The Official Languages Act has once again raised its ugly head - this time on the head of a 78 years old veteran who served his country for many years and who, on retirement, was given a job as a Commissionaire in one of the Federal buildings where vets and other retired personnel are given these jobs after they are retired from their stints at serving the country in the military. We don’t know if this problem has been solved yet but, according to an informant to the reporter, Hugh Adami, “even senior managers were upset over Dan’s forced exit, including NRC president John McDougall, who works in the building”.
The questions I’d like to get Hugh Adami to clarify are: 1. “Has Dan been put on the spares’ list, forced to accept mid-night & isolated shifts in different locations that make it difficult for him to continue working?” 2. As there have been no complaints at the position he had occupied for the last 11 years, why was there the need to move him at all? He is quite popular with the people he works with, apparently, so why upset an old man who is quite happy to spend the last few years of his working life doing what he loves?
Another thing that is quite alarming too is the threat to Hugh Adami, made by Paul Guindon, the corps’ chief executive. Calling Dan Brown a liar, Paul Guindon said to Hugh, “He was not put on the spares’ list, and if you put that in your paper, mister, you’re going to hear from us.” Does that sound like the kind of words that should issue from the mouth of a government official to a member of the Free Press? That is assuming that we still have a Free Press in Canada.
In very quick response to the Citizen article, at last count 167 comments were sent in by the Citizen readers, most of them expressing extreme discontent with the Official Languages policy, indicative of the recently awakened public awareness of how far and how unpopular this policy is becoming. Following on the heels of the Cornwall Hospital hiring debacle, you can sense that the public has had enough of this widespread disgruntlement and are no longer content to remain silent. There were several very good commentators - here is a good post:
Here is a business analogy.
Your business has 100 employees. 7 of them speak French, 93 speak English. In order to make it so everyone can properly communicate, you pay for the 93 employees to have language training in order to communicate with the 7 who speak French. Your business running costs obviously increase exponentially. Production slows as many employees are off in training.
Now everything your business produces will have to be available in both languages. Costs increase due to your products having to be made with both languages.
Production goes down again because instead of making item a, then item b, then item c. You make item a-English. Then you make item a-French. Then you make Item b-English, then item b-French. All the while other businesses are surpassing yours because they only need 1 version of each product. They also pay far less because they only make 1 version instead of 2.
Eventually, your business is so far behind that it can't compete, and goes bankrupt.
Here’s another one:
Someone has "pulled a Thibodeau" here. Let's just be brutally honest. The federal government's bilingualism policy is discriminatory, dictatorial and archaic. Of course Quebec likes it, it guarantees them jobs over the rest of Canada. Now let's look at this in another light. To whomever complained, you have just slapped a veteran in the face. You should be ashamed of yourself. This is an insult to all veterans, including any that may have been in your own family. I hope you are proud of yourself. Think of Big Brother when you next complain about another unsuspecting soul. What a sad pointless life you lead. Focus on your own life, stay out of others. You weren't invited.
Surprisingly, there are posts from French-speakers too who are on the side of Dan getting his job back. I think that we’ve reached a point that even ordinary French-speakers are speaking up because they see how ridiculous this situation has become. The only people who still support the policy are the zealots who still refer to the times when French-speakers were badly treated, didn’t have the rights to any service in French and didn’t have the right to send their children to learn French, etc. etc. Those times are way past - now the pendulum has swung too far and it is time to tell those zealots - it’s time to quit forcing the tail to wag the dog!!
The Facebook blogs were abuzz with complaints - this one came from Frank L. an outspoken vet from the 2nd WW:
"Thanks to Citizen's Hugh Adami, Commissionaire Dan Brown will be treated fairly by NRC. It's time that the identity of language issue complainers are made public. Allowing complainers to secretly interfere in the right to work of others is unfair, undemocratic and mean-spirited. Complaining is a right but it is cowardly to do so and demand privacy. Time to face up to the shameful, undemocratic system that permits secrecy on complaints that can destroy a livelyhood. DO U AGREE?"
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