The SunTV has not shied away from the language issue in Canada and I am very pleased to be able to circulate this link where Prof. John Robson, on the anniversary of the OLA, has come forward to tell us what a failure this act has been.
It is amazing the battle that has been fought over the Language policy in Canada. Readers who have not been with us long enough to know some of the history behind this battle and who think that there were NO English-speaking heroes in this battle, should take the time to read this bit of history.
Not ALL politicians were as cowardly as they are today. Dan McKenzie wrote this over 40 years ago and we have taken the trouble to archive it for posterity and to let Canadians know the efforts made by the Liberal government to set up what Mr. McKenzie described as the “FrancoBank”. A concerted effort was made to hire Francophones, even when there were NO jobs for them, and then insert them into positions vacated for them or when a position became vacant.
Since then of course, the policy has been made so blatantly pro-French that the Federal Public Service is grossly over-staffed by Francophones. This is not news to you who have been on our distribution list for a while but it is amazing how the Liberal media (like the Ottawa Citizen) still denies that this is happening and many journalists still see NO problem with this. Politicians of all levels are so cowed by the Courts that not ONE of them dare admit it publicly. We get countless stories about Francophones being hired for positions that they are not actually qualified for - one of these stories came from a retired public servant which will make your blood boil.
I’ll attach it, along with other stories from our readers, below Dan McKenzie’s tale of the FrancoBank.
Thursday, 04 March 2010 18:31
On February 15, 1972, the Ottawa Citizen quoted John Turner, then Finance Minister, as follows: “We’re not trying to ram bilingualism down anyone’s throat…. no careers are going to be lost because of bilingualism in the public service”.
At that, Mr. Turner was right on one point - it’s not bilingualism the Federal Government is promoting - that’s just a cover-up - what they are really about is the promotion of the French language and the French speaking people.
The Ottawa Citizen, September 3, 1975, discussed secret government documents proving “the government has a quota system in the hiring of persons whose first language is French, despite government protestations to the contrary… positions requiring fluency in French will in fact become francophone positions over and above those designated as French language units.”
In 1977 the federal government decided that the objective they purported to be seeking by passing the Official Languages Act, that is serving French speaking or English speaking people in the language of their choice wasn’t enough - French speaking civil servants should be encouraged to work in French.
Dan McKenzie (see note 1) has uncovered government documents which prove beyond all doubt that merit hiring is a thing of the past in the federal civil service. He has furnished us with a copy of a directive from the Associate Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources concerning the establishment of a "Francobank”
What is a “Francobank”?
Well, it is a pool of French speaking people hired and “put on hold” until a spot is found for them. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources pays staff to seek out francophones. The estimated cost to “cover all expenses related to recruitment and training (travel and removal, training, fellowships, contracts, etc.) is $10,000 per francophone recruit.” The Ministry is committed to hiring thirty such recruits per year, commencing in 1982 and running to 1990. The salary of the recruit is to be $25,000 per year. The estimated cost per year of salaries and recruitment costs is $1,050,000. This amounts to $8,050,000 over the period 1982 -1988.
Furthermore, the directive states that the 30 persons per year are to be “over and above the operational units’ normal resource establishment”. In other words, over a period of -seven years, a francophone unit is to be built up, separate, “distinct” and in addition to, the present number of people employed in the Ministry. The target for December, 31, 1988, is 27.5% of the staff francophone. The percentage of francophones in Canada is 25.6% (1981 census). More recent census shows that figure has dropped to 24.5%.
There is absolutely no suggestion that these francophones require any knowledge of English. Quite the contrary, a memorandum on the subject written in October 8, 1981, states in part: “the PSC (Public Service Commission) has cleared EMR (Energy, Mines and Resources) to hire directly only “exceptional francophone” candidates. From now on, all French speaking candidates should be subject to clear-track hiring…managers should feel free to hire francophones without interference.”
Note: “Clear-track hiring” means that they would be able to go through the hiring process without the normal screening and efficiency tests. Energy, Mines and Resources is not the only Ministry with instructions to hire francophones. Mr. McKenzie has forwarded to us a copy of an Environment Canada directive, stating in part: “The plan provides for a net increase of 430 francophones over 5 years, that is from July 1980 to July 1985…. We must achieve an average annual increase of 86 francophones in the Department….” In the next year, special attention must be given to the Senior Management Complement (SMC) and Senior Personnel.
Canada is in deep financial trouble. Overspending by the Federal Government is one of the key factors. Over a million Canadians are unemployed. Any job which is offered has a line-up of applicants. In view of the foregoing it boggles the mind that the federal government is actually paying people to seek out francophones and lure them to Ottawa, paying them a handsome salary while jobs are created for them. It is estimated that some of these francophones may not be located in a position for a year from the time they are hired.
If all this were happening in a banana republic, we would wonder at the stupidity of the people who put up with such blatant favouritism. IT’S HAPPENING IN CANADA! THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY ARE SITTING BACK WATCHING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAND THE CIVIL SERVICE OVER TO FRANCOPHONES.
It’s hard to believe but Max Yalden, Official Languages Commissioner, pretends to know nothing of the above directives. He went so far as to tell newspaper reporters that Dan McKenzie was mistaken. Strange indeed, when the Directive outlining the set-up of Francobank states that any enquiries regarding the directive should be directed to the Coordinator of Official Languages. We wonder when Max Yalden is going to make alterations in his office staff. 75% francophones staff for the Official Languages Commissioner is blatant discrimination against English-speaking people.
Note 1: The Globe and Mail obituary - August 17, 1989.
Tory MP fought own party. Former Tory MP Dan McKenzie, who did not mind taking on his own party leader as well as the opposition, has died in Ottawa. He was 65. Guy Genier, the coroner who examined Mr. MacKenzie, said he died of a heart attack in an Ottawa hotel room. His body was discovered late Tuesday. Police has ruled out foul play.
Mr. McKenzie, a former communications manager, represented the comfortable Manitoba riding of Winnipeg-Assiniboine from 1972 to 1988. He chose not to run in last year’s election after a colourful and controversial career. He spent much of his energy fighting official bilingualism, and that fight led to his political shunning. When Prime Minister Brian Mulroney introduced a revised Official Languages Act last year, Mr. McKenzie earned his wrath by campaigning loudly against it. He was fired from his job as parliamentary secretary to the Veterans Affairs minister after he voted against the bill. He was unrepentant, but denied he was anti-francophone.
“In this country, there’s a theory that any kind of language bill that comes along you have to automatically accept”, he said. “Nobody is to ask a question or present an alternative - immediately they start calling you names. And that is wrong. The ones who do that are the bigots or the racists.” Mr. Mulroney did not hold a grudge long. Mr. McKenzie spent much of the last year working for the federal government in the sun-drenched Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean on a contract to study commercial opportunities for Canadians. It was a pet project; he had long advocated that Canada annex the islands.
Mr. McKenzie leaves a wife and two children.
Here it is - a story from a retired public servant:
Case in point, yesterday I joined a few former colleague for lunch. All are retired except for one. This fellow had been a CR-3 in the mail room when I first met him about 25 years ago. Nice enough fellow but must have ADA or something similar since, still at the age of 50, he bounces around non-stop and jabbers rather than converses. He was asked what he's doing these days and what follows is his tale. About 10 yrs ago, he was an AS-2 (around $45,000 salary) when he was called by a friend at another dept to come & meet his boss. The meeting took place and the boss at one point said, “Well, I hope you'll be happy here”. He stops the story long enough to say "I didn't even know this was a job interview". The job? To be an Access to Information Officer at a level higher. Not a shred of experience (nor common sense I might add). He took the job and over the last several years has gone from dept. to dept. always with an incentive (ATIP officers are in high demand and often steal each other's staff). One day he was asked if he wanted to be a TRAINER in ATIP. So, as he put it "I took a few courses" and voila he became a trainer!!! Now he travels all over Canada. Here's the kicker - this guy is French and his command of the English language could best be described as 'broken English'. His sentences are filled with “dis, dat and dare” among various other serious communication issues. I had to hold my jaw to keep it from hitting the table. If this guy had been English he'd still be rotting in the mail room, I can assure you. Instead, the world is his oyster simply because he is French! Oh, his salary? He is now a PM-5 with a salary likely around $75,000.
When I worked with him he had very questionable work ethics (i.e. Fridays and Mondays were always a mystery as to whether he'll show up).
When I got home I called a retired colleague who also knew this guy and she was equally shocked and appalled. This is likely happening all over government at the federal level. No, I would not say at all that the French fact is diminishing - I feel like they've pretty much taken over.
Hello Jeremy, I read of your experience in your email below. First I am very sorry to hear you had so much trouble and disappointment after landing in Canada. My experience and first encounter with what is happening here was in Scotland while making an application to emigrate. I was interviewed by a Quebecer who initially denied me a Visa, however, it's a long story, I received approval from the Ambassador in London and came here in 1971. Everything was fine and my career was improving exponentially until the Royal Canadian Mint, where I was a General manager, was taken over by Francophones in droves from the top down. I learned of a clandestine plot to force me to quit but fortunately was able to circumvent it and left to work for a very English company. The Francophones are playing very dirty, it started in 1969 when Trudeau became Prime Minister and it has gained in strength to where it is today. Francophones have the power and Anglophones have been, and most still are, sleeping. Having said that, I am quite happy in Canada and think it is one of the best, if not the best country in the world today. Let's hope we can win this battle over forced bilingualism and all will be well. Regarding road signs. I took up an issue right here regarding a road sign, or rather no English sign, in Cornwall. Below is my email to the Mayor who quickly rectified the situation and an English sign was installed, and ahead of the French one. Best regards and wishes for you to find Canada a great place to live.
Kim, I agree with you absolutely. We SHOULD be making a fuss about it. My experiences in Quebec have not been good. To that end you should know I have refused to EVER visit Quebec until things change and I won’t spend a solitary cent in that province either. If I had known at the time what was really going on I would not have emigrated via Montreal. The reason I am in Ottawa now is because of that very language and cultural discrimination. It took us (as a then family) 4 months to realize we were never going to be able to settle in Montreal - even though the Canadian Embassy person told me face to face that as an immigrant I was going to “thrive in Canada” because I could speak ONE of the official languages. That’s what he said to me - with my ex-wife as a witness - in January 1987. Apparently that ONE language was not the right one. Since arriving here in October 1987 I have seen enough language discrimination to last me a lifetime. Especially as a civil servant under the liberal government where Language was an issue hung over my head in terms of advancement - like the Sword of Damocles. It was, at the end of the day, what caused the end of my career - although they refused to admit it at the time . You know how they do it.
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