For Ottawa, not all minorities are equal | Letters To Editor

The former mayor of Hampstead was correct in his oped emphasizing the inequities for the Canadian population inherent in Federal Bill C-13:  40 percent of federal jobs for the 18 percent bilingual minority; many business positions transferred to the same category; the majority of Supreme Court Justices required to be bilingual.

In addition, the implicit recognition of Quebec’s unconstitutional Bill 96, which was enacted using the “Notwithstanding clause”, a clause which our Canadian Constitution explicitly prohibits from being used for language purposes.

But Bill C-13 also has embodied in it, financial penalties for non-compliance with its statutes protecting the rights of French and English minorities.  Are the chances of being penalized for defying those regulations equal across the country?

The precedent has already been set by healthcare. Through the 1990s up to 2016, federal figures show that British Columbia (like most predominantly anglophone provinces) had large amounts of federal transfer funds withheld for all but six of those years.  Why? It “allowed” some private healthcare. (In provincial court, the government of BC has successfully fought tooth and nail to prevent any private clinics).  

Meanwhile, the province with purportedly the most access to private clinics in the country during that time, Quebec, had zero funds withheld.

It seems that the mayor is correct in his assessment that Bill C-13 will discriminate against English minorities in Quebec, and English majorities outside of this province. The federal government will likely penalize other provincial authorities for any transgressions, but not if they are against minorities in Quebec. However, it will generate Liberal votes in Quebec.

Anthony Walter

Westmount

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