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Leafless

3,500 City of Ottawa Jobs to be bilingual

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That's because virtually all of Québec's federal work in the QC is in Gatineau. I'd imagine it would be the same would go for federal work in the RoC outside the NCR... few jobs would be classified as bilingual.

Are you aware that all EX-1 level positions, and above, are priority 1 bilingual, thanks to Chretien? That means that if you don't already have official language results, you can't even apply. This is true everywhere in Canada.

I actually don't care if a group of Canadians is over-represented in federal offices... I see this as completely arbitrary, and it's not affecting Canadians' day-to-day life. It's the same way I see minority representation in the American gov't... Black and Hispanic people are still under-represented (despite Bush has a more multi-cultural gov't than Clinton did), yet this isn't an issue for me. It seems to only be an issue for those who make it an issue.

Well, you and every other taxpayer are paying lots of taxes to train employees in a second language, even though 80% of them eventually go back to work and never use the second language.

If you acknowledge the above, and it's still not an issue for you, then I presume you expect to benefit from this artificial language requirement somehow.

I favor advancing bilingualism because Canada is a country of two languages and because the federal government does not pertain to any province, it should as an entity reflect the the fact that we have two languages by being skilled in both languages. It's mostly a patriotism issue for me, but if you can convince me of an actual problem pertaining to Francophones' over-representation in federal offices and bilingual policies in general in Ottawans' every day life, maybe I may reconsider.

Well, billions spent every year on language training, 80% of which is wasted.

BTW, Canada is a country of two official languages, but many other languages. The last time I got on a plane in Vancouver they did the boarding call in English and Cantonese; no French.

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It's mostly a patriotism issue for me, but if you can convince me of an actual problem pertaining to Francophones' over-representation in federal offices and bilingual policies in general in Ottawans' every day life, maybe I may reconsider.
Fairness to people who wish to commence employment in or advance in federal civil service is a very real issue. If criteria for hiring and/or promotion unnecessarily require or favor bi-lingualism it is a very real issue.

Overall, some parts of Quebec speak mostly French, other parts of Quebec, and the ROC, speak English. My preference would be to require bilingual services where there is a real demand for it, and otherwise, provide that the default language is the predominant language of the area.

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@Riverwind:

1) The tests required prove fluency in french are stricter than they need to be given the objective of having a bilingual public service. This has the effect of excluding a large number of otherwise competent individuals from the public service.

2) Excluding a large number of qualified based on a criteria that has no impact on a person's ability to do the job will result in public service filled with less qualified people. This will impact the average person because teh cost of providing services will be higher and the services will be poorer.

1) The tests are a variable which could be improved. I'd like to see "bilingual" employees be equally tested in English and French regardless of first language.

2) Winding down with a smaller sample still offers the same proportion of excellent candidates, and considering the gov't gives its employees little room for innovation due to the inevitable lack of efficiency in the public sector, even if we renounce a few "excellent" managers, it's not like they'd have much room to make much of a difference in gov't offices. That's why I'd like to see much more public work privatized.

@Pat Coghlan:

Are you aware that all EX-1 level positions, and above, are priority 1 bilingual, thanks to Chretien? That means that if you don't already have official language results, you can't even apply. This is true everywhere in Canada.

I didn't know that. However, isn't most gov't work in the NRC, whether EX-1 or not?

Well, you and every other taxpayer are paying lots of taxes to train employees in a second language, even though 80% of them eventually go back to work and never use the second language.

If you acknowledge the above, and it's still not an issue for you, then I presume you expect to benefit from this artificial language requirement somehow.

Supplying such expensive language training is an example of gov't inefficiency... an efficient gov't (which I have not yet known to exist) would probably prefer to reimburse employees for the fees of their second language training in an adult high school for instance, with a maximum reimbursement budget (given the gov't opts for mandatory language training). I prefer the idea where bilingualism is simply required as opposed to paying lumps into training, but if the gov't opts for language training, there are much cheaper ways of doing it.

I acknowledge the above as inevitable government inefficiency. The fact that a certain group is over-represented in gov't offices does not affect the average Canadian and is not an issue for me. I may or may not work for the federal gov't, that's up to me, but it's more important to me that my gov't represents itself properly.

Well, billions spent every year on language training, 80% of which is wasted.

BTW, Canada is a country of two official languages, but many other languages. The last time I got on a plane in Vancouver they did the boarding call in English and Cantonese; no French.

Billions don't have to be wasted... there are more efficient ways of doing this. However, the gov't has to waste money on something due to the inevitable inefficiency of the public sector.

Luxembourg, Switzerland and Jersey (the country) all have roughly a 10% Portuguese-speaking population, yet no incentives are established for this group/language to be represented. Although Canada may be young, we have agreed on two official languages, and anyone wanting to work for the Canadian gov't or for any company in a location where it would be relatively important like the NRC, should essentially know the two Canadian languages. I'm not denying the existance of other languages in Canada, but Canada has given itself the responsibility to offer service in two specific languages, and any other language would be out of courtesy.

@jbg:

Fairness to people who wish to commence employment in or advance in federal civil service is a very real issue. If criteria for hiring and/or promotion unnecessarily require or favor bi-lingualism it is a very real issue.

Overall, some parts of Quebec speak mostly French, other parts of Quebec, and the ROC, speak English. My preference would be to require bilingual services where there is a real demand for it, and otherwise, provide that the default language is the predominant language of the area.

Fairness? I'm for justice yet against fairness. Some people will naturally have certain advantages over others in any system other than communism, where all nationals are robbed of all advantages.

Apparently the supply is more than enough for the federal gov't demand for bilingualism, so it's not an issue, and Ottawa has a lower unemployment rate than Toronto, Montréal and Canada overall, so bilingual policies are clearly not affecting Ottawans' every day life.

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Luxembourg, Switzerland and Jersey (the country) all have roughly a 10% Portuguese-speaking population, yet no incentives are established for this group/language to be represented. Although Canada may be young, we have agreed on two official languages, and anyone wanting to work for the Canadian gov't or for any company in a location where it would be relatively important like the NRC, should essentially know the two Canadian languages. I'm not denying the existance of other languages in Canada, but Canada has given itself the responsibility to offer service in two specific languages, and any other language would be out of courtesy.

I think you will agree that to use a language effectively one needs to speak it at least a certain number of minutes per day.

For the nth time, I will point out to you that 80% of language school grads never even use it again after returning to work.

If 80% of the positions that are classified bilingual in Ottawa rarely if ever require the employee to use French in the performance of his/her job, how can you ever expect the employee to make use of it? Please explain why we're bothering to classify positions as bilingual AT ALL if the second language isn't going to be used at least, say 10% of the time.

Why is it that you're so in favour of a practice that in effect serves only to keep most anglophones out of a number of positions?

You, like the current language policy, are idealogically driven. Your attitude towards this wasteful program is simply to hire employees which are already bilingual, which 80% of the time means hiring a francophone. At the end of the day, that is what this program (and you) are all about, IMHO.

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[

For the nth time, I will point out to you that 80% of language school grads never even use it again after returning to work.

If 80% of the positions that are classified bilingual in Ottawa rarely if ever require the employee to use French in the performance of his/her job, how can you ever expect the employee to make use of it? Please explain why we're bothering to classify positions as bilingual AT ALL if the second language isn't going to be used at least, say 10% of the time.

Why is it that you're so in favour of a practice that in effect serves only to keep most anglophones out of a number of positions?

You, like the current language policy, are idealogically driven. Your attitude towards this wasteful program is simply to hire employees which are already bilingual, which 80% of the time means hiring a francophone. At the end of the day, that is what this program (and you) are all about, IMHO.

80% of bilingual positions are occupied by Francophones?? 80% of bilingual employees never use the 2nd language?

Where do you get these numbers from?

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80% of bilingual positions are occupied by Francophones?? 80% of bilingual employees never use the 2nd language?

Where do you get these numbers from?

The fact that there is much politicking, and a multi-page thread, on Official Languages speaks volumes. Maybe your country should follow the US's example and not have "official languages", and certainly not two of them.

Why the government should pick employees on anything other than the basis of merit is beyond me.

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Why the government should pick employees on anything other than the basis of merit is beyond me.

With all due respect jbg, you might ask the Dept of Justice that same question.

I know you know who Monica Goodling is, and that of her , and I paraphrase, 120 employees of a third rate Law university.

It is always as it has been. North or South.

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Why the government should pick employees on anything other than the basis of merit is beyond me.

With all due respect jbg, you might ask the Dept of Justice that same question. I know you know who Monica Goodling is, and that of her , and I paraphrase, 120 employees of a third rate Law university. It is always as it has been. North or South.

I'm not familiar with the name "Monica Goodling". Having said that, the employees the US Department of Justice terminated served explicitly at the pleasure of the President. They were not civil service, merit employees.

I tihnk they should be, but that's not the way the law is written.

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80% of bilingual positions are occupied by Francophones?? 80% of bilingual employees never use the 2nd language?

Where do you get these numbers from?

Whenever I meet someone who either personally has been on language training, or had their manager/director etc. go on language training, I make it a point to ask them how much they use their newly-acquired second language skills.

The answer is pretty much universally, never. This is no surprise. In Ottawa, this is the language that is used on the job, unless providing a service to the public or employees. In Montreal, it's French. Again, no surprise.

The only surprising thing is that we continue to pretend that by training anglophones in Ottawa to speak French, and francophones in Montreal to speak English, that the minority language will somehow be used as the language of work...or even that it somehow makes sense that we should.

My 80% number might even be low, plus I haven't included all those who retire immediately after language training or those who were sent on language training mostly because they were malcontents and their manager didn't know what to do with them.

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@Pat Coghlan:

For the nth time, I will point out to you that 80% of language school grads never even use it again after returning to work.

I have no reason for believing otherwise. I'm not arguing against this.

You, like the current language policy, are idealogically driven. Your attitude towards this wasteful program is simply to hire employees which are already bilingual, which 80% of the time means hiring a francophone. At the end of the day, that is what this program (and you) are all about, IMHO.

It may be driven from ideology, but it's an ideal that could become true. The fact that money is wasted on bilingualism is not because of bilingualism itself, but rather because the gov't has to waste money on something, due to inevitable inefficiency. Hence the reason I prefer a much smaller gov't.

My 80% number might even be low, plus I haven't included all those who retire immediately after language training or those who were sent on language training mostly because they were malcontents and their manager didn't know what to do with them.

Yeah, but if sending someone on language training is a low-cost method of getting 'em out of the office (compared to much worse possible outcomes), then these managers come out ahead! If it prevents bigger problems within an office, it's most certainly a good option to have around. I still don't know why people would be sent on language training shortly preceding retirement... it would just make sense to consider them the legacy staff who will soon retire anyway.

I don't completely agree with the current system; it needs a lot of work, but there's still hope for Canada.

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[

For the nth time, I will point out to you that 80% of language school grads never even use it again after returning to work.

If 80% of the positions that are classified bilingual in Ottawa rarely if ever require the employee to use French in the performance of his/her job, how can you ever expect the employee to make use of it? Please explain why we're bothering to classify positions as bilingual AT ALL if the second language isn't going to be used at least, say 10% of the time.

Why is it that you're so in favour of a practice that in effect serves only to keep most anglophones out of a number of positions?

You, like the current language policy, are idealogically driven. Your attitude towards this wasteful program is simply to hire employees which are already bilingual, which 80% of the time means hiring a francophone. At the end of the day, that is what this program (and you) are all about, IMHO.

80% of bilingual positions are occupied by Francophones?? 80% of bilingual employees never use the 2nd language?

Where do you get these numbers from?

Well Peter actually 81.7% of bilingual postions are occupied by Francophones and only 11% of Francophones say they can write French most of the time.

This basically means 89% of Francophones rarely use the second language French for writing purposes which truly indicates 'official bilingulism' in the federal government is nothing more than a 'make work program' for Francophones.

This in turn makes federal official bilingualism discriminatory against the majority English population who cannot obtain federal employment in their own majority English speaking language without stooping to a very corrupt federal hiring policy.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/35/Archives/committe...7-04/bloce.html

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@Leafless:

Well Peter actually 81.7% of bilingual postions are occupied by Francophones and only 11% of Francophones say they can write French most of the time.

This basically means 89% of Francophones rarely use the second language French for writing purposes which truly indicates 'official bilingulism' in the federal government is nothing more than a 'make work program' for Francophones.

Leafless, I will have to point out a false assumption in your post based on the given information. I'm not sure of the numbers myself, but I'll assume your numbers to be true for the purpose of this response.

11% of Francophones write in French most of the time. Alternative possibilities accounting for the remaining 89% of Francophones fall into the following categories: write in French always, more often than not, half of the time, sometimes, rarely, never.

We also do not know how often bilingual Anglophones write in French (I'm sure many in Montréal and some in Gatineau use it quite often).

You assume that the remaining 89% of Francophones write in French rarely, gnoring other possibilities.

By the way, I didn't check your source, if there's anything in your source that I should be aware of that you haven't mentioned, please bring it up.

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@Leafless:
Well Peter actually 81.7% of bilingual postions are occupied by Francophones and only 11% of Francophones say they can write French most of the time.

This basically means 89% of Francophones rarely use the second language French for writing purposes which truly indicates 'official bilingulism' in the federal government is nothing more than a 'make work program' for Francophones.

Leafless, I will have to point out a false assumption in your post based on the given information. I'm not sure of the numbers myself, but I'll assume your numbers to be true for the purpose of this response.

11% of Francophones write in French most of the time. Alternative possibilities accounting for the remaining 89% of Francophones fall into the following categories: write in French always, more often than not, half of the time, sometimes, rarely, never.

We also do not know how often bilingual Anglophones write in French (I'm sure many in Montréal and some in Gatineau use it quite often).

You assume that the remaining 89% of Francophones write in French rarely, gnoring other possibilities.

By the way, I didn't check your source, if there's anything in your source that I should be aware of that you haven't mentioned, please bring it up.

You said: "You assume that the remaining 89% of Francophones write in French rarely, gnoring other possibilities."

It is not up to myself to be responsible for ignoring other possibilities but is that of the 'Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages' if they felt that aspect was important which obviously they don't.

The Standing Joint Committee's mandate will be almost impossible to meet and is expanded as to what official bilingualism was meant to mean in the federal public service initially.

"First, we are working to promote linguistic duality within the federal Public Service. This means providing employees with better tools to serve Canadians in both official languages. It also means ensuring equal employment opportunities for Francophones and Anglophones.

Second, we are constantly improving access to services in our two official languages. Canadians have come to expect high-quality services from their government, services that are fast and efficient. They also have a right to expect services in the official language of their choice in the offices that have been designated bilingual.

Finally, we are working with official language communities living in minority situations to promote their healthy and vibrant development. Over the years Canadians have recognized that diversity is a blessing. We need to celebrate diversity and ensure that these communities are given the support they need not only to survive - but also to flourish."

More propaganda on the "Standing Joint Committee":

http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/media/ps-dp/2000/0321_e.asp

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Finally, we are working with official language communities living in minority situations to promote their healthy and vibrant development. Over the years Canadians have recognized that diversity is a blessing. We need to celebrate diversity and ensure that these communities are given the support they need not only to survive - but also to flourish."

More propaganda on the "Standing Joint Committee":

http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/media/ps-dp/2000/0321_e.asp

If communties need "support" to flourish, maybe they're dead people walking.

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@jbg:

If communties need "support" to flourish, maybe they're dead people walking.

That's not the issue. The Francophones in Canada produce not only a higher rate, but also more culture without leaning on gov't intervention (direct and indirect, including our communist Can-Con law) than the majority Anglophone community. The issue is that Francophones, typically federalist (because seperatists have no real interest in the structure of the federal gov't) want their federal gov't to live up to its official languages.

@Leafless:

The Standing Joint Committee's mandate will be almost impossible to meet and is expanded as to what official bilingualism was meant to mean in the federal public service initially.

Not impossible, though not realistic considering the current reality.

Instead of writing Utopic propaganda, what could this SJCoOL do? I don't see the need for utopic propaganda, including proclaiming oneself as officially multicultural, however I do not get your point about the SJCoOL and their propaganda.

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The issue is that Francophones, typically federalist (because seperatists have no real interest in the structure of the federal gov't) want their federal gov't to live up to its official languages.

Which, to the best of its abilities, it does, when it comes to offering services in both official languages, requiring bilingual packaging etc.

In reality, though, Canada is not a bilingual country. It is a country with one predominantly French-speaking region (Quebec/NB), and the rest of the country in which one can live and work their entire lives using only English.

No legislation is going to change that. The only remaining battleground is the workplace...and then only in Ottawa/Gatineau, thus the impetus for this thread.

At the end of the day, it's just too inefficient for the private sector to do everything in both languages. Lately, if you visit any store or mall in Ottawa, you will find that the signs are almost exclusively English-only. In Gatineau, it's hard to find an English sign.

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In reality, though, Canada is not a bilingual country. It is a country with one predominantly French-speaking region (Quebec/NB), and the rest of the country in which one can live and work their entire lives using only English.

****

At the end of the day, it's just too inefficient for the private sector to do everything in both languages. Lately, if you visit any store or mall in Ottawa, you will find that the signs are almost exclusively English-only. In Gatineau, it's hard to find an English sign.

I thought that Canadians could speak both languages simultaneously, and some, such as Paul Martin and Jean Chretien, could do one out of one side of their mouth, the other out of the other side of their mouth.

Also, I thought those signs on the highway and in the town in the Niagara Falls area were in Canadian, not English or French.

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@jbg:

I thought that Canadians could speak both languages simultaneously, and some, such as Paul Martin and Jean Chretien, could do one out of one side of their mouth, the other out of the other side of their mouth.

Also, I thought those signs on the highway and in the town in the Niagara Falls area were in Canadian, not English or French.

??

@Pat Coghlan:

The only remaining battleground is the workplace...and then only in Ottawa/Gatineau, thus the impetus for this thread.

Indeed.

At the end of the day, it's just too inefficient for the private sector to do everything in both languages. Lately, if you visit any store or mall in Ottawa, you will find that the signs are almost exclusively English-only. In Gatineau, it's hard to find an English sign.

The private sector's favorite language is cash.

Many shopping centers in Ottawa insist that all retail workers be bilingual, because it means they'll get more sales in say Rideau Mall or Place d'Orléans.

It does make sense that products be labeled in both languages... however I'd be in favor of slightly modifying that law. Products imported do not have to be labeled in both languages provided they are imported bellow a certain limit. I'd be willing to double that limit... I'm sure those consuming foreign goods imported in low quantities aren't complaining about the need for bilingual labels, and I'm sure even if we double the limit, it won't include imported commodities we so often consume like drinks and toothpaste.

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@jbg:

Many shopping centers in Ottawa insist that all retail workers be bilingual, because it means they'll get more sales in say Rideau Mall or Place d'Orléans.

Why *all*?

Okay, if there is only one salesperson in the store, he/she should probably be bilingual, but what if we're talking about a GAP store that has 8 staff members in the store?

As long as a bilingual staff member is available, not every employee needs to be bilingual, wouldn't you agree?

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Many shopping centers in Ottawa insist that all retail workers be bilingual, because it means they'll get more sales in say Rideau Mall or Place d'Orléans.

Source ?

Frankly , I strongly doubt it .

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Okay, if there is only one salesperson in the store, he/she should probably be bilingual, but what if we're talking about a GAP store that has 8 staff members in the store?

As long as a bilingual staff member is available, not every employee needs to be bilingual, wouldn't you agree?

They don't have to, they're not renting gov't space and it's private sector. Also, not all shops require all their staff to be bilingual... it could come from one of two factors... whether the store thinks that, caeteris paribus, revenue will increase if all employees are bilingual, and there's also a social factor. It's possible that a manager may prefer to hire bilingual people, then there's no linguistic rivalry within the workplace and no "they're speaking that foreign language in the lunch room again" or the manager may simply think less of monolinguals... the latter would be discrimination, but I'm still convinced that nation-wide, discrimination based on skin color and other factors override discrimination based on language (in other words looking beyond the NRC).

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Many shopping centers in Ottawa insist that all retail workers be bilingual, because it means they'll get more sales in say Rideau Mall or Place d'Orléans.

" Many" "insist all retail workers be bilingual" and then you say........

They don't have to, they're not renting gov't space and it's private sector. Also, not all shops require all their staff to be bilingual...

Make up your mind, or post where shopping centre management insists workers be bilingual.

And dont move the &*&&*** goalposts this time.

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Hey guyser, were you censored? Shucks!

My point was that the private sector isn't forced to hire bilingual workers, but they do anyway because they see its profitability.

Sorry man, I don't have time to look through job offers on job bank or workopolis etc. to see which places in Ottawa require bilingualism. There's also the fact that it would be a tedious task to prove a point.

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Hey guyser, were you censored? Shucks!

No censoring done by anyone but myself. JBG 's esplained yesterday that his kids sometimes read these forums when he is posting and I censored myself to save him any explainations.

So sorry to disappoint you.

My point was that the private sector isn't forced to hire bilingual workers, but they do anyway because they see its profitability.

Sorry man, I don't have time to look through job offers on job bank or workopolis etc. to see which places in Ottawa require bilingualism. There's also the fact that it would be a tedious task to prove a point.

Translation: I pulled this stat out of my behind and cant back it up.

See how easy it is?

I got your point, I just knew it to be false. Thats all.

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