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LETTER: Canadian bilingualism is a governance model for the world

"Ken Allred's recent column was a specious attack on our country's official bilingualism."

Ken Allred's recent column ("The West wants out," Aug. 12 Gazette) was a specious attack on our country's official bilingualism. His case for separation was made with selective arguments and out-of-context quotations that misrepresent the fuller picture and perpetuate insular attitudes that do not, ultimately, best serve Albertans.

I take exception to his comments implying that repatriating our Constitution negatively impacted our country's democratic system. While I agree that provincial representation in the House of Commons, the Senate and on the Supreme Court is currently unbalanced, it is a baseless leap of logic to suggest that "the French ... have won the battle for the francization of Canada."

Yes, some of us in the West are deservedly frustrated because the current Quebec government rejects pipelines to the East Coast. That is justification for debate and engagement, not separation. It certainly is not a reason to condemn or blame bilingualism in Canada.

Canadian bilingualism is a model for the world on how to govern diversity peacefully – an approach needed more today than ever before. It has also enriched the lives of people across the country and throughout Alberta – not least by conveying respect to the over 80,000 Albertans for whom French is their mother tongue.

Mary O'Neill, St. Albert