Monday, 14 December 2009

A mixed week for Bilingualism in Canada

This week has seen both the good and bad side of language policies being played out in Ottawa, Canada.

On the negative side, there has been some debate over bilingualism in official roles. There's been a call for a requirement that the Fire Chief of Ottawa be bilingual. Meanwhile, a monolingual post-office worker is fighting to keep her job because she is not bilingual, prompting locals to organise a petition (here).

On the other hand, there are also inclusive bilingual policies being implemented. Vancouver is hosting the winter Olympics next year, and this week it was announced that it will be a bilingual experience:
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games provide an unprecedented opportunity to showcase our unique Canadian identity to the world. ... the Vancouver Organizing Committee has devoted a great deal of time and resources to ensure these Games reflect our country’s world-renowned diversity, including its linguistic duality.

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