Lan­guage Com­mis­sioner to speake in North Hat­ley

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - North Hat­ley

“Com­mu­ni­ca­tion leads to community – that is, to un­der­stand­ing, in­ti­macy, and mu­tual valu­ing,” wrote Rollo May.

But what if a “speed bump” makes com­mu­ni­cat­ing dif­fi­cult? For ex­am­ple, be­tween French and English speak­ers, with dif­fer­ent lan­guages and cul­tures. Throw in a gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ence. How then can we cre­ate what Rollo May was talk­ing about?

Com­mis­sioner of Of­fi­cial Lan­guages Gra­ham Fraser is to tackle this topic in a talk at the Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ist Community, or UUEstrie, in North Hat­ley, on Sun­day, July 15, at 10 a.m. He will speak about cre­at­ing community be­tween French and English speak­ers. The meet­ing will be bilin­gual.

“The Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ists of the Estrie are a group of peo­ple who are ex­tremely in­ter­ested in jus­tice, eq­uity and com­pas­sion in hu­man re­la­tions,” said Rachel Gar­ber. “Our community dates from the late 1800s. It has tra­di­tion­ally been English-speak­ing, but in re­cent years an in­creas­ing num­ber of our younger mem­bers are French­s­peak­ing.”

Of­fi­cial Lan­guages, is to speak in It was Gar­ber’s sug

North Hat­ley on July 15, on cre­at­ges­tion that UUEstrie ing community be­tween French and in­vite Com­mis­sioner

English speak­ers. Fraser to speak.

“Of­ten, lack of con­flict is viewed as ev­i­dence of har­mony. But it could also be ev­i­dence of so­cial dis­tance. We are seek­ing ways to fos­ter un­der­stand­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tion and com­pas­sion be­tween French and English speak­ers within the con­text of our small group where many, but not all, mem­bers are bilin­gual to vary­ing de­grees. We are de­lighted that Com­mis­sioner Fraser has agreed to come and speak.”

Fraser has been Canada’s Com­mis­sioner of Of­fi­cial Lan­guages since 2006. His man­date is to pro­mote Canada’s two of­fi­cial lan­guages and pro­tect the lan­guage rights of of­fi­cial lan­guage com­mu­ni­ties. He is a for­mer jour­nal­ist and au­thor of sev­eral books in both English and French, no­tably Sorry, I don’t speak French: Con­fronting the Cana­dian cri­sis that won’t go away. He is also ad­junct pro­fes­sor of jour­nal­ism at Car­leton Univer­sity.

UUEstrie meets in its her­itage church build­ing at 201 rue Prin­ci­pale, North Hat­ley, at the in­ter­sec­tion of Gagnon Street. Mem­bers of the pub­lic are in­vited to come and par­tic­i­pate in the dis­cus­sion. Af­ter the meet­ing, an in­for­mal ex­change over cof­fee is planned.

Photo cour­tesy, Of­fice of COL

Gra­ham Fraser, Com­mis­sioner of

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