" 'Bureaucratic b.s.' could force Montrealer from English school"

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toddsschneider
" 'Bureaucratic b.s.' could force Montrealer from English school"

http://tinyurl.com/blz8ph

... A Quebec government committee ruled that Kyle Wozniak, who turns 11 Tuesday, isn’t eligible to attend English school ...

The government committee explained its decision, citing a lack of proof that Kyle’s parents received the “major part” of primary education in English in Canada. It’s an eligibility requirement for English education under Quebec’s French Language Charter ...

But they’ve been estranged since Kyle was an infant and [his mother Ms. Wozniak] says she hasn’t been able to reach him for an affidavit about the boy’s schooling ...  Reached Monday in St. Albert, Alta., Romanuck said her son [Kyle's father] did all his schooling in English. “Yes, absolutely,” she said. Romanuck said it seems no matter how much information they try to provide about her son’s schooling: “It’s just never enough" ...

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

What fiends!

Unionist

Having gone to the media, the next logical step is [url=http://www.amnistie.ca/]Amnistie internationale[/url].

lagatta

Imagine the plight of this poor child, having French thrust down his throat. Worse than waterboarding.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Why doesn't anyone think of the (English-speaking) children??? Cry

Michelle

I am outraged.  Shocked and appalled, I tell you.  I'm pretty sure it's the NDP's fault.

Unionist

Breaking news:

Young Kyle won't be allowed to attend Arabic or Spanish public school either!

And mere days ago, Obama announced he would close Guantanamo.

Shame.

 

 

Michelle

Unionist, I want to know what Thomas Mulcair is going to do about this.  I know you are a supporter of his, and I demand that you demand an explanation from him!  Report back when you receive it.  Go, now!

Unionist

Michelle:

As per orders, I tried Tom's "Coalition Hot Line", and got this:

Quote:
Le numéro que vous avez composé n'est pas en service. Veuillez raccrocher et composer de nouveau. Ceci est un message enregistré.

... and no English version, wouldn't ya know ...

Michelle

Damn him!  Well, that's just the final straw.  I mean, really.

panhead

Don't these people know that they must have the proper paperwork and all the necessary proofs of cultural heritage in order before they're allowed to chose an education that reflects their own culture and not someone elses? This is Quebec, calice!

Michelle

Hey viigan.  Guess what?  Banned means don't come back.  Not even with a new user name.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

panhead wrote:
Don't these people know that they must have the proper paperwork and all the necessary proofs of cultural heritage in order before they're allowed to chose an education that reflects their own culture and not someone elses?

 

Michelle

You know, no one told me life was gonna be this way.

Unionist

Michelle wrote:
Hey viigan.  Guess what?  Banned means don't come back.  Not even with a new user name.

Hey!! [url=I">http://rabble.ca/comment/982661/Re-Montreals-most-popular-daily-newspape... spotted him first[/url], on Jan. 25. Is there a troll bounty?

Michelle

No. :)

oldgoat

In a strong gesture of solidarity, my family and I will stop eating poutine.  (with the exception of my daughter, who's the only one who actually likes the revolting stuff.)

Only freedom fries will grace the table of the oldgoat household! 

 

Unionist

I love this tragic plot:

1. Kyle's mother wants him to go to English public school...

2. ... even though she herself was educated in French school ...

3. ... so she needs to get a proof of English schooling from her ex-husband ...

4. ... whom Kyle doesn't even remember, because his parents split up when he was an "infant" ...

5. So tell me again why we should care about this attempt to subvert the law?

If it's about "sympathy", I'd have more sympathy with the child of an immigrant from the U.K. who didn't speak a word of French and wanted her child educated in English. Although in that case the question then becomes, why would she immigrate to Québec, given that the law has been in place for 31 years now???

lagatta

oldgoat, I know I'm a Euro-snob, but I can't bear poutine. I like nice crunchy fries, as in Frite Alors. www.fritealors.com

gaston

Nein! The ministry cannot accept these. Back to French school.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Unionist, please stop talking about reality and get back to the trashing. Sheesh.

Catchfire, everyone knows Phoebe Bouffet is French. What are you trying to say here? Eh?

Unionist

lagatta wrote:
oldgoat, I know I'm a Euro-snob, but I can't bear poutine. I like nice crunchy fries, as in Frite Alors.
">www.fritealors.com

Jeez, lagatta - the bottom of that web page says:

Quote:
Copyright 2007 © Cholesterol Plus Inc.

Euro-snob is fine, but what about health!!??

toddsschneider

Your puerility aside, what does the NDP say about access to the English school system in Quebec? English schooling is this boy's birthright, as established by the letter of the law, under the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101) for some 31 years. And yet this syndrome of the Quebec government denying access to English schools on the flimsiest pretext, is also well established in fact.

Do you not even care that this child feels more comfortable in the English system than the French one?

And in case you're actually interested, I understand he's much more likely to end up bilingual in the English system, than the French one. One hour a week of a second language, as is common in "the regions" outside Montreal, will not work.

If you won't acknowledge the difference between discrimination and torture, just cut the noise, and leave that to the right wing.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'm sorry, todd, but in this thread we are talking about Friends. Please stay on topic.

 And, unless I am mistaken Frite Alors! serves poutine, although I prefer Mondo Frites vegetarian poutine with mushroom gravy if we are talking about the Belgian style. Otherwise, like any sensible person, I would be eating poutine from the greatest place on earth, La Banquise on Rachel at the corner of Parc La Fontaine at 3:30 in the morning.

Michelle

gaston, who is also viigan and panhead, is also banned.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I haven't been to this place yet, only because my arteries are trying to save themselves: Smokes Poutinerie, Toronto first all-poutine restaurant. oldgoat, wanna have lunch sometime? Wink

http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story.cfm?content=166332

Featuring:  

Veggie Delux Poutine with caramelized onions, green peas, mushrooms

Italian Poutine with sausage and beefy tomato sauce

Cottage Poutine with cut up hot dogs 

Montreal Poutine with smoked meat, dill pickle and mustard

I think I'm ill now.  

P.S. Next time I'm in Montreal I'll check out La Banquise. Thanks, Catchfire! 

Michelle

Oh man, I LOVE poutine, but I'm trying to watch it, so I won't be going there anytime soon either.  I'm drooling, though.  Thanks a LOT, Maysie! ;)

Unionist

toddsschneider wrote:
Your puerility aside, what does the NDP say about access to the English school system in Quebec?

Don't know. The NDP isn't very active in provincial politics here.

Quote:
English schooling is this boy's birthright, as established by the letter of the law, under the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101) for some 31 years.

"Birthright"? It's his legal right if one of his parents received their elementary education in English in Canada. All we know for sure is that his mother didn't.

Quote:
Do you not even care that this child feels more comfortable in the English system than the French one?

I haven't heard from this child - have you? All I've heard on the subject is this indirect quote from the Gazette:

Quote:
Wozniak said her son had difficulties in French school but is thriving in his English school.

My youngest child had difficulties in English high school, but went on to thrive in CÉGEP. So there - we're even. Since when does a kid (er, rather, a parent) get to pick and choose public school systems based on the kid's "comfort" level? I thought difficulties were things to be understood and overcome, not escaped from. If the kid, who has lived in Québec all his life and attended French school (like his mother) can't face these difficulties, how will he face the real world here?

Of course, if living in a province where 85% of the population is francophone is such an unbearable burden for this family, surely there are other solutions?

Quote:
And in case you're actually interested, I understand he's much more likely to end up bilingual in the English system, than the French one.

I frankly don't care whether he "ends up bilingual" or not. That's not what this story is about, that's not what the mother is looking for, that's not what the law addresses, and of course we have no clue what the kid wants, since his life and name have now become the poster children for the latest gasp of privilege.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Doing my best to clog the arteries of others since 2003. Teehee.

P.S. Ever have the honey garlic wings at Pauper's? Oh yeah...... 

Michelle

Nope, never had those.  I don't really like wings, so those won't tempt me.

toddsschneider

To the best of my reconstruction, the federal NDP did not object to provincial Bill 101 applying to workplaces under federal jurisdiction. What does Mulcair, the critic for Quebec issues, have to say about the issue of educational access?

We also know, as attested by the grandmother, that Kyle's father received enough of his education in English in Canada to be eligible for the son to inherit this established right. Which is exactly what the law addresses. Who knows what the mother is looking for exactly, but try to understand her preference, and her rights, based on the evidence.

Any Quebec parent should care if Kyle ends up functionally bilingual. No one else said that learning French was an unbearable burden for this family, other than the experts in this forum. If Kyle were to stay in English school, he`d still be getting about 40% instruction in French.

If difficulties are that easily overcome, why not have French kids instructed 40% in English and have done with?  They can't run from the reality that English is the international language of business, much to my dismay.

Unionist

toddsschneider wrote:

To the best of my reconstruction, the federal NDP did not object to provincial Bill 101 applying to workplaces under federal jurisdiction. What does Mulcair, the critic for Quebec issues, have to say about the issue of educational access?

Federal workplaces fall within federal jurisdiction. Schools do not. Mulcair should not comment on this issue, which is none of the feds' affair, any more than snow removal in Laval. But I have a feeling you understand that.

Quote:
We also know, as attested by the grandmother, that Kyle's father received enough of his education in English in Canada to be eligible for the son to inherit this established right.

The mother is trying to use the absentee father's elementary school records to justify what she wants to do with her child - and she can't find the father or the records. Maybe Woody Allen could use this material.

Quote:
Any Quebec parent should care if Kyle ends up functionally bilingual.

I'm a Québec parent, and yes, I want all children everywhere to have a wonderful education and to succeed in all their endeavours. But if Kyle's mother moves to Spain and wants free public education for Kyle in English, she'll have to do more than find her ex's Grade VI yearbook.

Quote:
If difficulties are that easily overcome, why not have French kids instructed 40% in English and have done with?  They can't run from the reality that English is the international language of business, much to my dismay.

Persuade the majority of Quebeckers of the soundness of your thesis, and it will become reality. Meanwhile, the majority will just have to suffer along with its own misconceptions. That's the price you'll have to pay for democracy.

toddsschneider

If federal workplaces are strictly federal, then it should be hands off from provincial interference.  Unless of course, the interference is for a principle you support.

But federalism, like democracy, is a series of checks and balances.  Schools are a provincial jurisdiction under the Constitution of Canada.  Educational rights in the official languages are enumerated there.  The so-called Canada clause, where access to English schools in Quebec is granted, was whittled down by federal-provincial wrangling all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mulcair is a former provincial cabinet minister, and a putative federal one.  His comments and insight are germane and welcome at any time.

But Kyle's father's presence or absence is not germane in this case.  His educational history and Kyle's mother's rights are.  

Now you care about Kyle's education.  Kyle's mother presumably went to French school in Quebec, she didn't move anywhere, she has a presumptive right to schooling in English, and your analogy is apropos of nothing.  There are better red herrings in the local deli.

The majority and the minority both will have to suffer along with the political types' endless appeal to insecurity.  Recall Proposition 08 in California (please).  Minority rights balanced against those of the majority are another price we all owe each other.

Maybe Woody Allen would be as hard-pressed to satirize Quebec as Mordecai Richler was: just present the facts and no one will believe it's not a put-on.

Unionist

You know, todd, by contrast with most others on this board, I actually tried to engage you in discussion on this point. I've read your last post a couple of times and I confess, I don't understand it at all. I understand the passion, the disappointment, the feeling of betrayal - but not the content. Sorry about that.

NorthReport

When I read these kind of discussions about education I sometimes wonder if they are red herrings (and I'm not directing this at the originator of this thread) being thrown out here/there/everywhere, in an attempt to distract us from discussing the much more significant educational issue of abolishing taxpayer funded private schools of any kind in Canada. Canada needs one publicly-funded school system. Period.  

Out here in BC, it is painfully obvious that one of the the Fraser Institute's missions to to crush the public school system. It had the clout today to force a BC Labour Relations Board decision mandating testing for all BC students, regardless of the fact that the BC teachers did not feel it was in the BC students' interest to do so.    

With all due respect to the CCPA they are no match for the Fraser Institute. For one thing they need a name change so they will at least create the impression that they are more mainstream.  

saga saga's picture

The CCPA does much better research than the Fraser Institute, imo.

NorthReport

I agree, but what's the point of having the best product in the world if you can't sell it?

lagatta

Absolutely agree about public schools. One thing that is a terrible plague here are the publicly-funded private religous schools that teach the inferiority of women (not to mention how they view LGBT people). And rely on cowed, non-unionised staff.

saga saga's picture

NorthReport wrote:
I agree, but what's the point of having the best product in the world if you can't sell it?

 

The Fraser Institute makes headlines by mis-analyzing and misrepresenting their data. Not a model to emulate. Unfortunately, the media hounds love inaccurate extremist propaganda more than unsexy sensible reality. 

Maybe CCPA does need to do a better sales job, though. 

Back to topic ... I know a kid who went to school in English for 2 years, then moved to Montreal and had to go to a French school, then went to an English university. No big deal. Unfortunately, this Mom has now convinced her son that it is a problem, so it likely will be for him. Too bad.

toddsschneider

Unionist wrote:

"Birthright"? It's his legal right if one of his parents received their elementary education in English in Canada. All we know for sure is that his mother didn't.

http://tinyurl.com/ceue2s

Ironically, Kyle might have another shot at access to English school. Wozniak, who got married four years ago, said her husband attended English school. The letter to Wozniak from a government committee that dealt with the case noted that Wozniak has a daughter, now 3, "who may make her step-brother admissible (to English school) when she is of school age."

"Could they not make an exception?" Wozniak asked. "Why pull him out for a year and a half and stick him again into misery only for him to end up in English school again? I find it so foolish."

 

toddsschneider

Injustice against 11-year-old is a test for Kathleen Weil

http://tinyurl.com/awwp7q

... That's where Weil the MNA comes in. As she begins her political career as an MNA and Quebec's justice minister, much has been made of Weil's own linguistic identity. Parachuted into a massively Liberal (and largely anglophone/allophone) riding, Weil has seemed willing, if not eager, to distance herself from the anglo community.

She has, we understand, told Nina Wozniak that she will look into Kyle's case. Now she has a tough decision to make: Will she go to bat, even quietly within the bureaucracy, for a constituent whose son is getting chewed up in the maw of institutionalized paranoia about English schooling? Or will she let the language enforcers have their way with this N.D.G. family?

For that matter, why does the law insist on biological parenting as the standard for eligibility to English schools? In these days of common divorce and blended families, why not accept a step-parent as a substitute standard for English-school eligibility?

It would be too much to expect Weil, or anyone else high in the Liberal Party, to actually propose that. But considering the evidence, surely the Liberals' subtle calculations of nationalism could include doing the right thing for this one family. Weil's constituents will be watching.

toddsschneider

Don't you love a happy ending? 

http://tinyurl.com/bdfma3

 

Eleven-year-old Kyle Wozniak was happily back in class at Willingdon School in Notre Dame de Grâce this week after a rare outbreak of government common sense on language. An administrative tribunal ended an absurd debate about what language Kyle's biological father was educated in and overturned an earlier decision that denied the boy access to English-language schools. The English Montreal School Board deserves much of the credit for this small but important victory.

 

lagatta

Why do you stay here, when you hate us so much?

The kid won't; he'll obviously move to Ontario or the West, as his French will be substandard for the workplace. Too bad.

martin dufresne

What makes you think toddsschneider lives in Quebec? I have it on good authority that... (sound of door breaking door) arggghh... gotta hit... Post comment button. . .

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A_J

Unionist wrote:
Since when does a kid (er, rather, a parent) get to pick and choose public school systems based on the kid's "comfort" level? I thought difficulties were things to be understood and overcome, not escaped from.

Nice.  I suppose you say the same thing about children who might, for example, struggle with a learning disability?

If the kid has difficulty with French, it would be quite unfair to thrust him into the French system on a whim. 

martin dufresne

Comparing Anglos to disabled folks, are you? I am alerting the mods!

(someone using Martin's keyboard)

Ze

A_J wrote:

If the kid has difficulty with French, it would be quite unfair to thrust him into the French system on a whim. 

Far better to throw him into the English system on a whim? Note: the "French system" is in fact the public school system. English is, for once in its life of colonizing other languages, an exception, not the default setting. Naturally that enrages some English-speakers who demand to always be the automatic most privileged group.

I love your theory though. A kid has trouble with math? Stop teaching it to him! A kid can't read? Send him somewhere they don't teach reading!

Cueball Cueball's picture

Thanks guys. Especially Todd for starting this very entertaining thread.

Unionist

A_J wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Since when does a kid (er, rather, a parent) get to pick and choose public school systems based on the kid's "comfort" level? I thought difficulties were things to be understood and overcome, not escaped from.

Nice.  I suppose you say the same thing about children who might, for example, struggle with a learning disability?

Yes, I do. Why, do you believe in sending kids to special "schools" for the "learning disabled"? 

Quote:
If the kid has difficulty with French, it would be quite unfair to thrust him into the French system on a whim. 

Where would you thrust him - into a school for those who can't learn to speak French? Laughing

How about immigrant kids throughout Canada - you would avoid "thrusting" them on a "whim" into playgrounds with English-speaking kids? Afraid their brains might explode?

This is so hilarious. Thanks for the comic interlude, A_J.

 

toddsschneider

Yes, if a Quebec anglo child has learning difficulties with French, he is allowed to go to English school under ministry regulations. Not "special ed" schools, regular ones. We have no indication that`s Kyle`s situation, but the option is there. Thanks for understanding.

Putting Kyle in the English public school system is not a whim, it's a right under Bill 101. By my reckoning, Kyle's French coming out of English school will be better than the English coming out of French schools. What's more effective at second language acquisition, a 40-60 percent FSL/English blend, or an hour a week as done in the regions?

Of course I live in Quebec, as opposed to some of the armchair "patriotes" on this board. Quebec is my home, where I chose to live, work and love, like generations of anglos before me I belong, and I don't plan to leave.

Joel_Goldenberg

There have been numerous, numerous instances I've reported on where the Quebec education ministry put a roadblock in front of a kid who had an absolute right under Bill 101 to attend English public school in Quebec. But the parents were vindicated only after having to go through a lengthy appeals process. One of those instances was where a child attended French immersion in an Ontario English school.

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