Congratulations to Bob Hurter on his excellent letter that addresses one of the most egregious government expenses in Canada, designed to benefit ONLY a small proportion of Canadians. P.E. Trudeau, when he and his cohorts like Jean Chretien, wrote the Official Languages Act and entrenched it in the 1982 Constitution, included the caveat, “where numbers warrant”. This was never defined deliberately and has been ignored as the Francophones go across Canada making their outrageous demands wherever they can intimidate any municipality to accede to their piteous cries of, “to prevent us from being assimilated, you must give us respect and special recognition”. Our politicians are so scared of the well-organized French lobbies that they dare not say or do anything. As someone said, “Respect should be earned, not demanded through legislation or coercion”.
Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser is upset that his office investigated 476 complaints during the 2013-2014 year - up 15 per cent from the previous year. Perhaps he and all Canadians need a reality check.
Out of an estimated Canadian population of 35,427,000 as of April 1 (Source: Statistics Canada), the complaints represent a massive 0.0013 per cent of the population who complained about linguistic issues, including not being served in the official language of their choice.
With a budget of $23.9 million for the 2013-2014 year, the cost amounted to about $50,210 per complaint investigated. Granted, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages does other things, such as sending mystery travellers to airports located where the French-speaking population is less than one per cent, to see if they got service in French. They even sent mystery shoppers to private businesses around Ottawa to see if they got served in French (even though it has nothing to do with their federally legislated mandate).
This office is a colossal waste of taxpayer money; its usefulness is long past. There are many other checks and balances in every federal government department regarding linguistics, and any issues regarding service in the official language of choice can be and should be handled within each department.
Bob Hurter, Orléans
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