02 December 2017
CLF's Christmas Lunch will be a little different this year. We've decided that it's time to get the language issue into the political arena by asking the political parties where they stand. We know where they stand at the Federal level because, like it or not, the 1982 Constitution was designed by P.E. Trudeau to empower the Francophones. The courts have to interpret the Constitution so any challenge to the Official Languages Act have been futile & the only party we could depend on for a voice have gone silent.
However, we also know that the language issue is a purely provincial mandate & each province decides how much or how little they will allow the minority language to be given exposure & support. Quebec has decided that French is to be dominant in every way & that the 9% (?) English-speakers do not need any protection. The Quebecois are so paranoid about the need for French to dominate that they've even decided that store clerks do not need to greet their customers in English at all:
New Brunswick foolishly allowed itself to be intimidated by its 30+% Acadians to accept Official Bilingual status & now "Duality" is the policy they have devised where French institutions remain French & English institutions must be bilingual. N.B. is fighting back in the only way it can - by voting into power the Alliance Party of N.B. led by Kris Austin. On that they will get our support.
Ontario is where our focus lies because this is where the 4% French-speakers are concentrating on their push westward. We have to stop the province of Ontario from being declared Officially Bilingual - that is what the French activists are working for. The French Languages Services Act (passed in 1986 & given further extension of power in 2012) mandated French-language services to municipalities where 10% or 5000 of its residents speak French. There are 25 such designated municipalities.
We know that the Federal Official Languages Office would like to lower the percentage to 5% but have left this decision to the province. That is why Ontario decided to change the census definition from "mother-tongue" to "anyone who speaks French", bringing us ever closer to more mandated French-language services right across the province. The "revised" proportion in the 2016 census is 4.48%
Whether the 5% designation is ever imposed will depend on the provincial parties. The provincial Liberals will support such a move because they are very much controlled by the powerful French lobby. We're unsure of where the Progressive Conservatives under Patrick Brown stand but they've shown NO interest in our concerns. What about the smaller parties like the Trillium Party under the leadership of Jack MacLaren, or the Libertarians or even the Alliance Party of Ontario?
In an effort to find out & to give exposure to these smaller parties, we've invited representatives to the Christmas lunch to answer some questions. The Trillium Party will be represented by their leader, Jack MacLaren; the Libertarians will be represented by Jean-Serge Brisson & the Alliance Party of Ontario will be represented by Jay Tysk.
We invite you to submit questions - you can direct your question to all three representatives or just to one - your choice. Confine your question/s to your concerns about Language in their portfolio. Questions must be sent in by next Friday (Dec/8th) so that they can be coordinated & forwarded to the reps for them to prepare their responses.
Let us know if you plan on coming as we have to know how many pizzas to order. We will be placing the food order on Wednesday, Dec/13th so please contact, Beth, Kim or Barry. We will be holding auctions on some collectibles so if you have something to donate, please let us know
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