Bulldog reader Mark Kerr takes issue with The Bulldog’s stand of official bilingualism for civic Ottawa:
Just read Ken Gray’s article about his desire to make Ottawa officially bilingual and I strongly disagree.
If symbolism (two, not one, founding cultures …languages) is so important, why are people like him not asking why Quebec is not officially bilingual and why do they only push for Ottawa, not the national capital region ( Lots of federal public service, museums) to be officially bilingual? Why do people like him feel its OK for places like Gatineau to remain officially French while people like my girlfriend (federal public service and unilingual) have to work over there and take Quebec public transit that is French only?
Symbolism … its symbolic of a lack of common sense and fairness. Gray does not get it about Quebec and separatism. You can appease them all you want and they will never be happy until the country is controlled by Quebec and its language. It’s as naive as the left feeling if we stay out of the Middle East, extremists will leave us alone.
Separatists feel Canada should have been French in the first place and that the English took it away from them and they will never be reasonable.
Look how well Canada’s official bilingualism calmed them down. They just wanted more.
Two groups you cannot rationalize with: naive people and extremists.
People might take Gray a little more seriously if they include asking why places like Quebec and the Gatineau are not as concerned about symbolism.
You will never appease militant groups like separatists unless you make things more fair for them at our expense. It’s like modern day feminism. It’s not about true equality. It’s about more rights for one group versus equal rights.
Official languages commissior nominee Madeleine Meilleur will be all about more French.
I thought The Bulldog was about common sense.
Am I biased, yes. I am English, unilingual and was driven out of Quebec in the 1970s because of the anti-English separatists.
Not anti-French (kid is in 100 per cent French school) , but I am certainly anti-appeasing language zealots who have no interest in linguistic fairness.
It’s not just about money either. It will turn out like the federal PS and unfairly exclude many unilingual anglos in Ottawa.
Just keep Ottawa the way it is, just like Gatineau and Quebec, not officially bilingual.
When is The Bulldog going to become an officially bilingual? Why is it not also in French to recognize the minority French population in Ottawa? Hopefully everyone working there is bilingual.
After Ottawa becomes officially bilingual, this will put pressure to make it so only bilingual people run for council.
An important thing in life is fairness and it’s very symbolic that official bilingualism means more of only one of the two official language – French.
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