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

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Is It Ethical?

City of Ottawa  - Enhancing It's Bilingual Status

Canadians for Language Fairness (CLF) challenged the City of Ottawa’s Language policy in 2001.  Many Canadians across the country supported our legal challenge - the minutes of the public hearing is available for anyone who wants to read it.   Many of the presenters have passed on but many are still with us although some have given up the battle.  The French won that battle and despite their assurances that nobody would get displaced from their jobs, we know that after any unilingual people leave, their jobs were quickly made bilingual.  The same kind of verbal trickery used by Pierre E. Trudeau when he persuaded Canada to let the OLA pass.  He said that NO English-speaking Federal public servant would lose his/her job.

Mayor Bob Chiarelli assured us that the policy will not make Ottawa “officially bilingual” - just “practically” bilingual, he promised.  The councillars pledged that NO more money will be spent on making the City “more bilingual” - we now know that they were telling us lies.

The attached table from the 2013 1st Quarter City of Ottawa budget, sent in by Eric, shows that 2.823 million dollars is listed for French Language Services annually.  According to the Advisory Report, dated July 2012, significant resources are dedicated to supporting the work of Advisory Committees. Direct support is provided by the City Clerk’s office, with 5 staff and an overall budget of $424,000. As well, City staff from departments across the City support the Committees that address their mandates by attending meetings and providing information as appropriate.

REPORT RECOMMENDATION

That Council approve the following appointments to the FLSA (French Language Services Advisory Committee), all terms to be effective upon approval and to expire on 30 November 2014:

  • Sonia Gaal
  • Jessica Smith
  • Jean-Louis Schryburt
  • Étienne Camirand
  • Tracy Ferne
  • Roger Bouchard
  • Élizabeth Allard
  • Anne Walsh

Question:   How ethical is having obviously French-slanted Councillors deciding who gets on the committee?

French Language Services Advisory Committee

The City’s Bilingualism Policy establishes an Advisory Committee on French Language Services with a mandate to advise the municipal administration and Council with regard to the implementation of the Policy on bilingualism.  The committee would continue to be responsible for providing advice to Council, through the Finance and Economic Development Committee, on City policies, programs and initiatives related to official languages. Its mandate would also support the following Council Strategic Priority: HC1 - “Achieve equity and inclusion for an aging and diverse population”

The proposed membership would include 7-11 citizen members and one (1) Member of Council in a liaison capacity.

Selection Panel - French Language Service Advisory Committee

The selection panel for the French Language Service Advisory Committee will be comprised of the Mayor (or designate), the Chair of Community and Protective Services and Council’s representative on Association française des municipalités de l’Ontario, with support from the City Clerk’s staff.

The recruitment process would begin as soon as possible following Council approval of this report with the aim of appointing members this fall, and these initial appointments would be “for the balance of this Term of Council”.

French Language Services Advisory Committee - Terms of Reference

MANDATE

The mandate of the French Language Services Advisory Committee is to advise Ottawa City Council on issues that impact official languages in the City.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The French Language Services Advisory Committee is responsible for providing advice to Ottawa City Council on issues pertaining to:

  • Policy, programs and service delivery in the area of official languages.

The French Language Services Advisory Committee will be available as a resource to staff, providing input on matters being pursued to achieve Council’s strategic priorities

Above all, the French Language Services Advisory Committee is responsible for ensuring that its business aligns with, and serves to complement, City Council’s strategic priorities.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIP

The French Language Services Advisory Committee shall report through the Finance and Economic Development Committee to City Council; however, it may also report to another Standing Committee where appropriate, depending on the issue.

The French Language Services Advisory Committee, created by Ottawa City Council at its meeting of March 28, 2001 was to be composed of an equal number of English-speaking and French-speaking taxpayers to evaluate the provision of services in English and in French in the City of Ottawa and report regularly to Council on its findings.

However, somewhere along the line, the English-speaking components were deleted because this committee declared that it is only responsible for French-language services.

______________________________________________________________________________

Not to be outdone by the City of Ottawa and the province of Ontario, Heritage Canada issued this press release on March 26, 2013:

Minister James Moore said “Our national capital should reflect this linguistic duality, which is helping us build a prosperous Canada together.” Those words were included on the press release by MP Royal Galipeau while providing 300,000 dollars to the City of Ottawa to enhance French services which has been going on since 2001. You can easily read the wording as a plan to further bilingualism in Ottawa, or with the following pieces, a plan to make the City of Ottawa officially bilingual:

March 28 2013, 1.124 billion dollar Roadmap for Official Languages announced.

The following are key players:

Guy Matte - Board Chair Provincial Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs June 2004 - June 2014 

He was the Master of Ceremony of the States-General of the Francophonie Ottawa  in November 2012 

Mr. Matte is also President / CEO of conseil Economique et Social d’Ottawa Carleton ( Motto - Our language, our colours, our cultures, this is the strength of our Francophone and the future)

I will assume that “partners” means financial support and there are 43 listed.

Renee Bertrand is a paid employee of the City of Ottawa

Mgr French Language Srvc

City Manager's Office

Corp Programs & Business Srvcs Dept.

613-580-2424 x21453

613-580-2567

The Sunshine list has him making $101,563.03 and he, along with City of Ottawa Councilor Mathieu Fleury are Directors of the Association of Francophone Municipalities of Ontario. Conspiracy maybe, maybe not, your choice of course, but there is way more going on than most of us know.

The City of Ottawa is also a member of the Coalition of Business People in the National Capital). They are about 600 people from business, education and government dedicated to do business in French within Ottawa and Gatineau. Ottawa is a silver member, for about $3,000 a year in fees and provides up to 5 staff to be members.

President (CLF)



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