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

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bilingual Today, French Tomorrow

A team made up of Don Smith, E. Little, Elaine Smith & Kim McConnell drove down to Kitchener, Ontario (round trip of 1111 kms) to visit Ret. Lt. Cmdr. Of the Canadian Royal Navy, J.V. Andrew.

Jock Andrew, is the unsung hero who tried so many years ago to warn Canadians about the Official Languages Act but few Canadians listened.  Mr. Andrew wrote several books on the topic.  Among them are these books:

Bilingual today, French tomorrow: Trudeau's master plan and how it can be stopped BMG Pub., 1977 - 137 pages

Backdoor Bilingualism: Davis's Sell-out of Ontario and Its National Consequences BMG Pub., 1979 - 198 pages

'ENOUGH' Published in 1988

For his efforts, he has been vilified and some of his books were burnt in a warehouse fire.  It has been over 30 years ago that he started out on his mission against the OLA and we are very lucky to be able to meet him to hear his story.  We hope to include his story in a video which we plan to offer to any Canadian who has woken up to this tragedy and want to have a record of the battle waged by this man who predicted what would happen to Canada if the Official Languages Act is allowed to continue on its relentless march across the country.

The DVD will include videos made of the various efforts by Canadians to battle the disastrous effects of this policy which has essentially created 3rd class status for the majority English-speaking Canadians, unable to advance in their positions in all government departments or disallowed to even apply for entry level positions.  In some parts of Ontario and New Brunswick, even the private sector is being pressured to hire only bilingual citizens.

Don Smith is putting the DVD together and Canadians for Language Fairness will use it as a fund-raiser.  For $25.00, you get a copy of the DVD and the first 100 orders will also get a copy of J.V. Andrew’s book, “Bilingual Today, French Tomorrow”.  Send your cheque or money order, made out to CLF & mail to:

Canadians for Language Fairness

P.O. Box 40111

Bank & Hunt Club Postal Outlet

2515 Bank Street

Ottawa, ON, K1V 0W8

P.S. If you have a video that you would like Don to include in this DVD, please contact Don Smith to see if it is possible.

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I would also like to thank the many younger people who have joined us in this battle for fairness for English-speakers.  I am so grateful to people like Bob Hurter, professional consultant & researcher for donating his valued service to us.  Bob has created a table of the cost of education in Ontario which shows that we value the minority French language more than we do the majority English language, a language that is far more valuable in Canada & the world.  This table cannot be included in this message as the distribution service does not handle attachments but you can get it if you contact me individually.  This table reveals that the English School Boards spends $11,832.00 per student, while $15,095.33 per student is spent on the French School Boards.

The pro-French factions will point to the total spent on English-language education ($1,271,528,568) and say that French-language education only gets $622,290,362, ignoring the fact that the English boards serve 109,743 students and the French boards serve only 42,055 students (less than half the English boards).

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Eric L. is another supportive person who does a lot of research for us and who is very good with letter-writing.  This is Eric’s letter to the Federal government, the Ontario government and the Mayor of the City of Ottawa:

James Moore MP Minister of Heritage Canada

Kathleen Wynne MPP Premier of Ontario

Madeleine Meilleur MPP Minister of Francophone Affairs

Jim Watson Mayor City of Ottawa

I would like to make an official complaint concerning Francois Boileau’s, Ontario’s French Language Service Commissioner Report of June 5, 2013. The Mandate with which he can provide this report says nothing about allowing a collaboration to ask cities and townships to become officially bilingual.

I feel chapter 2.9 of the Commissioners report on assisting in the making of Ottawa officially bilingual is beyond his mandate, it should be brought to all citizens not a select few.  États généraux de la francophonie d’Ottawa and the Commissioner’s opinion do not speak for the majority in that city. Ottawa has 883,391people and in the Knowledge of Official Languages section of the  2011 Census, 12,915 are French only, 11,860 that speak neither Eng. nor Fr., 324,690 are self assessed bilingual and 522,980 people are English only.

Certainly 30 people, as seen in table 4 of the Jereve Ottawa report does not a majority make, and as such, should not be using taxpayer funding to change street names, affecting a hiring policy beyond what it is now, or work to make Ottawa officially bilingual. There are too many language advisors, associations and government departments creating work for the few bilingual people we have now. 

Federally, we see Bill C419 has been put into law, meaning 10 fewer positions are now available for the minority French-only speakers and certainly the majority English only speakers. Of course, it does not stop with only those 10 jobs. 80% of the 25 designated zones in Ontario have French Language by-laws and policies.  When will there be an unbiased needs assessment?

In all fairness to Jim Watson, he has said NO to any suggestions by the French-language groups to make the City of Ottawa officially bilingual.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, dismissing out of hand the recommendation of the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario that requested a bilingual designation for the City of Ottawa.

In its report submitted Wednesday to the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs of Ontario, François Boileau argued that such a designation  would enhance the "sense of belonging for all French citizens."

By cons, Mayor Watson replied that the Commissioner had "the right to give his opinion," but he said the province, for which Mr. Boileau works, is not officially bilingual.

According to Jim Watson, the bilingual policy of the City of Ottawa works well, despite some obstacles.

"Our policy is efficient and works well for our community. " - Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

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The language policy of the City of Ottawa already gives the French-speakers more than sufficient advantages in employment (many City of Ottawa employees actually live in Quebec & cross the river everyday to take jobs from Ottawans); City contracts are given to companies that can operate in French and guess how many of these contracts go to Quebecers?  For more information on the City of Ottawa’s language by-law # 2001-170

We wrote to Mayor Watson, thanking him for reading correctly the mood of the citizens of Ottawa:

Mayor Jim Watson

110 Laurier Avenue West

Ottawa, ON

K1P 1J1

Dear Mayor Watson:

With reference to the following document - from the Lapresse (Translation is given below)

We note with relief and a great deal of gratitude that you have not taken seriously the suggestion by the French pressure groups in Ottawa that you will consider making the City of Ottawa  officially bilingual.  When Bob Chiarelli was the Mayor, he brought in by-law 2001-170 which he described as “practical bilingualism”.

This by-law already gives the 15% French-speakers a lot of rights.  The fact is that it puts the  unilingual English-speaker at a great disadvantage when it comes to getting jobs at the City of Ottawa.  It is an indisputable fact that it is much easier for a French-speaker to be bilingual, being surrounded by people who are predominantly English-speakers.

The majority English-speakers are NOT bilingual and many of our young professionals have to leave Ottawa for Toronto and other parts of Canada where they don’t need to encounter the hurdle of bilingualism.

We are also cognizant of the fact that the City of Ottawa has NO jurisdiction to make Ottawa officially bilingual as this is a provincial prerogative.  It demonstrates the ignorance of the French-language lobby groups in approaching you with such a request.

Thank you for not allowing them to force you to embark on a course that will further divide this city along linguistic lines.

President (CLF)

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First priority of the States General of the Francophonie in Ottawa:

Make the capital a bilingual city - Le Droit

After a year and a half of introspection and brainstorming, this group established a framework of priorities to guide them in the coming years. And it's no surprise the formalization of the capital as a bilingual city which sits atop the list.

But the road may be long and perilous. Among the players that the community should target to move this folder is obviously the "decision makers from all levels of government."

However, Mayor Jim Watson has once again closed the door to the idea yesterday in the Summit of the States General of the Francophonie in Ottawa.

The Mayor reiterated that the bilingualism policy adopted there just over 10 years, and although inadequate, by his own admission.

"I think the policy is working well," he stressed, noting that the measure is consensus within the current city council. "[While] it is not perfect ... '

"We must continue to improve our current policy because from time to time we see that there are mistakes (which are committed).'

Mr Watson  refused to defend official bilingualism for fear of alienating a segment of the electorate, as suggested by citizens in this weekends discussion workshops,  "I'm not afraid of a backlash, it is a policy that works well for residents.'

In his closing speech, who describes himself as a "proud Francophile" he also extensively listed the accomplishments of the City's Francophone policy in recent years.

Bilingual system announcements for  stops on OC Transpo, 3-1-1 offered in both languages, through the appointment of Charles Bordeleau at the head of the municipal police are examples that demonstrate the good faith of the city, he suggested.

Seeking to avoid the pitfall of language, Mr. Watson has also made a large part in the economy in his speech.

"Residents have other priorities. Most of the letters and emails I get from French people do not concern the language, explained the mayor. It's taxes, development, economic, environment, culture. '

Way to accomplish

Ward Councillor Rideau-Vanier, Mathieu Fleury, "recognizes the efforts" made by the participants at the summit in order to move forward. But there is still a long way to go before that defends the project elected to the council table.

"It's a start. I will continue to sit with the people of the community to know  official bilingualism concerns, before bringing it to the council, "Mr. Fleury.

"At the theoretical level, there are not many people who will oppose official bilingualism. What does that mean in terms of budget, appointments, employees, and service offering ... What are we looking for? It has to pass a theoretical level to practice now, "he said, assuring that it is not a matter of cost.

If we find that the formalization of the capital city as bilingual is "the desire of all the French," the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, Madeleine Meilleur, believes it comes down to the City and its citizens to make the decision.

The Ontario Minister also believes that "the federal government has a role to play."

While the Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, Royal Galipeau, contends that  Meilleur "does not know his constitution, if it says that." "Cities are under provincial jurisdiction," says he, indignantly.

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We must always give the devil his due so those of you who live in Ottawa and want to thank Mayor Watson for this small mercy, his contact information is:

Office of Mayor Jim Watson

Phone: 613-580-2496

Fax: 613-580-2509

E-mail: Jim.Watson@ottawa.ca



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