13 April 2018
April 11, 2018
With just about everyone being so confused about the City Of Ottawa’s Language policy (from the pronouncements of the new Language Commissioner - Raymond Théberge, to just about every French language activist in existence), we had to get Mayor Watson to clarify the situation. So we wrote to Mayor Watson & all the Councillors on April 8th & Mayor Watson replied the very next day.
According to our best brain in the BoD – “In a word, YES, the status quo prevails - for now. No changes needed as the previous By-law, 2001-170, fulfills all the requirements stipulated in the Bill 177. The City of Ottawa is NOT official bilingual”
Everyone can keep a copy of Mayor Watson’s response & if ever they hear of another person saying that “Ottawa is Officially Bilingual”, feel free to send them Mayor Watson’s response.
April 8, 2018
Dear Mayor & City Councillors
City of Ottawa
We would like the City Council to clarify the status of the City Of Ottawa as per its language status. We understand the following:
Bill 177 acknowledges that Ottawa has a bilingual policy (as per by-law 2001-170 & the City of Ottawa Act 199) but this does not make Ottawa “Officially Bilingual”. The City Of Ottawa Council is still in control of how bilingual it will be – NOT the courts. Once the City is declared “Officially Bilingual”, the courts will take control & dictate to the City how bilingual the city’s administration has to be. Am I wrong in this assumption?
CITY OF OTTAWA ACT, 1999
The Schedule amends the City of Ottawa Act, 1999. It recognizes Ottawa’s bilingual character. It requires Ottawa to make a by-law for bilingual administration and services. It clarifies that an existing Ottawa by-law respecting bilingualism is such a by-law.
To clarify this situation once & for all, will the City Council let the citizens know the answer to this question:
“Is the City of Ottawa Officially Bilingual”?
From: Watson, Jim (Mayor/Maire) [mailto:Jim.Watson@ottawa.ca]
Sent: April 9, 2018 4:44 PM
To: 'Kim McConnell'
Cc: Monette, Bob; Mitic, Jody; Harder, Jan; Wilkinson, Marianne; El-Chantiry, Eli; Qadri, Shad; Taylor, Mark; Chiarelli, Rick; Chernushenko, David; Ward 9; Deans, Diane; Tierney, Timothy; Fleury, Mathieu; Nussbaum, Tobi; McKenney, Catherine; Leiper, Jeff; Brockington, Riley; Cloutier, Jean; Blais, Stephen; Darouze, George; Moffatt, Scott; Qaqish, Michael; Hubley, Allan; Egli, Keith
Subject: RE: Is the City of Ottawa "Officially Bilingual"
Dear Ms. McConnell,
Thank you for your email seeking clarification on the bilingual character of the City of Ottawa.
On December 14, 2017 Bill 177, the Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017, received Royal Assent after being adopted by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. This was an omnibus bill that amended a variety of statutes, including the City of Ottawa Act, 1999. The amendments were intended to recognize, within provincial legislation, Ottawa’s bilingual character, and require the City to pass a by-law providing that the administration of the municipality shall be conducted in both English and French and that all or specified municipal services to the public shall be made available in both languages, in accordance with Subsection 14(1) of the French Language Services Act.
In keeping with this, the Bill 177 amendments acknowledged that the City’s existing Bilingualism By-law (No. 2001-170), originally passed in May 2001, already fulfills the City’s statutory obligation to adopt a by-law, and they also explicitly recognize City Council’s discretion to determine the “scope and content” of that by-law.
Though the City’s bilingual character is now officially recognized in the City of Ottawa Act, 1999, the recent changes did not expand the City’s obligations in terms of the provision of French-language services, beyond the requirement of having a By-law under Subsection 14(1) of the French Language Services Act or beyond those obligations that already existed under the Bilingualism By-law (No. 2001-170).
As a result of these changes, Section 11.1 of the City of Ottawa Act, 1999, now reads as follows:
11.1 (1) The city’s bilingual character is recognized.
By-law respecting use of English and French languages
(2) The city shall pass a by-law under subsection 14 (1) of the French Language Services Act.
Same, board of health
(3) The by-law applies with respect to the administration of the board of health and the provision of services by the board.
Scope and content of by-law
(4) The scope and content of the by-law shall be as determined by the City.
(5) For greater certainty, City of Ottawa By-law No. 2001-170 (Bilingualism) meets the requirement of subsection (2).
The City is proud to support the diversity of its residents, including its active Francophone community, which greatly contributes to growing our city. Our bilingual character is one of Ottawa’s strengths and the City of Ottawa will continue to provide quality programs and services to its residents and employees in both English and French.
City of Ottawa
Comment from Al S.:
The great tragedy here is that it is never explained that there is a huge difference between bilingualism and official bilingualism.
Being bilingual or even multilingual is always desirable insofar as it allows communication in more than one language. No one will argue with that.
Official bilingualism however means that now the government is involved where government at any level can compel bilingualism on the population. And in Canada's case, that means being compelled (forced) to know both "official" languages, English and French, if, for example, you want to qualify for a certain range of jobs or a promotion - usually in a government bureaucracy.
But that still does not explain the whole story - otherwise why does the Nation of Quebec not have official bilingualism as a law or policy?
Under official bilingualism, to be considered for a job or a promotion, a person would need to prove he/she is proficient in both languages. This language proficiency test is then "loaded" (skewed) in favour of the demographic that is perceived to be needing some "help" in passing this test. And that demographic is always, in English Canada, the Franco community.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, only those born under the Fleur-de-Lis manage to pass the Quebec French dialect knowledge test leaving those not so born at a distinct disadvantage.
As is amply evident in the federal civil service and increasingly so in the Ontario civil service (not to overlook various municipalities that have bought into this "theme") increasingly the Franco individuals get the jobs and the English speakers do not, no matter how well otherwise they may be qualified.
In short, we have to see Official Bilingualism for what it is: a government enforced program of enforced racism.
It is an all-out tribal warfare pitting one language group against another with a badly corrupted Canadian "Constitution" providing "legality" of this skewing in favour of one tribe over another.
Official Bilingualism is the manifestation of manufactured and contrived grievances that somehow Canada was stolen from the Franco/Acadian community following its loss on the battlefield of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.
Not able to compete in the sea of English North America and severely hobbled with its insistence of clinging to that failed French (Napoleonic) Civil Code, the Canadian Francos managed over time to obtain a national leadership that shared these contrived grievances - that hatred - of the minority tribe and that "leadership" would level the playing field for them.
But more than merely leveling the playing field Official Bilingualism was meant to go beyond that and also ethnically cleanse all English speakers in all levels of government in all positions of influence and control - especially control of the public purse. All it would take is government enforcement and highly biased language tests all conducted seamlessly and "under the radar."
We have to see Official Bilingualism for what it truly is in Canada: it is a revenge-filled, hateful and racist Statute designed to completely overturn - take away - the rightful ownership of this great country and put it in the hands of those whose long history is a demonstrated stream of failure.
Wherever the French have gone throughout the world colonizing this and then that country or region they have failed with the follow-up miseries still in evidence today.
But that won’t stop them from now colonizing Canada.
After all the Constitution is on their side.
How can they fail?
Cohen: Why does Canada just accept incompetence?
Published on: April 3, 2018 | Last Updated: April 3, 2018 12:05 PM EDT
Less than a month ago, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario chose its new leader. The process was cloudy and chaotic. In a word, it was a fiasco.
At different stages in the electronic balloting, the two leading candidates – Doug Ford and Christine Elliott – cast doubt on the legitimacy of the contest. Before he was declared the winner, Ford had warned of irregularities, seeking an extension of the vote. According to the National Post, he called the process “corrupt, unfair and biased.”
When his victory was announced, though, Ford’s concerns vanished (much like those of Donald Trump, who questioned the integrity of the 2016 election until it made him president).
Elliott, having lost despite winning more votes than Ford – blame her party’s peculiar version of the electoral college – protested. In the complex voting system based on geography, her representatives “identified entire towns voting in the wrong riding.”
The point here isn’t who won. It is that no one seems terribly upset about this shambles – the latest example of Canada’s institutional ineptitude.
We cannot seem to get things right these days. Once we saw things as a matter of confidence. Now we ask if things are a matter of competence.
Justin Trudeau’s visit to India was a disaster because his staff ignored advice on when to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and how to balance his time. They did not foresee the optics of Canada’s prime minister wearing more national outfits than a runway model. This followed a bad trip to China. A question: Who’s responsible?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, left, their daughter Ella Grace, second left, and son Xavier greet in Indian style during their visit to Golden Temple, in Amritsar, India, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Public Relations Office Govt. Of Punjab via AP
The federal government cannot fix the beleaguered Phoenix system (inherited from the Conservatives) to pay its employees. It could not organize the security for celebrations in Ottawa on July 1; thousands were caught in long lines, in the rain, unable to get on Parliament Hill.
It could not unveil the National Holocaust Monument without controversy. It could not build the unfinished Collections Conservation Centre next to the Canada Science and Technology Museum without huge cost overruns. It cannot fill many senior administrative and judicial positions.
We continue to have a crumbling 24 Sussex Drive because no one will make a decision. It will take 10 years or so to renovate Centre Block, forcing Parliament to move. Why do other countries finish big projects faster?
The Conservatives made little progress on pipelines and it is likely the Liberals won’t either, despite their efforts. More broadly, funds for infrastructure projects are slow to reach their destination.
The City of Ottawa, run by the most overrated mayor in Canada, cannot build things on time. It was hilariously late on the pedestrian bridge over the Airport Parkway and it is late on the light-rail system, for which it will not penalize the contractor. Wait for the new central library – mistakenly planned for LeBreton Flats rather than downtown – to come in smaller, later and costlier than promised.
As for LeBreton Flats, don’t be surprised if its development is as disappointing as Lansdowne Park, the once-in-a century opportunity the city squandered by putting up a shopping mall.
Noticed Ottawa’s potholes this spring? Yes, we have winter. But why does this city have roads like a developing country? Inferior materials? Crooked contractors? Hopeless municipal staff?
Incompetence, incompetence. Is it more common now than before? Perhaps. True, governments do not get credit for things that work – utilities that supply power and water, medical care that heals, pensions that are paid on time. These, governments do well.
It is also true that governments receive no applause for what we don’t see – such as Trudeau’s quiet, able management of the bilateral relationship with the mercurial Donald Trump as NAFTA is renegotiated. Canada is a case study in focus and self-discipline.
When we see excellence in quality in business, we know it. There is a reason that Mercedes Benz, EQ3, Apple, Enterprise Car Rental and L.L. Bean succeed; they have exacting standards of service that they apply relentlessly.
Yet too many today have no standards at all. We accept the results with polite resignation.
Andrew Cohen is a journalist, professor and author of Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours That Made History.
Bilingualism to blame for incompetent government
Re: Why do we just accept incompetence? April 4
The answer to Andrew Cohen’s question is because we are used to it in Ottawa. When the most important qualification for anything in the National Capital Region is bilingualism, we have become complacent with the lack of excellence.
Tina Phillips, Ottawa
Bilingualism has nothing to do with competence
Re: Bilingualism to blame for incompetence, April 5
I beg to differ with a recent letter writer’s comment that the reason for our government’s incompetence is as follows: “When the most important qualification for anything in the National Capital Region is bilingualism, we have become complacent with the lack of excellence.”
In my 42 years of service within the federal government, I saw incompetence, mediocrity and excellence. None of these had to do with bilingualism. It was, and continues to be, each individual’s work ethic which show whether one is satisfied with oneself – and others – working at an incompetent or mediocre level.
A.A. Roberts, Ottawa
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