It is definitely interesting how one’s position in society at a given time affects how they view “fairness”. Historically, individuals or groups who enjoy dominate positions in society tend not to talk much about fairness.
In this “push and pull” battle between French and English here in New Brunswick, how Anglos saw fairness back in the 1940’s , 50’s and 60’s was different than they see it today. Back then Francophones were at a disadvantage , they had “unfair” service in their language, under represented in the civil service, and under funded in education and healthcare. So Francophones back then saw their circumstance as “unfair” and rightfully so.
Anglos back then didn’t much care and were “indifferent” at best.
The French community then organized themselves and unified their vote, created organizations to represent themselves as lobbyists and developed a brilliant strategy to elevate the French language (a minority language) to a very high level of importance knowing the Anglophone community would struggle with that and in fact, most would never be able to overcome it. It has allowed the Francophone community to dominate the work place beyond their number especially in the civil service.
My, how times have changed. Today it is the Anglophones who are feeling the pain and discomfort of “unfair” treatment. Today you have a reverse situation from 60 – 70 years ago. Today Anglos are crying “foul” and the Franco leadership are enjoying the retribution while the general Francophone community enjoys the fruit of their leaders’ efforts over the past 50 plus years.
So where do we go from here? Well actually, there is hope on the horizon. There are reasonable Francophone folks, as often demonstrated in the comments section of this page who could bring about reasonable resolution. The problem is for them to reach a position to be heard. The present Franco leadership is vengeful and deceptive but it is possible that good Francophone leadership will rise.
It hasn’t helped that we often have had cowardly Anglo leadership over the past half century willing to sell out their own community for self interest. But times, they are a changing. We can get to a place of balance, a place fair for Francophones and Anglos. It’s coming.