Here is a great example of the two solitudes.
Two of social media’s top trending articles this week in English Canada were relating to
- The CBC/Radio-Canada’s president stating for the first time that government budget cuts may pose a risk to the public broadcaster’s very existence, and
In reaction to these two articles, English Canada’s social media has gone bazerk over the past few days. Voices all over English Canada’s social media have been crying that this is the end of the world, and that the government must stop.
They are pleading for something to be done, they are questioning why nobody in Canada has done anything to date. They are begging for measures to be taken, and to accomplish this, people are advocating that a new and novel measure must be taken to send the government a message.
In the last few days, English Canada’s social media has been advocating for…
… hold your britches…
… this is big…
… here it is…
… a petition to the government!
Face palm x 20!… no… x 100!!!
You know, I am going to have to choose my words very carefully for the rest of this post.
The remainder of this post will be a message for those in English Canada who are calling for a petition (thinking it will change the world).
A petition, unfortunately, is not going to cut it. That is peanuts, and I will tell you why (because you obviously have no idea about what has been happening).
Francophone supporters of CBC/Radio-Canada (the French side of the corporation) are already waaaaaay ahead of you.
In fact, you are already eating their dust without even realizing it.
For more than a year (yes, more than a year) these supporters have gone to extreme lengths you are obviously are not aware of. They have tried many ways (in French) to stem the government cuts of CBC/Radio-Canada, and to garner public support.
- They held huge public concerts: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0X-_9Y1_X9iuP1PuL6S6LA,
- Even Chris Hadfield joined the French concerts to save the CBC/Radio-Canada: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8emTJYh9Rg
- The government of Ontario got involved to support the French-language concerts and protests by sending one of its own ministers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8emTJYh9Rg
- Thousands of regular people, from the public, have poured into the streets, marching in protest, over and over and over again… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Jye6tXIGaM
- Supporters of CBC/Radio-Canada have made music videos and have broadcast them to 8 million Francophones all over Québec and to 1 million Francophones outside Québec (across in Canada) – and to anyone else all across Canada who would be open enough to listen. These music videos have featured super-stars and celebrities from all walks of life… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ircuNoms-A
- When that didn’t work (by threatening the conservatives with new voting intentions), they did it again… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRjI9AlXwIg
- … and again… and again… and again… and again… https://www.youtube.com/user/jesuisradiocanada/videos
If you truly believe, after all of this, that a revolutionary “petition” will work, then you really are in la-la land.
After all of these efforts by a huge part of Canada, it is obvious the only way to curb funding cuts to CBC/Radio-Canada would be to vote for a new government (regardless of which government that may be, and regardless of my own voting intentions or political view on this or any other subject).
Here’s the really sad thing…
For the past year, English Canada and its media have simply been oblivious the huge efforts of French Canada’s public to try to bring this subject to the fore.
All the protests, concerts, videos, advertisements and conferences made nobody blink? Seriously?
After all of this, I’m having a hard time accepting that it was two puny articles which made English Canada’s social media explode this week! For crying out loud.
It’s disturbing to see a huge chunk of Canada (the French portion) go to extreme efforts, but yet the other chunk of the country (English Canada) was simply oblivious to more than a year of French Canada’s sounding of the alarm.
That, people, is what we call the “Two Solitudes.”
Perhaps a new government will also beef up spending for French language education for Anglophones, and perhaps… just maybe… those crying for a petition will self-enroll.
Now wouldn’t that be something?