LE CANADA, PAYS UNILINGUE ANGLAIS

LE CANADA, PAYS UNILINGUE ANGLAIS
Le délire anglophone : un texte en anglais du Financial Post.

Selon Diane Francis le Canada n’est pas et ne sera jamais un pays bilingue.

(Le texte suivant de la journaliste Diane Francis publié par le Financial
Post est extrait du groupe de discussion Mtl.general)

Financial Post : August 08, 2002

Bilingualism’s sorry legacy
Diane Francis

Canada is not, and never will be, a bilingual country.

We have two official languages but French is only spoken by the majority of
residents in one tiny region — southern Quebec and a portion of New
Brunswick.

And yet, the latest nonsense coming out of the Liberals in Ottawa concerns
an attempt by Stéphane Dion, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, to get
all provinces to become officially bilingual. This is not only an
irresponsible suggestion at a time when taxes are still uncompetitive in
Canada and health care needs more federal funding, but it’s downright
irrational.

The facts are that federal bilingualism was agreed to some 30 years ago by
anglophone Canadians only to appease Quebec. And despite billions spent
promoting French, it simply has not taken root anywhere except Quebec, New
Brunswick and Ottawa.

In Quebec its usage has increased only because of that province’s draconian
language laws that force francophone and immigrant children to attend French
language schools and also because of the exodus during the 1970s of 400,000
anglophones after the discriminatory laws were passed.

Today across Canada, more people speak Cantonese, Italian, Hindi, Portuguese
or Ukrainian than speak French.

So why would Mr. Dion suggest such a policy?

Why would he want provincial governments (read the taxpayers) already
struggling with the burden of health care, education and the immigration and
refugee boondoggle to needlessly fork out billions to train and translate a
language few speak? Why would he impose billions in the form of compliance
costs on to the shoulders of businesses across the country?

The irreversible facts are that history has rendered Canada an anglophone
country — first as a British colony with British institutions and
traditions such as parliament and the monarchy, and latterly as the
principal economic partner and neighbour of the anglophone United States.

Besides that, special status for one linguistic group based on some ancient,
perceived injustice is simply not going to wash here. Canada has become a
pluralistic society where ethnic groups mix freely and peacefully and no
single group is singled out for official privileges. Quebec is the exception
and is not a pluralistic society.

Another reason why Mr. Dion’s silly notion should be ignored by the
provinces is that "bilingualism" wherever practiced has not bilingualized
the population but merely translated into an unfair and costly affirmative
action program for francophones at the expense of anglophones as well as of
efficiencies in government.

For instance, anglo rights activists at Alliance Quebec have undertaken some
important studies into the overrepresentation of francophones in the federal
and Quebec governments. It is shocking.

By earmarking a job as bilingual in the federal system, for instance,
francophones are more likely to be hired because a greater proportion of
francophones are bilingual than anglophones speak French. That’s because
they have an incentive to learn English — the language is absolutely
necessary in order for them to succeed or go anywhere in Canada or the
United States. Anglophones, on the other hand, don’t have to master French
in order to succeed anywhere in North America, except in the federal, Quebec
or New Brunswick civil services.

That’s why Ottawa’s bilingualism policy has been unfair from the start.
There should have been a quota for francophones based on population.

Without quotas, language testing and French proficiency standards have
proven to be ways to get jobs-for-the-boys-and-girls. Over the years,
diplomats, assistant deputy ministers, soldiers, low-level managers and even
broom pushers in the federal system have found their careers impeded or
ended at great cost to taxpayers.

In some federal departments in Ottawa at least 75% of the staff are
francophones — with the management ranks up to 90%. At most, francophones
should account for no more than their proportional share of the population
or less than 20%.

All of this has damaged the country because it has contributed to the
inordinate preoccupation with, and favouritism toward Quebec affairs,
businesses and problems at the expense of the rest of the country, mostly
western Canada.

In practice, official bilingualism has done the opposite and led to
unilingualism. This is most evident in Quebec where the provincial
government openly and illegally discriminates against anglophones when it
comes to doling out government jobs or doing business in the private sector.

It has even occurred in officially "bilingual" New Brunswick, according to a
reader.

"In the province you would find that all top level positions, and
particularly key positions, are filled by French speakers. They then have
the right to determine who gets jobs, government contracts, advancement,
etc. This has just been extended to municipal governments," wrote a
francophone, asking to remain anonymous.

Mr. Dion’s suggestion to squandering tax dollars to impose a language on
people reveals how out of sync the Liberal government is with the values
that Canadians hold dear — and which we share with our anglophone
cousins — of democracy, freedom and pluralism.