Canada is a multicultural society and the two languages – English and French, French and English – are in honour of our European forebearers.
But artificially propping up any language that cannot sustain itself isn’t working and it’s costly in many ways that are hidden from all Canadians – coast to coast – and instead of the nation being bilingual, we are a nation divided – so we have to figure out a common understanding across our linguistic and other arbitrary differences – because in my Canada – Canadians should be able to be served by their government in whatever language they are most comfortable in.
Canada must become as the European Union – with citizens capable of speaking multiple languages if they want to and can learn.
And allow the marketplace of culture determine the languages of the culture.
Because I want to tell you a story – when I worked at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – I was asked to track down a phone number. Specifically, I was asked to find out if the number was a BC Telus number or an Ontario Bell Canada number.
And what I learned was that a person had called this particular number and the phone was answered in English. The caller was from British Columbia, to the regional Vancouver office of the Department.
The problem was that the number was listed in the phone book as a French Language Line.
So, the person filed a complaint with the Official Languages and these complaints never ever die – this investigation had already been on-going for over a year when I became part of the story.
And the story behind the call was that the Vancouver Office had the French Language line picked up in Quebec – and on the day of the call, was the day of Quebec’s Ice Storm.
And the English Language speaker was the only person who happened to be able to get into the Quebec office and they just forwarded all the lines to their phone.
And the Department of Official Languages was full force investigating and demanding accountability for this transgression of Indian and Northern Affairs Vancouver office – without any regard to the reality of the situation.
I roughly calculated – without knowing anything about that Department’s workings – that at the every least – my whole annual salary had already been wasted in investigating something that any rational or practical person would have taken into account the circumstances and let the matter drop as an unusual situation and not something that could have been anticipated by the department as a high risk or high impact event.
And I think that that same money – rather than investigating such a claim – would have better served Canadians if it had been given to a school district for language education.