Counting you out
The strange ways of the Harper government seem to have unforeseeable results in every sphere of life.
Latest is the decision of not releasing all the results from Statistics Canada. Who cares? Well the minority language communities across the country should. Because if census results are not available and not worthy of President Harper’s ™ view of what Canada is really, then it will be bye-bye minority status for a lot of small towns here and elsewhere in Canada.
And you know there is a problem when Le Devoir sees fit to make a front page story of something that mostly concerns the Anglophones and Natives in Québec.
It is not as if having abandoned the long form census did not ring bells when the measure was announced and that nobody cared then. Protest from the political class was highly vocal, this is expected; so were the scientific community and the private sector.
But it will be harder and harder to get to the bottom of the data barrel over the next few years as the data set is getting thinner and thinner.
In another issue that should worry all Canadians is the fact that over half a million people in this country are unable to speak either official language. Experts in the field even doubt that number putting it much higher, especially in the Toronto and Vancouver Metro area. If added are those with such a limited understanding of English or French that they cannot hold a basic conversation, then we must have close to a million. This is dangerous for Canada: no country should permit this for any period of time. Knowledge of either official language is essential for all. We cannot live with maybe a million people in our midst who are unable to engage in what a country is.
Let’s imagine a real situation: a non-official language speaker is involved in an accident. How will the first responder be able to converse with him? At the hospital how can the medical staff ascertain his condition? Some may not like what we are about to write, but, anywhere in Canada, if a French or English speaker is involved in the same situation, someone will manage to find a resource, if only by phone, to communicate with them. In Quebec, for Anglophones, and elsewhere in Canada, for Francophones. Not so with a non-speaker of official languages.
There is also the always present danger of exploitation by ‘community leaders’ who love nothing more than a captive audience where business is conducted between members of the same community; where they work in businesses owned by members of the same ethnic group that they belong to; where they vote for the ‘right’ candidate at an election. How can they know better?