Living in the capital of Canada kind of sucks. I think it’s safe to say that Quebec’s influence is what ruined it for me. I am not bilingual, though I can understand french if you speak to me at a reasonable speed. I think it is ridiculous that I should have to learn a second language in order to get pretty much ANY job in the government, or practically any job that requires you to work with the public. In downtown Ottawa, even working retail or fast food requires you to be bilingual. Why should I learn french, when 90% of french speaking Canadians couldn’t be bothered to learn english? I often get people rolling their eyes, scoffing at me, or even leaving the store because I cannot speak french. As I mentioned, I CAN UNDERSTAND IT (mostly), but I just have to reply back in english. Is that good enough for some people? No. I once even had a customer who spoke only french to me ON PURPOSE! She spoke english to her husband and bought an english birthday card, but when she came to the cash she only spoke french. Unreal.
I often have this discussion with my stepdad, particularly when we have company over. I’ve often heard him mention that french speaking people can get a job in the government no problem, and do not have to be bilingual, they simply need to be able to say Hi and Bye in english and they can get the job. Tell me, is that really fair? If positions are going to require french, then they should require fluency in english as well.
What do you think? Have you ever encountered anything like this?