February 1, 2010

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Looks to Control Language

Not in the same vein as the contra-democratic Language Police of Quebec so let's not be confused about this. In January 2010, in that bastion of Canadian democracy, Ottawa, language laws were taken under consideration - as reported by Jon Willing in an article posted to Canoe.ca - a Canadian news source. Ottawa, it seems, is considering an "indecent language" law.

The city of Ottawa, it seems, would like to control the language used by its citizens. It is reported that Jasna Jennings, executive director of the business association in the Byward Market area would like police to have tools to control the langauage of the citizens that patronize the area's establishments.

Here's what Jasna Jennings has to say, "If you behave, you have nothing to worry about."

It causes me to wonder what Jasna Jennings is thinking. Does this "Jennings" person have some particular skills or training in "behaviour"? Maybe Jennings has the mind of a god and is somehow uniquely qualified to decide and define behaviour. Maybe ... I don't know.

Rideau-Vanier Coun. Georges Bedard, it is reported, says local property and business owners are disturbed by groups of people and he's fine with muzzling the citizenry. At least Bedard is elected and paid by the citizenry to tell them how to live and speak ... and what they may say.

It seems that the current raft of laws that control noise and nuisance are not enough for police. They need to spend more money passing more laws. If those which currently clutter the law books don't work it only points, in my opinion, to the ineffectiveness of the law-makers. I am struck that
a) the city of Ottawa, like the country of Canada, is run by special interest lobby groups and
b) freedom of speech in Canada is a myth that rages from coast to coast - when elected officials, that is, don't like what they hear.

What's next? Breaking into homes to tell you what you can and cannot say or ... mind probes ... to check what you think

Rediculous? Impossible? Maybe but what about travel to space? It was impossible a mere 100 years ago.

Good luck, Canada. You're barely keeping your nose above the waters of freedom of speech and democracy.

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