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  1. #1
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    Default Tickets Must be Bilingual - Manitoba

    Quote Originally Posted by Reuters
    Traffic tickets spark language debate in Canada
    Web posted at: 6/21/2005 3:14:45
    Source ::: Reuters

    OTTAWA: The merits of bilingualism are once again being hotly debated in western Canada after a judge recently quashed a handful of traffic tickets given to residents of Winnipeg’s French quarter because they where not fully bilingual.

    The judge ruled Friday that nine speeding tickets handed out last year to six residents of the St Boniface neighborhood — the largest francophone community in the country outside of Quebec — should have been printed in French and English in accordance with provincial language laws.

    In practical terms, it simply means the city must print a new batch of bilingual tickets. But it has also awakened some strong emotions nearly three decades after similar cases split the local English and French communities.

    In 1976, insurance broker George Forest fought a parking ticket all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court on the grounds that the ticket should have been printed in both English and French. Three years later, his victory forced the Manitoba government to recognize francophone language rights that had been guaranteed when the province joined Confederation in 1870, but were ignored since 1890.

    Subsequently, the provincial government translated all its statutes and other official documents into French, and began offering most services in French.
    Quote Originally Posted by Generic News Service
    Manitoba judge dismisses traffic tickets in language-rights case

    STEVE LAMBERT

    WINNIPEG (CP) - A Manitoba judge has thrown out traffic charges against six residents of Winnipeg's French quarter because the tickets were not bilingual.

    Provincial court Judge Glenn Joyal ruled the tickets violated the City of Winnipeg charter. It requires that municipal services and correspondence be in both official languages for residents of the Riel district - a large area encompassing most of Winnipeg's southeast quadrant.

    "The city did not take the necessary measures to respect its obligation to make the information notices fully bilingual," Joyal said in a written decision Friday.

    "It is interesting to ask how a member of an anglophone minority would react if the situation was reversed . . . if he was told that despite the fact he lives in a designated zone, the promise of equal access and comparable quality can still result in a different and lesser service."

    Most of the text in the traffic tickets was filled out in French and English. But some areas, such as the description of the vehicle and the due date for the fine, were only in English.

    Members of the city's francophone community were pleased, but said the court fight over the language issue should not have been necessary.

    "We are returning again to the courts to have to assert our right to French-language services," said Marc Boily, one of the six accused.

    "There is a hostility towards us . . . and it just does not seem to have sunk into people in power that our rights have to be respected."

    The Societe franco-manitobaine, the province's largest French-language lobby group, said the ruling could set a precedent for libraries, recreation programs and other municipal services, which, under the city's charter, are supposed to be bilingual.

    Societe president Daniel Boucher said those services are readily available in French in the central part of the district, but some residents have complained that services are sporadic in outlying areas and new subdivisions.

    The councillor who represents the heart of French-speaking Winnipeg defended the city's record.

    "The Riel ward has always been a bilingual ward as long as I can remember," said Franco Magnifico, councillor for St. Boniface.

    "We offer services in both languages in that ward."

    Magnifico said the problem with the traffic tickets was something that "slipped through the cracks" and is one which can be easily remedied.

    But another councillor said it remains unclear whether the court ruling means every resident of the Riel district can now tear up any traffic tickets.

    "That's what you worry about," said Gord Steeves, whose St. Vital ward is also in the Riel district.

    Steeves acknowledged there are complaints about French-language services in his area.

    "The Louis Riel library in St. Vital does have a decent French component, there's no question about that," he said. "But it's not at quite the same level as St. Boniface."

    The Crown has 30 days to decide whether it will appeal the ruling.

    Boily said the court fight is about much more than a traffic ticket.

    "Our rights have to be respected. The gradual erosion leads to people just getting fed up and having to function in the majority language.

    "Assimilation is a problem."
    Ramses posted a scan of the story in French printed in the Journal de Montreal last Saturday. Here's the English version for anyone who cares.

  2. #2
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    I was under the impression that everything in Canada has to be in both English and French. Every time I've been up in Canada everything I've seen, even road signs and coke cans were in both languages.

  3. #3
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    The federal government has to offer everything in both languages. The provincial tend to not be as bilingual but usually you can get some services in the other language. New Brunswick and Manitoba, Ontario are very bilingual however.

    In Quebec English signs are illegal...

  4. #4
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    I remember I was in Quebec when I was 5 years old. I was trying to order a hamburger in McDonalds and those French bastards(no offense) wouldn't pay attention to me because I couldn't speak french. Those bastards understood english, they didn't want to serve a little kid because I couldn't order in French.

  5. #5
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    I know. A lot of people are real assholes about the language stuff. In QC we have the "language police", and there was a complaint against some immigrant, because not that he couldn't speak French to his customers, but that the quality of his French wasn't good enough! Or another one that was a bar owned by an Indian guy (ie from India) and the coasters were in English (like "Drink Coors" or something) and they sent a complaint to the OLF which is now doing a big "investigation" wasting everyone's money, at the same time there was a bar owned by a Francophone Quebecer who had the same damn coasters and no problem there...

    And a hamburger is "hamburger" anyway so wtf?

  6. #6
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    I remember when I first heard about the language police in Quebec.. I thought it was satire. Unfortunately, embarrasingly as a Canadian, I was wrong.

    But if it can get you out of speeding tickets in Manitoba, I suppose there is an upside.

    Stealth, come on out to Western Canada or the Maritimes, we'll treat ya right! :wink:

  7. #7
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    Stealthjamal ,

    please let put thing in perspective : Quebec is a french speaking province , one out of 10 .This is the only place in all America where french is spoken.We live in a sea of 300 millions anglophones. Quebec has the right and the duty to keep our language protected from assimilation. Fine , those people refused to serve you because you could not speak french , i am sure they would have done it if they knew you were an american . It is quite shocking for francophones to see people living in Quebec for over 30 years and not being able to speak a minimum of french. The Americans in California are also upset when they see Spanish people almost refusing to speak english. Frustration comes when borderlines are overpassed , i understand yours .

    My conclusion : this qualification you used is exagerated and should not be used here in a respectfull forum . We are friendly people who like other culture , we do not deserve those adjectives : do you agree ?

    Thanks for reading , et bon appétit .

 

 

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