Date: Thursday, October 20 2005
As a result of a piece I recently wrote entitled “Canada’s Solitudes”, which appears below, I have received questions which prompted me to write the two other pieces also here below entitled “Official Languages” and Stand up and Fight”. Perhaps your readers would also be interested in the messages contained therein. You will find all my personal contact information with the last piece below.
Language Fairness National
Yesterday I received an email with the following question:
Who else would listen to my accounts of employment agencies not hiring unilingual applicants? Do you know who I could make a complaint to? The PSC has very rarely posted jobs lately that are of long term-permanent that are coded as “various linguistic profiles” and they usually mean BBB-CBC-CCC-not much other than that-The agencies tell me that is what their requirements are. OK, then what about crying discrimination? The visible minorities did it and the disabled did it-therefore “Employment Equity” so how about it?? 99% of private employment is requesting bilingualism also..
It was in response to the commentary on “Official Languages” I sent out to a concerned American a few days ago, the text of which appears further below. Perhaps the following message has some significance for you, regardless of your views or you determination on Western Separation. (I will be writing on that subject soon.)
Stand Up And Fight
Here’s the thing …..
Everything I write on the subject of language inequity has an underlying component. Sometimes it is right up front and obvious but mostly, it is between the lines so as not to alarm anyone or piss people off. That component is: stand up and fight, get your families, your friends and your neighbours to join your cause by standing up with you and fight for your rights, because they too are victims of the constant erosion of their rights, and power comes in numbers. The more people get involved the more power can be applied to your cause. The time for waiting or hoping that someone else will do it for you is long past.
What amazes me is that people are willing to go on strike by standing in the freezing cold or rain for days or weeks on end while getting little or no income during that militant action, for the purpose of getting another fifty cents an hour and maybe a few other insignificant benefits, the final result of which will cost a few of their colleagues their jobs and an increase in the cost of living, but cannot see that fighting for their rights which in the case of so many people means that, because they can’t speak French, they can’t even get a job to go on strike for.
Here are a few questions you need to ask of yourself and the country you live in. Is it not time that you and all the people you know started taking “affirmative” action to fight for your rights? Is it not time for you to go on a meaningful strike across the country to protest the imposition of French where it is neither needed nor wanted? Is it not time to march in the streets demanding that your language and cultural rights be reinstated? Is it not time for you to take strong actions to let your elected representatives at all levels of governments, municipal, provincial and federal, know that you are fed up and that you are not going to take it anymore? Is it not time to take whatever action is necessary to be heard and to force the people you have elected to office to represent your interests and not those of a very morally corrupt political establishment?
The temperature is rising. And as long as people sit on their duffs, waiting for some groups or individual to take action for them, the temperature will keep on rising until the lid blows off. Then it will be either time for a cultural revolution which could turn nastier than the confrontation on the Plains of Abraham or, since we are such nice Canadians, we could settle back into our normal state of apathy to avoid nastiness, loose all of our rights under Napoleon’s feudal Civil Code while we are governed by the French from Quebec city under the powder puff blue Fleur de Lis. The choice is yours.
Meanwhile, you can write, phone, email, and walk into constituency offices, city hall committee rooms and mayors’ offices to demand that action be taken to correct these injustices. You can write to Dyane Adam at the Office of Official Languages, to Mauril Belanger, the Liberal MP in charge of languages, to the Prime Minister and to the Leaders of the Opposition Parties. This must be done in large numbers so as to flood their offices with your concerns. Hard copy letters are much more effective than emails which send out automatic responses and then get deleted before human eyes get to see them.
The power is in your hands. Use it.
<< File: Response to Jim from the US.doc >>
The text below is a response to a question I received from a concerned American who read my Commentary “Canada’s Solitudes”
Very few countries have official languages. Language is a part of our culture that evolves with the evolution of the society in which it flourishes. It is self-controlling. As long as it is in a constant state of evolution, it thrives. A language must evolve as do all living things, which means it must improve with use. To try to maintain it in its pure form by not allowing foreign influence into the language is to kill it. That is why the English language is the most vibrant of languages on this planet because it borrows from other languages and invents words as needed. And I am not talking about slang and the bastardisations of the language such as “Ebonics” and “Chicano” or “Hip” or any forceful change to the language that are done out of a sense of opposition to the norm rather than the natural evolutionary process.
As soon as a language is declared an official language, there is a paradigm shift in the minds of the purists and all the other “…ists and isms” that you can think of. And if you have the sorry misfortune of falling into the trap of ideologists by declaring two or more languages “official”, then you set the wheels in motion for a cultural war which has no regard for the principles of democracy; principles that are based on the rule by the majority. In Canada, that is called the “Tyranny of the Majority”. So to avoid such a dastardly view of the world, our socialist “friends” tell us that we must submit ourselves to “Rule by the Minority” because, they say, the majority cannot guarantee the protection of the minorities. What these “ists” are not able to appreciate is that only the majority can guarantee the protection of the minorities because the majority is made up of minorities. To do otherwise is to live under the “Tyranny of the Minority, which is what Canada has become, and what the US is rapidly falling into, if it is not already there.
The problem with Canada is that we have had too much unskilled immigration, which has been very beneficial to the present ruling Federal party, and to the French minority because it is their opportunity to regain control of the country they lost in 1760. They simply cannot accept the defeat of the French by the English nearly two hundred and fifty years ago. It is their way of turning back the clock of defeat so as to make it into a victory, belated though it may be. Similarly, the “Latinos” of the US would also like to turn the clock of history and regain the country they claim is theirs and was lost in bad faith, or whatever explanations the ideologists wish to throw in your faces.
In Canada, the French control the immigration and our embassies around the world, putting extreme limits on immigration from Western Europe, Australia, or any other English speaking country. Meanwhile, they are actively recruiting French speaking immigrants from African countries, many of whom belong to the terrorist training centres such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, etc., so as to increase the “French Factor” across the country. This is definitely something the US should be concerned about especially in view of recent reports from Belgium and the Netherlands.
Just this past week the news came out that our ruling “Liberals” (equivalent to US Democrats) and their bureaucratic minions have decided to increase the numbers by another 100,000 per year, over the 270,000 previously aimed for. We are already overburdened with an excess of welfare recipients as well as the fact that the government has lost track of over 40,000 illegal immigrants, many of whom are known war criminals and terrorists. At least, they claim they have lost track of them. I don’t think that is possible. Nevertheless, that is the situation that we, the ignorant masses, are allowed to know.
Meanwhile, in the US you have the very same problem where too much unskilled immigration has been allowed and your society is overwhelmed with people who refuse to learn English and want to impose their language on the rest of you on the pretext that it is their constitutional right and that no one has a right to insist that they speak English. The only solution that I can see for both countries is to put a moratorium on immigration of all people whose first language is not English or who do not speak English “very” fluently.
To declare English as the official language of the US would start constitutional wars that would keep the courts overburdened with language issue trivialities when there are much more important issues to be resolved. To declare two or more languages official would put the country into a much worse social and cultural war than the black/white battles of past generations ever were. It would also require that every document, public or private, be done in all official languages, which would so overburden the economy that you would soon become a third world banana republic, as is the case in Canada. (Beware of the French Factor in the US - there are attempts at expanding their domain in the US as well.)
However, to declare English the “Dominant” language of the land (without making it the official language) and all government documentation, at all levels, English only, and making full fluency in English a prerequisite for immigration into the country and for school graduation, and at the same time allowing the use of other languages as the market dictates, would go a long way to preventing such cultural wars. At least, that is my perspective, and I stand by it.
Commentary by L. Sebastian Anders
[address edited out]
14 October 2005
In her inaugural speech, Canada’s new Governor General spoke of putting an end to the “Two Solitudes”. She put great emphasis on the importance of the French language and culture inside and outside Quebec, but failed to even acknowledge the English-speaking people of Canada. In fact, the word English is nowhere to be found in the text of her speech.
The French Elites fail to recognize that English is the dominant world language in business, in medicine, in science and technology, in space exploration and in world politics, and is the principal language of communication for ninety percent of Canadians. A nation needs but one dominant language, regardless of political catch phrases such as “Two Founding Nations”. And English ancestry is not a prerequisite to claim English as one’s “mother tongue”. Newcomers to Canada happily accepted English as the working language of Canada in order to be part of this great nation, until the imposition of Bilingualism and Biculturalism, followed by Multiculturalism, the result of which is a bitterly divided country.
For too long, Provincial Premiers have not had the fortitude to say no to the constant and unrelenting demands of Quebec or the militant French organisations across Canada. And now, the proposed Bill S4 is designed to completely take away provincial language rights.
Meanwhile, French is spread, promoted and imposed across Canada in the public service, in business, the police, and the military, in schools and on signs everywhere. Government jobs and more and more private sector jobs are preferentially being given to Quebecers. Non-French speaking peoples’ careers are being frozen or terminated. At the same time, the immigration department is actively seeking French-speaking immigrants from African countries to expand the French Factor across Canada, while a justice committee is working on reconciling the French Civil code with English Common Law, the implications of which can easily be imagined.
Regardless of the evidence to the contrary, the English masses of Canada still refuse to believe this is actually going on in “Canada the Good”. They have allowed themselves to become second-class citizens and made to feel ashamed of not speaking French. They have become accomplices to the language industry by believing the propaganda that their children will have no future unless they are enrolled in French immersion classes, creating countless jobs for Quebec teachers across the country.
Money from Quebec is buying out major businesses and industries across the country, especially out west, spreading the French Factor and forcing English-speaking people out of their jobs, out of their homes and out of the country. And if they don’t wake up to reality and take their heads out of the sand, the powder puff blue Quebec Fleur-de-Lis Flag will soon be flying atop buildings across the country.
The Federal Government speaks of “Asymmetrical Federation” while the Bloc constantly reminds us of the tax dollars they will extract from Canada. The French Elites who insist on imposing their linguistic and cultural distinctiveness on Canadians across the country, and the Francophiles who support it, have been the cause of most of Canada’s economic, social and political discords and upheavals for generations.
Western Separation may be a solution to some and it may very well happen, but it is not the best option. Canadians need to stop accusing the Feds of being responsible of every ill that is destroying the country. It is time they started electing Provincial Leaders that have the guts to stand up to Ottawa and take back what is theirs, instead of holding Premiers’ Conferences, speak a few words of bravado, then go back home with a handful of silver coins and their tails between their legs. It is time to open the door and firmly invite Quebec to leave the Federation, without letting them take the furniture, the bank account and the credit cards.