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Old 04-30-2015, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
98 posts, read 103,113 times
Reputation: 99

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So previous to returning to Ontario I lived in Whitehorse, Yukon for two years.

As you may (or may not) be aware, Whitehorse has a large and rapidly expanding francophone minority. As far as I'm aware (and correct me if I'm wrong) there is nowhere else in the country that is currently dealing with the integration of new francophone immigrants on the same scale. (relative to population size.)

As I still keep up with the community, I've been able to see that they're dealing with a new problem. The current French school is no longer adequate and a new larger school is required. So far a pretty simple problem, and the board has the funding to build a new school.

At issue seems to be the following three problems :

1. The new school is to be located in Riverdale, a community served by only a single bridge that is already a traffic nightmare.

This is a legitimate concern, it's hard to imagine such a small community having such serious traffic issues if you've never been there, but that bridge is a terrible bottleneck. However, all of the proposed sites were in Riverdale, so this was going to be an issue regardless of the site chosen.

2. Whitehorse's current Skate Park will have to be demolished to build the new school.

This might seem like an insignificant point but it's actually a significant concern in the youth community. Young people are afraid that if the skate park is demolished a new one will never be built, and honestly, they're probably right about that.

3. Why do the French people need a new school? If they live here now why don't they want to learn English? If I decided to move to Quebec I'd expect to have to learn French. (seriously)

I'm loathe to link to the Facebook Group from which I'm getting most of this commentary but this seems to be the main issue. The first two issues seem to be getting equal weight but... it seems to me that the first two issues are pretty minor and that many of the people bringing up those issues really mean this one. Having lived there I'm sad to see it because in my experience it actually seemed to be one of the better integrated bilingual communities with which I had any experience.

Hopefully as things develop there will be some news articles I can post to help illustrate what the situation is. All I can really show now is that there is a long wait list for French Immersion and some legal questions with regard to the French School Board.
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:42 AM
 
34,443 posts, read 41,547,959 times
Reputation: 29907
Quote:
The big question is who has the right to control admissions to francophone schools.


Section 23 of the Charter of Rights of Freedoms guarantees Canadians the right to education in a minority language, whether English or French, but extends that right only to the children or grandchildren of those who were educated in French or whose first language is French.
I'm surprized they arent using the Quebec model of who gets to attend an English school in Quebec as a model for who attends a French school in White Horse. Obviously in Quebec the government is in full control of the issue, solution in this case If you did the majority of your schooling in french then you get the required government issued eligibility certificate to send your kid to French school in White Horse.
Some interesting reading=
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Yukonnais
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:37 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,961 posts, read 27,397,138 times
Reputation: 8613
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3wt View Post
So previous to returning to Ontario I lived in Whitehorse, Yukon for two years.

As you may (or may not) be aware, Whitehorse has a large and rapidly expanding francophone minority. As far as I'm aware (and correct me if I'm wrong) there is nowhere else in the country that is currently dealing with the integration of new francophone immigrants on the same scale. (relative to population size.)

As I still keep up with the community, I've been able to see that they're dealing with a new problem. The current French school is no longer adequate and a new larger school is required. So far a pretty simple problem, and the board has the funding to build a new school.

At issue seems to be the following three problems :

1. The new school is to be located in Riverdale, a community served by only a single bridge that is already a traffic nightmare.

This is a legitimate concern, it's hard to imagine such a small community having such serious traffic issues if you've never been there, but that bridge is a terrible bottleneck. However, all of the proposed sites were in Riverdale, so this was going to be an issue regardless of the site chosen.

2. Whitehorse's current Skate Park will have to be demolished to build the new school.

This might seem like an insignificant point but it's actually a significant concern in the youth community. Young people are afraid that if the skate park is demolished a new one will never be built, and honestly, they're probably right about that.

3. Why do the French people need a new school? If they live here now why don't they want to learn English? If I decided to move to Quebec I'd expect to have to learn French. (seriously)

I'm loathe to link to the Facebook Group from which I'm getting most of this commentary but this seems to be the main issue. The first two issues seem to be getting equal weight but... it seems to me that the first two issues are pretty minor and that many of the people bringing up those issues really mean this one.
Anyone who has been to Whitehorse or looked at it on Google Earth knows the location and space issue is a bit of a joke...
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,961 posts, read 27,397,138 times
Reputation: 8613
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I'm surprized they arent using the Quebec model of who gets to attend an English school in Quebec as a model for who attends a French school in White Horse. Obviously in Quebec the government is in full control of the issue, solution in this case If you did the majority of your schooling in french then you get the required government issued eligibility certificate to send your kid to French school in White Horse.
Some interesting reading=
Franco-Yukonnais - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Yukon government's argument is precisely based on the Quebec model: that's what the government wants to use.

But the francophone community is arguing that the situation in the Yukon with French is far different from the situation in Quebec with English. And that in order to stave off its disappearance it needs ''new blood'' in its school system from assimilated people of French origin (who are interested in coming back to French) and also immigrants.

Bottom line is that the Yukon government wants to control the growth of the francophone school system, likely because it costs more money to expand a parallel school system than it does to school kids in the existing, fully-developed anglophone system.
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
98 posts, read 103,113 times
Reputation: 99
It's been interesting seeing the arguments pop up all over Facebook.

The Yukon is now Canada's 3rd most Bilingual Region so I'm really curious to see how they solve these sorts of problems going forward.

Here is an article about the proposed new site for the school : Francophone school board picks site for new Whitehorse high school - North - CBC News

The comments seem to mainly focus on the bottleneck issue with traffic and of course "entitled francophones." Though I'd like to add that you really only tend to see one side of an issue in angry comment sections and that (from what I've seen) many people in Whitehorse have far more reasonable attitudes on the subject.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,502,639 times
Reputation: 4898
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I'm surprized they arent using the Quebec model of who gets to attend an English school in Quebec as a model for who attends a French school in White Horse. Obviously in Quebec the government is in full control of the issue, solution in this case If you did the majority of your schooling in french then you get the required government issued eligibility certificate to send your kid to French school in White Horse.
Some interesting reading=
Franco-Yukonnais - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The big difference here, of course, is that Quebec is a province, and Yukon is a federal territory. A province can decide what its language is, but a territory should be open to both of Canada's official languages since it's federal. We can't have Francophones as part of this federation, and then make them second class Canadians when it comes to settling in the territories, it's not right! We made that mistake with the settling of the West, Francophones weren't allowed to do it and the Francophones already there had their language and schools banned. This is an opportunity to do things right. Yukon shouldn't just be some exclusive Anglo enclave, if we're committed to Canada as a united partnership, we have to welcome and embrace Francophones and Francophone culture in our remaining territories where things are still developing, it's only right, to do otherwise is un-Canadian as it flies in the face of the idea of the Canadian federation. Francophones are indeed "entitled" to this respect - just as legitimately as Anglophones are entitled to schools and services in the Yukon!
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,961 posts, read 27,397,138 times
Reputation: 8613
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
The big difference here, of course, is that Quebec is a province, and Yukon is a federal territory. A province can decide what its language is, but a territory should be open to both of Canada's official languages since it's federal. We can't have Francophones as part of this federation, and then make them second class Canadians when it comes to settling in the territories, it's not right! We made that mistake with the settling of the West, Francophones weren't allowed to do it and the Francophones already there had their language and schools banned. This is an opportunity to do things right. Yukon shouldn't just be some exclusive Anglo enclave, if we're committed to Canada as a united partnership, we have to welcome and embrace Francophones and Francophone culture in our remaining territories where things are still developing, it's only right, to do otherwise is un-Canadian as it flies in the face of the idea of the Canadian federation. Francophones are indeed "entitled" to this respect - just as legitimately as Anglophones are entitled to schools and services in the Yukon!
That's a really good point. We (including myself here) often think of the territories as provinces and they are increasingly treated and increasingly behave that way, but they're.

The feds have more of a say in their internal affairs that's for sure.
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:31 PM
 
34,443 posts, read 41,547,959 times
Reputation: 29907
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
The big difference here, of course, is that Quebec is a province, and Yukon is a federal territory. A province can decide what its language is, but a territory should be open to both of Canada's official languages since it's federal.
The solution seems obvious and is written in the Charter of Rights of Freedoms

Quote:
Section 23 of the Charter of Rights of Freedoms guarantees Canadians the right to education in a minority language, whether English or French, but extends that right only to the children or grandchildren of those who were educated in French or whose first language is French.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Montreal
359 posts, read 264,885 times
Reputation: 274
Good post BIMBAM.
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