A proposal for more linguistic justice in Canadian language policy.

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A proposal for more linguistic justice in Canadian language policy.

The proposal below is very idealistic, and I doubt it wold be politically feasible in the form presented. But it is a first attempt at drawing one up. Essentialy, it's objective is to uproot the explicit linguistic imperialism inherent in the current Official Bilingualism policy of the federal governemnt the French monolingualism policy of the Quebec government.

1. At the local level of government.

All local governments in Canada adopt a policy giving hiring preference, all other qualifications and experience being equal, to those who know the local indigenous language. If that language is extinct in the local area but still existent in a neighbouring area, I'd see no problem with that. After all, people can relocate if they really want the job. If the local indigenous language is already extinct from this world, or if there is no claim to that local community by any local indigenous population, as is the case for some of them, then an exception could be made for that specific local government, whereby the dominant local language could become the official language of government administration if it isn't already. We would hope that as the language spreads within local government administrations, once, or if, the time comes when all government employees know the language, it could then become adopted as the official language of government administration in that local community, thogh the local domnant language, even if not official, could still be used for pragmatic reasons.

2. At the provincial and territorial levels of government.

If there is but one indigenous language that exists in a particular province or territory, it would give that language hiring preference, all else being equal. And once, or if, all memebrs of that government come to know that language, it eventually become the official language of government administration, though it could still use other languages for pragmatic reasons.

In provinces and territories where there are more than one indigenous language, then Esperanto or some other planned auxiliary language coud be adopted instead. Whatever language is adopted, it would have to be designed to be easy to learn, so as to remove language privilege from those born in predominantly bilingual communities as well as to put speakers of Canada's imperial languages and indigenous languages on a relatively more equal footing.

3. At the federal level of government.

Hiring preference is given to those who know Esperanto or some other planned auxiliary language, all other qualifications and experience being equal. This would take away geographic privilege from persons born into French-English bilingual communities, and pread that privilege more equally among all Canadians, giving it to those who can learn the auxiliary language as a second language. This language would of course have to be designed to be easy to learn.

4. Note about exceptions.

Esperanto could also be applied to any local local government if more than one indigenous language is claiming it. Or if they're each claiming a part of the city, then the city itself could simply be split into two cities.

5. At the school level.

Every school would be free to choose its language of instruction and second language, but all schools would be required to teach two languages. The market demand for certain languages created by the government policies above would naturally promote local indigenous languages and the 'interlanguage', or the common auxiliary language.

6. At the international level.

 Canada could take a leading role in promoting the adoption, creation or revision of an international auxiliary language designed to be easy for all to be used at the UN and other international intragovernmental organizations and international safety organizations such as air traffic control, thus removing especially Anglo, and to some degree French-speaking privilege, from the world stage, helping to put al of the world's languages, including Canada's indigenous languages, on a more equal footing.

6. At the private sector level.

I believe this level could be leftuntouched, and would gradualy react to the policies above sooner or later. I don't see why any policy initiative would be needed there, except perhaps for essential services, which woudl thus have to adopt the local indigenous language or the common auxiliary language depending on whom they need to communicate with. Of course multilingual services could be applied as needs befor safety reasons.

I'd be open to any ideas you have onthis issue.


In the long run, this could also help eliminate systemic racism in immigrant language policy. Right now we require our immigrants to know one of Canada's official languages, and rightfully so. But it does benefit members of English and French speaking countries more than others.

Under such a new system, we would eventually need to expect them to simply know the common auxiliary language, which would privilege none over others.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

This is the 4th thread you've started about this particular one of your obsessions. I must admit it is unique; certainly more interesting than your others, which seem to all be standard right-wing libertarian drivel we've seen all too often.

Still, such thread proliferation is considered bad etiquette here. I'd suggest you choose which one you'd like to continue, so that the moderators will know which can be closed.


Maysie Maysie's picture

LTJ is right. MAchjo, stop starting new threads on the same topic/issue.

I've also just closed the part one of the "second language acquisition policy" thread. 

And one more thing, I don't think the topic of language in the ways that you're talking about belongs in the "canadian politics" forum. I'll keep this one here for now, but in general these kinds of discussions belong in the "humanities" or "body and soul" fora.

Maysie Maysie's picture

And a general comment, which would apply to most of these language threads, is that Machjo, you don't seem to understand the deep connection of language to culture and history.

Enforcing a "universal" language such as Esperanto is, from an anti-oppression perspective, a form of genocide. Cultures are killed through loss of language, which is usually done by force by the colonizing nation. Canada has numerous examples of this. Both from the Aboriginal perspective and from the immigrant perspective.

Your idea of the original "indigenous" languages of a region is flawed because Aboriginal languages, tribes and clans don't follow the national and provincial borders that have been put in place by Canada, the US and Mexico, if we stick to Turtle Island (North America) for now. 

You see, Machjo this is what happens when you think you're doing a "good" thing, but you have a very limited grasp of anti-oppression and its myriad impacts, past and present. Your ideas, as presented, are deeply offensive.

Maysie Maysie's picture

And on that note, closing for duplication. Please continue the discussion in this active thread:


P.S. Note to Michelle and oldgoat: if you can do that prune merge thing please do so. 

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