Toronto, Sep 29 (IANS) Canadian opposition leader Jack Layton has promised support for a new visa office in Mumbai and official status for the Punjabi language in Canada if he becomes prime minister after the Oct 14 polls.Jack, whose New Democratic Party (NDP) has fielded a record 14 Indian Canadian candidates to woo the million-strong community, said his party will also roll back a newly passed immigration bill that the community finds discriminatory.
Nothing against speakers of Punjabi, but frankly I am hoping something got lost in translation here.
Update: Just to provide some context, here is more of the origonal article:
“We tabled legislation to allow any citizen or landed immigrant to sponsor one family member from outside the family classification for immigration,” he pointed out.
Layton replied in the affirmative when asked whether he would support demands that Punjabi, which the latest census says is the fastest growing language in Canada, be given official status.
“We are aware of the growing number of Punjabi-speaking Canadians and appreciate their rich legacy to Canadian history. We are committed to having their valuable contribution recognized by Canada.
“This includes ensuring services in Punjabi, recognizing it as being the fourth most spoken language in Canada. Already, we have seen some cities and municipalities putting up street signs and store signs in Punjabi."
The election's nuttiest promise?
Another Update from Jenn in the comments:
A Punjabi speaking friend pointed out to me that there is a huge difference in Indian between the 'national languages' which are English and Hindi and the 'official languages' which are some 21 others.
The 'official languages' of Indian are recognized but do NOT have the status of English or French in Canada or in fact of English and Hindi in India.
So this is about providing some government services in Punjabi which is not unheard of already. We have government pamphlets in Mandarin and Cantonese and others. It seems to me that this is simply a reassurance that Punjabi will be part of the list of languages that get this kind of attention.
You know its funny, some guy named "Jay" left almost the same post on the WS blog. I suspect, however, that this is the correct answer.
However, as TiGuy points out in the comments, most of the language services Layton is promising to provide Punjabi speakers lie within the jurisdiction of the provinces and/or municipalities. So his promise is no longer nutty, just empty.