When the Russell Town Councilors and Mayor began the evening’s meeting last night (December 18, 2007), they asked everyone to stand for the prayer. I did not stand.
If I wanted to pray, I would have gone to a place of worship, not to a government meeting.
I didn’t stand because it was my CHOICE not to stand.
Let me repeat this.
It was my CHOICE not to stand. And this is what the forced bilingual language laws are all about.
IT IS A MATTER OF PERSONAL CHOICE.
The French speakers who support this forced bilingual sign bylaw were pathetic. Their presentation was garbage. Claims made by their petitioner that the vast majority of Canadians support bilingualism were patently false.
Claims that the business communities of the towns that fall under the governance of Russell were all in favor of forced bilingual bylaws turned out to be lies when questioned by one of the Councilors.
The Mayor of Russell, whose name I do not know, nor care to know gave a rambling monologue that defeated his own pathetic position on forced bilingual signs.
He told a “tale” about a unilingual English speaking seventeen year old, with whom he had a conversation.
The English-speaking Mayor, who admits that his ability to speak French is so bad, that most French speakers prefer that he speak English, said that he spoke for 3 minutes to the seventeen year old only in the French language.
As his story goes – he asked the seventeen year old if he understood what he had said in French for the 3-minute conversation. The seventeen year old said no. So, according to the Mayor, he then retold the entire 3-minute story in English.
He finished up the “tale” by asking the seventeen year old if he understood what just happened. The seventeen year old said he did not. So the Mayor explained to him that he just participated in an exercise of Freedom of Choice.
In essence though, what the Mayor proved in his stupid and probably made-up story, was that he had the Freedom of Choice to speak in either language, while the seventeen year old had the EQUAL Freedom to hear the story in the language of his Choice.
The bylaw this Mayor is in favor of introducing takes away the very essence of Freedom of Choice.
The Mayor then went on to state that there are statistics that prove bilingual retailers make more money than unilingual retailers. What a preposterous claim.
But let’s assume he’s right. What difference would that make to one’s personal right to express one’s self in the language of his or her choice?
Since when is a Mayor and City Council elected to make business decisions on the behalf of their corporate constituents?
The last thing I want from any of my elected managers is for them to dally in my personal life. All I want from them, is to make certain that taxes are as low as can be, while they competently administer the infrastructure of the town or city they’ve been elected to manage?
As I drove to Russell, I was impressed at how nice the town was. The Christmas decorations on the beautifully kept houses were astounding. I also saw as many French ONLY signs as I did English ONLY signs.
I stopped just on the outskirts of the town to gas-up, and noticed that the convenience store attached to the Petro-Canada station had a huge sign that said: Depanneur Miron.
Depanneur is a very distinctive Quebecois name for convenience store. So, what was it doing in Russell Ontario?
The people who were managing the store (most probably the owners) were Asians who spoke very poor English. I assume their French was not that much better. But that didn’t stop them from doing business under their French ONLY sign.
The people who want forced bilingual signs claim that it is a matter of respect. It’s not true. They don’t know the meaning of the word.
Respect is all about letting people live their personal lives the way they want to. It’s not about forcing yourself, your religion, your culture or your language upon someone else.
Just as I had the RIGHT not to stand for prayers in a government building, I should have the EQUAL right not post signs in any other language than the language of my CHOICE.
I will fight these forced bilingual sign bylaws with all the vigor I can muster. I will do whatever it takes within the law to stop this ethnocentric sickness from infecting the Rest of Canada before it really grows legs.
And I will do it much sooner rather than later. But I cannot do it alone.
Many of Galganov Dot Com readers have sent financial support. But fighting the good fight using every tool available takes real money.
Unless you want to see your Freedom of Choice, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association taken away from you without so much as a whimper, you’ll do nothing. But, if you believe that those freedoms have real meaning, and are worth protecting, you will get into this fight.
If you’ve already sent financial support, you can do much more just by spreading the word. Tell people about this Web Site. Tell them, that what is happening in small Eastern Ontario Towns can just as easily happen in the community where they live.
This isn’t just an Eastern Ontario problem. It is a Canadian problem. Forced bilingual sign laws are nothing less than the loss of choice. It always starts with something that seems to be no big deal.
Ask the English-speaking civil servants who can’t get ahead in the federal government. Ask the English-speaking military officers who can’t grow in rank. Ask the half million English-speakers in Quebec whose unrestricted use of the English language is against the law.
We have one province called Quebec, where individual rights have become meaningless. Let’s keep it in Quebec.
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As always, I thank you for reading Galganov Dot Com, and for your support. Please spread the word.
Best regards . . . Howard Galganov