Is that possible? Yes, but not without conviction and commitment from each of us – if we can stop being so complacent. The problem is we have become immune to stories of greed which always seem to end without consequence for those who perpetrated the acts against society.

Why is it, after all the “testimony” we have heard over the last several months, that no major players have been arrested?

Why do we not make it clear, as a condition of all Government employment, that if you become involved in corruption, if you cheat us, you loose not only your job but your pension, your home, your assets and all future earnings until we, society, are repaid in full with interest?

And if all the above has not fully repaid your theft, then you will work for us at some menial job, from jail, until we are fully reimbursed with interest. Aren’t you sick and tired of how every level of our Governments is treating us? It would make a great skit at the Just for Laughs Festival – if it weren’t all true!

Senate abuse, construction abuse, municipal abuse and of course OQLF abuse. I was in The Gryphon d’Or bakery a few weeks ago only to see the tea/coffee mugs hanging-up with notes stuck over the, God forbid, English labels. Written by hand on each note were the words, “non permis par l’OQLF”. Large bottles were also completely wrapped in beige paper for the same reason: offensive English in sight.

But what broke my camel’s back is the “stainless steel” debacle. Please. Who reads the back of a spoon – unless I suppose you are deathly allergic to steel or like stains! As Aaron Rand of CJAD recently remarked, is there no common sense used by the people at the OQLF who take down these types of complaints? Shouldn’t there be? Are we in an episode of a new reality show – Zombies Run Amuck?

But the biggest problem we face is not from the OQLF – it is from ourselves. We take this abuse and then bend over and take it again and again and again… Why did the yoghurt store owner run out to replace these “English spoons”? Why not call the media, launch a pot banging protest, write to A.P. Reuters, The Herald Tribune, hell, Le Monde or Le Figaro in France? International attention worked for Pastagate and eventually Turbangate, so why not Spoongate?

While waiting for the non-Francophones in our Province to grow backbones, I have a solution for all retailers and restaurateurs: Have an agreement form, at the cash register or on the credit card slips, or have programmed on the screen and the paper that rolls out of those chip machines, that states:

“The parties to this shopping experience and/or transaction have requested that the items in this proprietorship [fill in whatever is sold or on display or used on the premises] be in English, and we further state we are not threatened by its use. Moreover, the parties acknowledge that they have required that this agreement be prepared in English. Les parties reconnaissent avoir exigé que la présente convention soit rédigée en anglais.”

Have all customers sign a copy before the purchase is rung-up if in paper form, or on the screen when using chip cards. If they refuse, have the guts to say in any language you want, “Well sorry, but we do not want your business that much”. Then maybe we could also arrive at some real statistics as to how the intelligent Francophone does not need English spoons banned to survive or feel secure in our Province.

While French is a working language at the United Nations, (a place where co-mingling of ethnicities is encouraged not outlawed), it is only the 6th most widely spoken language, or so states the Ministère des Affaires Française in France, behind, WAIT FOR IT, English in the 2nd spot, with number 1 going to Mandarin Chinese (with Hindi, Spanish and Arabic being also in front of French). Interestingly enough, the same Ministry also informs us that “French is unusual because it often exists alongside other languages in multilingual contexts.” Oh wish that it were so Toto! Moreover, French is on the rise worldwide, 80% of those who speak it will be in Africa by 2050! So instead of us English having to cave, why not ask Francophones to move to Africa? Because that is as stupid a notion as complaining about the words “stainless steel” on back of spoons.

What is the lesson in all of this? Wise up out there, embrace both languages equally and learn a third or fourth so you can get more, not less, from the world around you.