This is a follow-up on the message that I circulated yesterday. In that message, we had asked our readers to help us in our campaign to let Mayor Watson know that we appreciate his refusal to designate the City of Ottawa “Officially Bilingual”. Please do not let this appeal fall on deaf ears and do not hesitate to let the whole council know that the majority English-speakers of Ottawa know what the French zealots are doing. They are pushing and they will not quit.
The article in la presse below (translated from its original version) by Pierre Jury is an example of what they’re doing. The attempt is to try to convince the City Council that giving the City the designation of “Officially Bilingual” will not change anything. This sentence - “However, official bilingualism to the capital does not change much on the ground, a situation which should have convinced Mayor Watson. Language requirements are not enhanced for it and there would be no more such designated positions within the municipal public.”
Do not let that statement allow you to sit back and relax - be assured that if the City is ever designated “Officially Bilingual”, ALL the French-language pressure groups will come forward and make more demands!! Already the number of bilingual positions at the City have increased since the passing of Bylaw 2001-170 and we are getting more Quebecers working for the City. Many of them have mail-boxes in the City to hide the fact that they live across the river and pay taxes to the province of Quebec. In addition to taking jobs away from our construction workers, they are taking jobs away from Ottawans - we should stop this immediately, if not sooner.
Everyone receiving this message should send a note to Mayor Jim Watson, encouraging him to continue to resist this push by French Councillors like Mathieu Fleury and French Language Services Commissioner in Ontario, François Boileau. There is not shortage of these high-powered Francophones who will never be satisfied till they get the whole of Canada under their control.
My last message contained a letter written to Mayor Watson. You can use that letter or write your own - it does not need to be lengthy. All you need is to write to your own councillor or ALL the councillors with your note of concern that we should not let the French pressure groups accomplish what they have set out to do.
Jim Watson and Francophones - Le Droit
Always having been opposed to official bilingualism of the City of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson claiming this week that the council is unanimously behind him about it. He is wrong. It is also wrong to believe, as it has done for several years, the issue is settled and the population is totally satisfied with the current state of things.
Ottawa, the capital of an officially bilingual country, should be officially bilingual too. It's as simple and as straightforward as that. There is a statement of principle that the Francophone and Francophile community hope to hear.
There is also a dialogue of the deaf between the municipal authorities and the Francophone community.
Mayor Watson had no interest in the informal caucus meeting of elected Francophone and Francophile, held this week, one year after the last meeting. The issue of official bilingualism has scarcely been addressed: Councillor Mathieu Fleury alone has made a (brief) mention. The advisory committee of volunteers is not more important to this cause either.
While politicians largely ignore the issues affecting the Francophone community and calls for official bilingualism. But if there are calls, they are not screaming.
The States-General of La Francophonie, last November, had a main recommendation of official bilingualism in the capital. The French language services commissioner in Ontario, Boileau, has made "official bilingual" a recommendation in its recent annual report, last month.
Each time, Mayor Watson replied that "our policy is efficient and works well for our community." That's what he summarizes as "functionally bilingual."
Clearly, the approach of the French is too shy for Mayor Watson feels that there is no solidarity behind this desire to official bilingualism. The silence is particularly painful to see in ACFO Ottawa. Since the death of the Executive Director Claudette Boyer, February 16, nobody has taken over, not even on the board of directors.
However, official bilingualism to the capital does not change much on the ground, a situation which should have convinced Mayor Watson. Language requirements are not enhanced for it and there would be no more such designated positions within the municipal public.
Jim Watson has a very sharp political acumen. His approach to municipal government is in stark contrast to that advocated by his predecessor Larry O'Brien. Impressions, improvisation and disinterest for the Francophone community have been replaced by a strong sense of social peace and maintained with a minimum of Franco-Ontarian relations. You cannot blame him if the French representation on council has evaporated.
One day it is hoped that Mr. Watson will see that there is a benefit to support the main claim of the Francophone community, the official designation of bilingualism. When seen, he will not hesitate to support it because it will enjoy the benefits.
For that day comes, the conditions must be favorable and the community should speak with one voice, loud and clear. That day has not yet arrived and it passed by, in 2005, Bill 163 on the recognition of the bilingual nature of the City of Ottawa by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.Mr. Watson did not believe in a higher law at the time, or a majority of Liberal MPs at Queen's Park. But it only takes a spark to forge unanimity among Franco-Ontarians.
My message yesterday referred to our trip to visit J.V. Andrew. We have a made a video of our visit which will be incorporated with other video clips from our activities in the last year. Our supporters will be pleased to see that we are making progress, all of which will be incorporated in the DVD which we will use as a fund-raiser. Please visit our web site: www.languagefairness.net to see some excerpts of our interview with J. V. Andrew.
While you are there, please take note of our financial supporters. We are happy to promote companies and organizers who are “our own”. The French don’t hesitate to support their own - why are we so reluctant to do the same? We are very backward at coming forward for our people - that is why we, even though we are the majority, find it so difficult to get the politicians to pay attention to our very legitimate complaints. The age-old saying that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” holds true every time. The French complain and they get money thrown at them - we have to fight for every bit of attention!!!
We are very fortunate that we are getting more creative people joining our cause. Keith B. has found one way to reach more people view his latest creation on our media page called, "Have you noticed? Or, did you know?"
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