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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:40 am
 


I neglected to cross-post these articles when they were originally published. Since I bet we could all use a little distraction from the coronavirus, I'm posting them here for your reading and ranting pleasure. This one is from February:

It’s widely recognized that English is by far the most common language in Alberta, and it’s our de facto official language. Now, imagine someone who only speaks French well announcing they’re running to become our Premier. When they try to speak English, they mangle the words badly. Would you vote for them?

Something similar happened when Peter MacKay announced he was running for the federal Conservative leadership. He badly botched his campaign announcement in French and was ridiculed in the Quebec media for it. That prompted replies from some Anglophone critics who said bilingualism shouldn’t be necessary for anyone who wants to become Prime Minister of Canada.

Actually, it is necessary.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, some 4,144,690 Canadians only speak French. When you combine that with our total population being some 37,797,496 people, a unilingual prime minister can’t speak to a good 12 per cent of their own constituents, the vast majority of whom were born and raised here. And they have every right to expect to be able to use French, given that it’s one of our official languages and has its own constitutional protections.

Some might say requiring prime ministers to be bilingual excludes the millions of Canadians who only speak English well. Perhaps, but it also excludes the millions of Canadians who only speak French well. It’s fair to expect those Canadians who only speak French well to have to learn English if they expect to hold our highest political office … but how is it fair to only expect Francophone Canadians to learn English, while Anglophone Canadians shouldn’t have to learn French? We would — quite rightly in my mind — not want to vote for anyone who doesn’t speak English well, so why should Francophones be expected to support someone who doesn’t speak French well? I’ve always been baffled as to why so many people seem to think Francophone Canadians are the only ones who should have to be bilingual.

These criticisms are particularly strange coming from Alberta. We talk a lot in this province about hard work and pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. If that’s the case, shouldn’t potential prime ministers pull themselves up by their bootstraps and learn both English and French? That’s exactly what Stephen Harper did in true Alberta fashion — and he reaped the political rewards. Even if he didn’t sweep Quebec, every seat counts in a minority government and Harper’s gains there were important to his first five years in power.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, bilingualism allows people to speak to both Anglophone and Francophone Canadians in their own languages. One of the smartest things my parents ever did was to enroll me in French immersion. It’s helped me see the Francophone point of view both inside and outside Quebec, and helped me learn about Alberta’s and St. Albert’s rich Francophone heritage. It also inspired me to try and see the different sides of different debates in Canada.

Bilingualism has immeasurably enriched not only my life, but all of Canada.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:54 pm
 




I don't know why this popped up on my youtube recommend list. I was not looking for it ( and I don't care either way ), but didn't this guy used to contribute on CKA a few years back? His screen name was JJ same as in the video.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:10 pm
 


JJ used to do cartoons here.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:32 pm
 


Yeah but too much reality made him leave. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:51 am
 


Martin15 wrote:
Yeah but too much reality made him leave. :lol:


It was his ability to defend his own opinions when challenged that made him realize this is not a safe space full of people who would stroke his ego. Like his support of Russia, while he himself being Gay; and then realizing how oppressive Russia is to homosexuality. He was completely unable to reconcile the two, nor could he stop his partisanship long enough to condemn it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:52 am
 


JaredMilne wrote:
I neglected to cross-post these articles when they were originally published. Since I bet we could all use a little distraction from the coronavirus, I'm posting them here for your reading and ranting pleasure. This one is from February:

It’s widely recognized that English is by far the most common language in Alberta, and it’s our de facto official language. Now, imagine someone who only speaks French well announcing they’re running to become our Premier. When they try to speak English, they mangle the words badly. Would you vote for them?

Something similar happened when Peter MacKay announced he was running for the federal Conservative leadership. He badly botched his campaign announcement in French and was ridiculed in the Quebec media for it. That prompted replies from some Anglophone critics who said bilingualism shouldn’t be necessary for anyone who wants to become Prime Minister of Canada.

Actually, it is necessary.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, some 4,144,690 Canadians only speak French. When you combine that with our total population being some 37,797,496 people, a unilingual prime minister can’t speak to a good 12 per cent of their own constituents, the vast majority of whom were born and raised here. And they have every right to expect to be able to use French, given that it’s one of our official languages and has its own constitutional protections.

Some might say requiring prime ministers to be bilingual excludes the millions of Canadians who only speak English well. Perhaps, but it also excludes the millions of Canadians who only speak French well. It’s fair to expect those Canadians who only speak French well to have to learn English if they expect to hold our highest political office … but how is it fair to only expect Francophone Canadians to learn English, while Anglophone Canadians shouldn’t have to learn French? We would — quite rightly in my mind — not want to vote for anyone who doesn’t speak English well, so why should Francophones be expected to support someone who doesn’t speak French well? I’ve always been baffled as to why so many people seem to think Francophone Canadians are the only ones who should have to be bilingual.

These criticisms are particularly strange coming from Alberta. We talk a lot in this province about hard work and pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. If that’s the case, shouldn’t potential prime ministers pull themselves up by their bootstraps and learn both English and French? That’s exactly what Stephen Harper did in true Alberta fashion — and he reaped the political rewards. Even if he didn’t sweep Quebec, every seat counts in a minority government and Harper’s gains there were important to his first five years in power.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, bilingualism allows people to speak to both Anglophone and Francophone Canadians in their own languages. One of the smartest things my parents ever did was to enroll me in French immersion. It’s helped me see the Francophone point of view both inside and outside Quebec, and helped me learn about Alberta’s and St. Albert’s rich Francophone heritage. It also inspired me to try and see the different sides of different debates in Canada.

Bilingualism has immeasurably enriched not only my life, but all of Canada.


I agree that learning other languages and cultures enriches your life, but I'm not convinced that is the real reason politicial leaders 'need' to learn French

The only reason federal political leaders need to speak English and French is to cater to voters in vote-rich Quebec.

However, with rapidly growing immigrant populations that speak Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Arabic (each language has more than 1 million Canadians who speak them), you could make the case (admittedly a weak one) it would be helpful to be multi-lingual. I get that none of those languages are official languages, but under the guise of multi-culturalism, shouldn't our leaders be learning one or more of those languages too?

As an Anglophone who speaks a smattering of several other languages (but not French), I'm not that convinced that our leaders really need to speak French. The problem is that the Quebec media is as vocal about the issue as many in Alberta are about the oil industry, and so losing votes in Quebec can become a huge concern if a political leader isn't at least trying to learn the language (as Harper did after he became PM).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:11 pm
 


bootlegga wrote:
JaredMilne wrote:
I neglected to cross-post these articles when they were originally published. Since I bet we could all use a little distraction from the coronavirus, I'm posting them here for your reading and ranting pleasure. This one is from February:

It’s widely recognized that English is by far the most common language in Alberta, and it’s our de facto official language. Now, imagine someone who only speaks French well announcing they’re running to become our Premier. When they try to speak English, they mangle the words badly. Would you vote for them?

Something similar happened when Peter MacKay announced he was running for the federal Conservative leadership. He badly botched his campaign announcement in French and was ridiculed in the Quebec media for it. That prompted replies from some Anglophone critics who said bilingualism shouldn’t be necessary for anyone who wants to become Prime Minister of Canada.

Actually, it is necessary.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, some 4,144,690 Canadians only speak French. When you combine that with our total population being some 37,797,496 people, a unilingual prime minister can’t speak to a good 12 per cent of their own constituents, the vast majority of whom were born and raised here. And they have every right to expect to be able to use French, given that it’s one of our official languages and has its own constitutional protections.

Some might say requiring prime ministers to be bilingual excludes the millions of Canadians who only speak English well. Perhaps, but it also excludes the millions of Canadians who only speak French well. It’s fair to expect those Canadians who only speak French well to have to learn English if they expect to hold our highest political office … but how is it fair to only expect Francophone Canadians to learn English, while Anglophone Canadians shouldn’t have to learn French? We would — quite rightly in my mind — not want to vote for anyone who doesn’t speak English well, so why should Francophones be expected to support someone who doesn’t speak French well? I’ve always been baffled as to why so many people seem to think Francophone Canadians are the only ones who should have to be bilingual.

These criticisms are particularly strange coming from Alberta. We talk a lot in this province about hard work and pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. If that’s the case, shouldn’t potential prime ministers pull themselves up by their bootstraps and learn both English and French? That’s exactly what Stephen Harper did in true Alberta fashion — and he reaped the political rewards. Even if he didn’t sweep Quebec, every seat counts in a minority government and Harper’s gains there were important to his first five years in power.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, bilingualism allows people to speak to both Anglophone and Francophone Canadians in their own languages. One of the smartest things my parents ever did was to enroll me in French immersion. It’s helped me see the Francophone point of view both inside and outside Quebec, and helped me learn about Alberta’s and St. Albert’s rich Francophone heritage. It also inspired me to try and see the different sides of different debates in Canada.

Bilingualism has immeasurably enriched not only my life, but all of Canada.


I agree that learning other languages and cultures enriches your life, but I'm not convinced that is the real reason politicial leaders 'need' to learn French

The only reason federal political leaders need to speak English and French is to cater to voters in vote-rich Quebec.

However, with rapidly growing immigrant populations that speak Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Arabic (each language has more than 1 million Canadians who speak them), you could make the case (admittedly a weak one) it would be helpful to be multi-lingual. I get that none of those languages are official languages, but under the guise of multi-culturalism, shouldn't our leaders be learning one or more of those languages too?

As an Anglophone who speaks a smattering of several other languages (but not French), I'm not that convinced that our leaders really need to speak French. The problem is that the Quebec media is as vocal about the issue as many in Alberta are about the oil industry, and so losing votes in Quebec can become a huge concern if a political leader isn't at least trying to learn the language (as Harper did after he became PM).


French is the official language of the second largest province and also an official language in another province, both of which were original founding members of Canada in 1867. It’s not just about total number of French-speakers nation-wide there are jurisdictions that rely on it. That’s what makes it quite different from immigrant languages


Last edited by BeaverFever on Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:20 pm
 


Anybody running for PM should be able to brush up on their French. We’re not talking Mandarin or Hindi here - it’s closely related to English and they’ve probably been taught it for years already in school. We anglophones are pitiful when it comes to foreign languages.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:46 pm
 


DrCaleb wrote:
Martin15 wrote:
Yeah but too much reality made him leave. :lol:


It was his ability to defend his own opinions when challenged that made him realize this is not a safe space full of people who would stroke his ego. Like his support of Russia, while he himself being Gay; and then realizing how oppressive Russia is to homosexuality. He was completely unable to reconcile the two, nor could he stop his partisanship long enough to condemn it.


In general, McCullough is a pompous idiot who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

Here's an article he wrote about why the Conservatives shouldn't choose Jason Kenney as their leader. It's behind a paywall, but I'm a subscriber and I'll quote the part that really stuck in my craw:

Quote:

He’s an odd duck

The next Tory leader should be human and relatable. Without putting too fine a point on it, Kenney is a weird little man.

He has a strange obsession with the British empire and often seems to regret that Canada is not still a colony. He insists on calling Canada Day “Dominion Day” (the name was changed when Kenney was 14), he’s bragged that his redcoat ancestors fought on “the right side” of the American Revolution by opposing independence, and once mused that Canadian multiculturalism was “an inheritance of what was best about British liberal imperialism.” Beyond colonial nostalgia and Canadian politics, he does not appear to have any identifiably humanoid hobbies or interests.

Kenney has never married, and has no children. A staunch Catholic, he proudly claims to be a 47-year-old virgin. There has been predictable gossip about this over the years, and while we shouldn’t rush to dignify it, it is worth asking — as Warren Kinsella did in a 2013 column — if Canadians are going to easily warm to a nerdy, overweight bachelor when the other party has glamorous Justin Trudeau at the helm.



Given how Trudeau was reduced to a minority by somebody as bland as Andrew Scheer, his social media charm didn't help him much in his second election. Trudeau won in 2015 in part because Harper was running for his fourth re-election, and incumbent governments are often weighed down by more and more baggage the longer they're in office.

As for his never being married and not having any kids, so what? Harper didn't exactly put his kids front and centre most of the time, and neither did Martin or Chretien. And Trudeau being married with kids hasn't prevented people from calling him "Justine" or "shiny pony" by insulting his masculinity.

Oh, and Kenney won his election as Alberta Premier pretty decisively, even though Albertans would be stereotyped as the people who'd most expect their leaders to have 2.4 children and white picket fences.

I also seem to recall the mockery McCullough got when he posted to CKA, whether it be from people who leaned more left like Zipperfish or people who leaned more to the right like CanadianJeff.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:02 pm
 


bootlegga wrote:

I agree that learning other languages and cultures enriches your life, but I'm not convinced that is the real reason politicial leaders 'need' to learn French

The only reason federal political leaders need to speak English and French is to cater to voters in vote-rich Quebec.

However, with rapidly growing immigrant populations that speak Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Arabic (each language has more than 1 million Canadians who speak them), you could make the case (admittedly a weak one) it would be helpful to be multi-lingual. I get that none of those languages are official languages, but under the guise of multi-culturalism, shouldn't our leaders be learning one or more of those languages too?

As an Anglophone who speaks a smattering of several other languages (but not French), I'm not that convinced that our leaders really need to speak French. The problem is that the Quebec media is as vocal about the issue as many in Alberta are about the oil industry, and so losing votes in Quebec can become a huge concern if a political leader isn't at least trying to learn the language (as Harper did after he became PM).


One thing almost all those immigrants tend to have in common is that they work to learn one of our official languages in order to communicate with people outside their own ethnocultural group. People of different backgrounds, one who's Asian and another who's African, can use English to speak to each other as much as they can to any white people. I know-I've literally seen (and heard) it happen.

This happens with French too, and not just in Quebec. I attended the Campus Saint-Jean, the University of Alberta's francophone campus. Every year I was there, I saw more and more students of colour who came from the French-speaking parts of places like Africa and the Middle East. In recent years, the Campus started raising the flags of all the homelands of the students who were attending there in its front hall. There was perhaps nearly 20 flags the last time I visited the Campus, and I'd be surprised if it hasn't increased.

Here's former official language commissioner Graham Fraser talking about what happens with many immigrant languages:

Quote:

But if Canada were to introduce official languages based on immigrant patterns, the situation would be in flux with every passing generation, said Graham Fraser, Canada's commissioner for official languages. "If you look at the immigration patterns of this country, by and large immigrant languages do not survive the third generation," he said.

In 1951, for example, 450,000 Canadians spoke Ukrainian at home, Mr. Fraser said, and bureaucrats toyed with the idea of recognizing Ukrainian as an official language in Western Canada. The problem was that in 1981, that 450,000 had become 45,000, he said.

"The third-generation immigrant tends to use English and French as their dominant language, and yet you're not seeing that diminution on the part of the French-speaking community in Canada," Mr. Fraser said. "There are more French speakers in Canada now than there ever have been."



For those keeping score at home, that was a 90% drop in the number of people speaking Ukrainian over 30 years. Having French also allows us to attract a broader number of immigrants-witness how many Haitians now call Quebec home, including at least one who became Governor General. And as Beaver said, French is an official language recognized in the Constitution. Various court decisions have also recognized the validity of French in many provincial legislatures.

It's not necessary for the Premier of Alberta to speak French, although it certainly doesn't hurt. For a leader that's supposed to represent the whole country, though, it probably should be.


Last edited by JaredMilne on Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:51 pm
 


Complaining about our difficulties with learning French must sound comical to immigrants. Here are the languages spoken by my last three long-term colleagues apart from fluent English: Afrikaans, some Hindi, a little Zulu; Kurdish, Arabic, conversational Farsi, a little Turkish, a little French; Arabic, Circassian, some Chechen, a little French. Many of these languages are not related to the mother tongue of these people at all and none of my comrades regarded themselves as linguists. Almost everybody who comes here from beyond the Anglosphere speaks two languages at a minimum. A friend’s wife from Iraq was talking away to me in perfect English explaining that she went to a French-speaking school in Baghdad. It’s embarrassing. Politicians are word guys - they should be able to handle this. Otherwise we’ll have to get Belgians over to run the place.


Last edited by Sunnyways on Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:26 pm
 


Sunnyways wrote:
Complaining about our difficulties with learning French must sound comical to immigrants. Here are the languages spoken by my last three long-term colleagues apart from fluent English: Afrikaans, some Hindi, a little Zulu; Kurdish, Arabic, conversational Farsi, a little Turkish, a little French; Arabic, Circassian, some Chechen, a little French. Many of these languages are not related to the mother tongue of these people at all and none of my comrades regarded themselves as linguists. In fact, nearly anybody who comes here from Africa or India speaks two languages at a minimum. A friend’s wife from Iraq was talking away to me in perfect English explaining that she went to a French-speaking school in Baghdad. It’s embarrassing. Politicians are word guys - they should be able to handle this. Otherwise we’ll have to get Belgians over to run the place.



Why ?

All the Belgians I know can't speak English or French properly either, never mind Dutch.
But I hear their German is pretty good. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:36 pm
 


Martin15 wrote:

All the Belgians I know can't speak English or French properly either, never mind Dutch.
But I hear their German is pretty good. :twisted:


You could probably say that to a Belgian and get away with it - one more reason to hand over the keys. We could bring the Dutch or Swiss in if you like their English better.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:09 am
 


I think the idea is totally ridiculous. With some exceptions, it means that Canadians get stuck with PMs from Quebec. It's interesting because up until Trudeau Sr, our PMs came from all over Canada. Since Trudeau Sr and including him, of the 8 PMs we've had, (not counting Turner because he never sat as PM nor Campbell because she wasn't actually elected to the position) 6 of them have been from Quebec. If you count Turner and Campbell as well that still means 60% of the PMs since and including Trudeau Sr have come from Quebec. Throw the Bloc into the mix as well and no wonder it's such a fucking struggle to get anything done/built outside of Quebec.

For point of reference, out of the 14 PM's prior to Trudeau Sr, only 3 were from Quebec. The Quebec dominance of the PMO came right after all the fucking "official bilingualism" bullshit. A $1.65 trillion waste of money since it's inception, and still counting.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:54 pm
 


PublicAnimalNo9 wrote:
I think the idea is totally ridiculous. With some exceptions, it means that Canadians get stuck with PMs from Quebec. It's interesting because up until Trudeau Sr, our PMs came from all over Canada. Since Trudeau Sr and including him, of the 8 PMs we've had, (not counting Turner because he never sat as PM nor Campbell because she wasn't actually elected to the position) 6 of them have been from Quebec. If you count Turner and Campbell as well that still means 60% of the PMs since and including Trudeau Sr have come from Quebec. Throw the Bloc into the mix as well and no wonder it's such a fucking struggle to get anything done/built outside of Quebec.

For point of reference, out of the 14 PM's prior to Trudeau Sr, only 3 were from Quebec. The Quebec dominance of the PMO came right after all the fucking "official bilingualism" bullshit. A $1.65 trillion waste of money since it's inception, and still counting.


I admit that helping to keep the country united and avoiding economic Armageddon is pretty penny-ante stuff, as is expanding the pool of skilled immigrants we can draw on, but I still think it was worth it.


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