Unilingual Parc des Cèdres meeting
I would like to start by saying how much I appreciate and enjoy reading the Bulletin d’Aylmer. I hope it finds a way to continue its excellent and needed service to the people of Aylmer.
I have always believed that the Parc des Cèdres is a precious jewel. On October 11, I attended the meeting to learn more about the Master Plan (its renovation). However, all the documentation was French-only, as was the PowerPoint presentation and city staff who spoke. I thought Gatineau was trying to be all-inclusive? At the conclusion of the presentation, most of which I didn’t understand, I asked the large crowd, “Who would have liked to see the presentation in both English and French”. Many people put their hands up.
From what I could understand, there are many people who are not thrilled with the city’s plans. (I was told I could ask questions in English to the staff but as I didn’t understand the details, it would have been difficult to ask intelligent questions in a crowded, noisy room.
Afterwards, I asked the Mayor how difficult would it have been to make the PowerPoint and handout material bilingual. The Mayor responded that they don’t, by law, need to do so. Maybe not by law, but as a common courtesy it would have been appreciated. I pointed out that Aylmer is bilingual and his response was that the ratio is 35% Anglo and 65% French. I questioned those figures but was fluffed off. I believe this ratio might apply to the whole of Gatineau, but I don’t believe it applies to Aylmer.
With Aylmer’s unchecked expansion and the droves of people moving from Ontario to Aylmer (without proper infrastructure in place), I find this ratio hard to believe. I find their lack of inclusiveness both offensive and divisive.
What is the City going to do for myself and others to be informed of the plan for the Parc des Cèdres?
I know who I won’t be voting for Mayor in the next election.