Politics

Lack of French at Olympics? Cork the Whine

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Along with the expected excitement and exhilaration, the Vancouver Winter Olympics have seen their share of controversies, from the unfortunate death of an athlete on opening day to the ongoing problems with the West Coast climate that has hampered some events (Vancouver too warm for a Winter Olympics? Who would have thought it?).

Without question the most unnecessary, petty, and perhaps most childish of all is the whining coming from within Canada regarding the supposed lack of French at the opening ceremonies. (The French bitching about their asses not being kissed enough? Again, who would have thought it?)

If the source of the whimpering were coming from the usual suspects - Quebecers, left-wingers, NDP/Liberals, etc. - it would be one thing. Just the habitual response from the 26% of Canadians classified as 'French-Canadian' who consider themselves to be one of 'two equal nations' within Canada.

That's called 'Canadian math', by the way. 74% and 26% are equal. Don't worry, international readers. I don't understand it, either.

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What makes this garbage smell even worse is the fact that some of it is emanating from Conservative MPs.

Heritage Minister James Moore, who I have always considered to be an actual 'Western' MP, jumped aboard the Stupid Train with his comments that he was 'disappointed' with the amount of French used at the opening of the Games.

He went on to say that there wasn't as much of Canada's minority language "…as expected", and that there should have been "…a better representation of our bicultural past and the reality today."

What is perplexing is why a government cabinet member would publicly add to this non-issue right when Canada is playing host to the world. Why would Moore fan the flames?

I mean, a Minister of the government of Canada being publicly critical of the organizers of an Olympic Games while they are occurring?  Dumb, dumb, dumb.

If this is yet another sad attempt to suck up to Quebec/French voters, it is feeble at best. The timing could not have been worse.

Pardon my French, Mr. Moore, but I thought you were better than that. Perhaps I was wrong.

As far as those poor, downtrodden French who claim that they were 'offended' by the supposed lack of representation of their gawd-forsaken language at an event being held in a decisively English part of the nation, well, I too am offended.

I am offended that I was forced to endure the moments of the opening ceremonies that were spoken in French. I am offended that, in the Olympics as with everyday life in Canada, I am force-fed a language that is not part of my culture.

And I am offended by the opening ceremonies as well. As an English Canadian, I don't feel my language was represented enough.

The host city is Vancouver. If you want more French, have Quebec City make an Olympic bid.

Then you can speak French to your hearts content.