Throwback: Faculté students launch petition

January 16, 1992

Karen Unland

Three students at Faculté Saint-Jean launched a petition on Tuesday to inform Premier Don Getty that his comments on official bilingualism and multiculturalism do not represent the views of all Albertans.

The three students — Michael Biollo, Denis Fontaine, and Clare Dickens — are hoping to persuade Canadians that many Albertans are committed to the policies of bilingualism and multiculturalism.

“It’s hard to say whether the petition will have an effect on Mr. Getty,” said Dickens. “It’s important to note that is not our only goal. We want to make it clear to the rest of Canada that he was not speaking for all Albertans.”

During Tuesday’s bilingual press conference, the petition-launchers told media representatives and students that official bilingualism is essential to the fabric of Canada.

The petition will be circulated at campuses across Canada, as part of the effort to inform Canadians of alternative options in Alberta.

Dickens also said the future of Faculté Saint-Jean may be threatened by Getty’s comments. Students at the Faculté were angry about Getty’s comments.

“Being an anglophone and having tried so hard to study French … I find it dismaying that my own provincial government won’t even support my educational efforts,” said third-year political science student Barbara Naslund.

The U of A Students’ Union strongly supports the petition.

“I think that what Getty said was ridiculous,” said SU president Marc Dumouchel. “It’s so blatantly directed towards getting some popular support from the Reformers.”

The petition had 200 names as of Tuesday. It will be presented to the premier’s office on February 4. Students interested in signing the petition can find it al faculty association offices on campus and Faculté Saint-Jean.

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