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End the unfairness of official bilingualism. Stop wasting our tax dollars.

20 March 2017

Several Items Of Concern

March 20, 2017

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we had lunch for a very enthusiastic group of people who came all the way from Sherbrooke & Coaticook, Quebec & Pembroke, Ontario.  It was a lovely sunny day, Irish music filled the hall & Ron Barr of the Ontario's Truckers' Asso. kept the fun going with his special brand of humour.  Our 1st speaker, Liz Marshall, kept the group mesmerized with her detailed knowledge of how government works, or more accurately, how it does not work.  To know what she knows takes years of intense research & she has this amazing ability to remember details about different pieces of legislation that is mind-boggling.  Our 2nd speaker, Elsa Scheider, is a lecturer in Psychology, Sociology & the Humanities.  Her personal interest is studying human behaviour.  She was asked to comment on the success/failure of French Immersion & how the English-speaking majority has allowed the French-speaking minority to become so powerful.

Videos of the whole afternoon will be available soon - please ask for copies.

The current concern over the increasing attention being given to the growing threat of Islam & the Shariah Law being forced on Canadians has resulted in a Petition (e-909), initiated by MP James Bezan of Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman (Manitoba).

https://www.spencerfernando.com/2017/03/17/petition-sharia-law-spreading-across-canada/

To sign the petition:

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-909

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New Brunswick has about 35% Francophones but you'd never know it when you see the strength of their organizations - they are well-funded & they are supported by the courts.  In any legal challenge, they always win.  When the English-speaking majority tries to complain by writing to the media, they are shut down very quickly.  A link from a 2012 article from the CBC shows how strong & well-organized they are:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/newspapers-bilingualism-coverage-criticized-as-divisive-1.1244130

Link to that story & you can see how the Irvings are discouraged from allowing their newspapers to publish letters from English-speakers when they complain about how the minority French are getting all the jobs, far more than their proportion in their population would justify.  Worse than that, the policy of Duality (also known as Segregation) dictates that the 35% minority French are funded to the same extent as the 65% majority English-speakers.  Anyone with basic math skills can see that the result will be more funding per capita for the French.   This cannot be described as "equality"!!

To top it all off, these well-funded French organizations are cheeky enough to come to Ontario to help the 4% French speakers fight for the City of Ottawa to be made officially bilingual!!!  It is not enough that they chased out well-educated English-speaking citizens & businesses from NB, they want to come & do the same to Ottawa.  Read the article below & then, please (if you live in Ontario) help us push back this insidious attempt to intimidate our politicians!!  Politicians go where the votes are - silence from voters usually mean that you agree with the loud ones, the ones who are organized & have lots of tax-payer money behind them.  I have attached a letter at the end which you can send to the councillors to thank those who have said, "NO".  This is very important - this is the only way we can fight back!!

Kim McConnell

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http://www5.tfo.org/onfr/designation-bilingue-dottawa-appui-de-trois-groupes-acadiens/

OTTAWA - The list of supports for the bilingual designation of Ottawa is expanding. Three Acadian organizations in New Brunswick made a joint exit on Tuesday, March 14, to support the project.  

SÉBASTIEN PIERROZ 

spierroz@tfo.org  | @sebpierroz

The New Brunswick Federation of Young Francophones (NBFNB), the New Brunswick Francophone Teachers' Association (NBATA), and the Federation of New Brunswick Education Councils (NBENC) To become officially bilingual by the time of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

"Youth in New Brunswick see the relevance of this," says Sue Duguay, President of the FJFNB, in an interview for #ONfr . "In New Brunswick, an officially bilingual province, we see the strength of that and the impact. It would be a matter of pride for the people of Ottawa to say that they belong to an officially bilingual municipality. It's true that the Acadians are a proud people! "

Formally bilingual in 1969, the same year as the federal government, New Brunswick saw the rights of Acadians enshrined in the Constitution following a bilateral agreement between Fredericton and Ottawa in 1993. In addition, the City of Moncton Proclaimed its official bilingualism in 2002.

"This proclamation has allowed for changes, there continue to be small snags, but also improvements," said the president of the AEFNB, Marc Arseneau. "It's something that challenges us a lot. We (New Brunswick) are the only officially bilingual province. "

The three associations are not the first in New Brunswick to formally commit to the bilingual designation of the national capital.

The Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB) had supported the project as soon as the movement resumed in 2014.

"This project is really the best way to ensure that Ottawa, the capital of Canada that constitutionally recognizes two official languages, will apply bilingualism," SANB Director General Bruno Godin wrote in a letter to the Movement for An officially bilingual capital of Canada.

"Across the country"

Since January 2016, the bilingual Ottawa initiative, bringing together the same activists, has taken up the torch. With the will to adopt a municipal by-law to recognize the bilingual nature of the federal capital and the preservation of the city's French-language services policy in the long term.

A position for which the response of the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, and the majority of councilors , remains a non- tenacious .

"We want to continue to demonstrate to decision makers that people support the designation of Ottawa, across the country," says to #ONfr Bernadette Sarazin, one of the spokespersons of the group.

For her, the commitment of the FJFNB is not surprising. "This is consistent with the survey, which stated that 85% of youth support Ottawa's bilingual designation."

Since the beginning of the demands, activists have received support from pan-Canadian groups such as the Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities (FCFA) , as well as a dozen provincial organizations such as the Ontario Teachers' Union. British Columbia Francophone Program (SEPF) or the Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta (ACFA) .

Ms. Sarazin ensures that these commitments come both spontaneously from the groups and from the initiative of the bilingual Ottawa initiative.

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Dear Councillor

I wish to thank you on behalf of all of the citizens of Ottawa for rejecting proposals to make Ottawa officially bilingual and for maintaining your position that practical bilingualism, as currently practiced by the city. is a cost effective approach for delivering services in French and English to our citizens.

I have seen it suggested by the proponents of legislating official bilingualism for Ottawa that this would simply be a nice and inclusive gesture for our Francophone community and that it would not cost Ottawa’s rate payers anything.  However, one only has to look at the Federal government and the Province of New Brunswick to know that this is far from the truth.

In 2015, the federal government spent 0.675% of its budget on official bilingualism matters.  Looks like a small amount but, if applied to the city’s 2016 budget of $3.169 billion, we would have had to spend about $21.391 million on French language services for official bilingualism rather than the $3.064 million budgeted for practical bilingualism.  And, this is only the annual cost, not the many 10’s of millions required to set up the entire process for official bilingualism for things like translating every existing city document and by-law into both languages, lawyers, etc.

In New Brunswick, Canada’s only officially bilingual province, the inception of this law has proven to be divisive rather than inclusive as well as extremely expensive.  Unilingual French and English speakers prevented from working for the provincial government as well as many private businesses' employees are forced to leave the province to find work.  Many government jobs are being filled by imported Quebecers.  School busses are running half empty so that one language group does not taint the other.  Do we want this in Ottawa?

It is a myth that Canada is an officially bilingual country.  The federal government and New Brunswick are by law officially bilingual, but Canada is not now and never can be because Quebec legislated itself unilingual French in 1974.

Given the huge potential costs of making Ottawa officially bilingual, I believe that the vast majority of Ottawa’s rate payers, both French and English, who already pay more than enough taxes are against it and that they will continue to support your efforts to maintain the city’s cost effective practical bilingualism policy.

Yours truly,

Your full name & address

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If you don't know which councillor has said "NO" - I'll be pleased to tell you.  Please contact me ASAP.  With the municipal election coming next year, you need to know which councillor cares about your interests.

Kim



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