THERE IS NO BROADCAST ASSOCIATED WITH THIS EDITORIAL:
I write a great deal about SECULAR Constitutional Rights, since I believe that without them, there is no chance of ever having a successful, modern, and open society.
Many of us think that the most serious threat to our modern Democratic societies is coming from Islam. At least the few of us who are awake think so.
But there are other serious threats to our way of life which many of us don’t find all that threatening. But we should.
Religious extremism is not the only way a society can come under attack from narrow visioned special interest fanatics. There are race-baiters, women haters, and cultural bigots to mention just a few.
But there are also language bigots who are virtually always overlooked. After-all, how much of a threat to national unity and equal rights can a linguistic minority present anyway?
This Editorial is about Canada. But if you’re an American coming to terms with similar linguistic issues, you would do well to read the following.
In the early 1970’s, Canada’s Prime Minister (Quebecer) Pierre Elliott Trudeau passed legislation forcing the use of the French language on English Canada.
Since more than 85% of Canada’s French speakers live in Quebec, Trudeau’s Official Languages Act was designed to make Quebec French Canadians feel more at home within the rest of Canada. But it’s done far more than that.
Anne and I left the Province of Quebec in the year 2000, not because we didn’t like where we lived. And not because we had a much better opportunity where we eventually moved.
We left SPECIFICALLY because the Province of Quebec, with the direct aid of the government of Canada created and enforces FRENCH-ONLY language laws which make the unrestricted use of the English language ILLEGAL in Quebec.
Neither Anne nor I could possibly live within a Province that rendered its minority residents second class to the majority.
Now picture this:
A physically sick English speaking person, in a mostly English speaking Ontario city (Cornwall) was refused medical care because a French Ontario and federally funded healthcare clinic refused to even see her because she was not French?
To my utter shock, the imbecilic Liberal government of the Province of Ontario sanctions French ONLY healthcare funded primarily with English tax dollars. And sees nothing wrong with this.
As a matter of law; a retail store, or any other service provider of any description anywhere in Canada (with the exception of Quebec) would be charged with discrimination, and possibly with a hate crime by refusing to sell a product or service to someone based upon their ethnicity.
The same could be said for employment, housing, etcetera.
But as bad as this is, this outrage goes beyond language, because just speaking French is not enough.
If you happen to be an English speaker who also speaks French, as I do. But you’re not French, as I am not. Don’t bother asking for help. You won’t get it.
When I first heard of this (February 23, 2006), I thought it must be some kind of a stupid misunderstanding. Maybe in Quebec? But Ontario – never!
That said though: I remember Quebec’s Separatist leader, Lucien Bouchard say during my many battles with his government that: “In Quebec, you might need a blood test to get healthcare, but never a language test”. I believed him then. And I believe it is still true today in Quebec.
What kind of country do we live in where sick people are turned away because they come from an English speaking culture?
French speakers in English Ontario who defend this type of linguistic and cultural obscenity would do well to be very careful, and think this thing through.
I would hate to live in a society where services of any kind are allocated to people based upon their race, religion, national origin, gender or mother-tongue.
But, if this is the game the French speakers of Ontario want to play, they should be prepared for others to play it too.
How would French speakers in all of Canada outside of Quebec feel if they were denied everything from healthcare, to lodging and employment, simply because the English speaking majority felt more comfortable with their own linguistic group?
Being born and raised in a French/English speaking city (Montreal), I never felt one way or the other about who I was doing business with, buying from, selling to, eating with, living beside, etcetera. I never cared what language anyone spoke.
And even as I campaigned as aggressively as I could against French-only language laws in Quebec, language never became an issue with me in terms of personal and community relationships.
When I hosted Montreal’s best Radio Talk-Show between 1997 and 1999, I helped raise more than one million dollars for people in need. Never once did I ask what language these people in need spoke.
I can’t imagine what kind of shit-for-brains it takes, for supporters of this French language Ontario linguistic racist policy, to have taken such a walk on the stupid side of this street.
If the French speaking Ontario minority, representing about 5% of Ontario’s total population of about 12 million people want to exclude the English majority from services as critical as healthcare, what do they expect in return from Ontario’s majority English speakers?
There’s no percentage for Canada’s French speakers to piss off their English speaking friends and neighbors by turning sick people away at the door, simply because they’re not French.
Not only is it not the right thing to do. It’s also the most stupid thing to do.
As I said: SHIT-FOR-BRAINS.