Bilingualism Rhetoric: Bun Joor, Ottawa

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How do you feel about this kind of rhetoric we’ve seen on The Bulldog concerning the city hall official bilingualism debate?

Here’s some:

“A fanatic is a person who can’t change the subject and won’t change his mind.”

“That is Fascism – pure & simple!!”

“The problem is that there is no “quid pro quo” from the French. Once entrenched, it is a one-way street with the majority English giving up more and more.”

“Ken, this is simply nonsense. Council has more important issues to deal with.”

“Yes, (francophones) are noisy because they see a way of getting more of Canada under their control.”

“I know you don’t want Canadians to know this so you won’t post this. That’s too bad because these are facts that your readers should know, if were you not so clearly biased for the French.” (This comment was posted.)

“Servers in fast-food joints in Ottawa have to be bilingual to serve the French-language activists who are perfectly bilingual but just demand to be served in French or they complain. Don’t deny this if you want to have any credibility.”

“You understand things about this policy like Ken Gray is totally ignorant of – shame on him for his ignorance. He applauds the active noisiness of the French special interest groups without mentioning that they are very well-funded by every level of government; well-paid activists are easily available.”

“The trouble with you, Ken, is that you have not been paying attention. This is not a question of race – the English language is spoken by people all over the world – race has nothing to do with it.”

“Then again in the age of cash-for-clicks “journalism” I suppose one benefits from being an obtuse contrarian.”

“Ken is tenacious on this issue. Is it because Watson is against it? I am with Watson on this issue.”

“It never ceases to amaze me that people like you want to be accommodating without any research or investigation of the potential costs, both financial and social.”

“How about official bilingualism for Quebec and tolerance for signage?”

“Official bilingualism for a city means just that. That all services public and private should be available in both official languages.”

“If you want everything in French, move to Quebec.”

“When Gatineau takes the lead and opts for official bilingualism, maybe Ottawa should as well.”

Apparently your agent is the fanatic on official bilingualism. Hmmm.

 


Video above: Former colleague John Robson on bilingualism three years ago on Sun TV. Bun Joor to you too, John.


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8 thoughts on “Bilingualism Rhetoric: Bun Joor, Ottawa

  1. The comments are very similar to what the Transition Board and former Mayor Bob Chiarelli heard when the bilingualism policy was implemented under the amalgamated City of Ottawa. Exaggerated claims of out-of-control costs were proven untrue due to the practical application of the policy. The comments you received are most likely from the same old crowd out of touch with reality. The fanatics are the people who have made these comments to The Bulldog.

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  2. Ken,
    P.S. – I wonder how many people understand the duality of the word rhetoric. Is that the historical usage or the modern day usage? 🙂

    Again, graciously,
    skoal,
    Chaz

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  3. I posted a 2011 article yesterday about Grant Alternative School becoming a west end Francophone centre. Supported by the province and the city, yet this school is now boarded up. Prime piece of real estate and countless searches have provided no updated information. Anything new on this centre?

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  4. Ken,

    Nice of you to cherry pick some comments out of context to make them look inflammatory rhetoric. I saw a couple of mine so can say this with veracity.

    Pierre, re: costs, practical bilingualism as currently done by the city costs about $3 million per year (2016 budget). But, if official bilingualism were entrenched into the City of Ottawa Act the way that Bilingual Ottawa Bilingue wants “to make Ottawa officially bilingual with English and French having equal status, rights and privileges plus creating a formal mechanism to ensure proactive oversight and adherence to policy and the law.”, then we will have full-blown official bilingualism like the federal government. In 2015, the federal government spent 0.675% of its budget on bilingualism. Multiplying the city 2016 budget by 0.675% amounts to about $24 million. The information is easily accessible for anyone who wants to look.

    And this does not include the set-up costs for translating every single city document into both languages, language training and testing, demands to work in the language of choice resulting in increasing levels of bilingualism throughout the city staff, inability of Ottawa residents to work for their city government to which they pay taxes etc. Not to mention the inevitable court challenges.

    One only has to look seriously at the federal government and New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province, to know that official bilingualism is expensive both financially and socially.

    Bob

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    1. Bob:

      Out of context … now where have I heard of that before?

      Out of context translated into English usually means I said it, I wish I didn’t.

      cheers

      kgray

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      1. Ken,

        Maybe that’s what “out of context” means in your dictionary but not mine. I mean what I say and write.

        I just find it somewhat frustrating that some folks pick and choose things out of context from larger posts to create inflammatory rhetoric.

        But, I guess that this is what’s called “good journalism” because it sells.

        Bob

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        1. Bob,
          I don’t want you to think I am taking something out of context so I will refer to the whole paragraph that you wrote.

          “One only has to look seriously at the federal government and New Brunswick, the only official bilingual province, to know that official bilingualism is expensive both financially and socially.”

          That is a pure example of the modern day meaning of rhetoric – language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking meaningful content.

          Expensive financially means nothing. I would not expect any program to cost nothing and whether it is too expensive is a matter of opinion.

          Expensive socially means nothing at all.

          Chaz

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