For those who live in Ottawa and were on the original list with our letter to Mayor Watson regarding the French groups mobilizing to make the City of Ottawa officially bilingual (as a precursor to making the province of Ontario officially bilingual), this is a follow-up in response to a reply to us from Scott Moffat.
A response from us follows:
Please feel free to contact your own councillor with a copy of this message and an appeal for the City to give voice to the concerns of the majority English-speakers
Response to message from Scott Moffat:
With reference to the message sent by you to Canadians for Language Fairness (copy below), I would like to respond and this response will be sent to Mayor Watson & the rest of the City of Ottawa Council, as well as the media.
Please note that you were not the only councilor who wrote to us with regard to our message which I circulated to our organization on April 15th. However, you were the only one who accused us of circulating false information regarding our contention (with ample links to articles from the French media & many Francophone organizations) that prove our observation that there is a very clearly expressed pressure being put on Mayor Watson by various Francophone factions to make the City of Ottawa officially bilingual.
As proven by our letter to the Mayor sent by registered mail on March 19th (copy attached), we understand that he is resisting the pressure and we thank him for doing so. However, we also know that he’s getting pressure not only from the French councilors in the City but also from Graham Fraser, the Federal Commissioner of Official Languages, Madeleine Meuilleur (Attorney General, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs in Ontario), Francois Boileau (Ontario French Language Services Commissioner), ex-Prime Minister Jean Chretien & every French leader in Ontario. We want it on record that we are appealing to him to never give in.
We find it hard to believe that you are not aware of this happening all around you. We made sure that we sent along proof of our contention in the many links we sent along with the message. We can only conclude that you have not bothered doing the research, even when we made it so easy for you to access the articles and use “Google Translate” to be able to understand the various articles.
You might be a very busy person at the City Hall with its many problems (especially its deficit and debt that appear to be getting bigger every year) so I have accessed them for you and only post the relevant sentences or paragraphs from each link. You should read all the articles in their totality to understand how serious the Francophones are about this issue.
This is not something that you can afford to ignore. We hope that you will support the Mayor and other councilors (like Marianne Wilkinson who is on record as opposing any attempt to do what the French interests are suggesting - link to this is also below).
We feel that the English-speaking majority has NO input into this issue because we have NO representation at City Hall. A team from Canadians for Language Fairness (made up of English & French-speaking members) should be given the opportunity to voice the concerns of the Silent Majority. Will the City Council grant us such an opportunity?
Thank you for your time and please do us the favour of responding to this as soon as you can.
Yesterday, members of Ottawa City Council began receiving form letters with your signature on them. They begin with “It has come to our attention there is a renewed effort underway to have the City of Ottawa declared ‘officially bilingual’”. I’d like you to encourage an end to these form letters as that statement is false and no such movement is currently before Council. This item is not on our agenda and I don’t appreciate lobbying efforts on an issue that is not prevalent.
Upon challenging senders of this form letter as to who these renewed efforts were coming from, they were unable to provide any specific information. These individuals don’t have the facts and are being mislead by your organization.
I trust you will work to end these emails.
Thank you for your time.
Rideau-Goulbourn Ward 21
And to complete your knowledge of this issue, maybe it might help you understand why we are very worried about this issue. This table is from the 2011 census on the population of the City of Ottawa. Does the less than 1.5% of the population that only speaks French (the very young and the very old) justify the amount of money spent on this issue when the City already faces massive debts that it will have to struggle to pay for the next decade, if not more?
Letter To Jim Watson
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