If you’ve already given financial support for a court challenge against forced French (commercial) language signs in Ontario, and against a publicly funded French Ontario healthcare system that refuses to treat individuals who are not French, welcome to the club.
Galganov Dot Com has been receiving quite a few checks and PayPal deposits supporting the initiative to stop FORCED French cultural visibility in Ontario before it truly gains a foothold.
As I say repeatedly: I am in absolute agreement with everyone’s right to live in the language and culture they prefer. But don’t force me to live in that language or culture.
We’ve received checks in the amount of $500, and checks and PayPal deposits of $10. It all makes a difference. But a few thousand dollars won’t do it.
The cost to fight the Ontario French Communities Sign Law that makes it ILLEGAL to post a sign only in the English language in Clarence-Rockland and Casselman will be in excess of $25,000. And that’s just to Superior Court.
$10 and $20 donations in large enough numbers really do help, but even 500 hundred $20 donations will give us only $10,000 which is less than half of what we need to do battle.
As much as we appreciate the $10 and $20 dollar support, and as much as they will help once they’re all added up, we need some real heavy hitters, or we just won’t be able to get the job done.
Last night, I received a phone call from a very generous supporter who had already sent $500. He made certain that some of his friends also sent $500 each. Now he is sending a check for $1,000. And so is one of his friends.
This is what it will take to really get into the fight.
With the $2000 we’re going to be receiving in the next few days, and the $500, $100, $20, and $10 checks Galganov.com has already received, it’s looking like there might be a possibility to get the litigation going.
I asked the $1000 benefactor not to send such a generous check until we see how much support we’re going to get overall. I don’t want to be receiving significant money from him that cannot be used to fight for our RIGHTS in court, if there aren’t enough funds to see it through from start to finish.
Don’t worry he said: If you can’t raise enough to go to court, use my money for something else that will help the cause.
I really don’t want to be standing out in the street fighting linguistic (cultural) racism all alone, as I did in Quebec after the 1995 referendum. Nonetheless, I am mentally prepared to do it all over again.
I’m ready to get in their face and challenge their law that says I cannot do business unless I look like them.
That I am not permitted by law to exercise my freedom of speech, association and expression because some piss-ant community passes a bylaw telling me that I have to look like them before I can advertise to make a living.
In Quebec, you can’t buy an English Only Yellow Pages Ad. You must buy a French ad equal in size to your English ad before you’re allowed to advertise at all. But, if what you want is to buy just a French ad, no problem.
If a Town Council can subvert the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with a dinky municipal bylaw, what will stop them from demanding bilingual flyers, bilingual telephone directories, bilingual employees – etcetera?
If forced bilingualism becomes the accepted law in Casselman, why not in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, London, Windsor, and beyond? Why not throughout all of Canada with the exception of Quebec, where Quebecers are held to a different standard than the rest of the country?
In Montreal, there was an Asian immigrant convenience store owner who could barely speak English let alone French. He and his family worked long hard hours to eke-out a living. One day, the Quebec language police walked into his store and said that he was breaking the law because there was no one behind his counter who could serve his French customers in Quebec’s ONLY legal commercial language.
He begged them to understand, that at best, he and his wife were able to make just enough money to keep the lights on. Not their problem he was told. Get a French speaking employee or you will be fined.
How could this man afford a French-speaking employee when he could barely afford himself? This story was repeated many times with other small business owners.
Is this what will happen in Ontario? Ask the young lady who works at the Ontario Beer Store who is being harassed not because she can’t speak French, but because she can’t speak it fluently.
If you had told me before Bill 101, that the unrestricted use of the English language in the province of Quebec would become illegal, I would have laughed.
If you had told me before Bill 101, that commercial icons such as Eaton’s and Steinberg’s would have dropped their apostrophe “S”, so as not to violate Quebec’s language law by looking English, I would have asked what you were smoking.
If you had told me before Bill 101, that there would no longer be English hospitals like the Jewish General, The Royal Vic, The Montreal General, St Mary’s and the Lakeshore Hospital, because that would be illegal, and they would have to be designated bilingual hospitals where the French language would be predominant, I would have said you’re crazy.
The French speaking population of Ontario which numbers less than 5% of Ontario’s total population is well organized and financed mostly with English tax dollars collected from Ottawa, Queen’s Park and Municipalities. With this money, they are pushing the envelope.
A French friend of mine who augments his farming income by driving a school bus in North Glengarry, kiddy-corner to where I live, went from driving a large bus to a small one.
Why the small bus I asked. His response was this: The French schools do not want their children riding in the same bus with English speaking children. He drives English children.
Rather than saving money and having fewer busses on the road, the French schools prefer spending the extra money to separate their children from English speakers, even though the schools are directly across from each other.
How racist and xenophobic is that?
What’s the message the French children are receiving from their parents and teachers? And how does this make English children feel?
If you think this budding linguistic (cultural) racism doesn’t affect you because you live in Ontario, or somewhere else in Canada outside of Quebec, think again.
If you want to get into this fight, click on the red link at the bottom of this page to learn how you can send your financial support.
As always, I thank you for your reading Galganov Dot Com, and for your support. Please spread the word.
Best regards . . . Howard Galganov
A fascinating move for you and Anne and
I wish you both all the best. Please stay safe.
Are you still going to write this your wonderful, interesting columns?
I hope so.
Solette N. Gelberg
King City, ON
e-mail: [email protected]
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