"When he went home after the first day of school in August, Grade 11 student Emiliano Morales-Espinosa learned he'd have to leave Royal West Academy.This is what happens when bureaucrats make rules and regulations in a vacuum......
After doing all his schooling in English in Quebec - including four years at Royal West - Emiliano was no longer allowed to attend English school. The verdict from the Quebec government has meant leaving his friends at Royal West and enrolling in a French school, where he didn't know a soul, for his last year of high school." Read the rest of the story Alternate Link
'Civil Servant?' 'Public servant?' or just plain 'consultant?'
"Top staffer resigns in protest as storm grows over unilingual auditor general"
"Veteran civil servant quits over AG pick" LINK to CBC
"Veteran civil servant quits over AG pick" LINK to CBC
|Michel Dorais-Not a civil Servant|
These headlines in the National Post and the CBC are typical of the dozens of stories in newspapers across the country, that by accident or design gave the impression that Michel Dorais was at the time of his resignation, an active and experienced employee of the government. IT ISN'T TRUE!
Mr. Dorais is no more a staffer at the Auditor General's office than I am.
Imagine you own a company and hire a lawyer to fight a zoning problem or an accountant to do your taxes.
Are these professionals 'staffers' or your 'employees'?
The story about his principled resignation over the appointment of a unilingual Auditor General was used to underline the indignation over the recent Conservative party pattern of hiring on the basis of merit, not bilingualism.
But the impression left by the media that Mr. Dorais was a high-ranking permanent employee of the Auditor-General's department just isn't true.
This from Mr. Dorais' own company website;
"Michel Dorais retired from the Public Service in April 2007 after 31 years in both federal and provincial governments. He has recently founded the Groupe Listal and provides services related to governance and management of public institutions." LINKMr. Dorais sits on the internal audit committee which is composed of three employees of the Auditor General's Office and two "outside" members, Peter Boomgaardt and until his resignation, Michel Dorais.
Both of these men are not employees of the the Auditor General's Office.
Quebec's war on Christians
"Quebec's continued determination to stamp out religion, as if it were some pestiferous bug in need of squashing, is as mystifying as it is alarming and paranoid.In the latest episode, the Montreal borough of Lachine has fined Paula Celani $144 because she and her 80-member Catholic lay group, a registered charity, prayed and held mass in a city-owned hall they rented.It's good to know that Celani plans to fight the constitutionality of the ticket in court. It's about time someone challenged this insidious mania over secularism that has led to the ludicrous scenario of a private party being fined for worshipping in a hall they paid to rent.The Parti Quebecois wants a ban on civil servants wearing what they term "ostentatious" religious symbols, which includes necklaces with crosses or yarmulkas, something many Jewish men wear...." Read the rest of the story
OQLF investigates English at Caisse de Depot
So there was some surprise at news Tuesday that two senior managers at Quebec's Caisse de depot et placement can't speak French.
Montreal La Presse newspaper reported that meetings are frequently held in English at the giant pension-fund manager, because two senior execs can't speak the language of Moliere....." Read the rest of the story
Separatist mayor removes Canadian flag
Mayor Claude Boucher"In a province where the fleur-de-lis flies proudly, there is one small town in Quebec's eastern townships where some residents are rallying around a flag of a different colour – the red Maple Leaf.The battle over the Canadian flag actually began two years ago when former Parti Quebecois MNA Claude Boucher was elected mayor of Saint-Denis-de-Brompton. The mayor quickly removed the Canadian flag from outside the town hall and from inside the council chamber...." Read the rest of the story
Negative Fallout over OQLF sign campaign
On Wednesday I wrote about the Office québécois de la langue française's campaign to force companies to adopt descriptors to 'explain' their English trademarks.
As you can imagine most of the comments by readers were decidedly negative. See the post
But a lot of negative reactions came out of the French side of the language equations where many found fault with the initiative for a variety of reasons.
Instead of applauding, Mario Beaulieu of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, complained bitterly that the OQLF was rewarding non-compliance of the law by offering subsidies to small companies to help them get in line with the law. He along with a colleague wrote a letter to the Minister in charge;
"We are writing you to denounce the creation of an awareness campaign coupled with a new grant program aimed at companies not complying with the Charter of the French language, as the President, Louise Marchand of the Office québécois de la langue française announced in Quebec, in a letter received last Friday.
Is it really the will of your government to provide up to $50,000 to companies in order that they can comply with the Act? This seems unacceptable and odious to say the least. Companies that break the law while showing contempt for our language should have to pay a fine (up to $ 20,000) rather than be rewarded with a grant of up to $50,000. These businesses should fill the government coffers instead of receiving such generous and abnormal subsidies.
Le président du Mouvement Québec français, Mario BeaulieuWhile such reactions from militants is to be expected an opinion piece in LE DEVOIR by Carole Lavallée made an interesting point.
Le président du Mouvement Montréal français, Denis Trudel LINK
Madame Lavallée pondered if the whole campaign was really about convincing Francophones that the signage problem is not as big a deal as is made out to be.
At first I thought the article was to be another diatribe by another paranoid French-language militant, racked by a persecution complex.
But wait.....She makes some excellent points.
Here's what she contends;
Why on Earth run the advertising campaign in French only, if it is English stores that are the problem? Surely the bosses in Toronto or New York aren't going to pay attention to a French campaign in Quebec.
Instead of contacting the offending companies at their headquarters, she asks, why is the OQLF undertaking an advertising campaign in French and organizing a tour in the boonies (where English signs don't exist) to explain the law?
She quotes a passage in one of the advertisements that explains which English phrases are acceptable under the law.
Why do this, rather then implore companies to use French?
Her conclusion is that the OQLF is really attempting to educate consumers over the rights of businesses to display their brand name in English, so as to reduce the number of complaints.
Hmm..... She's got a few good points. Read the article in French
Readers, in preparing my Wednesday post, I downloaded the rules (Regulation respecting the language of commerce and business, RRQ, c C-11, r 9) concerning this issue and in educating myself I was surprised that there is a lot more latitude in the law than I had assumed.
Remember the piece I wrote about complaints at a French hospital over a sign in Spanish. LINK
Turns out the sign is completely legal!
18. Public signs and posters concerning health or public safety may be both in French and in another language provided that French appears at least as prominently.So technically, are bilingual streets signs that deal with safety legal?
Here are some other interesting regulations;
19. Public signs and posters of a museum, botanical garden, zoo or cultural or scientific exhibition may, on the premises thereof, be both in French and in another language provided that French appears at least as prominently.
(Remember the guy who complained about an English SAQ flyer included within an English newspaper.---It's legal!)21. A public sign or poster bearing directions for the use of a device permanently installed in a public place may be both in French and in another language provided that French appears at least as prominently. (What does this actually mean????)23. Public signs and posters displayed by a natural person for non-professional and non-commercial purposes may be in the language of the person's choice.10. Catalogues, brochures, folders, commercial directories and any similar publications may be in 2 separate versions, one exclusively in French, the other exclusively in another language, provided that the material presentation of the French version is available under no less favourable conditions of accessibility and quality than the version in the other language.
However, the version exclusively in another language may be inserted in a news publication published exclusively in that language; it may also be sent to any natural person having made a written request to receive such documents in that other language.
In addition, catalogues, brochures, folders, commercial directories and any similar publications intended for persons belonging to the same ethnical group may be written only in the language of such group.
Have a good weekend!!!!
Further reading: French versus English Volume 38