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End the unfairness of official bilingualism. Stop wasting our tax dollars.

Friday February 5, 2016

Increased Pressure Exerted By French Activists In Oshawa

The Francophone community is being encouraged to vote at the upcoming February 11th provincial election in Whitby-Oshawa. The provincial government under Premier Kathleen Wynne is attempting to use her influence to get the French-speakers to elect a Liberal replacement for the seat vacated by Christine Elliot in August, 2015.  With a Liberal MP at that seat, Oshawa could be pressured to accept  designation under the FLSA, despite what was decided by the Oshawa City Council in 2015.

This is unfair pressure being put on the City of Oshawa, despite the fact that this region does not qualify for designation under the criteria set forth in the Act i.e.

  • Francophones must make up at least 10% of the local population (including municipalities, counties, districts, towns and townships); or,
  • The number of Francophones must exceed 5,000 in urban centres.

The Oshawa City Council passed the following motion:

  1. Moved by Councillor Diamond, seconded by Councillor Kerr, (315)  
  2. Whereas Oshawa’s French speaking citizens are valued members of Oshawa’s diverse community; and,
  3. Whereas the Office of Francophone Affairs proposes to add Oshawa to the list of designated areas under the French Language Services Act (F.L.S.A.); and,
  4. Whereas if designation were approved, any member of the public who requests provincial government services would have the right to be served in French in any provincial ministry and agency office that serves or is located in the Oshawa area; and,
  5. Whereas the Office of Francophone Affairs advises that it considers demographics, financial implications and community support when evaluating a potential designation; and,
  6. Whereas for the demographic criterion, the Office of Francophone Affairs advises that it determines whether the francophone population meets either of two thresholds: ten percent of the local population or 5,000 in an urban centre; and,
  7. Whereas the 2011 census indicates that the number of Oshawa residents whose mother tongue was French was 3,245 representing 2.3% of the population; and,
  8. Whereas the Region of Durham delivers provincial government services on behalf of the province; and,
  9. Whereas in Regional Report 2013-J-24, the Regional Chief Administrative Officer identified the following program areas that would be impacted by a designation: Children's Services, Income and Employment Support (Ontario Works), Family Services (Partner Assault Response, Adult Community Support Services, and Passport programs only), Housing and Homelessness Services and Provincial Offences; and,
  10. Whereas on October 9, 2013, Durham Region Council unanimously resolved:

THAT until such time that the Regional Municipality of Durham receives satisfactory assurances from the relevant Provincial Ministries and agencies that the costs of designation under the F.L.S.A. related to Provincial Services and programs will be covered by the Province of Ontario and until that's delivered Regional Council not support the geographic area of Durham being a designated area under the French Language Services Act; and,

THAT Report #2013-J-24 of the Chief Administrative Officer be forwarded to the Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs, all local MPPs and the eight local municipalities”; and,

  1. Whereas Oshawa taxpayers would, as Regional taxpayers, be affected by increased Regional costs and may, as Oshawa taxpayers, be particularly affected if the Region were to exercise its jurisdiction to impose a special upper tier levy to recover the costs associated with designation under the French Language Services Act;

Now therefore be it resolved:

  1. That unless and until The Corporation of the City of Oshawa and The Regional Municipality of Durham have received satisfactory assurances from the relevant provincial ministries and agencies that the costs of designation of the Oshawa area related to provincial services and programs will be wholly funded by the Province of Ontario, the Council of The Corporation of the City of Oshawa cannot support the designation of the Oshawa area under the French Language Services Act; and,
  2. That this resolution be forwarded to the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, the Premier of Ontario, all local M.P.P.s and to The Regional Municipality of Durham.”  Carried

_______________________________________________________________________

We have been told that the number of French-only speakers in the Oshawa area is very small (135).  Do the French activists think that this small number justifies the expense spent to provide all services in both languages?  This perceived right on the part of the French is becoming a very real injustice to the English-speaking majority by being made the main criteria for jobs, diminishing other more valuable qualification.  We have statistics that show very clearly that the younger generation of French-speakers are now well ahead of the non-French.  This is social engineering of the worst kind:

The 4% francophones (mother-tongue) in Ontario have more than their share of advantages.

______________________________________________________________________________

Elizabeth Roy - Liberal

PC - Lorne Coe

NDP - Niki Lundquist

Readers of this message should find out which of the three candidates would go against the wishes of the Oshawa City Council in their motion passed last May.  We know that providing French language services (duplicating what is mandated in English) is a very expensive proposition.  The province of Ontario spends over $623 Million every year in various grants providing funds for the French pressure groups to force the provision of services in French (please see the attached report by the Fraser Institute).  This figure is badly out of date as the study was done in 2006 and since then the demands of the French have grown by leaps & bounds.  The 2015 City of Ottawa budget was requested to be translated into French but the exorbitant cost of translating the 300,000 words was $75,000 and this was refused by City Council.  This is one of the reasons why the French activists are determined for Ottawa to be declared Officially Bilingual so that the courts can be brought into play.

Kim McConnell

______________________________________________________________________________

Fraser Institute - Cost of OB - 2006

Canada’s 10 provinces spend nearly $900 million annually providing bilingual government services. Including the $1.5 billion the federal government spends on bilingualism, Canadian taxpayers are footing an annual bill of $2.4 billion for bilingual services, a cost of $85 per Canadian....

Of the 10 provinces, Ontario and New Brunswick have large linguistic minorities (francophones) while Quebec has a large anglophone minority. Francophone populations in the remaining seven provinces are all quite small.

Ontario spends $623 million annually - the most among all provinces - in providing services in French to its francophone minority. New Brunswick has the second largest budget for minority language services, $85 million, followed by Quebec at $50 million.

With large linguistic minorities and a substantial number of government services provided to these minorities in their native language, these three provinces could reduce the costs for taxpayers by making greater use of the private sector for translations.

Of the remaining provinces, Alberta spends $33 million on bilingual services ($534.70 per francophone), B.C. spends $23 million ($426.90 per francophone), Nova Scotia spends $18 million ($540.10 per francophone), Manitoba spends $16 million ($410.20 per francophone), Saskatchewan spends $9.65 million ($640.50 per francophone), Prince Edward Island spends $5.1 million ($946.20 per francophone), and Newfoundland and Labrador spends $3.4 million ($1780.30 per francophone).

In most provinces, a substantial portion of the money spent on bilingual services comes in the form of providing French-language education.



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