Welcome to Canadians for Language Fairness, an organization that is fighting against the spread of forced bilingualism.
Everybody knows that the Official Bilingualism Policy (OLA) only applies at the Federal government level and that the only province that has adopted that policy is New Brunswick. The province of Quebec has used the Notwithstanding clause to pass Bill 101 that makes French their only official language. The province of Ontario passed the French Language Services Act (1986)
Since the adoption of the Act, the designation of areas has been based on an analysis of the potential costs of designation to relevant ministries as well as the demographic weight of the local Francophone population.
In order for an area to be eligible for designation, it must meet one of the following conditions:
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 first 24 areas were designated under the FLSA based on these statistical criteria.
In cases where the statistical criteria are not met, the commitment of the local Franco-Ontarian community can also lead to designation. In the case of the designation of Kingston, for example, the concerted effort of the city’s Francophones as well as local community support were major contributing factors. Kingston is the 25th designated area.
The City of Oshawa passed a resolution in 2015 stating that they will only adopt the FLSA if the province will pay for the costs of designation.
The City of Ottawa is still under threat of being declared Officially Bilingual, even though the City Mayor, Jim Watson, & the Council has consistently said, "NO". The push is coming from all sides - Quebec wants the city to be declared officially bilingual; the French elite in the University of Ottawa has put on pressure, as has the Ontario Liberal government.
This link shows that the Federal Liberal government has shown reluctance to interfere in what is essentially a municipal jurisdiction:
The link to the French article above has been translated into English by one of our supporters:
Ottawa - While the actions of the Liberal Party of Canada in the matter of official languages are slow in being put into concrete form, three panelists from the University of Ottawa were invited to ponder the future of bilingualism under the government of Justin Trudeau.
Do not be optimistic. Whether it is a historical, statistical, or even political point of view, the future of bilingualism in Canada under the government of Justin Trudeau is not assured according to a panel of experts gathered for a round table at the annual conference of the French Canadian Culture Research Centre (CRCCF) on Thursday, March 3, in Ottawa.
In opening, Olivier Dorais, doctoral student in history at the University of Montreal, asked, "The undertaking is diminishing and we seem to be at the end of a historic cycle. Must we conclude that bilingualism will be the relic of another era?"
The figures do not weigh in favour of the defense and promotion of the two official languages. When we talk of disturbing numbers, they are above all those of French in Canada according to Martin Meunier, Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Ottawa.
The cause of the problem is demographics. Since the language system of Canada regarding the two official languages was imposed in 1960, it was because at that time, one thought the country would be made up in equal parts of anglophones and francophones. Today, the number of Canadians whose mother tongue is French never ceases to diminish exactly like the number of those who speak French in the home. Outside of Quebec, French represents only a tiny percentage of the population and the demographic impact of francophones is becoming weaker and weaker. Only political will keeps canadian bilingualism in place.."
According to Mr. Meunier, the francophone community must think of another way to defend their gains, no longer being able to rely on numbers.
Linda Cardinal, professor at the School of Political Studies and incumbent of the Chair of Research on Francophony and Public Politics at the University of Ottawa, does not doub that the government of Justin Trudeau will retain the political will to defend the ideal of Canadian bilingualism. However, she admits disappointment at the lack of a strong, clear message about bilingualism during the campaign and in the Throne speech.
"A strong message could have indicated a break with the previous government," she explained.
For however much she recognizes that the government of Stephen Harper invested funds in the official languages, the philopsophy of the Conservative Party stamped the Canadian vision as to its two languages.
"For ten years the Conservatives defended bilingualism solely under an economic and utilitarian perspective. They have created loss of the cultural character and direction of Canada's official languages. Justin Trudeau says he wants to gather people together to see if he can revive the spirit of Canadian bilingualism.
The "by and for" the only way of the future
According to Francois Charbonneau, Professor of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, today there is only a small number of bilingual Canadians the majority being francophones outside Quebec.
"Multiculturalism and all the rhetoric about the concept of "citizens of the world" requires no participation or policy. It is an easy ideal to attain."
In spite of the hopes born from the election of Justin Trudeau, the Professor of Political Studies predicts disarray for francophones who, according to him, would be better to concentrate on a goal of "by and for."
"It is the only means of resistance for francophones."
The three day annual conference of the CRCCF on the theme "Canadian bilingualism as a plan: the history of a utopia and its realisation" brought about uplifting discussions and exchanges. But after several meetings and lectures, a consensus made clear that the ideal of Canadian bilingualism has declined to the point of being much less a priority now.
Comments from our readers:
The panelists claim that they are not happy with the way Prime Minister J. Trudeau is handling the bilingualism file, that the prospect of expanding the French presence nation-wide has dimmed considerably since Trudeau took over the top job from Harper.
We can only hope!
I suspect that the panelists, being good French nationalists, are cynically pushing for more federal funding of PET's pet project of Frenchifying (alert: new word!) the country.
It is quite possible that the panelists came to the realization that since Quebec is officially UNILINGUAL, it is the height of hypocrisy and arrogance for Quebec nationalists to be pushing for official bilingualism (even only where numbers merit) in the other nine provinces.
Again, we can only hope!
In any case, they were supposed to be discussing the future of bilingualism in Justin Trudeau's Canada. They ended up more confused than ever, lamenting the fact that PM J. Trudeau seems more intent on championing the cause of multiculturalism than bilingualism.
Apparently it never crossed their minds that this provides a broader federal tax - hence power - base in the long run, language be damned.
As for the expression "par et pour," sorry, I haven't a clue what the author means.
Canadians for Language Fairness
P.O. Box 40111
Bank & Hunt Club Postal Outlet
2515 Bank Street.
Ottawa, ON, K1V 0W8
“Forced Bilingualism Discriminates Against the Majority”
Next public meetings to be held in 2016, starting at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, September 07, 2016 in the Garden Room or Atrium
Wednesday, October 05, 2016 in the Garden Room or Atrium
Wednesday, November 02, 2016 in the Garden Room or Atrium
Public Meeting Hosted by English-Language Advocates
In collaboration with Canadians for Language Fairness
Location: Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, 102 Greenview Ave., Ottawa
Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Starting at 7:30 pm,
Telephone/Fax: 613-721-5826, e-mail & Website