Canadians for Language Fairness

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

05 August 2017

Bilingualism not growing in Ottawa

Every now & then, the Ottawa Citizen runs an article on the language debate & this one is very exciting because it tells us that the French-language social-engineering agenda is NOT working!!  We've always known that it is not working & the 100's of billions of taxpayer dollars have not succeeded in making French more widespread or accepted - that is such a relief!!  The article has attracted more views supporting our stance than ever before & if you want to enjoy reading all those comments, please link to the article.  The comments don't always appear so if you cannot get the page to open up, contact me as I've captured as much as I could & I'll be so happy to share.

This fight for the rights of English-speakers should concern more Canadians as it affects the majority - even though there is an increase in the number of other languages as we bring in more immigrants from around the world, English is still the most spoken language in Canada.  We have NO quarrel with other languages as long as they don't try to become "official" & force their use in government.   We've heard that even Gaelic is a language that still attracts attention & we've got a lady who wants to tell us about that language that used to be the most spoken language in Canada.   That's a bit of Canada's history that I didn't know!!  Lynn will tell us that interesting story when we gather at the Farewell party for Jurgen Vollrath.  Beth has a very interesting day planned for those who live in the Bearbrook area (east of Ottawa) & she says that people are travelling long distances to attend.  Please contact Beth Trudeau for details.  We are mainly conservative-minded people so politics will be on the agenda.  Special awards will be given to Jurgen Vollrath, Howard Galganov & Jean Serge Brisson.

Jurgen's show on July 28th can still be heard:  You can call in today between 3:00 - 4:00 pm (4:00 - 5:00 in NB) & Jurgen will be happy to hear from you.

Next week (August 11th), at the same time, Kris Austin will be talking to Jurgen so please tune in next Friday & listen.

We have an idea which I would like you to consider.  Read the message below the article by Joanne Laucius & add your comments.

Kim McConnell

Ottawa is the most bilingual it has ever been, but growth rates have barely budged

Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen

More from Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen

Published on: August 2, 2017 | Last Updated: August 2, 2017 7:19 PM EDT

Bilingual sign on Parliament Hill. Chris Roussakis / Postmedia

Canada and Ottawa both have more bilingual residents than ever before, according to Statistics Canada figures released Wednesday. 

Good news for Canada 150, right? Not really, say experts, who find the numbers underwhelming and say the rate of bilingualism in the capital has basically flatlined for the past 15 years.

“It’s the highest proportion ever. But it’s still not that much,” says John Trent, a senior fellow at the Centre on Governance at the University of Ottawa.

What growth there has been in Canadian bilingualism is coming from Quebec.

In that province, there were 3.6 million bilingual people in 2016 — almost 300,000 more since 2011, according to the new census data.

English-French bilingualism reached 18 per cent across Canada, meanwhile, up from 17.5 per cent in 2011.

The increase across Canada represents more than 455,000 more English-French bilingual people in the past five years. 

The needle on Ottawa’s bilingualism rate has barely moved since 2001, says Jack Jedwab, a Montreal-based academic who spends a lot of time in Ottawa. The latest data show that 38.5 per cent of residents are bilingual, up from 38.3 per cent in 2011. 

Across Ontario, bilingualism rates increased from 11 per cent to 11.2 per cent between 2011 and 2016. In most other provinces, gains have been either zero or negligible.

Quebec City, which was once behind Ottawa in terms of bilingualism, has surpassed Ottawa, says Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration.

“There’s more practical opportunity to speak to people who speak English, such as tourists, in Quebec City, than it is to speak to people in French in Ottawa,” says Jedwab. He says he has been in meetings with five francophones and two anglophones, and the conversation just switches to English.

In Ottawa, bilingualism rates increased from 37.6 per cent in 2001 to 38.3 per cent in 2006. They didn’t rise at all in 2011, and only nudged up slightly to 38.5 per cent in 2016, says Jedwab. Meanwhile in Quebec City, bilingualism rates have increased more significantly, from 32.6 per cent in 2001 to 33 per cent in 2006, 36.1 per cent in 2011 to 39.5 per cent in the last census.

“Quebec City seems to understand that there’s a great deal of importance in acquiring English as a second language,” says Jedwab. “Francophones hear English in the workplace. There’s incentive to learn it.”  

Francophones appear to have a better attitude toward learning English. In January, a report for the federal heritage department from Montreal-based Ad hoc Research found that about 84 per cent of francophone respondents said having two languages is culturally enriching, compared with only 60 per cent of anglophones. They were also more open to language-exchange programs in schools and more likely to think knowing both official languages improves the chances of finding a job — 94 per cent of francophones compared with 76 per cent of anglophones.

“Wake up, folks. The reality is that Quebec is much more bilingual, and the rest of Canada is stagnating,” says Jedwab. “We need to push it to the next level. But a lot of people won’t like it. It needs messaging from senior civil servants. If you have taken a training course, speak French to maintain and improve what you have learned. Come to Quebec. There’s a lot of opportunity to practise, and it’s a nice place to visit.”

There’s a lot of opportunity to learn French at school. But there’s not the same opportunity in the workplace, says Jedwab. “In Ottawa and the rest of Canada, what we’re still seeing is people who acquire French, but don’t retain it.”

For people with English as a mother tongue, bilingualism often doesn’t stick. Outside Quebec, anglophones who develop the ability to conduct a conversation in French usually learn it in school, between the ages of five and 19, notes Statistics Canada.

“Bilingualism rates then gradually decline from one age group to the next. Between 2011 and 2016, the bilingualism rate rose in each age category for the school-age population with English as a mother tongue. The bilingualism rate has risen among five-to-nine and 10-to-14 age groups with English as a mother tongue since at least 2001, but has declined in each census for people aged 15 to 19 years.”

People who may once have felt comfortable carrying on a conversation in French lose that ability over time, says Trent. “I find it difficult to explain. One would think with all the effort put into immersion, that number would be higher. It seems counter-intuitive.”

Universities also have a role to play in helping students maintain their French, says Trent. The University of Ottawa has a linguistic support program, but for the most part, universities have never made it a policy priority, he said.

Last year Bilingual Ottawa, a group of francophone organizations and individuals urged the city to embrace official bilingualism as a symbolic gesture for Canada’s 150th celebrations. Mayor Jim Watson declined, saying the city already has “pragmatic bilingualism.”

Trent says if official bilingualism becomes the culture of the city, more people would be motivated to learn French. “It all depends on will. The clear message is that bilingualism competence depends on people’s will.”

Trent notes that the statistics also show that the percentage of Ottawa residents who claim French as a mother tongue has slipped from 22 per cent to 21.3 per cent in the last census. Those who said French was spoken at home slipped from 23.8 per cent to 23.3 per cent.

“This is the reason why we want to push for official bilingualism in Ottawa,” says Trent. “This statistic shows that French needs support.”

The Rebel

The Rebel says that the censorship on the internet is stifling free speech (SunTV has already been killed) & YouTube has been cutting off people like Prof. Peterson.

To be totally free from censorship, the Rebel wants to be able to control their own access to social media on the internet.  CLF will donate $250.00 to that effort as we will be given recognition & a mention on their website.  If you want to add any amount to our $250 to make CLF a bigger supporter, would you contact me?  This will get more people to know that we exist because many people are not even aware of the French agenda & the battle for English-speakers' rights.  It will be chalked up as an advertising cost & your assistance will make our efforts more effective.

Please consider this seriously & send your cheque, made out to "CLF" & mail to our address at the top.

Thank you,

Kim McConnell



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