I don’t know how to break this to you gently, but some immigrants from Francophone countries and immigrants from Latin American countries are being asked a horrifying question when they apply for work.
They are being asked – I don’t know how I can say this in a sensitive way…ok, I’ll just go ahead and say it…When they apply for work… they are being asked… if they speak English. Some say that they are being turned down simply because they don’t speak English and they are being told to look for work of island.
Can you imagine such a thing? Some employers actually have the gall to want to hire someone who might to want to serve their customers in the language of their choice.
Quebec immigration minister Diane Courcy, who spoke in French only to business leaders at a conference organized by the Conseil du patronat, is very concerned.
Madame Courcy, a former head of the Comission Scolair de Montreal with its massive high school dropout rate, said that making bilingualism a requirement for hiring worries her. I’ll tell you what worries me. Not making it a requirement.
We all know that Bill 101 was really a massive affirmative action program for the four million unilingual francophones in the province. Employers know their own business – and if not – they should. THEY should be the ones who decide if it it makes sense for THEIR their business to be staffed by someone who speaks English as well as French.
For instance, the MTC might want to make bilingualism a requirement in certain parts of the city. That might prevent metro ticket takers, for example, from attacking English-speaking clients like Mina Barak, who was allegedly told to to "go back to her country."
By the way, today is the 17th anniversary of the last referendum. You remember the one? The one where Jacques Parizeau blamed the result on money and the ethnic vote.
What do you think? Listen to the audio we posted from Tuesday's show, when MTC assault victim Mina Barak called in to The Gang of Four...