A sorry day

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Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

It was a sorry day for all of us – to learn this news-paper has such viperous
enemies, maybe only one (that’s all it takes), that we’re threatened with losing a whole language in the Journal, a whole reflection of ourselves, a whole report from all of our

Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

It was a sorry day for all of us – to learn this news-paper has such viperous
enemies, maybe only one (that’s all it takes), that we’re threatened with losing a whole language in the Journal, a whole reflection of ourselves, a whole report from all of our
community – sorry, except for the single viper, the coward.  That’s the coward who thought, “I’ll call in the Montreal gangsters, the wannabe goose-steppers, that’ll harm the Journal!”
That’s the viper who said to himself, or herself, “I’d rather have no paper than this Journal, this child of two cultures – this bilingual
bastard! I’d rather have the silence of my own long-passed and dead political dreams, all in my head now, than news from English Shawville or even news of the accomplishments of the French Sieur de Coulonge high school.”
Perhaps we should not criticize the secretive process of the Office de la langue française, maybe it’s good that this is a hidden, sneaky process – all done under the cover of nameless darkness, like a phone call in the
middle of the night – because not one of us in the whole Pontiac really wants to know who whispered in his miserable complaint.
Nor, of course, does the coward want his own name known – think of the hum-iliation, of his embarrassment!
How can this person (and their gender doesn’t mean anything) look in the mirror every day, and not cringe?  How can he say to the
mirror, “yes I’m the one who tried to destroy the Pontiac Journal! Better no paper, than a bilingual one with the French language next to the English language – that’s the worst! Leave me alone in my
self-imposed ignorance. I don’t need to know anything about what goes on in the Pontiac, especially what goes on with my English-speaking neighbours!”
Why can’t he tell us his concerns, his issues, without destroying what serves us all so well?  Instead, he wants an impoverishment of the French language in the Pontiac?
There was a French-only weekly in the Pontiac once, Le Réveil, in the early 1980s. It survived a few issues only, because there isn’t enough advertising support for a
single-language newspaper across Pontiac. A unifying paper requires advertising from all sources to survive.  Will there even be a French-specific section in the Journal if there isn’t enough French-only advertising support?
All this is the kind of
person and division the OLF creates in our communities. There should be no place for anonymous accusations and weakly-defined regulations in our government; these open the door to abuses and errors.
More than that viper in the mirror, how can the
rest of us allow this to
happen to our community’s newspaper?  The Journal is fighting this, what about the rest of us?  What does the Pontiac mean, if not two communities struggling together? What does our Pontiac stand for?