The Make-A-Wish Foundation has promised Hampstead lawyer Harold Staviss that its e-mails encouraging donations to its Children's Wish/Rêves d’enfants efforts will continue to link to bilingual content in Quebec.
Staviss, who worked with the late Côte St. Luc councillor Ruth Kovac to promote bilingual signage and communications within Quebec's language law from businesses and municipal and provincial governments, recently received a unilingual French e-mail encouraging a donation to Rêves d’enfants. A donation form and a YouTube video accessed via links in the e-mail were also only in French.
(The Suburban receives e-mails on a regular basis from local organizations in which the e-mail itself is only in French, but links are provided to bilingual content.)
"My Canadian dollars are bilingual," Staviss wrote to the Make-A-Wish Foundation May 15. "Canada is a bilingual country and the last time I checked, Quebec was still part of Canada. Sending out a bilingual e-mail instead of a unilingual French one, will get you more donations. Respect is a two way street."
Staviss received a response May 19.
"Our sincere apologies — our emails and newsletters are usually French and English, as they should be because we are a national bilingual foundation," wrote Marika Lapointe, advisor for the Make-A-Wish Foundation's French services and communications. "We will make sure all future communications are bilingual."
Staviss e-mailed his thanks to the organization and told The Suburban that he "verified previous e-mails from that Foundation and there was a link to an English version."