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

06 May 2018

Language Training very expensive

We’ve been trying to draw attention to the survey, launched by the new federal Language Commissioner (Raymond Théberge) to “renew the Official Languages Act so that it reflects today’s reality”.  If the OCOL really wants the language policy to reflect reality, he should shut down that office because it has failed totally in its primary agenda of uniting the country.  Canada today is more divided than at any other time in its history & much of that division is this effort at Forced Bilingualism.  The ludicrous effort to make a minority language, spoken in a very limited part of the country, EQUAL to the majority language has failed TOTALLY.  So many columnist have been brave enough to write on this failure.

The two most recent articles are linked below.  

On May 4th, an article from the National Post by Julie Oliver (reproduced in the Ottawa Citizen) drew our attention to the outrageous expense of private French lessons given to an NRC executive over 16 months at a cost of over $90K:

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/90000-and-16-months-of-language-training-later-nrc-executive-resigns-before-returning-to-work


Following that article, Kelly Egan wrote in the Ottawa Sun:

http://ottawasun.com/news/local-news/egan-bilingualism-blessings-and-curses-its-how-we-roule/wcm/79756f2f-4d57-47b5-a695-b2113847b854

The story of Ian Potter will surprise no one in the federal public service, where the blessings of official bilingualism have stalled many a career, tormented many a soul, fed many an absurdity.

To grow up in a government town is to have heard it all: anglos (mostly) sent for months of daily language training, kept awake at night by the prospect of failing, only to take on jobs where they hardly use the newfound French; being bypassed in competitions by the bilingually less competent; intensive language instruction as careers and brains are winding down.

Yeah, j’accuse alright. This is every day in the cubicled banlieues of official Ottawa or — be precise now! — “the National Capital Region.”

Potter was the vice-president at the National Research Council who spent the last 16 months in one-on-one French language training — in his hometown of Edmonton, no less — only to resign after at least $90,000 was spent on instruction. And the thing is, he broke no particular rule.

This is just how we roule.

Rules? For the love of God, we have rules. I was noodling around the website of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Because Canadians have a legal right to be served in the official language of their choice (at federal institutions), there is the tricky question of whether dat guy is English or French or neither.

So we have this entry, about how to make an “active offer” to a client, say at a counter:

“I make sure I greet clients in person in both official languages at all times.

1.     I provide a short greeting that is the same in both languages. This is an appropriate way to show that service is available in English and French, without exception. For example:

o    (in Quebec) Bonjour! Hello!

o    (elsewhere in Canada) Hello! Bonjour!

o    or

(in Quebec) Bienvenue! Welcome!

o    (elsewhere in Canada) Welcome! Bienvenue!

2.     I pause to let the client respond.

3.     I continue to provide service in the official language of the client’s choice.”

There are also tips to managers on how to conduct an effective bilingual meeting. This one leaped out at me:

Please read the rest of the article from the Ottawa Sun (link above)


Canadians have been very upset with this policy that has been so badly managed – a policy that has cost billions since its inception, with NO benefit for Canadians other than for the less-than 20% mother-tongue French speakers from Quebec.  Is the country any more united (that was the primary reason for P.E. Trudeau making it part of the very flawed 1982 Constitution)?  The clear answer is NO!!!  Unfortunately for most Canadians, P.E.T’s Constitution has given the French-speakers protection for their language & culture & the courts have made it impossible for the protected status to be challenged.  Fortunately for us, we still have brave columnists like Kelly Egan to shine the occasional bright light on the policy that has caused so much frustration to the English-speaking majority.  Here are some comments received from our readers:

This is probably just another example of how our taxes are being squandered – unnecessary language training (private lessons at $455/day) for an executive who the NRC management must have known was leaving anyway.  Was he entitled to that paid “time off” (16 months at full pay)?  This is clearly something that should be investigated & the guilty person charged for mismanagement or fraud.

KMc


“I do not see this as a fraud but as part of the deliberate plan to enforce a talent flight of competent English speaking people in senior positions in the federal government to make room for, what else, a francophone.  It is just another example of the true, real world, workings of Official Bilingualism manifested as ethnic cleansing, one job at a time.  And how does the country benefit?  The loss is not just the money thrown at this language training (which is bad enough) but that of a person fully qualified for his job and now replaced with someone whose top "qualification" is being able to communicate in the Quebec French dialect.”

-Als


This is totally normal and has nothing to do with the language training. Look into civil servant severance and you will find your answers.  If he served on government for some time it is a week's pay for every year served. Plus return of pension if he elected that option.. or roll into RRSP

C.R.


My Response:  This just shows that our public servants are VERY well paid.


Kim, I’d change that to read “Very senior” public servants are very well compensated… Isn’t it also the very normal waste of tax payer’s dollars that needs to be re-examined under the microscope of efficiency and not the entitlement that successive Liberal governments brag about?  Who was the bozo who led the pack on the so-called “entitlement” initiative.  Others in the Liberal camp seem to feel likewise.

There is no real honest-to-goodness reason why taxpayers should be on the hook for such wasteful practices. Those who set the regulations and those who follow wasteful practices must be held accountable. There has to be a return on investment to justify any expenditure, has there not? Or is our federal government and the servants thereof beyond the requirement to justify expenditures as it relates to return on investment?

Whoever suggested this has nothing to do with language training, well, they better give their head a shake. The reality is, if Potter wasn’t on language training, the issue would not have arisen. In other words, Potter would have been doing his job, perhaps with a language deficiency.  Indeed, the exact words “very poor value for money to spend this much money on language training” are part of the report.

I rest my case, over to you!!!

N.L.


Response:  Actually, Neil, I agree with you.  I think the Canadian Public Service is wasteful & useless – mainly because the principle of MERIT has been displaced by the use of French as the yardstick of proficiency.  A very good example is the Phoenix Pay System - it is such a mess that it has cost us (the taxpayers) over $1B & the solution is still not in sight.  There is very low morale among the public servants – they are being paid big bucks for very little return on investment.

It was Jean Chretien who said:  “we are entitled to our entitlement”

Would you support something like what the Alberta Separatist movement is trying to do?  If you have not heard about this, please link to: https://albertafreedomalliance.ca/


New responses to the OCOL survey:

Hello Kim,

Just to let you know I submitted my comments and opinion this morning.  You can imagine how I responded to the questions and expressed my opinion.

This is undoubtedly just a survey to appease the English and get more ideas to promote French.  Why should we expect otherwise from a French dominated legal and government controlled system.

cheers,

K. D.


Am I the only one who thinks English comments such as those above will simply receive the "delete", "delete", "delete" treatment while every perceived slight in French will be addressed and become law?

G&C McR


Response:  No, you are not the only one who thinks that.  The fact is that there are not enough of us for our views to be considered “relevant”. 


Hi Kim,

I did fill out the on-line response for the Official Languages commissioner. One of my comments was there are so many other languages spoken in Canada and it is totally unfair that all the tax dollars is spent to benefit only 2 languages. And then, the majority of that is spent to benefit the French language. For example, it is ridiculous for south Asians living in a predominately Asian town to walk into a government office and be approached in the French language. This is insane. This was one of my experiences while out in BC visiting friends out there.

R.Q.


OCOL Feedback: This tragic fraud of French being "equal" to English - is apartheid based upon hate! You know that the numbers were NEVER there! Wilfred Laurier in 1903 said it was impractical - yet PET wanted to take-over Canada or to destroy it! You Quebecois are the most brainwashed people - ever. Your leaders play you like a violin - sanctioning linguistic cleansing and hate crimes (You drove 800K English-speakers from Quebec). Malicious Apartheid called progress and equality! History is watching you!  You are the proverbial "Brownshirts" who's blind-conditioned hate of Anglos is being used to exterminate us all. You "burnt-your-ships-long-ago"! You've genocided millions of white English-speaking citizens - that you relegated to second class status and applied administrative genocide with the "need" for "Bilingualism"!  The rope awaits you! You never had a legal leg-to-stand-on - and you all knew it - and knew that if you all bullied as one, lied as one, stole as one - PET goal of the take-over or destruction/genocide - would naturally happen in your "Quiet revolution" hate crimes. You have no excuses and you know it! You are all related Metis with so low a self esteem - you dedicate your lives to destroying the best country in the world and annihilating innocent people - your countrymen - because you hate yourselves even more! You will "win" your just rewards - count-on-it!

 

​G.M.


No, I didn't save it.  But basically I said English for west and French for Quebec was satisfactory for me.  I also told them that I was opposed to the Frenchification of the West where English is the primary language. 

AR

Response:  Excellent – that is the only solution!!  Let Quebec be as French as they wish as long they will keep their hands off the Rest (Most) of Canada.  We don’t need them to continue living off us!!  The current situation of a welfare state being able to call the shots for the country is totally unacceptable!!


Hello Kim,

As a unilingual English public servant who has seen his/her career capped due to language I have plenty to say; however, we public servants are constantly reminded not to criticize government policy while employed.  I have seen so many other indiscretions that would get one fired in the private sector go un-noticed, but criticizing government would be something that is taken very seriously.

I can tell you that language, race and gender come before qualifications within the public service.

Once I am officially retired there is much I have to say about this matter and others.

The current Kanada is no longer my Canada which I was born in.  Unfortunately I have to say that I wish I had moved to the USA right after graduating from business school many decades ago.

C.D.

Response:  Yes, I do understand the precarious position of the public servants.  The Fear Factor is the issue & the reason why the Silent Majority will stay silent & the French will dominate. 


You know Kim I was thinking we should organize to try and divest proportional funding like the French do. Being 80% of the population, we would get more subsidy than the French.  The government would not want to pay it. Use that as leverage to eliminate or at least reduce public spending on so called French services.

DM

Response:  Govt. funding is only given to minorities so the English-speakers will get some funding in Quebec but nothing like what the French-speakers outside Quebec will get.  We, the majority, will NEVER get funding to fight back.

As Bob H. wrote below – the Anglos in Quebec are not getting the same deal as the Francos outside Quebec.  However, the Anglos have allowed themselves to be treated so badly for so long, they are grateful for small mercies.  What a shame!

Hi Kim,

 

Did you see in yesterday's Quebec budget that they are tossing a bone to the Anglo community after decades of neglect - see http://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/quebec-budget-24-5-million-for-anglo-secretariat

 

I expect that this will result in the Francos in Ontario asking for even more.  But, hold on a minute:

 

1)    In Quebec, this money that will be doled out over 5 years is going to the Secretariat of Anglophone Affairs created in November 2017, not a full blown Ministry like in Ontario which is going to cost a lot more just to operate.

 

2)    the Secretariat of Anglophone Affairs in Quebec falls under Kathleen Weil who is the Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Minister responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers - but her offices in Quebec City and Montreal are both given as "Secrétariat à l'accès à l'information et à la réforme des institutions démocratiques" so I expect that this is her main focus, not relations with English-speaking Quebecers.  But in Ontario, we are getting a new stand-alone Franco ministry and a Minister with no other duties except to cater to the Francos.

 

3)    Quebec's English speaking population is 12% of the total population, whereas Ontario's French speakers amount to 4%.

 

4)    Quebec has a balanced budget with a surplus so can well afford this whereas Ontario is deficit spending by $8 billion so cannot afford anything more and should be cutting back

 

Need I say more?

 

B.H.



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