Some people ask: What’s the big deal if some Ontario towns want to force bilingual signs on their community?
Others opine that the Franco-Ontarians should have the right to live their lives in French, and anyone who would deny that right is nothing more and nothing less than mean-spirited. Maybe even a linguistic racist.
Here are the facts: No one is suggesting that Franco-Ontarians be denied to live THEIR lives in the French language.
In the area where I live (Dundas, Stormont and Glengarry) between Cornwall and Ottawa, there are many communities where there are significant numbers of French speakers. But not to the extent that these towns are overwhelmingly French.
Yet, in some of these towns, it is against the law to post signs ONLY in the English language.
In Alexandria, the French schools, their teachers and parents do not permit their children to ride on the same school buses as their English-speaking friends.
In Cornwall, there is at least one French ONLY clinic, which refuses to treat sick and suffering English speakers, even if the English speaker is perfectly bilingual.
It’s interesting how the Ontario majority (English speakers) are labeled rednecks and worse, if all they ask for is to be able to live their lives without the French language been forced upon them.
Yet, where sick English speakers are turned away from French ONLY Ontario clinics, barely a word of condemnation is uttered. And we hear nothing about the French community in Alexandria teaching their children to separate themselves from English children, as if English is some sort of a disease.
Imagine if the reverse were the case: If English parents refused to allow French kids on their buses, or would not allow French ONLY signs, or would refuse to treat French speakers in English clinics?
Ontario is not doing well financially. As a matter of economic fact, Ontario is in a very precarious situation with the decline of the auto industry, the strong Canadian dollar chipping away at our manufacturing sector, and the banking system taking an enormous sub-prime hit.
Taxes in Ontario are going way up, while services are beginning to suffer.
Yet, somehow, the Liberal McGuinty government of Ontario has found more than A HALF BILLION DOLLARS to piss away in the French Services Act.
But this is ONLY the tip of the iceberg.
Not included in the half billion dollars already earmarked are the hundreds of additional millions of dollars towns, cities and counties will spend pushing Official Bilingualism and the forced Francisization of Ontario.
But beyond money, the human factor will pay an even greater cost in lost jobs and opportunities to English speakers, who will be pushed aside because of their lack of ability to communicate properly in the French language.
Here are a few statistics for you to ponder:
According to the Official Ontario Government Web Site, the French speakers of Ontario number about (500,000) half a million people in a province of almost (13,000,000) thirteen million people.
Simple math sets the French component of Ontario at less than 4% of the total population at very best. But, knowing governments and lobby groups, I would bet that the French numbers they quote are in fact much lower than they would have us believe.
So how does this affect you? And why should you care?
While we were asleep, McGuinty created the French Language Services Act, which has the power to mandate which communities MUST be officially bilingual.
Here they are straight off the Ontario Web Site:
1. City of Toronto
2. City of Hamilton
3. Regional Municipality of Niagara: Cities of: Port Colborne and Welland
4. City of Ottawa
5. Regional Municipality of Peel: City of Mississauga, City of Brampton
6. City of Greater Sudbury
7. County of Dundas: Township of Winchester
8. County of Essex: City of Windsor, Towns of Belle River and Tecumseh; Townships of: Anderdon, Colchester North, Maidstone, Sandwich South, Sandwich West, Tilbury North, Tilbury West and Rochester
9. County of Glengarry
10. County of Kent: Town of Tilbury, Townships of Dover and Tilbury East
11. County of Prescott
12. County of Renfrew: City of Pembroke, Townships of: Stafford and Westmeath
13. County of Russell
14. County of Simcoe: Town of Penetanguishene, Townships of: Tiny and Essa
15. County of Stormont
16. District of Algoma
17. District of Cochrane
18. District of Kenora: Township of Ignace
19. District of Nipissing
20. District of Sudbury
21. District of Thunder Bay: Towns of Geraldton, Longlac and Marathon, Townships of Manitouwadge, Beardmore, Nakina & Terrace Bay
22. District of Timiskaming
23. County of Middlesex: City of London
24. District of Parry Sound: municipality of Callander
25. County of Frontenac: City of Kingston (effective May 1, 2009)
Here are several parts of Ontario’s Official Bilingual Legislation taken verbatim off the Ontario Government Web Site:
“Ministries are responsible for identifying which agencies in the designated areas should implement some or all of their services in French.”
“All ministries and government agencies must offer services in French. Theses services must be available in at least one of the offices of such ministry or agency that is located in or serves a designated area. All the offices must have signs in French indicating the locations where those services are available in French.”
“Within the framework of local services realignment, when a program or service of provincial jurisdiction is transferred to a municipality, an agreement will ensure that the provision of services in French is maintained at the same level.”
If you are wondering how I got the cost of forced French services, the following is taken off the same government of Ontario Web Site:
“Additional investments of $317 million in Ontario’s French-language education system.”
“In health, an investment of $185 million to double the size of Montfort Hospital in Ottawa.”
If you don’t believe me, why don’t you read it for yourself at the following Ontario Government Web Address:
So what do you think now?
Do think this battle to preserve the rights of choice and individuality for Ontario’s 96% English speaking majority has nothing to do with you?
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