I will stand corrected. From a statistical point of view, there is a virtual tie (less than 1.5%) between the population of the Township of Russell whose first language is either French or English. Does not change the fact that there is nothing violating anyone's freedom of expression in the by-law of the Township of Russell.
I made no claim regarding freedom of expression. However, I believe that if the government is going to impose a needless task on individuals it behooves government to pay for it. So far as I know signs are often charged by the letter, and of course, translation is an added cost. So the signs will cost twice as much. The township should pick up that cost, not the businesses. And, of course, there is the added cost of hiring people who are less capable, less qualified, less skilled, and less knowledgeable, and promoting them, based on language skills not job skills.
No more that there was anything violating freedom of expression in similar by-laws proposed elsewhere in Ontario or in BC that sought to mandate English beside Chinese on commercial signs. Or the existing Toronto by-law that states that taxicab clients have a right to be served in English. What do you think about those, Argus?
I don't think the two issues, while related, are that similar. The problems in BC and Toronto are foreigners coming here and not adapting to our language but expecting those around them to adapt to theirs. I personally think it's a problem of the low quality of immigrants we're getting and the poor selection criteria. But that's neither here nor there. If Chinese people want to put up only Chinese signs and deal only with Chinese customers that's okay by me. I won't shop there. And I probably would not shop at a store which had only French signs and only served people in French. I presume if Francophones cared enough they would do the same and not shop at English stores.
- that official bilingualism is about taking jobs away from unilingual Anglophones, or Anglophones period: no more that it is taking away jobs from unilingual Francophones.
Nonsense. The numbers are far from equal in terms of bilingualism. If you require an employee to be bilingual then the odds are very strong that employee will be a francophone. Treasury boards own figures have shown that in a region which is about 75% anglo three out of four bilingual jobs go to Francophones.
Canadians for Language Fairness (a misnomer if there was ever one) tried that one when attempting to have Ottawa's bilingual services by-law invalidated by the courts. As was revealed during the proceedings, a number of senior management positions were occupied by unilingual Anglophones, even though (according to CLF) they were allegedly closed to unilingual Anglophones;
I'm not aware of what points they raised, however, I do know from the federal government that almost all unilingual managers are grandfathered in. The number of Francophones in management rises every year, and the number of Anglophones drops as those who got in prior to bilingualism retire. Just 8 years ago, when I started, 90% of managers and and all four directors and the DG in my directorate were Anglophone. Now the DG and two of the directors, and about half the managers are Francophones. Most new Program and Project managers are Francophones, hired straight out of college. Virtually all administration staff, where bilingualism requirements are highest, are Francophones (though none deal with the public).
That is simply what bilingualism does.
- that there are too many Quebec licence plates in the parking lots of Ottawa hospitals: I thought that only the Quebec
separatists whined about how many people came from another province to work in their own (gee, my second misconception of the day). There are all Canadian license plates.
And who comes to Quebec to work? Unwilling anglos who work for the feds and whose jobs were transferred over there after they took them. That's about it. Quebecers flood across the bridges to Ottawa to work every day, in every sector of the economy.
- that official bilingualism is about "French pride": First, it is French-Canadians, not French. Second, it is not about pride, it is about the rights of Canadians.
Bilingualism has nothing whatsoever to do with the rights of Canadians. If it did, then it would stop at the service desk. I'm in full agreement that where numbers warrant service ought to be provided to the public in both languages. That does not mean that every manager, almost none of whom ever see the public, needs to be bilingual. It does not mean every inside secretary, clerk, messenger, IT support person, Hr specialist, etc. etc. etc needs to be bilingual. That has NOTHING to do with the rights of Canadians and everything to do with Quebecers in power allotting more jobs to Quebecers in order to increase Quebec's power.
Public opinion, I am sorry to say, will bear a great deal of nonsense. There is scarcely any absurdity so gross, whether in religion, politics, science or manners, which it will not bear. Ralph Waldo Emerson