Speak ‘Canadian’

If Trump becomes the president, there will be implications affecting Canadian sovereignty, culture and national identity.

The election of a new U.S. president is imminent. If Donald Trump becomes the president, it is likely that there will be implications affecting Canadian sovereignty, culture and national identity.

Within this vast country, communicating and understanding each other should be an integral part of our society. According to the 2011 census, there are about 200 different languages spoken in Canada and ‘Canadian’ is not one of them.

About 85 per cent of our population can communicate with each other, while 15 per cent or about 4.5 million folks cannot converse with them, or understand their language. Our nation would be more cohesive, if all Canadians could speak one official language. This official language should be ‘Canadian;’ combining mostly English, with some French and other words and terms used north of the 49th included.

The Canadian Official Languages Act was last amended in 1988. A lot has changed around the world since then. It is time for a new act. Learning to speak ‘Canadian’ should be a requirement to becoming a permanent resident or citizen of this great country. The use of technology and the Internet makes teaching and learning a new language much easier than in the past.

The number of bilingual and multilingual people worldwide is increasing and cultural and linguistic diversity should be encouraged. However, if we don’t establish one official language in Canada, in the future we may find that larger segments of the population will not be part of, or engaged in, Canadian culture.

Trevor WicksQualicum Beach

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