The time call on Ottawa for rights protection is now

Par Me.Linda Hammerschmid le 31 mars 2013


As with every type of case heard at the Supreme Court level, our changing social customs, over time, coupled with new appointments at our High Court, usually bring about new judgments on old issues.

As a Canadian citizen, I have reached the end of my patience with the time and money wasted on and by the OQLF.

We need urgent repairs to our infi:astructure, we need to hire more nurses, not lay them off. We need enhanced educational systems and better tools to teach our children.  Instead we get Pastagate, now Indiagate. What's next!

Last time I checked, (2 weeks ago), the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed me, and every other Canadian citizen, even those who live in Quebec, the right to use English.

Article 7 guarantees us the "right to and the right not to be deprived thereof ', so stop badgering small business owners, infringing on their security by forcing them to spend time and money on redundancies.  Article 15 guarantees us  "equal"  treatment without discrimination based on, among other criteria, national or ethnic origin.  Is the OQLF spot¬ checking restaurants operated by ''pur Iaine" owners?

Article 16 guarantees English [and French] as the official Canadian languages, with "equal" rights and privileges. So why are English Quebecers being persecuted?

While the Quebec legislature is free to advance the equality of status or use of French, it cannot do so to the detriment of English (Article 16(3)).

Article 23(1) states:

Citizens of Canada

a)         whose  1st  language  learned and  still  understood  is  that of  the  English...  linguistic minority population of the province in which they reside,

b)       who have  received  their primary  education  in Canada  in English...  and  reside  in a province where the language in which they received that instruction is the language of the English... linguistic minority population of the province,

have a right to have their children  receive primary and secondary school  education  in that language in that province.

Our  Charter  is  to  be  interpreted  in  a  manner   consistent   with  "the preservation  and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canada" (Article 27), not its demise.

So tandoori is just as good as "tandouri" and pasta is as good as, not better than, ''pates" and v1ce versa.    The  Canadian  Charter  applies  to  "the legislature  and government  of each province..." (Article 32(b).

All this said, when are we, the outcasts in Quebec, going to say enough  and fight the good fight?  It's time to go to Ottawa again.  If Bill 14 is passed in any way, and with the President of Tourism  Montreal saying the OQLF and Bill 14 are hurting business here, and the negative international headlines the OQLF garnered for Pastagate, our time is now!



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