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End the unfairness of official bilingualism. Stop wasting our tax dollars.

27 January 2017

Justin's Faux Pas

Justin's faux pas is a gift that keeps on giving.  I've collected more little treasures for our archive. Here is Brian Lilley on the Rebel.

Keith B has added this video to his collection:  His total collection of videos is on our web-site. I guess Justin (when he refused to speak to those Canadian people in Quebec in English) had not gotten "this message" From his father

The latest faux pas committed by our "Pretty Boy" Justin has been flooding the media so I take great pleasure in circulating every article forwarded to me by our readers to show you what an error Canadians made when they elected him as our PM, based on nothing but his pretty face & a famous surname.  Canada was betrayed by our leaders into handing power to a group of disgruntled people who used the 1982 Constitution to set the country on the path of eternal division, using the emotional pull of the need to preserve a minority language spoken by less than 22% of the country (mostly  concentrated in the province of Quebec).  One question I hope that someone can answer:  why does Quebec have 25% of our parliamentary seats when they don't represent 25% of our citizens?  Is this another betrayal by our politicians who cannot seem to understand that this gives Quebec far more power than they should have? 

Some of the articles do not have links so if you find the missing links, please forward. 

Kim McConnell


National Post

(2017-01-20)

Canada

Language watchdog fields PM complaints; Probe Launched

OTTAWA - 

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has received 14 complaints related to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's choice of English or French when answering questions at recent town hall meetings.

Spokesman Nelson Kalil said Thursday that 11 complaints stem from an event on Tuesday in Sherbrooke, Que., where Trudeau angered some anglophones by insisting on answering English questions in French.

The others are related to a previous town hall gathering in Peterborough, Ont., where Trudeau responded in English to a French question.

On Wednesday he said that on reflection he maybe should have answered partly in English and partly in French at the Sherbrooke event.

Kalil said it could take three to six months for the office to investigate.

Because the office cannot investigate individuals, the probe will focus on whether the Privy Council Office violated the Official Languages Act in its role of supporting the prime minister.

The controversy erupted when Trudeau answered English questions in French on Tuesday night - including one about how English speakers could get help to gain access to mental health services.

"Thank you for using our country's two official languages, but since we're in Quebec I'll respond in French," Trudeau replied.

His unilingual performance drew an angry response from groups that represent Quebec anglophones, with some calling on the prime minister to apologize for showing what they called disrespect toward the English speakers in the audience.

At first, Trudeau defended his stance at a news conference Wednesday as he mentioned the Peterborough example.

But Trudeau changed his mind a few minutes later when a reporter revisited the topic.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was asked about the brouhaha Thursday as he attended the Davos economic summit in Switzerland.

"It's true we speak French in Quebec, it's our common language," Couillard said. "When English-speaking Quebecers address me, I answer them in their language and I will continue to do that."

In Montreal, Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee was also asked - in English - about Trudeau's language imbroglio.He said Trudeau is "simply out of his depth" in matters of language and identity.

"In Quebec, we have French as the official and common language but we also know something called courtesy.

"And there's nothing wrong with speaking English to our important Anglo community. What we saw there is Mr. Trudeau having no grasp of reality and of policy on matters of language and identity."

Addition Articles

Lorne Gunter: Prime Minister's Tune Falls Flat On National Listening Tour 

Justin Trudeau Mocked For Baffling Immigration Remark

Justin Trudeau Speaks Only French At Sherbrooke Town Hall, Despite English Questions

Conservative Candidates Don’t Have To Be Crazy To Run Without Speaking French, But It Helps

Paul Russell: Is Bilingualism Still A Requirement For A Canadian PM?

Question (In English) About Finding Service In English In Quebec — Justin Trudeau Replies In French


We have decided that our web site is growing & that we should show-case some of the responses from our readers.  The last few messages have had our readers' contributions added to the main message.  So anytime you feel that you have something useful to say that will help the credibility of our fight for Canadian English speakers, please feel free to send them to me for inclusion.

Kim McConnell


Angry Anglos File Complaints Against Trudeau For French Only Answers In Quebec

Philip Authier, Montreal Gazette 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a town hall meeting Jan. 17, 2017, in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

RYAN REMIORZ / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Three formal complaints have been filed against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with the Commissioner of Official Languages for refusing to speak English to a Quebec anglophone Tuesday in Sherbrooke.

“Yes, we have received complaints,” said commission spokesperson Nelson Kalil. “We’ll be taking a look.

“We would be investigating the PCO’s (Privy Council Office) involvement and whether or not there was an obligation to provide services (in French and English).”

It is not known who registered the complaints as the law allows people to lodge them confidentially.

Ironically, Justin Trudeau’s late father, Pierre Trudeau, is considered the father of official bilingualism in Canada and now his son is facing questions about a possible violation of the Official Languages Act that stipulates Canadians have the right to communicate with and receive services from federal institutions in either official language.

That was not the case Tuesday evening at a town hall held at Sherbrooke’s manège militaire, where Trudeau — holding a town hall style meeting as part of his national listening tour — refused to answer half a dozen questions in English, including one about the need to get access to mental health care services.

“Thank you for using our country’s two official languages,” Trudeau replied in French to Judy Ross who asked about health services. “But since we’re in Quebec, I’ll respond in French.”

Shaken, Ross said later she felt disrespected and disappointed.

Informed of the complaints late Wednesday, officials in Trudeau’s office said the prime minister answered questions about the event at his news conference earlier, and had nothing more to add about the matter, which sparked a storm of protests from groups representing anglophones.

On Wednesday Trudeau at first defended his behaviour saying he answered a question asked in French in English in Ontario at the start of his tour.

“I will always defend official bilingualism,” he said. “I believe deeply in it, but I understand the importance of speaking French and defending the French language in Quebec.”

He changed his tune later when a reporter asked again while on a stop in a Tim Horton’s on the campus of Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, a borough of Sherbrooke.

“So yes I should maybe have answered partly in English and party in French,” Trudeau said. “Upon reflection, it would have been a good thing to do.

“I am always very sensitive to this. I went into the assembly with the principle I was going to do it in French. >From now on, I will make sure to have more bilingualism, regardless of where I am in the country.””

He said he was surprised by the number of English questions.

That attempt to make amends did little to calm the fury of minority groups who demanded Trudeau apologize.

“The response should have been an apology, this response is an excuse,” said James Shea, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, which regroups 51 English-language community organizations from across Quebec.

“The prime minister of Canada knew what he was doing. He chose to answer a question in English in French. Even staunch defenders of the French language like René Lévesque would never have made such a misstep.”

Gerald Cutting, president of the Townshippers’ Association, representing township anglophones, also called on Trudeau to apologize to the English-speaking community.

“If all Canadians are equal then at least we deserve an answer in our own language,” Cutting, who was present at the event, said. “During the whole time that the prime minister was in the meeting, he didn’t say one word in English, not even in his opening remarks.”

The group’s reaction comes on top of a stinging rebuke issued by Robert Libman, the former leader of the old Equality Party, a defunct English rights group. Libman said Pierre Trudeau, must be spinning in his grave because of his son’s behaviour.

Libman said Trudeau’s refusal “is a transparent attempt to curry favour with Quebec nationalists and score cheap political points in the province.”

Libman said it’s the second time in the past month that Trudeau “denigrated” the historical presence of Quebec’s English-speaking population. The same thing happened during the Ottawa-Gatineau bilingualism debate where he said “Quebec has to be French in order for Canada to be bilingual.”

Libman said Trudeau’s attitude showed a disconnect with mainstream modern Quebec, which is “no longer gripped with the same language insecurities of the past.”

One issue to be verified in the investigation is whether the event should be considered a government function or a political function, Kalil noted.

The prime minister made a brief, 20-minute stop at Smoke Meat Pete in Île-Perrot Wednesday afternoon, but took no questions from the public or the media as he squeezed his way through the crowd gathered at the popular eatery.

He shook hands, held babies aloft and joked with the customers in French and in English, accommodating every request for a selfie, before heading out.

An attempt to scrum the prime minister was blocked by body guards.

Additional reporting by Kathryn Greenaway.

pauthier@montrealgazette.com

twitter.com/philipauthier


National Post

(2017-01-19)

Canada

PM says he 'maybe' could have spoken some english in Quebec

MONTREAL - 

Quebec's deep-rooted linguistic tensions flared up in unlikely fashion Wednesday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to explain why he refused to answer questions in English at a town hall meeting.

The controversy erupted when Trudeau answered English questions in French on Tuesday night - including one about how English speakers could get help to gain access to mental-health services.

"Thank you for using our country's two official languages, but since we're in Quebec I'll respond in French," Trudeau told a woman at a town hall meeting in Sherbrooke.

His unilingual performance drew an angry response from groups that represent Quebec anglophones, with some calling on the prime minister to apologize for showing what they called disrespect toward the English speakers in the audience.

At first, Trudeau defended his stance when grilled about it at a news conference Wednesday as he continued his grassroots tour. He pointed out that he answered a French question in English at a recent town hall meeting in Peterborough, Ont.

But Trudeau changed his tune a few minutes later when a reporter revisited the topic.

Asked whether the English-speaking people in the audience Tuesday night did not deserve to understand him, he replied: "I understand how important it is in these public meetings to be able to answer questions about people's concerns.

"So, yes, I maybe could have answered partly in English and partly in French and, on reflection, it would have been a good thing to do," he said.

About 80 per cent of Quebecers report French as their mother tongue, with most English-speakers concentrated in the Montreal area.

It is customary for political speeches in Quebec to be mostly in French, while it is generally accepted that francophone reporters get to ask their questions first at news conferences.

Other than being briefly booed for speaking English at a Fête nationale celebration in Quebec City last year, the fluently bilingual Trudeau has thus far largely avoided the language controversies that have dogged previous prime ministers, including his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

His party made strong gains in Quebec in the 2015 election, winning 40 of the province's 78 seats. Many ridings with a high percentage of French-speaking voters still remain out of reach for the Liberals, who fare well in areas with significant anglophone representation.

But on Wednesday, Trudeau faced rare heat from some members of that English-speaking community.

Judy Ross, the woman who asked Trudeau the question about mental health, said she "felt disrespected" when he explained why he would answer only in French.

"I was so disappointed that by the time he got through that bit of fantasy land, I really didn't take in the rest," Ross said in an interview. "I was too miffed.

"It (mental health) is a topic that's very difficult to explain and express in your own language, let alone a second language. Even people who are bilingual prefer to have their services in their mother tongue. And I thought, with his life experience, he would be sensitive to that."

The president of an association representing anglophones in the province's Eastern Townships said Trudeau should apologize to the English-speaking community.

Gerald Cutting said the prime minister's refusal to use both languages undermined the anglophone community's long struggle to obtain access to services in their own language. "There were people in that audience who felt they were demoted to second-class citizens, and that needs to be addressed," he said in an interview.

He said Trudeau's attempt to moderate his stance Wednesday was insufficient and that he should meet with members of the anglophone community to clarify his remarks.

with files from Vicky Fragasso-Marquis

Morgan Lowrie


Comments from readers

Hi Kim, I have been reading your message about the closing of English schools and turning them into French schools or Immersion schools. Ontarians have to realize that once their children graduate and go to post secondary education or enter the work force they enter into a sea of English speaking peoples and it's a very competitive world.

To properly prepare the child to compete and take their place in this world they must have a very good command of the English language both oral and written. New Brunswick has already experienced French immersion and the results are detrimental. French immersion has created elitism in our schools here where the  brightest students are sheltered into a French immersion class leaving the English classes with no peer challenge. Even with that, the percentage who graduate from French Immersion and reach a bilingual level is less than 10 percent. That means we have 90 percent who are not literate in French or English and the work force do not want these people.

Simply ask the parents in your area if they realize what language their children will be working in once they enter the workforce. Trudeau formed a special Committee months ago to travel Canada to sell French to the rest of us, to come up with creative selling points regardless of the merit or truth. Why? Because recent studies have shown that the real number of bilinguals over the past decade has decreased. Students are studying medicine, engineering, sciences, IT software, business and many other vocations to be the best they can be in a very competitive work place. Learning French is taking a back seat and Trudeau will spend millions trying to reverse the tide.

Nine of out 10 immigrants chose to learn English when they immigrate to Canada so Trudeau is wasting millions of tax dollars. The way to correct this waste in Ontario is to convince parents to send their kids to English language schools from grades one to five so that they get a firm foundation in reading and writing skills in English which will allow them to go on and flourish in Middle school and High School. Second languages should only be offered starting in grade 6 as an option and only after competence in English has been achieved. If you can convince parents to do this then the propaganda and falsehoods promoting French immersion will die out naturally. Thanks and good luck.

Mike B. NB

Hi Kim,

 

You have likely heard the term "alternative facts" on the news lately concerning Trump's inuguration numbers. The media seems to be fixated on the term. Too bad we couldn't bring to light the "alternative facts" that have been used to falsely claim Canada being founded by two nations in order to justify official bilingualism and the OLA being foisted on us. 

Legislated language is offensive. Trudeau's faux pas in Sherbrooke last week was a perfect example of being offensive while pandering for the francophone vote. It is typical of the way most of our politicians continually pander for the francophone vote at the expense of the majority.

K.B.

Saint John NB


I fully support the English program IN ALL SCHOOLS.  FI is fine for kids with good language skills. While I was not a “special needs” student in my day, I struggled seriously in English.  In FI, I would have been a basket case.  In grade 13 when all my subjects except English and French were in the 80’s and 90’s, French was in the 50’s and English 60’s.  Today I can express myself in English, but I doubt I would be where I am today if I had been pressed into an elitist program of FI.  Despite my respect for having the command of more than one language, French would not be my first choice today for a second language.  There are a host of languages in the world today far more ubiquitous and important than French!

GM



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