Saturday, June 11, 2005

 

No English Please! We're Quebecers!

This article in the Montreal Gazette is a reminder that free speech in Quebec is a state of mind, not a state of law. For 35 years, salaried civil servants working for the Office de la Langue Fran├žaise (OLF) ensure that use of the English language is proscribed in virtually all public, commercial and governmental use. The absurdity and pettiness of this legally sanctioned and publicly funded pogram knows no bounds as evidenced by the examples described in this article.
I wonder what Irwin Cotler would say if British Columbia even hinted at passing laws making it illegal for employees of Chinese businesses to speak to their customers in Cantonese or Mandarin. Or for ethnic employees of any municipality to speak to each other at work in any language other than English.
As unbelievable as it may seem, the 'Language Laws' of Quebec provide for fines and even imprisonment for illegal use of the English language. (Note: Richmond is a small town near Montreal.)
Language Police Make Things Right

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