29 January 2017
The year 2017 is going to be such a fabulous year for ALL right-thinking people all over the world (Trump will change the USA, Brexit will change UK) and Canada will benefit from our relationship with both!!!
Just for starters, here's another gift to the gift from Justin's gaffe that is still giving. My last message contains items from the media across Canada, along with comments from our readers. It is now posted on our web-site. Not all of the excellent comments have been added because English-speaking Canadians (especially those still working for the government at ALL levels) are still very wary of the growing French power. It is very worrying to see the general population so afraid, because of political correction, to say or do anything about this power being given to a linguistic minority. The power of the vocal groups, mostly funded by the general tax-payer, has spread to other areas of concern which we will leave for another message.
For this message, let me say that Prof. John Robson has an important thing to say about our Pretty Boy - Justin Trudeau. Robson is a fierce critic of the 1982 Constitution, the flawed document that is the main reason for Canada's problem. He has written about this & has produced a video about this & anyone who has not read his article or seen his DVD, contact me & I will be only too happy to send either or both.
Below Robson's article, we will feature our current battle against our English-language schools being hollowed out by this insane chasing after a minority language which is totally against the interest of the country as a whole. Oh yes, it is very beneficial for Quebec because of their enhanced power but, let me tell you, it is very quickly alienating the West - the real source of our wealth.
Al S's response to John Robson's article:
Official Bilingualism is not a "strategy" but a well-funded federal government program and all Canadian provinces also have variations of this federal program whereby all provincial documentation is required to be available in both English and French. And, in the case of the Ontario government, a number of years ago a provincial "official language commissioner" office was established.
Rather than focusing on the "successes" of "national bilingualism" which is, generally, a complete and costly bust, focus should be directed toward the purpose and intent of the original Official Bilingual laws. And what was the purpose of instituting Official Bilingualism? Simply to begin the process of transferring all control of the country that was dominated by English speakers over to French speakers, mostly those born in the French province of Quebec. And THIS is succeeding wildly and even beyond the most enthusiast expectations!
Of course, everyone LOVES official bilingualism when asked in those phony, biased "surveys." After all, most Canadians speak more than one language and often more than two. However, what is oh-so conveniently left obscured by such a "survey" is the real intent of the government PROGRAM that is Official Bilingualism. There is a vast - enormous - difference between being bilingual (everyone's dream) and the government program that is Official Bilingualism. As soon as government steps in to make a program out of something, in this case, "bilingualism" and thereby makes it "official", we are in deep trouble because it is no longer freedom at work but a form of coercion with an agenda that has a cruel and viciously discriminatory bias.
NOW TO THE BATTLE TO SAVE OUR ENGLISH-LANGUAGE SCHOOLS
Beth Trudeau, our very fine Spokesperson, attended the meeting on Tuesday, Jan/24/17 by the OCDSB to listen to parents about the loss of our English-language community schools. Can any country be so asinine as to take away schools for the majority language & spend all their resources on schools for a minority language spoken mainly in one part of the country? We're talking about a world-class language spoken by most of the world as opposed to a language which is 9th on the world stage!!! We are willing to spend billions every year propping up a language which is under threat (self-confessed by its proponents) of being assimilated unless we spend a fortune keeping its speakers away from English-speakers? UNBELIEVABLE!!
Thank you, Beth!!
There are so many articles on the media - this is just one of them:
The article by Jacquie Miller is raging at the Ottawa Citizen. I need help in the debate - I've already posted at least 3 replies to various people.
Board struggles with decline of students studying in English
David Loehr on the way to Hopewell Avenue Public School with his sons Spencer, left, and Adam. Parents are lobbying to keep walkable neighbourhood schools. Errol McGihon / Postmedia
When Dave Loehr’s son Spencer was in kindergarten, he and his wife decided to buck the prevailing educational trend in their Ottawa South neighbourhood and enrol him in an English-language program at the school a few blocks from their home.
Spencer was inquisitive, and they figured he would benefit from studying subjects in-depth in his native language. So while most of the neighbourhood kids headed to French immersion, Spencer joined the smaller English program at Hopewell Avenue Public School, where he’s currently flourishing in Grade 5.
Now Loehr and several other parents are raising the alarm about a move afoot at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board they fear could result in children like Spencer moved out of their neighbourhoods and congregated at English-only schools.
The underlying issue has bedevilled the board for years, and it’s emerging again as trustees debate a plan for how elementary schools should be organized.
About half of the elementary children in the city’s largest English-language school board are enrolled in French immersion. (If specialized programs for kids with special needs are excluded from the calculation, the balance shifts more toward immersion, with about 59 per cent of children enrolled.) Many parents believe that learning a second language is beneficial and bilingualism will give their kids an edge in the job market.
But the popularity of immersion has drained the English program of students. English can no longer be offered at every school, staff warn. They favour creating some larger, English-only schools.
And that collides with something many parents hold dear: the neighbourhood school open to all.
Loehr and other parents were alarmed after they noticed a single sentence in an innocuous-sounding report, the Elementary School Program Framework, sent out for public consultation last October: “The district aims to have approximately one and a half classes per grade level per program offered in elementary schools.”
“Wow,” was Loehr’s reaction. “That pretty much says there’s no chance of Hopewell retaining the English stream.”
Like most schools in the board, Hopewell offers both programs, but the English stream is much smaller. In some grades, there aren’t enough students to make one full class of English students. The numbers fluctuate, though, as students drop out of French immersion, or move from English into the middle French immersion program that starts in Grade 4.
Loehr crunched board enrolment numbers himself and concluded that 73 schools with English programs would fail to meet the guideline of 1.5 classes per grade. And 44 schools with French immersion programs wouldn’t, either. “What massive movement of students would result if the board followed that guideline?” he wondered.
He and other parents began a lobby campaign, emailing trustees, writing briefs, filling in the board’s opinion survey and making presentations at the school board.
Earlier this week, board staff released a revised framework report that removed the reference to 1.5 classes and replaced it with more general language.
The 1.5 guideline was not intended to be a “hard cap,” but “rather an indicator of the size of program enrolment” needed to meet educational goals, the revised report says.
However, the debate is far from over.
The trustee for the Hopewell school area, Shawn Menard, applauds staff for listening to the concerns of parents. But the general sentiment toward consolidation remains, says Menard. (And, in fact, the same 1.5-class guideline was contained in another report last year about the future of the board’s English program, but it attracted little attention at the time.)
Most schools in the board are dual or triple track, offering both English and one or two options for French immersion. A move toward more “single-track” schools would be a dramatic change that most parents would not support, says Menard. “I haven’t talked to one parent who says they want their schools to be completely separated into just English or just French.”
The elementary framework report is important because it will guide decisions such as which schools should close as the board works to whittle down excess student spaces over the next five years, he says.
“I don’t think parents are aware of this,” says Menard. “What’s important for parents to know is that once this (report) passes, our planning staff try to abide by it as much as possible. … It can be used as a sort of big stick in the future to say, ‘Well, this is what’s passed, so we’re abiding by that.’ ”
Hopewell parents say the revised report doesn’t reflect their concerns.
Shannon Glenn is worried about the future of the English program within the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s community schools. Her son Carey, 4, is in junior kindergarten at Hopewell Avenue Public School, and plans to enter the school’s small English program in Grade 1. She doesn’t want him bused out of the neighbourhood. Julie Oliver / Postmedia
“It’s very positive that they’ve dropped the specification of 1.5 classes,” says parent Shannon Glenn. “But what they’ve replaced it with is some language that is very general and will not provide any guidance.”
The revised report says the school board “is committed to providing rich learning environments with healthy and sustainable programs.”
Who could disagree with that?
It goes on to say that various factors may be considered when making decisions on school size and programs: enrolment, enrolment capacity, size of the school building, number of programs offered, location of school, impact of program offering on other schools and programs, program demand, community interest and “resource allocation.”
It’s a long list, but it doesn’t contain any of the things most important to the parents she knows, says Glenn. They want a school kids can walk to, offering both English and French programs, and reflecting the diversity in the neighbourhood. “A commitment to the English program would be nice.”
Her son Carey is in JK, and will attend the English program at Hopewell starting in Grade 1. (All kindergarten classes are now taught half in French and half in English.) Carey, who is autistic, loves school and has been embraced by his classmates, says Glenn. “He knows the kids in his class. They’re the same kids he plays with in the park.”
Creating single-track schools divides communities, she says. “You’d be splitting the kids in the neighbourhood. Some of them would attend the neighbourhood school and some would be bused to a large (English) school.”
It’s also elitist, she maintains, noting that the English program has an unfair reputation as a repository for children with learning disabilities or behaviour problems and immigrants learning English.
“We all know that immersion has become a proxy for academic performance, and that children who are disadvantaged for whatever reasons typically end up in the English program.”
That stigma would be made worse if English programs were consolidated into separate schools, creating “ghettos,” she says.
Staff say the concentration of English programs at larger schools could improve education for students.
When there are more children in each grade, it allows flexibility in arranging classes, for example. Teachers can decide which class to place students in, taking into account “social-emotional considerations such as having supportive friendships or identifying those who might benefit from being separated.”
Larger programs also allow teachers in the same grade level to collaborate with each other on lessons, “engage in professional dialogue around evidence-based instructional strategies and assessment and evaluation practices that have a high impact on student learning, well-being and achievement,” according to a statement from the school board.
Another benefit of larger schools is that board psychologists and social workers would spend less time driving between schools and more time with children, say staff.
For Loehr and other parents, those benefits pale in comparison to the advantages of a neighbourhood school.
Same-grade teachers should be able to collaborate even if they aren’t in the same school, says Loehr. “I kind of question that. We have this thing called the Internet, it’s pretty good for collaboration. I don’t think you need to create single-track schools to get teachers to talk to each other.”
Other parents say it’s important that children can switch programs without changing schools. Many students begin in French immersion, but drop out. Last year, for example, 70 per cent of kids in regular senior kindergarten classes were enrolled in French immersion. But in Grade 8, the number of students in French immersion was just under half, or 48 per cent.
Hopewell parent Kate Jaimet says it’s a “travesty” that an English school board would consider preventing children from attending their neighbourhood school because they want to study in English. Her younger daughter struggled in French immersion in Grade 1. By Grade 2, she was acting out at school. “She just didn’t understand what was going on in class.”
Her daughter has thrived since switching to the English program at the school, Jaimet told school trustees at a meeting. “She went from being the kid with the problem to the kid that was helping others.” If her daughter had been forced to take a bus to an English-only school, she “would have felt like she flunked out of her school,” said Jaimet. And since her older daughter is in French immersion at Hopewell, the sisters would also be forced to attend different schools.
Finances also play a key role. At some schools, the number of English program students is tiny, creating small class sizes or double and even triple split grades. Since the board is funded by the province based on average class sizes, small classes at one school could mean larger classes elsewhere.
What: A report discussing the makeup of elementary schools in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
When: Trustees debate the report on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the board office, 133 Greenbank Rd.
NOW HERE IS THE ICING ON TOP OF THE CAKE!!!
By 2036, between 45% and 48% of the other-mother-tongue population would have adopted English or French as their home language. As a result, the English-home-language population could represent 64% to 67% of the total Canadian population (68% in 2011), while French as the language spoken most often at home could fall from 21% in 2011 to approximately 18% in 2036. In total, in 2036, 82% to 85% of the Canadian population would speak one of the two official languages most often at home.
Outside Quebec, this proportion would be between 81% and 85% (with French accounting for 1.8% to 1.9%) and in Quebec, the proportion would be between 87% and 89% (with English accounting for close to 13%).
COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS
I've been saying this for years! French Immersion is a disguise for turning ALL English schools into French schools. The teachers, in the English schools, all have French names!
It's like a cult. They are only trying to help students to get ahead by learning two official languages. But, just ignore the fact that all teachers are Acadian (bringing more jobs for those who are French/bilingual) , and English only schools keep getting shut down.
This is New Brunswick on a daily basis, with every politician, or minister owning a French last name. It will NEVER change.
Do a Google search for Premier Brian Gallant's appointees. French, French, French!
New Brunswickers who head west to find jobs, are not people who can't find work. They head west because the minority French language has become the most qualifying asset (bilingual equals, French first, English second), and their skills don;t count over language.
VP from NB
FRENCH IS DYING
Yes, Canada has been designated as a bilingual country, even though it truly isn’t. Perhaps it’s time that Francophones in Canada realize that it’s not up to the rest of the country to keep their language alive. They’ve protected it in Quebec by making that province unilingual French and that’s fine, but the rest of Canada is majority English speaking.
Having said that...kudos to those that speak both languages, but French is a lot harder to learn than English, so that in itself is a deterrent for some folk.
Not only that but we shouldn’t have to speak French in order to gain meaningful employment. We Anglophones shouldn’t be denied jobs or promotions because we don’t speak a minority language. With less than a quarter of Canadians speaking French, it’s time to realize that while French is on the decline in Canada; it is also on the decline worldwide with countries choosing to teach English instead.
Sandy Johnston, Greely
(That’s always our concern – fairness in employment.)
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