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Election In October 2015

Tuesday December 15, 2015

Fraser On Tweeting Bilingually

Language Commissioner Revisits Standoff Over Bilingual Tweets By Ministers

Now that the Liberal pro-French and pro-Quebec government is back in power, what can we expect from that hypocrite Graham Fraser? Going back a few years, he's been pushing politicians to tweet in both English & French. Now that his Liberal government is back in power, he wants to force the issue - to push the use of French (a language that would otherwise die unless forced by law). He's being idiotic of course - Tweets only allow a certain number of characters and even tweeting in English is difficult because you have to use abbreviations. The question is - why do we allow that idiot to make life so difficult for Canadians - both politicians, public servants and Canadians in general? This country is already so fragmentated over artificial divisions in every sector - between French and non-French; between Muslims and non-Muslims; between aborigines and non-aborigines; between old stock Canadians and new stock Canadians; most of all between right-wingers and left-wingers - those who want the country to spend endlessly on social services and those who don't want the country to keep running a huge national debt that can NEVER be paid? Just in case you've forgotten, before Pierre E. Trudeau took over control of the country in 1968, our national debt was less than $20 Billion. He established the Welfare State and since then, the country has been piling on the debt. When the Conservative government led by PM Harper took over it was $520 Billion. Even with his best efforts, he couldn't bring it down because Canadians love their generous social services and are willing to be bought with their own money. PM Trudeau Jr. understand only too well how to buy votes, so please hold on to your hats, we're in for a rough ride while the Liberal government racks up the debt to unprecedented levels!!! The younger voters gave him the power to do so and our future generations will carry the can....what can we do but sit and watch our country finally collapse!!!

So what about Fraser's attempt to justify his large salary ($250,000/year?) and a huge bureaucracy to help him enforce bilingualism everywhere in Canada, except Quebec, of course. What is the solution to this stupidity over politicians having to tweet in English & French? Do Canadians know that Official Bilingualism is the cause of a lot of inefficiency in government, especially in Parliament because nothing can be done unless it is first of all translated from one language to another & back again? Everything in government at the Federal level is already in both languages, right? Does having to tweet in both languages help communication between the politicians & the voters? Aren't tweeting only done with people who one wants to exchange views with? So if a minister wants to exchange views with an English-speaker, the tweet is done in English. Likewise with a French speaker. Again, this is another attempt to force the Frenchification of Canada even though Trudeau Sr. has been recorded to say that the policy is mainly for the French speakers to communicate with their government in French, not to force English-speakers right across the country to become French-speakers.

We also have some members of mainstream media speaking up - one of them is Mark Bonokoski. His article reflects the frustration that many Canadians feel about this dreadful, divisive policy - read it and understand that you are not alone!!!

President (CLF)

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Canada's languages czar is revisiting a Harper-era battle over the unilingual tweets of cabinet ministers to see whether things have changed under the new Liberal government.

Earlier this year, official languages commissioner Graham Fraser locked horns with three federal departments whose ministers unapologetically tweeted about policy or announcements in English or French only.

Language Commissioner: Cabinet Ministers Must Tweet In English & French

Fraser's investigation concluded that those tweets violated two sections of the Official Languages Act, which requires all government business to be communicated in both English and French.

Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser wants to know what the new Liberal government's position is when it comes to tweets by ministers. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)

Ministers are free to tweet in one language about their personal life and other matters, Fraser ruled, but any content referring to government matters must be bilingual - even if a minister is using a personal and private Twitter account that is not maintained or overseen by public servants.

Fraser told the departments to start fixing the problem by June 2015.

But the three departments under investigation - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Public Safety and Foreign Affairs - categorically rejected the finding, maintaining they should not be held responsible for the personal social-media accounts of their ministers, including Twitter.

Aligned With Ministers

The response aligned exactly with the ministers' views. Then-Treasury Board president Tony Clement said last year he would rather turn off his personal Twitter account than be compelled to abide by language rules.

The Liberal opposition said earlier this year that 16 ministers in the Conservative cabinet almost always tweeted in English only. (Twitter)

"It is inappropriate for the Treasury Board Secretariat to be the subject of your investigation as the use of his own personal Twitter account by the president is not a matter pertaining to the administration of the affairs of this department," Yaprak Baltacioglu, secretary of the Treasury Board, wrote to Fraser on July 28 this year.

"A clear distinction between the president's social media presence and that of this institution is necessary to maintain public confidence in public servants' honesty, fairness and impartiality."

A copy of the letter was obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act from Treasury Board, which is responsible for implementing the Official Languages Act across government. Fraser's office says similar responses were received from Public Safety and Foreign Affairs.

'The bilingual requirement must fully extend to ministers' electronic communications.' - Liberal Stphane Dion, in February

While in opposition, the Liberal party sided with the languages commissioner. Stphane Dion, then a Liberal MP, claimed in February this year that 16 Conservative cabinet ministers tweeted primarily in English.

Dion complained in a letter to Clement that ministers' use of social media appeared to circumvent the language law. "The bilingual requirement must fully extend to ministers' electronic communications," he said. Dion is now himself the minister for foreign affairs.

A spokesman for Fraser says investigators have recently gone back to the three departments to see whether their positions have changed under the Liberal government.

"They're following up again to see if their replies are still the same," Nelson Kalil said in an interview. "Is this still your take on this?"

While Fraser's office revisits most of its investigations, he said, "This one's perhaps been expedited by the fact that there's been a change in government."

A spokeswoman for Treasury Board did not respond to questions about the commissioner's follow-up.

Liberals Have Social Media Code Of Conduct

"TBS (Treasury Board Secretariat) does not comment on ongoing investigations or discussions with agents of Parliament," Kelly James said in an email.

Stphane Dion, now in the Liberal cabinet, said while he was an opposition MP that ministers must tweet in both official languages when referring to official government matters. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The new Liberal government issued a code of conduct on Nov. 27 which for the first time codified the use of social media by ministers and parliamentary secretaries. The code allows ministers to have private accounts, and cautions departments against retweeting or linking official accounts to the personal ones of their ministers.

But the policy does not specifically refer to any requirement to tweet in English and French when a minister is using a personal Twitter account to refer to government business.

Kalil says the law nevertheless requires it.

"If a minister, on his own [Twitter] account, is talking about something with regard to his department or his mandate, yes, then that would have to be in both official languages."

Scott Brison, the new Liberal president of the Treasury Board, has a personal Twitter account where his tweets are primarily in English, though the subject matter since being appointed Nov. 4 is largely personal.

The federal government has issued guidelines and standards for official social-media accounts, with no reference to ministers' private accounts.

Keith's video says it best.

'Alors wow': Twitter Reacts To Language Czar Edict On Bilingual Tweets

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A. Stevens of Nanaimo, BC, is very frustrated about the local newspaper not wanting to print any letters on the language issue. I said to him that BC's French speakers are so few that it's not a problem - not like it is in Ontario or New Brunswick where the French are making life very difficult for the non-French majority. However, if you have an opinion that you'd like to send to the Nanaimo Daily, here is the email

 



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