Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 13, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Paul Whitelaw Thundoy, July THE IFTHMIDGI HERAID _ 5 Bilingualism a crucia issue in Moncton (Second of two articles) N.B. "Mayor 1T Jones? We've just got to erect a statue to that guy in the middle of town." Mayor Leonard C. Jones is the harassed champion of anti- bilingual forces not only here, but perhaps in Canada. The speaker wasn't a staunch United Empire Loyalist, but Hector Cormier, executive sec- retary of the Soeicte Nationale des Acadiens and a vocal advo- cate of French-language rights. "Mayor Jones is not a good politician, but he has done one good thing. lie rallied all Aca- dians to press for their said Mr. Cormier. Not all Monctoa's Acadians about 35 per cent of the pop- ulation of and the largest concentration of francophones outside Quebec support the campaign for bilingualiim in the city. However, it's certainly true that Mayor Jones' fight against greater use of the French language in his city lias caused many Acadians to be- come active in pressing for bilingualism. Mayor Jones not only resists demands for the implementa- tion of bilingual services 11 city hall, but opposes all moves to promote the French language with taxpayers' money outside Quebec. t "My own view is that both the Official Languages Act of the federal government and the provincial act are ultra vires he told me during an interview at his office. "The British North America Act sets out provisions as to what the provinces and Parlia- ment of Canada can do as far as legislation of languages." "To enact the official langu- ages the mayor contin- ued, "government has to amend the charter of the British North America Act to get authority. They haven't amended the charter, therefore they have no authority to impose the langu- ages acts." Mr. Jones referred to a 1949 amendment to the BNA Act en- abling the federa' government to amend certain matters with- out reference to the British Parliament. He noted that it was specifically stated in the amendment that the use of Eng- lish and French as set out in the constitution were among those matters which couldn't be changed without approval in Britain. "I believe that because of this, section 133 of the BNA Act is still valid and the federal and provincial statutes are not valid, not constitutional." "We have a added the mayor, "to the peo- ple, the taxpayers, to ensure that if public monies are spent on such things as bilingual ser- vices, we have the legal right to make such expenditures." Mr. Jones said that he hoped the New Brunswick and federal governments will eventually re- fer their Official Languages Acts to the Supreme Court of Canada to test their constitu- tionality. He added that to his knowledge no challenge to eith- er act has been made before the Supreme Court. A recent challenge to the fed- eral statute failed bafore the Ontario Appeal Court. On Jan. 20. 1972, judges Arthur Kelly, John Brooke and John Amup heard and rejected the argu- ments of Joseph T. Thorson, former president of the Ex- chequer Court, who contended that because of the act he would have to pay higher taxes. Mayor Jones believes there is no need for further bilingual- ism in Moncton when nearly 100 per cent of the Acadians speak English. "I don't think it's necessary and it's not he said. "People talk about culture. But. bilingualism is one thing and culture is another. What's my culture? My culture is Ca- nadian." No one denies that increas- ing bilingual services at city hall, the chief demand of the Acadians, would be costly. Rev. MjTon Brinton, a Baptist minis- ter who spoke at a city council meeting in February on behalf of people who signed an anti-bilingualism petition, esti- mated it would cost the city City councillor Gary Wheeler, who generally sup- ports the mayor's linguistic pol- icy, said his preliminary check showed the cost would be about However, both Premier Rich- ard Hatfield and the federal government have offered finan- cial assistance. Mayor Jones retorts by not- ing that under the Municipali- ties Act of New Brunswick, there is a provision making a member of council liable if money is spent without the proper authority. Hector Cormier of the Societe Nationale des Acadiens believes that the issue of bilingualism is too important to be discussed only in dollar terms. "If it can't be brought about in Moncton. bilingualism will not come about on the Cana- dian level, at which point sep- aratism of Quebec will be am- ply justified." Claude Bourque, editor of L'Evangeline, the French-lang- uage daily newspaper here, ba- n'eves the linguistic controversy in Moncton is already aiding the separatist movement. "When Quebecers read about what's happening here, they must say, 'My God. the separa- tists ?re right. The English don't want to understand any- thing. The English don't want a bilingual Canada.' While the controversy here is centered on city hall, both the federal and New Brunswick governments have been making concerted efforts to provide services in French. However, Acadians feel that the true spir- it of the Official Languages Acts and the talk of Canada being a bilingual nation will not be fulfilled as long as Mayor Jones persists in his anti-French stand. "Part of the said Sylvio Savoie, head of the citi- zens' committee for bilingual- ism, "is that many people don't understand what we mean when we talk about French language rights." "What we want is recognition that the city is 35 per cent French-speaking. We want ser- vices available to people who want to deal with city hall in French, but English will al- ways be the predominant lan- guage here. We won't want to put anyone out of he noted. Mr. Savoie added that the majority of people on his com- mittee would like the same re- sponse to Moncton's French- fact at city hall that has been provided by both the federal and provincial governments. He added that, in his view, the implementation of bilingual municipal services might not be as difficult or expensive as some people think. It might be possible, he suggested, to trans- fer certain employees to assure that there would be people in each department to deal with the public in French. "This is already happening in many cases, but we'd like to make it an official Mr. Savoie said. He believes that the strong representation on the citizens' committee for bihngualism of many diverse groups, including service clubs and the tradition- ally-conservative, English-dom- inated chamber of commerce, indicates that Mayor Jones' anti-French stand may prove futile. Mr. Cormier seems to agree. "No, v.e don't get excited any more about Mayor he noted, adding, "We let him commit his outrages and we take him with humor.'' Tlie confidence of some Aca- dian spokesmen is due in no small part to the knowledge that the drive for bilingualism has the support of the federal and New Brunswick govern- ments. Keith Spicer. the federal lan- guages commissioner, visited Moncton earlier this year and expressed support for the Aca- dian cause. Prime Minister Trudeau also commented on the situation this spring, saying that there is a corps of Canadians who are prepared to "live with the reality" that the right to com- municate with government in cither official language exists. Premier Richard Hatfield has also endorsed the drive for greater bilingualism at city hall, offering to provide finan- cial aid to underwrite the addi- tional cost of French langu- age services. In an interview at his apart- ment in Fredericton's Lord Beaverbrook Hotel, Mr. Hat- Easy Choice field told me that increasing bilingualism in New Brunswick is "inevitable." "I can see bilimpjalism be- coming an increasingly impor- tant factor in the civil service, and I think it said the premier. "I'm in favor of what I call functional bilingualism, that people can have services in one or the other language. That's the objective Mr. Hatfield rejects sugges- tions that the linguistic contro- versy in Moncton constitutes a crisis, but he said, "I think you're right in saying it could develop into one." "There is tension, there is anxiety. But there is emerging, quite quickly I believe, a re- sponse." When I asked the premier about the support Ins bilingual- ism policies have in caucus and among the voters, he noted that his Conservative party has its strongest support in pre-domin- antly English-speaking areas of New Brunswick. However, Mr. Hatfield is hopeful bilinguahsm will not become a partisan poli- tical issue. "If it becomes a political is- he noted, "it mil be a no-win issue. Nobody can come out ahead on an issue like that." "We all go around saying the is changing, and many people don't believe that here. Bilingualism functional bi- lingualism is Mr Hatfield said. He noted that he has said "the province is prepared to step in to help provide bilingual services" in Moncton, but that the "people of Moncton have to make a decision themselves." (Herald Quebec Bureau- Books in brief "T h e Collector's Book of by Marian Klamkin. (Dodd, Mead and Co., 140 you a book collector? Have you thought of col- lecting boxes? For box collec- tors actual and potential, this book should be interesting. Illustrated with 182 photo- graphs by the author's hus- band, a professional photogra- pher, it concentrates upon box- es from around the world which may be available to the collector, with advice about then- care and repair. From the time when man first began to accumulate per- sonal possessions he has re- quired something in which to store them, and boxes have been part of his civilization, re- flecting his changing values. Boxes are made of anything you can think of. Whereas some old-timer boxes may not be found practical today, oth- ers are treasures of art. Italian goldsmiths and jewellers de- signed and made magnificent boxes of precious metals and stones to contain the remains of saints and popes. This book is especially rec- ommended for the housewife, for every home has its share of boxes. JOE MA ft FIVE STAR CANADIAN RYE WHISKY 1 JOSEPH E. 1 SONS UKITSD WATERLOO, ONTARIO, CANADA 28 02. The smooth taste of quality that is unmistakably Seagram's. Seagram's FIVE STAR Canada's largest-selling rye whisky. and bottled by Joseph E. Scngram Sons Lid., Waterloo, OnU "Foreign Ownership" by Malcolm Levin and Christine Sylvester (Paperjacks, 107 'PHIS is one of a series of books dealing with critical Issues facing Canada and Ca- nadians. By using specific instances, It helps the reader gain a bet- ter understanding of just how complicated the foreign owner- ship issue is. The Denison Mines contro- versy, problems of Canadian publishers, the auto pact and Saskatchewan's American-own- ed pulp mills are some of the issues that arc assessed through the critical eyes of the authors. Foreign would be extremely useful in a class- room situation because it pro- vokes discussion through the pointed questions it asks at the end of eacli chapter. Which is better, a vibrant, foreign controlled economy or no economy at all? Should for- eign companies be permitted to gam a controlling intciest in Canada's natural resources? (99.9 per cent of oil refineries in Canada are foreign owned The book makes the reader think about the problem and wonder about a solution. RON CALDWELL "VD: the People In People Diseases" by Dr. Anne Kcyl (House of Annnsl Press Ltd., paperback, 113 A LL that anyone might want or need to know about ve- nereal diseases can bo found in this liille manual. Concern over Hie fact, that VD has reached epidemic prompted the publication of the book. The author is director of the VD Clinic nt Women's College Hospital, Toronto. DOUG WALKER. Alberta's position on ivater export By Minister of Environment W. J. York, This is an extract from an address given by Hon. W. J. Yurko at The Ca- nadian Water Resources Conference in Lethbridge on July 7, 1972. An editorial on this appears on page four under the title Faulty logic. Alberta government considers that the present and future priority of wa- ter use should be established on provincial and inter-provincial considerations with- out influence by or from international con- siderations. In this regard the government has placed a moratorium on the use of provincial funds for use either in part or in total for funding studies that involve the diver- sion of Alberta surface waters for export beyond the Canadian borders. Let me briefly explain the nature and reason for this position. We consider that Alberta has no surplus surface waters when all uses are realized. A sfrplus ccn only be apparent when the water body is improperly managed or when the priority and economic value of one use is calculated or declared to be of a higher priority and value than another use We consider that the prevalent water uses today are domestic and municipal raw water supply, industrial supply, irriga- tion, hydroelectric, navigation, fislu'ng, propagation of fish and wildlife, recreation and aesthetics. The Alberta government recognizes an order of preferential use of water as fol- lows: Domestic use, municipal use, industrial use, irrigation use, water power use, and other uses. Cost-benefit analysis is one of the analytical tools used to determine whether water should be managed for uses other than its existing use pattern But cost-benefit analyses are all based upon assumptions which mry have short term validity but long term disastrous effects. Those who advocate massive water di- version and export or even extensive study of the possibilities, do so based upon at best a shaky s e t of assumptions which rapidly change with time. Continued study generally promotes jus- tification of the chosen objectives. If water is to be Canada's trump card in the process of international bargaining then surely it is paramount that this trump card not be revealed too soon if at all. We seem to be frequently outbargained hi the international evaluation and sale of vital resources. We therefore realize that it is not wise to create nor even to promote dependency wlu'ch may not be sustainable. Alberta would not be party to any na- tional or Intel-provincial study directed to- ward the possible export of water beyond the Canadian borders. All available effort and competence at this time can be better directed toward study and management of water resources for the provincial and national good. On of words Theodore Bernstein Mm good. One of the most fre- quently misspelled words in the language is accommodate. Those two m's are what cause the trouble. But all a secretary has to remember is that if she wants to accom- modate the boss, she should double up, but not with laughter. She should remember also that the word is mm good. As for like. The purpose here Is not to go into the question of "Windsor tastes good like a dill pickle should" that is, the use of like where the word should be as. The purpose is rather the reverse: to ex- amine the use of as where the word should be like. The trouble is that after all the fuss that has been made quite properly the misuse of like, many people have become gun-shy about using the word at all. For instance: "Controllers can make mistakes as anyone else." Another for in- stance: "While Mr. Newfield is listed as an associate editor of The Village Voice, he merely submits articles as any other columnists." In each instance the word should be like. The point is that like should not be used as a conjunction that is, introducing a group of words containing a verb. In the dill pickle sentence the verb should appears and that makes like im- proper. However, like is proper when no verb is expressed. Therefore: "He runs like a deer" or "Controllers can make mis- takes like anyone else." With as those sen- tences sound as hell.. Ugh. others are not. Miss Crystal G. Barker of Nelsonville, Ohio asks about irregardlcss, which she hears often but docs rot like. She is right not to like it. Three of the new- er dictionaries the Random House, Web- ster's New World and Webster's Third New International list it, but all label it non- standard. The -less suffix gives the nega- tive idea to the word, so the ir- prefix merely says it a second lime. Actually, irrcgardlcss is not only nonstandard; it is close to illiterate. Forget it. Disregard it. A few words are duplicative say the same thing twice. Some of them are classed as standard English, but Problem of but. A newspaper sentence read, "Probably no one but he knows when or why he developed an interest in Governor and a reader wrote in to say it should be but him. Maybe yes, maybe no; the authorities differ. Some re- gard but in a sentence like that as a Con- junction introducing a hidden clause such as "but he does." Others regard it as a preposition equivalent to except, which would be followed by an objective pro- noun: him. Two guides will be offered here. First, if the pronoun comes at the end of the sentence (where a noun or pronoun is normally in the objective case) make it objective: "The fact is known to no ono but him." If the pronoun appears else- where in the sentence, put it in the same case as the noun to which it is linked by but: "It is known to no one (objective) but Mm (objective) how he developed that "No one (nominative) but he (nominative) knows how he developed that interest." This probably sounds compli- cated to the reader who wrote the letter, but it's fairly simple to everyone but him. B and B WHATEVER else Mssrs. Trudeau, Pel- letier, et al may accomplish with their policy of bieulturalism and bilingual- ism. they've made a solid contribution to Canadian content in the news. Before the government espoused an active policy of encouraging the use of both languages in Eometlu'ng more than the printing of Han- sard and dollar bills, Canada's legal status as a two-language country was practical- ly unknown to mo.st Canadians and ig- nored by the rest. Scarcely news. But now the facls have been so to Anglopluies, expatriate Yanks and olher non-French Canadians painfully estab- lished and publicized, reporters and ed- itors have found bilingualism a rich source of controversy and therefore newsworthy, and every columnist and feature writer a welcome addition to his repertoire. If there was any doubt about its news- worthiness, evidence shows up quite regu- larly. Within the last week or so, thou- sands of words been aired and prinled over some concert or other in which French was inordinately emphasized in the view of n lot of noisy nobodies, who yelled and raged until the prime minister him- self felt moved to render n public apology for whatever sins were thought to bo in- volved, and lo "defend" the cabinet minis- ter responsible by praising him to the skies, and hinting that he might be out of a job shortly. Then there wns this absurd little epi- sode in Calgary, where at this time of the year they scarcely speak language, let alone two. Even in the midst of Stam- pede festivities, space was found by the media for breathless reports of a minis- terial guest of the Stampede authority be- ing booed from the stage for speaking in French when urged to do so by some mem- bers of the audience. But in spite of its newsworthiness, I'm really not optimistic about the future of bilingualism, however much I like the idea personally. While no formal study has been made, I should think it is quite obvious that support for this and other aspects of bi- culturalism is in remarkably direct ratio to years of education, and there's no surer or deadlier kiss of death than that. And there's another point, that bothers me a little. Just suppose bilingualism should catch on, espoused wilh the same evangelical fervor as was Social Credit in Alberta in 1935, the same mindless accept- ance as Wacky Whats-his-name gets even now in B.C., and comparable support else- where. Presumably the day would dawn when every man, woman and child in this fair land would speak both French and English. And what then? Would we uso both? Ask questions in one language, re- ceive replies in a different one? Use French for social and family discourse, En- glish for business? Take half our school subjects in one, the remainder in the olh- er? Figure out the best language for.us and forget the other one Blend them, and end up with a new and different language, some sort of Canadian patois? JUxe to think about that for while?