So Francophone voters, people that almost always vote Liberal, are being ginned up by columnists and politicians that are Liberal in order to attack Doug Ford and his PC government.
Some are even trying to extend this outrage to Andrew Scheer and the federal Conservatives.
Why the outrage?
Well according to the faux narrative, Ford has targeted Ontario’s Francophone population and gutted services.
The answer is that simple but knowing that requires going beyond headlines and reading what the government is actually doing.
Not ending oversight.
First off the government is not eliminating the role of the French Language Commissioner but rather rolling it into the Ombudsman’s office.
It’s right in the act.
The French Language Services Act is amended so that duties currently associated with the position of French Language Services Commissioner are transferred to the Ombudsman, and related amendments are made.
The office of the Ombudsman is a much more powerful office with greater resources. Done right, this could strengthen what was a rather weak office. In fact, the Ford government may not end up liking the results of this move and the heft a report from the Ombudsman’s office will carry.
Doesn’t matter, the opposition and their hallelujah chorus in the media have all claimed and repeated that the office is gone, that independent oversight is over.
Former Ombudsman and Franco-Ontario wrote in a recent column that the Language Commissioner, like the Child Advocate, both came out of the Ombudsman’s office and now will return.
Four universities were cancelled.
Meanwhile we are told that Franco-Ontarians are being targeted by the Ford government over the decision to cancel plans for a French language university in Toronto. Well, also cancelled were three English universities as noted in the Finance Minister’s fiscal update.
In light of these inherited budget challenges, on October 23, 2018, the Province announced that it would not be proceeding with funding three university campus expansions within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Upon further review of the Province’s fiscal situation, the government will also be cancelling plans to proceed with a new French‐language university.
So three English universities cancelled and one French university cancelled.
Is this really a targeting of Franco-Ontarians?
This is fiscal reality.
The idea of a new French language university has been kicking around for a while. The Wynne Liberals started claiming they would move forward with plans for such a school at the end of the August 2017.
Despite having months to make this happen, the Liberals did what they so often did, made promises that the government could not afford to try and garner votes.
An attempt to divide based on language.
So now all of this is being used to show that conservatives are anti-French and use it to try and poison the well on a couple of different fronts.
Firstly columnists like Chatal Hebert at the Toronto Star and Eric Grenier at CBC are trying to show that Ford’s moves will hurt Andrew Scheer and the federal Conservatives in Quebec and other francophone heavy ridings in Ontario and News Brunswick. Perhaps, but only to the extent that people like Hebert and Grenier spread a false narrative driven by false claims and a desire to divide.
That is what they are up to.
The other front is Monday’s visit to Toronto by Quebec Premier Francois Legault.
There is a strong push on to have both the Ontario and Quebec media question Ford on this. Well what about the questions that should be directed at Legault?
Check Legault’s record.
His government won in October with barely any support in Quebec’s English speaking or immigrant heavy communities. His wife not only insulted Ontario and Saskatchewan as culture less backwaters during a party fundraiser, she also said her husband would scrap Quebec’s Anglophone ministry.
Brais said her husband’s party was going to put Quebec and French-Quebecers first, and that under Legault’s leadership the provincial government would likely eliminate the “anglophone ministry,” which is the secretariat currently overseen by Kathleen Weil.
Should Legault face questions on that or other anti-English, anti-immigrant comments from him or others in his party?
Should he be questioned about the draconian language laws Quebec still employs to remind Anglos that they are second class citizens?
No such laws exist in Ontario and nor should they, just like they shouldn’t exist in Quebec.
So forgive me if I don’t take the moral preening of Hebert, Grenier or Trudeau’s minister of official languages who tweeted out about not letting Ford short change Francophones. When has Melanie Joly ever stood up for Quebec’s Anglos?
Given the Liberal history on this front, I don’t expect them to.
This is all a faux outrage based on false information and driven by people that are either too ignorant to know what is really happening or who are driving an agenda.