30 January 2017
I have not circulated a message to the whole distribution list since January 14th when I circulated the message about English-language schools coming under attack in Ontario. I had circulated to smaller groups located in certain parts of the country as the issue of English-language schools may not be of a lot of interest to all parts of the country.
The error made by PM Justin Trudeau when he refused to reply to an English-speaker in English in Quebec was hot news right across the country from several media outlet, with a culminating piece from Prof. John Robson.
If you've missed those messages, please visit our web-site: www.languagefairness.ca & read the items missed.
For this message, I'd like to pay special tribute to an old friend & ally, Howard Galganov. Howard began his fight for the rights of English-speakers in Quebec at least 20 years ago. He was the only Quebecer who had the guts to take his battle to the public arena - arranging demonstrations against the French language zealots when that province passed laws against English speakers, making it legal to discriminate against people who wanted to live in English. I won't rehash those struggles except to say that he lived under constant threats from those zealots. Quebec had witnessed the violence of the FLQ & people were instinctively afraid of facing that kind of violence & didn't give Howard the kind of support he needed. Rather than stay & fight, about half a million people just left that province - it was much easier than living in a province where your linguistic freedom was limited, both from your municipal & provincial governments. Without adequate support, Howard's efforts failed & he left for Ontario in disgust. When he came to Ontario, he saw the same thing happening - the French-language activists were forcing French on the mainly English-speaking residents. At first, he didn't want to get involved. Finally, he couldn't take it anymore and, in collaboration with a Russell Township Francophone (Jean Serge Brisson), they challenged the Russell Township sign by-law which forced bilingual signs on businesses, whether they wanted it or not. For a detailed description of how the courts ruled against the basic concept of our Charter's Rights of Expression (Section 2b), please link to Howard Galganov's latest blog, "weekend Smorgasbord":
News from New Brunswick
New Brunswick - the only province that has adopted Official Bilingualism - is fighting back, harder than ever. The 35% Acadians in NB had lived under the historical belief (taught to them by their leaders) that they had been badly treated by their English conquerors when they were deported to parts of the N. American continent that would take them (mainly Florida). The fact is that the British gave them a choice - they could stay in the area as loyal citizens or go back to France or anywhere they chose. What they could not do was stay as hostiles behind the British line of defence & attack them from behind.
An article in the Ottawa Citizen on the closing of English schools:
gave the opportunity for a refresher course in early Canadian history. Otto van wrote:
After the British Siege of Port Royal in 1710, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht allowed the Acadians to keep their lands. Over the next 45 years (!), however, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain. During the same period, they also participated in various military operations against the British, and maintained supply lines to the French fortresses of Louisbourg and Fort Beauséjour. As a result, the British sought to eliminate any future military threat posed by the Acadians and to permanently cut the supply lines they provided to Louisbourg by removing them from the area.
After the conflict, those who wanted to come back were allowed back in so where's the beef?
NB has also had its share of the French Immersion experiment gone bad.
National Research Council Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children
"The accumulated wisdom of research in the field of bilingualism and literacy tends to converge on the conclusion that initial literacy instruction in a second language can be successful, that it carries with it a higher risk of reading problems and of lower ultimate literacy attainment than initial literacy instruction in a first language, and that this risk may compound the risks associated with poverty, low levels of parental education , poor schooling, and other such factors." (p. 234)
Northrop Frye - The Educated Imagination "Whenever illiteracy is a problem,
"It's as fundamental a problem as getting enough to eat or a place to sleep. The native language takes precedence over every other subject of study: nothing else can compare with it in usefulness." (p. 1)
Second Language Literacy Instruction - A Position Statement of the International Reading Association
"Literacy learning is easiest when schools provide initial literacy instruction in a child's home language. Such instruction is consistent with building on children's strengths and with connecting unfamiliar material to the familiar to maximize learning efficiency."
UNESCO Education in a Multilingual World Education Position Paper
"Speakers are often at a considerable disadvantage in receiving instruction in a foreign official language. The expert view is that mother tongue instruction should cover both the teaching of and the teaching through this language."(p. 14)
Nadine Dutcher - The Use of First and Second Languages in Primary Education: Selected Case Studies.
"There is not one universal best answer to the language problems of multi-lingual countries. The key here is to sustain and to nurture youngster's linguistic and cognitive development while teaching the second language and gradually introducing content materials in the second language, without abandoning the language arts or the content material taught in the mother tongue."
Schools Teach - Parents & Communities Support Review of the New Brunswick Education System - Elana Scraba
"New Brunswick has a large percentage of students in French Immersion; consequently, one could expect proportionately large numbers of students in the top performing group. Not so. The PISA data suggest that the French Immersion Programme is not preparing New Brunswick's students of the complex contemporary world. This study concludes that there are complex systemic issues needing attention in the New Brunswick education." (p. 3,5)
Grade 9 English Language Proficiency Asessment:
Writing 2014 2.9% Strong Achievement
For more information, please contact Claire: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message from Mike Booth of the PANB Party:
From: Michael Booth [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: January 26, 2017 6:19 PM
Hi Kim, I am reading your correspondence with Vic and it's interesting. He was partially right, they are trained to speak French first and to promote the use of French in conversation with customers or any way they can. However the training did not come from NB Liquor. This training starts in grade one and is carried on all through school. Sometimes it's brash and other times subtle depending on the circumstance and need. This type of social engineering goes on in many places in the world especially where minorities try to insert themselves and their culture against a mainstream culture. Often it gets nasty. Rwanda was a great example.
On another note the People's Alliance Party of NB is, at this moment, studying and researching crowd funding and we hope to go national with it. Our goal is to raise enough money to take the party to the next level by hiring a full time Campaign Manager to oversee all aspects of the growth of the party, a full time researcher, secretary and IT expert to manage our web site and more.
All of these professionals will be paid a full time salary and have their expenses to meetings etc. covered just like the mainstream parties. There is just too much involved for a volunteer board to carry a political party and campaign on a daily basis. Most of our volunteers have their own jobs and businesses to run and we realize we must take the next step. Our goal is to raise 500,000 or better and I we hope to have this ready to go by March 1st. I will keep you informed.
News from Ottawa
I attended the 125th Robbie Burns' Supper on Saurday (Jan/28th) at the St. Elias Banquet Centre. What a delightful evening it was - the bagpipes were swirling & the dancers were jigging & reeling to the lively music, showing that the Scottish culture is as vibrant as ever. The haggis was piped in the traditional way & the attendees were treated to some well-known Scottish music. My personal favourite was, "Mary's Wedding". If you're interested to see some pictures & some of the music captured by friends at the event, contact me & I'll be pleased to share.
One last thing before I go. We sent an ATI request to the Treasury Board of Canada to locate the 250 Federal offices which were (under the Conservatives) to lose their bilingual status. The Liberal govt. want a moratorium on that initiative to reverse it, presumably. Anyone interested to know more details, please contact me.
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