My diversity is bigger than yours…

News 21 March, 2018
  • Photo archive, PC
    The prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, during his official trip controversial in India.

    Josée Legault

    Wednesday, march 21, 2018 11:03

    Wednesday, march 21, 2018 11:40

    Look at this article

    Good. There it is, hold on to your toque with the pin. Yet another big “controversy” just burst.

    Radio-Canada reports that :

    “Employees of Service Canada who interact with the public can no longer use the words” sir “, ” madam “, “father” and ” mother “. According to documents that we have been able to consult, the “frontline staff” must now ” use a neutral language to the level of genus. The objective of the government (Trudeau) is clear : to avoid giving the impression that the federal government officials have a bias towards a gender or a sex.”

    Many of the shirts themselves will surely.

    That said, the directive of the federal government in fact-it all the same too in the department that I would call “my diversity is bigger than yours” ? In part, yes.

    On the terms “mother” and “father”, it is true that the types of families and couples are increasingly diverse and that the government forms will need to reflect this in the future. If, one example among other, the parents are composed of two women or two men, the word “parent” is, in effect, applies a lot better.

    In contrast, the announced death of “madame” and “monsieur” appears to be distinctly premature. Regardless of our sexual orientation or our gender, this conventional formula of politeness still plays perfectly well on the road.

    However, when one reads carefully, one also discovers that at the same time, the officials must “address the customers by their full name or ask them” what way they prefer to be address to them.”

    Translation : upon request, the “madame” and “monsieur” will be, of course, still and always used….

    This new directive would respond to a demand of the LGBT communities. Questioned on the subject, quebec’s minister of Justice, Stéphanie Vallée, revealed, moreover, that the Quebec government is also to review its own forms to better reflect the new demographic realities, and social.

    On the other hand, “sir” and “madam”, the minister, fortunately, does not intend to imitate the federal government.

    On the more political, it also reflects the major concern of the prime minister Justin Trudeau for the “diversity” as a value and belief, but also, as a marker clientship to the liberal Party of Canada.

    In this chapter, there is no need to recall at what point the various costumes worn by the prime minister and his family during their official trip to India was mostly to consolidate the support of the PLC within communities sikhs here in Canada.

    The PLC is certainly not the first political party clientship in the West, far from it. In fact, it always has been. Despite some electoral losses, it is in fact the key to his longevity.

    But it is also the key to understanding the increasing marginalization of Quebec within Canada. Quebec and the French language as it gradually became mere elements of “diversity” among other…


    A courageous fight

    During this time – and speaking of “diversity”, still at the federal level, a story much more interesting and deserve more of our attention.

    Mr. André Dionne, an official with the federal Office of the superintendent of financial institutions (OSFI), is to go to court to fight for a right that was thought to be fundamental in Canada.

    Is the right to work in French. Or if you prefer, to work in the official language of his choice.

    Le Devoir reports that the “federal Court began on Tuesday the final hearing ofa case-inflected language that will be decisive for all federal employees in Canada. (…) In 2010, Mr. Dionne filed a complaint with the Commissioner of official languages (OCOL), claiming not to have been able to exercise his right to work in French in the course of his career in the montreal office of the OSFI.

    The complainant argued that the managers of the Montreal office must report daily to directors English-speaking Toronto-based and that the communication should therefore be almost exclusively in English. (…)

    He therefore filed may 2015 a lawsuit against the OSFI to ensure that courts are addressing for the first time on the provisions of the official languages Act, which deal with the language of work.

    According to this act, federal agencies must ensure that ” their work environment is conducive to the effective use of both official languages while allowing their staff to use one or the other.”

    “These are provisions that have never been previously tested before the canadian courts, therefore, the cause risk of a precedent , “remarked Mr. Dionne.”

    The battle of Mr. Dionne is admirable and courageous in itself.

    However, as noted above, the most shocking is that this battle is being fought for is a right yet recognized by the federal Law on official languages.

    At the same time, it is the symptom of a reality that is gaining ground.

    In fact, the French fell over into Canada. Even to the point where less than 10% of English Canadians outside Quebec say they are able to hold a conversation in the”other” official language of Canada.

    In the federal public service, the difficulty of the work in French is also an Open secret for a long time. Including, in the case of Mr. Dionne, in an office based in Montreal.

    That said, the official languages Act does not impose bilingualism to individuals, but to institutions. The shade is not accidental.

    It is thus assumed that the employees who provide services – and the citizens who receive them -. may choose to do so in one of the two official languages.

    A beautiful principle, that is for sure.

    However, in Canada, this principle is a mirror to the alouettes.

    The English language is being massively majority, it dominates it also more even in the federal institutions.

    This same illusion, as early as 1993, the author Scott Reid documented with detail in the book “Lament for a Notion : the Life and Death of Canada’s Bilingual Dream“. (Scott Reid is a political scientist by training and was elected as an mp at the federal level in the year 2000 for the conservative Party.)

    This illusion, it should be recalled, is the very policy of the former canadian prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

    Question especially, at the time of full rise of sovereignty in Quebec, and to convince Quebecers that they could take their place in the country equally with their fellow countrymen of the English language. But not on a low collective nation to nation, but on a purely individual one sea to the other.

    We know, however, the rest of the story…