An officially bilingual Capital for the 150th
As a francophone, I am outraged to be regarded as a foreigner in the capital of my own country. Justin Trudeau, Kathleen Wynne, Mélanie Joly and Jim Watson must sit together and settle this issue for 2017.
Based on the 2007 study and Report on the application of the City of Ottawa’s bilingualism policy, all parliamentarians of Ontario and Canada should invite all Ottawa councillors to request their Director-General to prepare a three-to-five-year plan which would establish human, technical and financial resources required for this plan and make Ottawa an officially bilingual city. I have the right, and all the francophones in Canada have the right, to demand that of our three levels of government.
This plan, already well explained in the content of the 2007 report to the city of Ottawa, could be adopted by the municipal Council, conditional upon obtaining grants from the federal government for its implementation and the adoption of an act of the Ontario government to amend the charter of the city accordingly, so that, as early as 2017, public announcement is made of Ottawa, the bilingual capital of Canada.
This plan could be phased in over three to five years, initiating as soon as 2017, year of the 150th anniversary. With the reduction of hundreds of translators in the federal public service, Ottawa should have no difficulty recruiting competent people to implement the plan.
The major impediment to such a plan is strictly money for Ottawa, and Mayor Jim Watson does not want to raise taxes. The federal government should provide the few million dollars required over the next three to five years. An obvious investment in societal, cultural and human infrastructures.
Beyond the symbolic gesture, offering Canadians, and Canada, which is a Francophone country, an officially bilingual capital would enhance the international reputation of Canada and the national pride of millions of Canadians, Québécois and Franco. So take action now! It’s your duty as our representatives!
Antoine L. Normand,