Yet another blow to my fair city... A foreign student studying in a Master's program at Concordia University was the latest victim in Montreal's ongoing and everlasting language war...
He got on the 66 bus in NDG (a mostly English neighborhood) to make his way to school, he asked the bus driver what time it was in English (as he doesn't speak French) she answered in French. When he told her that he didn't understand and that he didn't speak French, she told him that she didn't speak English. To which he answered something along the lines of: I can see that.
After which the bus driver pressed the emergency Police call button reserved for dealing with dangerous and aggressive passengers, locking the bus and forcing the confused man to wait for the police. No charges were laid against the man and I've to find a comment anywhere from the STM (Montreal Public Transit Authority) anywhere.
This really makes me ashamed, I mean really ashamed that an employee that is paid with my tax dollars does not have to speak both official languages, does not have to answer to anyone for her actions and can bully people this way. This man who is here from Pakistan to study is fluent in four languages and is on his way to learning French but says he doesn't yet know enough to put a complete sentence together. I know I'm not the only one who's ashamed an witness who was asked by the Montreal Gazette how she felt about it said: “I was so embarrassed. This is the first time I have ever been embarrassed to be a Quebecer. Everyone was outraged over this”
This can't keep happening, this can't keep going on... How long can we possibly continue to live with this hatred and intolerance? What kind of examples are we setting to the for the world, for ourselves and for our children when someone has the police called on him for asking what time it is in English?