For years, Canadians have been “sold a pup” (sell someone a pup - to swindle someone by selling him something worthless) on the policy of bilingualism i.e. that it will unite Canadians and make French-speakers feel “at home” and therefore not want to separate - this is FALSE!!! French-Quebecers still want an independent country and the French outside Quebec think that they should have their language and culture protected by being “segregated” from the rest of us. They are taught that it is their right to develop a separate identity, based on their language & culture and be given priority in promotion, bigger pay & eventually to dominate the employment opportunity in the public and private sector.
Another myth perpetrated by the French elite (and bilingual Anglophones) is that it improves the mental capacity of the brain to learn other languages. This is true if you have an affinity for languages but definitely not true if you don’t. You may have a brain that handles figures better or you may have a brain that handles logistics better. The improvement of one’s mental capacity can be achieved by time spent reading English-language material on a vast variety of topics instead of wasting your time conjuring verbs and attempting to communicate in a language spoken by a minority of Canadians (less than 17%), most of them concentrated in unilingual French Quebec. Mental capacity can be improved even by playing games e.g. Chinese people play mahjong & that keeps their minds alert and improves their mathematical skills at the same time. I’m not saying that it is not good to know many languages; what I am saying is that it is not right to force the majority to learn the language of the minority. Quebec has gone to the extreme of legislating against the English language while French activists outside Quebec are working very hard to force the learning of French by creating an environment that gives the minority language a decided advantage.
Third myth - Canadians should be able to handle as many languages as the Europeans can. Europe is made up of small, compact countries very close in proximity to each other and they speak different languages because their neighbours are so close and to communicate with them it is a necessity to learning their neighbour’s language - that comes naturally and need not be forced. French-speakers in Quebec have made themselves so paranoid about their language that they’ve actually used the threat of “assimilation” as a good reason NOT to learn English or to have English heard anywhere within their realm of control. This “assimilation” factor is given so much credibility that they actually expect the rest of us (non-French speakers) to understand their need for keeping themselves apart from us. Thus the policy of “segregated” buses, schools, clinics, hospitals, etc. etc. The incredulous thing is that WE ACTUALLY ACCEPT IT!!! At least our governments do (all levels) because they allow it to happen and even give funds and grants to make it happen. The policy of “DUALITY” in N.B. is accepted by the provincial government - French institutions must be French only but English institutions must be bilingual. Does anyone find that difficult to accept? If so, why?
Because of all of the above (supported and sanctioned by the 1982 Constitution and the Courts), Canadians have been persuaded that French is essential to be Canadian and one should send one’s children to school to learn French. It is not enough to learn French as a subject (core French), one must either send one’s children to French Immersion schools or All-French schools.
This article from Macleans’ says that there are problems (I’m also quoting articles from the Ottawa Citizen):
Anyone who wants to know just how much Official Bilingualism is costing the country, I have the link to the full Fraser Institute's Report. Just ask.
This report was written on data from 2006-07 and released in 2012. Will the Fraser Institute update this report because the cost will have increased substantially over 8 years with the increased pressure by the French elite who continue to use the "assimilation" factor as a legitimate reason to pour more money into the French language & culture.
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