01 April 2018
Our new Language Commissioner, Raymond Théberge, is off to a good start!! More money will be spent on forcing the French language on the Most of Canada (MoC), while misrepresenting the entire situation. When will the politicians (Federal, Provincial, Municipal) & ALL the elites accept that “Canada is NOT a bilingual country”?
1. Keith has presented the argument well enough, Canada CANNOT be a bilingual country as long as Quebec is UNILINGUAL & still part of Canada.
2. Raymond Theberge is wrong when he said, “Ottawa is officially bilingual” – it is not.
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 OB, the courts will take control & do I need to remind you how biased the courts are these days? Do you know how far this French power & influence have grown since the OLA was nserted nto our flawed 1982 Constitution?
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.
The Council of the City of Ottawa is still in charge – that situation stays as long as the citizens are mindful who they vote for in the next election because the French groups are putting pressure on the current & future councillors.
Read the Report from the Commissioner below.
3. Wait till you come to the part that is designed to make you cry!! The Language Commish says that the % of French speakers is steadily decreasing so we must bolster their numbers with increased immigration from French-speaking countries (usually ex-French colonies). So brace yourselves to accommodate more immigrants that will require more social services in French.
4. The Eastern provinces that have been depending on the amount of money being transferred from the Western provinces will soon find that the Western provinces no longer want to continue to support this Wealth Transfer Scheme. Sharon MacLise, leader of the Alberta Freedom Alliance, has her own ideas on a solution (read the item below by Dr. Michael Wagner).
5. The United Conservative Party, under the leadership of Jason Kenney, is thinking along the same lines (read the article on that below).
Wouldn’t it be good if these two like-minded entities were to work TOGETHER? Let me remind them of the old adage: “United we Stand, Divided we Fall”.
Figure 1.1: Federal investments in official languages
Federal investments in official languages - Text version
Excerpt from the report above
Decline in the percentage of Francophones outside of Quebec
Statistics Canada projections show the percentage of Francophones outside of Quebec declining from 4% in 2011 to 3% by 2036.
Slow growth of bilingualism
Statistics Canada projects that the national bilingualism rate will go from 17.5% in 2011 to 18.5% in 2036, while the rate of bilingualism of Anglophones outside of Quebec will go from 6.6% to 6.7% for the same period.
After the billions we’ve spent chasing this dream, should we be impressed?
Speech for the Dialogue Canada Annual General Meeting
Ottawa, Ontario, March 26, 2018
Raymond Théberge - Commissioner of Official Languages
Beginning of dialog
Good morning/afternoon/evening ladies and gentlemen.
First, thank you for this invitation. I feel privileged to have been appointed Commissioner of Official Languages and to be with you today to start our discussion. I know that it will give me food for thought throughout my mandate.
Thank you for your work over the years toward making the City of Ottawa bilingual. I am very proud that our capital has become officially bilingual. It is an important symbol, and it reminds us that official languages are part of our country’s DNA.
My history is very similar to that of a number of Francophone families in Western Canada. My grandfather left Quebec to settle in Saskatchewan on 160 acres of land. He was one of the early settlers of Western Canada, and along with many others, helped to build his adopted province.
I was born in Sainte-Anne-des-Chênes, Manitoba. At the time, the village’s population was almost 100% Francophone, yet there was no French public school. My parents sent me to a private school so that I could receive a French education.
When it was my brothers’ turn, they were able to attend a French public school. Things had changed. The Francophones’ demands had finally been heard.
The migration of Francophones to Western Canada did not affect their strong desire to preserve their language and culture. That is what makes the Francophone population so resilient. In my parents’ view, a French education was not optional, it was non-negotiable.
Before going to Ottawa to study, I was a French Canadian. When I returned home a few years later, I was a bit surprised to learn that I was part of an official language minority community. It was the first time that I was referred to as a minority.
French Canadians, as they were called at the time, were originally descendants of immigrants from France. Of course, they were also descendants of other peoples. For instance, some First Nations members married French immigrants. The Francophone migration to Western Canada was driven by the opportunity to prosper and settle, given the fertile soil and the railway. It was the right time to acquire land. French-speaking Canadians initially came from Europe. Nowadays, they come from Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and other places as well.
Both the official language majority and official language minority communities are becoming increasingly diverse as a result of immigration and mixed marriages. The communities are also becoming more and more bilingual, or even trilingual. This situation has contributed to Canada’s rich cultural fabric, but also to the growing complexity of individual linguistic identities.
While this situation has led to new opportunities, challenges have also emerged, especially with respect to linguistic duality. I believe that bilingualism and a knowledge of Canada’s two official languages constitute more than just a list of characteristics of a person or community. Linguistic duality is a fundamental value of our society.
(Ask any New Brunswicker what this really means. Linguistic Duality has come to mean that French-language institutions stay French but English-language institutions must become bilingual!! This will lead to SEGREGATION – the main reason given is to stop ASSIMILATION!! How’s that for a nation-building exercise?)
According to recent language data released by Statistics Canada, the bilingualism rate has increased in almost every province and territory, which is a good sign. However, Statistics Canada’s projections indicate that between now and 2036, the percentage of Francophones in the country will continue to decrease. In addition to demographic and linguistic challenges, some communities face significant socio-economic challenges.
I believe that Statistics Canada’s language projections are a call to action for immigration, one of the foremost ways to maintain the demographic weight of Francophone minority communities. I also believe that, to fully ensure the future of language minority communities, there must be a continuum of education, from early childhood services to post-secondary institutions. I plan to focus on these two major issues during my mandate.
You already know that promoting linguistic duality is part of my mandate. However, for me, it is far more than just a responsibility. I have worked on official languages my entire life. Like Obelix, I swam in the potion, the potion of official languages. I lived in a small Francophone minority community. I saw my parents fight endlessly for the right to a French education. All of my studies and academic work in linguistics have helped to shape my current vision. I have worked in Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick, and official languages have always played a key role in my activities.
So, for me, it is more than just a responsibility … it is a calling.
Our current government must make a commitment to linguistic duality and minority language communities. We need strong leadership to increase bilingualism and to ensure that children in language minority communities have equal access to early childhood services and education in their language.
The government can do this through its Action Plan for Official Languages. We are eagerly awaiting this plan, which should provide a good overview of the federal government’s commitment. However, the plan is not an end in itself. It is only a beginning. Next comes the leadership that I just mentioned. It is encouraging to see that the Action Plan for Official Languages is being revamped. I was also pleasantly surprised to see official languages specifically referred to in the budget. However, I look forward to hearing who will be taking the lead on this issue, who will be coordinating the plan and who will be holding the departments accountable to ensure that the plan achieves results for Canadians.
I would now like to take a few minutes to talk about another matter that is just as important, and which I believe will affect the future of linguistic duality and official language minority communities.
As you probably know, the Office of the Commissioner has started to look at modernizing the Official Languages Act. Since the Act will turn 50 in 2019, the time is ripe for proposing to the government that it make changes to the legislation.
I have been here only a few months, but I am convinced that the Act must be modernized to reflect the many ways that Canadian society has changed since 1988. These changes include the demographics of the country, immigration and urbanization, and technology changes and their impact on federal institution workplaces and new ways of delivering services to the public.
Now more than ever, we need legislation that can proactively respond to the changing face of Canada.
While I focus on a number of issues, my team will continue to consult key stakeholders and will start a broader public consultation very soon. These consultations will significantly contribute to our discussion.
Key issues in this important exercise include linguistic equality in justice, the possibility of asserting the Commissioner’s historic role of promoter and educator, the need to consider potential regulations for the promotion of English and French by the federal government, and the inclusion of a provision for periodic review of the Act.
I hope that you will participate in these consultations in some capacity. The Office of the Commissioner wants to take a position that Canadians and language communities can agree upon.
Since my time as a student in Saint-Boniface, I have experienced both the highs and lows of my Francophone community in Manitoba. Through the various positions that I have held, I have seen all the progress made by the Francophone and Acadian communities.
From French Canadian to Francophone Canadian to Francophone, my identity has evolved in step with Canadian society.
I am certain that much work remains to be done to ensure the future of linguistic duality in Canada, as well as Francophone minority communities. We must build on the foundations of official languages and linguistic duality and face the challenges ahead. With the support of organizations such as yours, which have connection at the core of their mandate, I am sure that we will succeed.
Date modified: 2018-03-26
Impaired charges against Sudbury man stayed because police didn't speak to him in French Judge rules Charter rights were violated during 2016 arrest
Not rude, just French
ALBERTA FREEDOM ALLIANCE
Dr. Michael Wagner, a PhD historian, is a Friend of Alberta Separation. You can read his several posts on our webpage here. They will help you understand that Alberta Independence isn’t just a novelty – it is an absolute possibility. But keep dreaming – people in the ROC need to live in disbelief or they’ll be too scared shitless to sleep at all, if they are forced to contemplate Alberta leaving them on their own.
POSTED ON FEBRUARY 28, 2018
Towards an Independent Alberta: A Brief History of Alberta Separatism
Alberta Freedom Alliance is proud to call Michael Wagner a Friend of Alberta Separation. Dr. Wagner has been a defining voice in Alberta’s conservative community and has accumulated years of knowledge in Alberta political history doing extensive research along with many years of personal observation of its trends. He knows more about Alberta conservative politics and the many great “movers and shakers” in our conservative community than perhaps any other “expert”. His latest book, True Right, a must read for students of Alberta politics’, defines them all. A previous book, Alberta Separatism: Then and Now is the only one of its kind. It describes the background and history of Alberta Separatism. You can find them both on http://merchantship.generationalfamilies.net/.
Michael first became politically involved in the early 1980s as a result of Pierre Trudeau’s attack on Alberta’s freedom and resources. He joined Elmer Knutson’s West-Fed organization in 1981 and the Alberta Western Canada Concept Party in 1982. Much later, in 2009, he wrote his sympathetic history of the Alberta separatist movement to ensure that the movement would be recognized as a legitimate and rational response to the socialistic policies of the federal government. He has a PhD in political science from the University of Alberta where his research focused on education policy in Alberta.
“Chesman also notes that the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the Secession Reference case of 1998, along with the federal government’s subsequent Clarity Act of 2000, give Alberta a legal pathway to independence.”
Interim Leader, Alberta Freedom Alliance
Jason Kenney taps into deep well of Western alienation
There’s a story Jason Kenney enjoys telling on the rubber-chicken circuit in Alberta these days that is being particularly well-received.
It begins with the leader of the United Conservative Party denouncing the federal government and politicians in Quebec for effectively sticking a dagger in the Energy East pipeline project, while continuing to accept tankers full of oil from unscrupulous foreign regimes whose industries are subject to little or no environmental oversight. And he uses the point to segue into an account of a cement plant in Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula that, a few years ago, received an exemption from environmental review.
This, despite the fact that it would spew nearly two million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year into the atmosphere – vastly eclipsing the discharge levels of many oil sands operations in Fort McMurray. The plant received $400-million in provincial subsidies, Mr. Kenney tells his audience, a portion of which, he surmises, came from the $11-billion in equalization payments Quebec receives annually, the largest percentage of which is contributed by his province.
In other words, Alberta is helping to subsidize this plant, too!
“And it gets better,” the former federal Conservative cabinet minister says. “The guy who owns the cement plant is the chairman and largest shareholder of Bombardier.” It is here the crowd often gasps and Mr. Kenney pauses for effect.
“I’m sorry,” he says. “I can’t make this up.”
“Yes, Bombardier,” he continues, “who we subsidize to produce planes that burn oil and produce CO2 emissions which are not subject to regulation. Ladies and gentleman, this is becoming cloud cuckoo land.” Mr. Kenney finishes by telling the assembled that when he becomes premier he will fight against this type of duplicity, fight against a federal government and provinces that take from Alberta with one hand, and whack it with the other.
Cue the standing ovation.
Mr. Kenney’s story is mostly an accurate one. The plant he talks about was owned by Quebec’s Beaudoin family, who are synonymous with Bombardier, but it was taken over by the Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec in 2016. The factory did not get a $400-million subsidy, but did benefit from a $250-million government loan and received another $100-million from the province for an equity share in the operation as well as $100-million from the provincial pension plan for a stake.
Still, the yarn serves as an illustration of the double standard that exists in this country when it comes to Alberta generally, and its oil in particular.
Like many politicians, Mr. Kenney doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good tale, especially if it helps him make a broader point. And if it helps undermine a Liberal government in Ottawa that he loathes, all the better. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not a popular man in Alberta these days, with approval numbers lower than those suffered by his father after introducing the disastrous National Energy Program in the early 1980s.
Mr. Kenney is tapping into that sentiment. Albertans feel betrayed by Ottawa. Even if the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion goes through, Mr. Trudeau won’t get much credit for it now. People hate the carbon tax and blame him for it as much as NDP Premier Rachel Notley. They see special rules for Quebec when it comes to the environment and associate that fact with the federal Liberals as well.
“In the past year, I have heard more expressions of support for Western or Alberta separatism than I’ve heard in my whole life,” Mr. Kenney recently told me in an interview in his office.
“It’s a reflection of deep frustration from people who think: We helped the federation pay the bills, we’ve played by the rules, we haven’t really complained about it, and yet we’re getting royally screwed here.”
Alberta is still more than a year away from going to the polls. If an election were held today, it would be the United Conservatives in a landslide. It would take a miracle for the NDP to pull off another win, but we’ve seen these upsets before.
At the moment, more likely is a new Alberta under Mr. Kenney. It would not only mean a shakeup for the province, but the country, too. One of the most experienced and effective politicians in Canada is loaded for bear and is serving notice Alberta is tired of being treated as a detested cash cow.
“The hypocrisy in this country is driving a level of alienation here I haven’t seen in my whole life,” he said. “People are angry, and they should be.”
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