CANADIAN BILINGUALISM

THE GOD THAT FAILED

In October of 1981, Richard Gwyn released a stunning book entitled: “The Northern Magus: Pierre Trudeau and Canadians”. PaperJacks Ltd, a publisher based out of Markham, Ontario had the honor of putting together one of the best books ever written on Canada’s sun god. In Chapter 13 (Frog in the Throat), the role and importance of a core language in society were revealed when Richard confidently wrote:

Of all political issues, language everywhere is far and away most explosive. Basques today are prepared to kill and to die for the sake of Euskera, an arcane and quite useless language. In Russia, early in 1978, to try and preserve a language that if anything is even more arcane, five thousand Georgian students demonstrated in their capital, Tbilisi, to force Soviet authorities to include Georgian as an official language of their republic. Not since 1925, when South Africa raised Afrikaans to equal status with English, has any western country successfully bilingualized itself. Belgium, which until Canada started, had tried harder than anyone else, has failed abysmally. Wallonia and Flanders exist as unilingual ghettos inside, which, by law, parents may not educate their children at public expense in the other language. The Canadian Shield is about as uncompromising a ground as anywhere exists to plant a bilingualism flag.

In 2007, John Saul and Andre Pratte published: “RECONQUERING CANADA: QUEBEC FEDERALISTS SPEAK UP FOR CHANGE”. Francois Pratte is a writer and was a candidate for the breakaway party of The Action Democratique du Quebec. In Chapter 6: “SEIZING CANADA WITH BOTH HANDS”, he had this to say about the assimilation process:

In the 2001 census, Canadians named more than a hundred different languages in answer to the question about their mother tongue. So does the official languages policy still have any raison d’etre? Yes. In any case, whether or not it is declared to be official, a language asserts itself. Immigrants learn the language of the majority. It is a matter of survival. Of integration. Of employment. Of economics. And outside Quebec, with the exception of a few cities in New Brunswick and Ontario, the dominant language is English.

God bless this Canadian for standing up for Canadian culture and heritage in spite of the fact that the party he ran for wanted Quebec to separate. In Canada, the English language and a college or university education are the secrets to successful assimilation and the road to a better life. How effective has Pierre Trudeau’s Bilingualism policy been across Canada?

Canada has had almost three decades to measure if this policy was successful of a dismal failure to boot. This research report will do for Canada’s journalists with the national newspapers, The Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail and The National Post Newspaper have failed to do…that’s tell the truth. Here it is è

BILINGUALISM RATES

 

A look at the proportion of Canadians who reported being able to conduct a conversation in both official languages:

PER CENT

1971: 13.4       1981: 15.3       1991: 16.3       2001: 17.7       2011: 17.5

 

A Further Analysis of these Data Results

1971 census 21,568,305

2,890,152.87 bilingual citizens

1981 census: 24,343,177

3,724,506.081 bilingual citizens

1991 census: 27,296,856

4,449,387.528 bilingual citizens

2001 census: 30,007,094

5,311,255.638 bilingual citizens

2011 census: 34,482,779

6,034,486.325 bilingual citizens

Between 1971 and 1991, the number of bilingual citizens increased by 53.9% or 2.70%/year.

Between 1991 and 2011, the number of bilingual citizens increased by 26.3% or 1.31%/year.

Between 1971 and 2011, Canada’s total population increased by about 12,914,474 citizens from 21,568,305 in 1971 to 34,482,779 in 2011 or by 59.88%.

Between 1971 and 2011, Canada’s bilingual population increased by about 3,144,333 million citizens from 2,890,153 in 1971 to 6,034,486 in 2011 or by 109%.

The above analysis might indeed look impressive but is misleading. Canada’s total population between 1971 and 2011 grew by some 12,914,474 citizens but only 3,144,333 of these new citizens are bilingual or about 24%. If results lived up to the Bilingualism promise, than 50% of Canadians would be speaking French as a 1st language instead of less than 25%. According to Census 2011, The top 3 provinces where French is spoken as a 1st language is Quebec at 79%, New Brunswick at 27% and in Ontario at 2.2%.

Pierre Trudeau’s plan for a greater bilingualism of Canada hasn’t materialized. There was a surge in the 1970s and 1980s but it has never really gone above 7 or 8 per cent of the population outside Quebec–Francois Charbonneau, professor in the school of political studies, University of Ottawa.

Bilingualism has failed in Canada but it also didn’t work in Russia, Africa or Belgium (the nation that tried the hardest to make it work but failed miserably). There is no evidence to suggest that Canadian bilingualism is a big fat disaster and a 100% utter failure. Pierre Trudeau’s vision of a bilingual Canada has utterly failed.

This Report Published on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 by Research Investigator Mr. Shawn Dalton. The Statistics in this report were derived from Statistics Canada’s 2011 Census which was published in 2012 and are released every 5 years.

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