speaking French. A bilingual male in Alberta fights through the courts because his speeding ticket was not bilingual, how respective is that?
Far too often, we only see ways to make our lives more French and also far too often, we see no actual needs assessment presented in, and produced in, an unbiased way. Could these billions of dollars and thousands of employees at each level of government, not be better used in helping all seniors, all children, all Canadians? Many voters do! Most voters I assume understand a level of services in a minority language is a good thing, however, when do we reach the proper level without a measuring stick? How can we use technology to allow that approximate level of service requested? Each side of the equation has a different formula of evaluating and that energy should be harnessed and evaluated.
Mr. Harper, I understand an election nears, “and an election is no time to talk about issues” so what do English speaking Canadians (still the majority) need to do for the government to have this debate? A debate on fairness that includes numbers and specifics to provide a level of service, yes, but one that does not involve changing goal line locations every time a new goal is reached, which happens regularly with our courts. (Yukon Court ordered a 15 million dollar school built for 41 French high school students in 2011). It is time to stop justifying and explaining away our rights.
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