Hey, Carl, nice to hear from you on this issue. Everyone receiving this message, let me introduce you to Carl Ross. We’re always looking for people to help us spread the message - I’ve been meaning to tell our readers about you for a while now - this is the perfect opportunity. Carl has been commenting on the language issue in the social media for quite a while - he produces videos on the public arena and I would like to invite you to link to his site (link will be given below his message).
First of all, read his message about the Supreme Court on Section 23 regarding the spread of French language education out west that could be a precedent for other parts of the West.
Right now, in Calgary, the Francophone school that is to be built in Silver Springs is in contention, because the English School board, finding the land surplus to its needs, handed the land directly to the Catholic School board, not back to the City as was legally required. So for 6 years or so the residents have been developing the Park, and the City has been maintaining the park at taxpayers’ expense. Now the Catholic School board has plans to build its first ALL FRENCH (Non-Immersion) school. The residents are upset ONLY over the potential loss of park land. The fact that the School Boards did not follow legal procedures is what should be the question. Of course the Francophones are trying to cry foul, saying the residents are suffering from NIMBY syndrome. That’s not the case say the residents, there are three or four existing schools that could be re-opened - renovated for less than the $30 million proposed on the new school at the site of the park. Where it is staked off is the majority of the flat useable space (soccer field). Soccer is huge in Calgary. So the residents are truly against the loss of park space and are willing to help find a more suitable location through community meetings. The French board is trying to railroad it through.
Here is what I wrote on Facebook in response to the story:
If we, for a minute, assume this is not about saving a beautiful and vibrant well-used green space in a nice community - Let’s look at it from a Charter perspective. It would seem that the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), that has space and could shuffle students around allowing one empty school, or just take a CBE school out of dormant status, could transfer that title to the Calgary Catholic School Board (CCBE) to be renovated for their specialty French school. There is lots of space in existing CBE schools in that area to accept the proposed influx of BUSSED in students from outlying areas for the CCBE French school if the CBE shuffled and gave the CCBE a school. With only 10 potential students from the community, the "where numbers warrant" clause of the Charter does not apply. Having to bus in students from outlying communities violates the spirit of the “where numbers warrant” clause. It will incur extra cost to either the proposed students’ parents, or the local taxpayers, that is how it works. It could change the demography of the area, and change the community forever. Why does the CCBE French board not look at renovating the existing CCBE school in the area already? Enlarge that one.
The other part of this is that the Calgary Board of Education broke the law, by not giving back the surplus school zoned land LEGALLY to the City first, and then the City after due consideration and a community impact study, which is required - (basically fancy words for making sure the City Council discusses the proposition and makes the public aware), and then votes according to those constituents they represent. Who knows, they might agree to transfer the land to the CCBE, or not. By by-passing this process, you can see where the residents would rightly feel that they do not live in a democracy anymore. It has been their park for many years, their tax base has developed and cared for that green-space. Regardless of the abuse of the “where numbers warrant” clause. To have NO say in its future, and the discrepancies in the area plan and how that affects the continued use of the park in the manner it is being used now IS a relevant argument the outcome of which will affect all Calgarians.
Personally, for the sake of all Calgarians, rather than building new schools, I would like to see the CBE and CCBE work together to share space, there is lots of non-allocated space in the area in existing buildings that could be renovated and up and running sooner for much less cost to the taxpayers - don't forget, taxpayers include the parents.
It has arrived on our doorstep.
Carl Ross, Calgary
The move to Frenchify the West is proceeding, as per their agenda. Once the Supreme Court decides , this will be a precedent for the other Western provinces to follow. Ontario is leading the way - French rights are very well entrenched in Ontario - to celebrate the 400th anniversary of French presence in Ontario, they are planning a lot of expensive activities & as Ontarians are stupid enough to give the Liberals a majority, no expenses will be spared!!!
Still think that we are fear mongering?
he Supreme Court of Canada heard an appeal Tuesday about how to assess whether an official language minority school offers enough facilities equivalent to that of the majority to respect the constitutional rights of its students.
The case pits the Parents Association of the École Rose-des-Vents Vancouver (EPA) and the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique to the Minister of Education of the province.
Callers hope that the highest court of the country confirm the validity of the approach of a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, which concluded that the education provided to children attending this school in Vancouver is not equivalent to that provided to children who go to English schools.
The judge ruled that the rights guaranteed by section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated because the school facilities École Rose-des-Vents were lower than the Anglophone majority of the sector.
The Supreme Court of Canada will have to determine if including the province's Court of Appeal was right to say that the trial judge should have considered the question of the resources available and needed to assess whether it was "practically feasible" to build a similar school for francophones.
It will also decide on the RESPONSABILITY which could fall to the francophone school board in establishing schools equivalent to those of the majority.
The École Rose-des-Vents is a francophone elementary school established since 2001 in Vancouver which has about 350 students. This is the only French-language elementary school serving the population living west of Main Street.
The cause much interest in the provinces and territories or from similar causes are ongoing. Nine stakeholder Northwest Territories, Yukon, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and the Commissioner of Official Languages and the National Federation of Francophone school boards have been accepted by the court.
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