I am absolutely opposed to spending my tax dollars in furthering non-official languages in School District 34.
Rather, I would encourage more funding to French immersion. I recognize French on the West Coast is limited in some private and public sectors. However, we must recognize that Canada has enshrined in its constitution only two official languages, French and English.
Chinese, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Russian, German, etc. are secondary languages in Canada, and should be funded privately, not publicly.
Having voiced my opposition to Punjabi language expansion in School District 34, I recognize we have a large number of Canadian citizens in Abbotsford whose mother tongue is Punjabi. I cannot object to these parents wanting their children to speak their native tongue. That is their right, whether or not I agree. But when I reflect on my upbringing when my parents came to Canada in 1957 (I was nine years old at the time), they insisted only English be spoken at home until we became fluent in that language.
Thereafter, we were allowed to speak in our mother tongue although it was sparingly.
In our schooling, Mom and Dad insisted that we make every effort to learn some French, even though it was seldom used in our daily environment. They felt we had an obligation to assimilate linguistically as much as possible in the Canadian mosaic of the time.
I do not encourage non-official languages in our Canadian school system at public expense.
If a group of citizens chooses to teach their children their mother tongue, that is their right and I will respect their decision; however, they should do so at their own expense and not that of so many other taxpayers who may share my point of view.
Henrik (Hank) Nielsen