To the editor:
Re: "Mothers applaud decision to demolish bilingual school," May 9.
Earthquakes strike very often at night so the chance of children dying in an old brick school are practically nil, compared to them dying in their home made of thin studs and plywood haphazardly stapled together, without any cross-bracing whatsoever.
Like many people, I naively thought an earthquake destroyed every building, especially old ones. Not so, as the 1995 Kobe earthquake showed. I visited the town before the earthquake, watched many hours worth of Japanese videos right after the quake, and went back to Kobe a year later. Most of the town was not destroyed and was back to normal. The greater damage wasn't done by the quake but by the fires caused by pilot lights igniting gas leaking from ruptured gas pipes. Most homes and businesses didn't have an earthquake valve to shut off the gas.
The best reason for tearing the bilingual school down-and not rebuilding it-shouldn't be a fear of a quake but the sad fact that knowing French is totally useless in Canada. I graduated with honours at the baccalaureate, with the maximum possible score in French but have had fewer opportunities, both privately and professionally, to speak French in Canada-including in Quebec-then in the USA, Europe, Japan and China.
Jean-Louis Brussac, Coquitlam