[lg policy] Ontario: Council stops funding hospital over language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 16 15:23:25 UTC 2012

Council stops funding hospital over language policy

Updated: Thu Mar. 15 2012 12:24:18 PM

A local council is keeping funding from a Cornwall hospital to protest
their bilingual hiring practices. South Stormont council voted
Wednesday night to withhold around $30,000 from the Cornwall Community
Hospital because of their French-speaking job requirements.
Protesters said the hospital only hires people who speak French,
regardless of their other qualifications.

"We want the people to get the jobs according to their abilities, not
according to their language," said Michel Arcand. "We've got nothing
against the French and the English thing, we're not fighting against
that; we're fighting for our jobs." "I've lost 13 positions, full-time
and part-time, to bilingual people with lesser seniority," said Cathy
Jodoin. "Even people that have come from the street that are bilingual
strictly with no qualifications."

The hospital said its bilingual policy only applies to some positions.
"Does this mean that all jobs at the Cornwall Community Hospital
require French language skills? No." said Greg Downing with the
hospital. "When no viable candidate is available to fill a vacancy,
what do we do? We fill it, we don't wait to find the perfect bilingual

There were 217 job openings in 2011, according to the hospital's
website. Of those, 132 required bilingual skills including all
full-time nursing vacancies. There has been no date set for talks to
resume between the hospital and council. "What they want here, 100 per
cent French, doesn't go with the ratio with the population," said
protester Laurie Branchaud. "We're hoping they're going to admit
there's an error here and perhaps we can fix it." "They're trying to
pinpoint this as being against the French, we're not against the
French," Jodoin said. "We just want fairness, equality for all and we
want to make a difference. This has to stop."


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