A recent study has shown that bilingualism has strong support in Canada,
Most Canadians like bilingual country
Research shows most Canadians love the idea of the country’s dual language culture, even if most people outside of Quebec can’t speak French.
Canadians appear to believe bilingualism is key to the spirit and identity of their country. Two of every three Canadians agreed the country’s two official languages is one of the defining factors of being Canadian, and two-thirds of Anglophones outside Quebec say that learning to speak French is an important way to keep the country united.
It is unlikely that most Canadians understand the economic and social realities of bilingualism in Canada. The reality is, Anglophones are at a distant disadvantage when is comes to employment in the civil service. Recently that government increased the percentage of civil servant jobs requiring a bilingual speaker to 37 percent. Over the years this has had a measurable effect on the employment figures. The percentage of French-speaking Canadians employed by the public service now exceeds their percentage of the total population [?].
According to some figures, the economic costs of translating federal documents and operating various language training programs is estimated at 4 billion annually. Over 60 billion (estimated) since the inception of the Official Languages Act in 1968 [?]. These numbers fail to take into account the costs incurred by the provincial/municipal governments and corporate/private enterprises.
We have to wonder why so many Canadians approve of something that appears to be costing Canada so much?
Federal bilingualism policy blocks unilinguals from PS jobs
Recently, I worked at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and witnessed a sea of change to linguistic requirements, in accordance with a mandate for all CMHC staff to be fully bilingual by March 2002. The mandate resulted in the restructuring of departments and led to an exodus of highly skilled, competent unilingual employees. Staff were required to take French training, resulting in a leave of absence for up to six months.
I recently attended a seminar on “How to find a job in the federal government” at an Ottawa recruitment agency. The facilitator opened the seminar by stating: If you are not bilingual, don’t even bother applying to the government, they won’t look at you sideways.