18 March 2010

The Kyle Wozniak file


If Canadian federal-jurisdiction workplaces are strictly federal, then it should be hands off from provincial interference. Unless of course, the interference is for a principle you support, like the prima facie-tiousness of French in Quebec.

But federalism, like democracy, is a series of checks and balances. Schools are a provincial jurisdiction under the Constitution of Canada. Educational rights in the official languages are enumerated there. The so-called Canada clause, where access to English schools in Quebec is granted, was whittled down by federal-provincial wrangling all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Thomas Mulcair of the federal NDP is a former Quebec provincial cabinet minister, and a putative federal one. His comments and insight on Quebec are germane and welcome at any time.

But Kyle Wozniak's father's presence or absence is not germane in this case. His educational history and Kyle's mother's rights are.

Now you care about Kyle's education. Kyle's mother presumably went to French school in Quebec, but since she didn't move anywhere, she has a presumptive right to schooling her child in English.

The majority and the minority both will have to suffer along with the political types' endless appeal to insecurity. Recall Proposition 08 against gay marriage in California (please). Minority rights balanced against those of the majority are another price we all owe each other.

Maybe Woody Allen would be as hard-pressed to satirize Quebec as Mordecai Richler was: just present the facts and no one will believe it's not a put-on.

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