The provincial government is coming out with a new edition of the British Columbia HealthGuide - in French! According to Health Services Minister Colin Hansen, "This innovative program," which was previously only available in English, "helps ensure effective use of our health system and resources, while relieving pressures on physicians and emergency rooms." Of course, what Minister Hansen doesn't mention is that, according to the latest census, there are only 53,040 Francophones living in this province, accounting for just 0.01 perent of the population. By comparison, there are 252,405 British Columbians whose first language is Chinese, accounting for 0.06 percent of the population. So why did the government use what little dollars it has to publish a guidebook for the small number of Francophones we have in the province, rather than a larger ethnic group? The answer: the province wouldn't have gotten $218,325 in federal government funding ear-marked for French-language projects.
June 4, 2004