You know what really bugs me? The fact that almost all government workers have to be bilingual. Let me tell you, having worked in the Federal Government for 5 years, there is no need for everyone that is staffed to have to speak English and French. I mean, seriously. You have no idea the amount of money this country spends on French training... someone goes away on French training for a year, fully paid, and gets paid their regular salary and a new person comes in, works that person's job, and gets paid the same amount of money. Person A comes back from training, speaks French to the Director for a day, then gets back to work... in English. Any work he/she needs to get translated in French goes to translation. So... it's completely useless. A big, huge waste of money. Let's put things in perspective - less than 13% of the county is actually French/bilingual. Why do all jobs need to be staffed bilingual? I have managed just fine all these years working in English. Suprise, surprise. It's astonishing to me that someone with a PH.D but no French would actually not get the job, but someone with a high school diploma who speaks French would get it. Tssk, tssk.
In public schools, English-speaking children are encouraged to start learning French in kindergarten. But French-speaking children are not allowed to start English classes until fourth grade. (In Quebec) By law, all children of immigrants must be schooled in French! WTF? A recent poll conducted for The Gazette found that 71.4 percent of French-speaking respondents complained that their children were not learning enough English.
Check out these stats: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21, part 1 and 2 states: 1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. 2) Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country. Every time our federal government declares a public service position "bilingual Imperative" they automatically disallow 95% of English speaking people outside the province of Quebec from applying for the job. Many of these jobs are high profile heads of departments, agencies and crown corporations. This is not equal access to public service. 1) only 2% of the population of Ottawa are unilingual French. The huge majority of the population in Ottawa is functionally literate in English, including most francophones, yet a hugely disproportionate percentage of jobs now require bilingualism. 2) 86% of all bilingual Canadians live in Quebec and adjacent parts of Ontario and New Brunswick. 3) 72% of all Francophone federal public servants are employed in bilingual positions. 4) Only 5% of all Francophone federal public servants are employed in "English Essential" positions. 5) In 1978, 48% of all National Capital Region public service positions were designated bilingual, at that time Anglophones represented 68% of all National Capital Region public servants. Today bilingual National Capital Region positions have increased to 63% and Anglophone representation has decreased to 59%. In New Brunswick, Canada's only officially bilingual province, Anglophone participation in federal departments has decreased from 84% in 1978 to 62% in 1999. 6) Francophones make up only 22.7% of Canada's population, yet occupy 41% of the National Capital Region public service positions. (From: http://www.petitiononline.com/ottawa/petition.html)
And here's some more news:
Ottawa to Designate 20% of Jobs Bilingual
35-hundred City of Ottawa jobs will be deemed officially bilingual by the end of May.
The Ottawa Sun reports the bilingual designation will affect about 20 per cent of the 17-thousand City of Ottawa positions.
Employees already in jobs deemed bilingual who don't speak, read or write French will be safe.
Once Ottawa's official bilingualism policy is in place, anyone can apply for jobs, but unilingual candidates will be expected to learn French for bilingual positions.
Manager of French Language Services Manon Henrie-Cadieux says employees wanting to enrol in Ottawa's language training program can take as long as they want to learn and will be trained on city time.
The cost of translation and training services is set to rise to almost two million dollars a year.
Two million dollars a year... whatever! This is so annoying to me. Yes, I know, speaking more then one language is a good thing, it's great, yada, yada, yada, I'm already bilingual, I'm Greek and English, and on top of that, I am familiar with French. However. I still think it's stupid to make everyone learn French! EVERYONE? Come one... what a waste of time and money. I could actually go on forever on this topic but I'll stop now because I'm getting an itch to write about how much I dislike Stephan Dion... ewwwwwwwwww......