Should unilingual Canadians be eligible for high-profile jobs like the auditor-general's? -

Should unilingual Canadians be eligible for high-profile jobs like the auditor-general’s?


Filed under:

Should unilingual Canadians be eligible for high-profile jobs like the auditor-general’s?

  1. Canada seemed to function quite well with only English speaking officials for a hundred years or so. I think the French lost the battle!

    • Are you serious? Our country has always had French and English speaking officials with a good number of them being bilingual. This is another case of a xenophobic, ignoramus writing off the cuff about something he doesn’t understand.Clue in to the true nature of our country, it’s founding history and principles and its uniqueness as a bilingual nation, an example to the whole world.

  2. These days with instant translation services a qualified individual should not be ineligible because he or she is unilingual.

    • I believe you’ve got the right idea Werner. I have many unilingual friends working on the hill and for the City of Ottawa who are offered French and/or English classes to aid with any language confusion that arises at work. So don’t create a problem for people who only speak one language but are qualified, instead help them succeed! It is my opinion that these classes are a great solution for anyone with issues on the matter.

  3. It would be absurd for an important public official of ANY country not to speak English. It is the world’s lingua franca. If they can speak another language also, that is great, but certainly not necessary. Why can we not just acknowledge this reality and get on with it?

    • More business gets done in Mandarin these days.

      I expect you’ll now be calling for an AG that knows that language instead? Or are you just a bigot?

      • The only place business done in Mandarin is in China among Chinese themselves. International business is done in English, including by Chinese officials and businessmen.

    • Question is not every canadian is english speaking!!!

  4. The best person should get the job.  Its the only way to control politics in the system, and to ensure a professional Public Service

  5. Most of us have had more than enough of sucking up to Quebec. In ten out of eleven provinces and two territories the vast majority speak English. So why the need for bilingual government services?

    • Clearly you’ve never heard of New Brunswick.
      It’s not about sucking up to Quebec, it’s about respecting both official languages of this country. 
      The teaching of French used to illegal in this great country and that had nothing to do with “just Quebec”.
      This country is bilingual. Get used to it.

    • Eleven provinces?

  6. The ability to read and understand spoken French should be a requirement, in the same way that French speakers should all be able to understand spoken English.

  7. Knowledge of the first language of something like a quarter of the country’s population does sound like an essential skill for a federal top official. Making ignorance a point of pride sounds like the lazy man’s solution to me.

  8. I don’t care what language they speak as long as they do their job well. All this talk about what language the AG speaks is silly. Many of the people in our parliament are not bilingual, so why demand the same of everyone in the civil service? As long as the job gets done, I’m happy.

  9. I agree with David B.  English is the international language of business.  For years Canadians from the western provinces have been denied opportunities to progress in careers with the Federal government because they only speak English.  I have yet to meet a Canadian Ambassador who is not a Francophone.  It seems that any television personality or newsreader can get a senior government appointment, simply by virtue of being bilingual.  Where are our priorities?  What about the best man/woman for the job?

    • If French-speaking Canadians can learn English in order to qualify for certain jobs, why can’t English-speaking Canadians learn French in order to qualify for the same jobs?

  10. haha. Pretty much 33% across the board!

    Canada: The Great Nation of Fence Sitters.

  11. For as long as I can remember the rules have been pretty clear for the jobs I applied for in the Federal Public Service.  If they were bilingual imperative you had to have both languages to apply periodt .  If they were non-imperative, an Anglophone or Francophone could apply and eventually get language training to meet the requirements of the job.  I agree that an intelligent individual either English or French would be a good candidate and could do a very admirable job HOWEVER my entire career I had to live by the staffing rules and to this day lots of my friends have never been promoted because of this obsolete rule.  So either can it for everyone or unfortunately the new potential AG has to meet the rules – ya can’t suck and blow at the same time.  They made it mandatory for executives to be bilingual going into jobs so fix the dumb rule.

  12. If 11/12ths of the country has English as the primary language, and most Francophones are bilingual, then an English only speaking incumbent in high profile jobs is acceptable. It would be nice if he/she was bilingual, but not essential, to carry out the responsibilties of the position.

    • You want a high-profile public job in a bilingual country?
      You’re not bilingual?

      If you have a reason other than sloth or laziness for not being bilingual, please explain it to me. 

      If your reason is sloth or laziness, I don not want an individual with these traits in a high profile public job.

      • I do not think a person who promises to become competent in another language within one year could be called lazy.

    • Francophones count for about 30% of the population of Canada. And they are in every province and territory. Singling out one province is a pretty ignorant thing to do. French-Canadians are everywhere, deal with it.

      If you have a problem with the Quebecois, than that’s another debate…

  13. So if it is Québec should get her Feedom from British colony….Canada :-)

  14. These posts represent a minuscule fraction of the total avail jobs at the federal government….As francophone, I certainly agree that OUI, we should have both languages as requirement…I believe there are about 8 posts that require such. 

  15. In Canada it has been clear over the years that an English speaking person holding office needs only to know and speak English and a French speaking person must be bilingual to hold down a similar job. It’s called equal opportunity.