Quebec up in arms over non-French governor general
The CBC reports the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages will investigate the process for nominating governors general after receiving hundreds of complaints from Canadians upset that the newest nominee, Mary Simon, cannot speak French.
Simon is Inuk and was educated in a federal day school in the Nunavik region, where she was not given the opportunity to learn French as a child.
Commissioner Raymond Théberge said said the investigation will look not into Simon personally but rather examine the process used to nominate a governor general. She will be installed as governor general on July 26. READ MORE
Our French-speaking friends are determined to remind us that blackmailers are insatiable. They will, until they are ignored or jailed, forever demand more.
Commissioner Théberge is messing around where he is unwelcome. The Governor General, with or without the Privy Council, is the executive arm of our government. The language commissioner cannot set requirements for a Governor General candidate. The position is well above his pay grade.
The Privy Council belongs in the Governor General’s office, not in the Prime Minister’s office and must be politically neutral.
Ironically, the Governor General, acting with or without the advice of the Privy Council, has the power under her Letters Patent to withdraw Théberge's appointment. He is in very deep waters.
The most glaring aspect of Théberge’s foray into how the Governor General is appointed is that we have to return to public service appointments and promotions based on merit, not linguistics.
No position in the civil service can be designated as bilingual. Our constitution promises services in English and French, not that supervisors and managers must speak English and French. We spend a fortune on interpreters to ensure services are available in both official languages.
With Quebec declaring that it intends to be a unilingual French province, it is irrational to contend that we need a bilingual federal civil service outside of Quebec.
Some Francophones are miffed that the Governor General is not fluent in French. They want equality of language to equate to equality of political power which is not acceptable.
Few people know that more robust French language protection was included in the 1982 constitution. There is no need for the Official Languages Act. All it does is allow a Commissioner to arbitrarily declare positions within the civil service as required bilingual, thus exchanging capability, competence and experience for linguistic mediocrity.
The idea that the federal civil service must accommodate a French-speaking employee to work in his language is ridiculous.
Canada’s membership in La Francophonie is utterly ridiculous. We are not a French-speaking nation and should not pretend we are. Quebec must not be allowed to represent Canada in any venue. This band of petulant upstarts must be curbed.
Quebec favoured confederation in part as she feared that with the U.S. civil war ending and massive federal armies at the ready, the US might mount another effort to invade Canada. The French knew that if the US succeeded in an invasion, they would lose the right they had gained under the Quebec Act and would not have language rights or the Civil Code under an American administration.
Quebec refuses to accept that it is a linguistic and political minority in Canada. We have accommodated but will not capitulate to Quebec.