Harper "Exemplary" In Fostering Bilingualism"
Canada's new official languages commissioner says Prime Minister Stephen Harper's own role in fostering official bilingualism has been “exemplary” but his government's actions have undermined the Official Languages Act.
Mr. Fraser says cuts by the Conservative government to a range of nine different programs have undermined progress in promoting linguistic duality and developing minority language communities.
He's particularly hard on the Tory decision to axe the Court Challenges Program, which pulled the funding rug from under 40 language cases currently before the courts.
The prime minister, who begins most of his speeches in French, was praised by Mr. Fraser for setting a personal example of how to employ both official languages.
Im confused, Stephen Harper is the leader of government, and yet Fraser seems to look at Harper as seperate entity. You can't criticize government action and then praise Harper at the same time, that is just illogically. Fraser is critical of Stephen Harper's policies, which is far more relevant than how he starts his speeches.
Stephen Harper starts his speeches in French because of political calculation. An easy way to appeal to Quebecers, it says more about ambitions than commitment. If anyone questions that conclusion, then it should be supported with substance, which isn't the case. In fact, the record demonstrates a hostility, not support, which further exposes Harper's real motivations for the French-first approach. Is Mr. Graham naive?
And let's not forget the paper trail:
"It is simply difficult – extremely difficult – for someone to become bilingual in a country that is not. And make no mistake. Canada is not a bilingual country. In fact it less bilingual today than it has ever been... So there you have it. As a religion, bilingualism is the god that failed. It has led to no fairness, produced no unity and cost Canadian taxpayers untold millions."
- Stephen Harper on bilingualism, Calgary Sun, May 6th 2001.
Defenders will say that was then, this is now. I would counter "now" necessitates a transparent tactical outreach, which by Fraser's own admission isn't supported by real action. This government has turned the Official Languages Committee into a sideshow.
Jeff has problems with the logic as well.
Paul Wells doesn't mince words, Stephen Harper is a LIAR.