So load up on gold bullion, build an underground bunker, collect some canned goods, gather up your guns and ammo; the Frenchies are coming to steal your precious bodily fluids.
On October 6th, 2009, Thomas Mulcair introduced the C-455 private members' bill as follows:
"Mr. Speaker, it is truly an honour for me to introduce a bill today that will ensure the application of the provisions of the Charter of the French Language in businesses under federal jurisdiction, whether they be chartered banks, interprovincial transportation companies or telecommunications companies. The Charter provisions give rights to workers, for example, to receive documents in their own language, and prevents an employer from requiring knowledge of a language other than French if it is not required to do the job.
There has been a controversy in recent years over whether or not to change the Official Languages Act. We are not changing the act. Instead of making ambulatory references to the Charter, we took all the provisions of the Charter of the French Language and incorporated them into the Canada Labour Code. We believe that this is a real, concrete recognition of the Quebec nation, without changing the Official Languages Act. Everyone wins here, because it does not take anything away from the English-speaking linguistic minority in Quebec."
|Look upon me and despair!|
It's a difficult concept to understand but I'll try to explain it as best I can: French-speaking Quebecers are French-speaking.
I'll let that sink-in a minute.
All good, now?
Montpetit mentions that there are many "pitfalls" such as:
-It will "face potential complaints outside Quebec".
Any bill that affects Quebec will have complaints. There is a long storied tradition of Canadians complaining about Quebecers which is reciprocated right back. Calling each other whiners is part of our national fabric. I'd actually be disappointed if people would do what should be done and say "that sounds fair".
-Sovereignists will say it's not enough!
You realize that sovereignists want to have Quebec be an entirely different country, right? Of course they'll say it's not enough. But that's not the point of the bill. The NDP is not trying to appease sovereignists, it's trying to pass a law that will be equitable for French-speaking Quebecers. This is about fairness, not scoring political points with sovereignists. Whether sovereignists agree or disagree with the bill, it doesn't make it fair or unfair. You want French-speaking Quebecers to be able to work in their own language in Quebec, period.
-It's a very irresponsible promise!
Jack Layton hasn't promised anything to anyone. He just said he'll introduce the bill and fight for it. Contrary to what many pundits believe, Quebecers have not been lobotomized and incapable of comprehending what a Conservative majority means in terms of legislation.
-You're re-opening language debates!
Conservative MP Brad Trost wants to talk about abortion, Stephen Harper mused about capital punishment but apparently the discussion of having a small segment of Quebecers being able to work in their own language is too much for the country to bear!
-It's already common practice in Quebec...
Why not make it official then?
-It's purely symbolic!
Unless you happen to be one of those people affected. Then it's very real.
This is only very controversial for people who are completely unaffected by the bill.