Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Ottawa: No jobs for good men

I knew the day would come. It was inevitable.
French was finally breaking up my family.
My middle son announced last night, at his birthday dinner, that he was going to move away to another part of the country because he couldn't get a decent job here in Ottawa because his French isn't good enough.
Too bad.
Stef's a talented lad, great with people, well educated, enthusiastic.
But a smart guy like Stef can only be a server in a restaurant for so long.
It's not a job for an adult.
Pity the poor kid who tries to make a respectable living in Ottawa only to find the only jobs available to him are jobs in the service industry serving bread and wine, wrapping the cutlery in linen, taking abuse from the rude, pandering to the rich for tips.
As Stef said last night, and I couldn't argue with him, Ottawa has become a place where the old people live. Without your C levels, it's as good for jobs as the rusty old car town I came from and moved here from.
There are no jobs for good men -- or women -- in the public service anymore, not people with soft skills anyway.
The old drunks at the bar will miss him.
The language czar Graham Fraser would be delighted.
He's already blasted the service industry in Ottawa for not serving French people in their official language. He's trying to rout out the Anglos from entry level jobs, too, like his pals in the public service who have made it impossible for the majority of Canadians to get white collar work.
Fraser would blame me for not pushing Stef into French immersion, and for not suggesting that, if he didn't have the aptitude, he should have taken a trade. Like plumbing people's shit for a living.
Too bad he didn't have the marks to be a doctor.
Nope, my son has a liberal arts education. He didn't learn French because he didn't like it in high school, didn't make that critical career decision when he was 14; he was too busy being a kid to bother with his five-year-plan.
Now his five-year-plan is to get out of Dodge, go to a spot in the country that's hospitable to guys who can't parle, or is it parlez? I never know. I've never been able to learn it despite years of schooling, even A's in French in university. You see, I could read it, even write it, but I couldn't speak it.
My bad.
Sad part of it is, Stef's dad is a Francophone, born and raised, part of the power elite who got us here to a place where the majority of the population is no longer welcome. To give Dad credit, he tried to get the kids to learn French. Sent them to a camp where all the kids were French and didn't speak English. Threw them in the deep end. Too bad the kids all made fun of my kids.
My daughter never did learn French but she did become a bed wetter.
So the time has come for all the clich├ęs. Time to pay the piper. Get on the slow boat to Regina or P.E.I. or Halifax.
No more Sunday night movie nights at mom's house.
Such a shame.
I loved that all my kids lived in the same city. Loved that I could see my grandchildren grow up. Loved that I could look forward to years of softball games and ballet shoes.
Look on the bright side. Maybe we can all meet in Cancun for Christmas.
I get it.
Like Stephen Harper says, if you can't find a job in your hometown, move some place else.
Places where, if you're an Anglo, they're glad to have ya.
Come here, set a spell. Can I warm up your coffee?
The great thing about this country is, there are lots of places to go where most of us are welcome.
Just not here. Or in Quebec. Boy, even Quebeckers don't want to live in that intolerant cesspool any longer.
They don't like anybody who's not their own.
I get it. My son is leaving on a jet plane.
Don't know when he'll be back again.
I'll miss him.
But I understand.
Should have taken that jet plane myself a long, long time ago.


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