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Bruce, I suggest that your farm living has given you a somewhat unusual 
perspective on Canadian life and may be distorted the view of Canada on an 
interntional web list.  Canada certainly did not adopt centrigrade because 
the French Canadians use it.  It was adopted because the whole world except 
the US runs on the metric system.  Our economy is heavily dependent on 
trade. In fact, we are one of the largest traders in the world when measured 
as a percent of our GNP, unlike the US which has a very small percentage of 
its total GNP in exports.  Working in metric is obvious if we wish to 
satisfy our international customers.

In the case of French, I would suggest that a very high percentage of 
Canadians are bilingual, not a small number as you suggest.  The 
availability of immersion schools as well as French language training across 
the country has meant that most Canadians can read and write in French and 
understand some spoken French.  In large areas of the country people tend to 
be fluently bilingual - driven by a business need, by the fact that 
promotion in the Federal Government requires bilingual status, and by 
general interest. Many have parents from both linguistic groups,

I am having difficulty thinking of someone I know personally who is not 
bilingual or willing to converse in the other language even if not fluent.

This is off topic but I did not wish to see mis-information on a topic of 
great sensitivity in Canada!

Ian E. Efford
Ian E. Efford
Ottawa zone 3

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