Official Languages ​​Reform: The Trudeau Government Presses the Accelerator

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Reform of official languages: the Trudeau government presses the accelerator

A motion tabled by the Liberals could have the effect of a gag to adopt the reform of the Official Languages ​​Act before the holidays.

Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor wants to speed up the adoption of the reform of the Official Languages ​​Act.

Liberal MP for Nickel Belt, Marc G. Serré, took the opposition parties by surprise on Tuesday in Ottawa, pulling out of his hat a procedure that aims to limit the time of exchange between parliamentarians who study in committee the bill to reform the Official Languages ​​Act. The opposition sees it as a form of gag order.

The motion provides that members of the parliamentary committee on official languages ​​will have until November 17 to table amendments. They will have barely seven hours to debate it afterwards. If elected officials have not completed clause-by-clause study of the bill by noon, December 1, all other amendments will be voted on, without further debate.

MPs are due to vote on the motion on Thursday, but the outcome is a foregone conclusion, as while New Democrats will be proposing some amendments to the motion, they support the motion. x27;idea to quickly pass the bill.

Conservative MP Joël Godin is outraged. Doing so is the equivalent of a gag order, says the elected official. This is the attitude of those who serve their political interests before the interest of bilingualism in Canada and before protecting French.

“I find it shameful. »

— Joël Godin, Conservative MP for Portneuf–Jacques-Cartier

Conservative MP Joël Godin does not understand the government's haste.

The Minister of Official Languages, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, makes no secret of it: she wants the pace of work to accelerate. The minister is aiming for the bill to be passed in the Commons by the end of parliamentary proceedings, on December 16, so that the Senate can pass it in turn before the holiday recess.

“We have heard their message and are working hard to get Royal Assent as soon as possible.

— Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages

Mrs. Petitpas Taylor believes that it is time to move on to a new stage and affirms that this is also what the workers on the ground are asking her to do. She recalls that the bill was tabled on March 1 and that since June, more than 50 witnesses have been heard in parliamentary committee.

The Bloc Québécois alone proposes , 90 amendments, in addition to carrying those sent by the Government of Quebec to committee members.

“C' is an end of inadmissibility for Quebec. »

— Mario Beaulieu, Bloc Québécois MP for La Pointe-de-l'Île

For MP Mario Beaulieu, if Bill C-13 is adopted as is, the new federal law will accentuate the decline of French, particularly in Quebec. No less than 90% of French-speakers in Canada are in Quebec, and there they say: "It's not important." We are not responding to the Government of Quebec, we are not accepting any of its requests and federal law will continue to anglicize Quebec, he says.

Mario Beaulieu is the Bloc Québécois critic for official languages.

Conservatives and Bloc Québécois want the committee to stick to the timetable it had set at the start, that is to say to hear witnesses until December 6, which would push the passage of Bill C-13 back to February. Why gag, for a month or two? asks Mario Beaulieu.

In addition, the Minister of Official Languages ​​and the President of the Treasury Board, Mona Fortier, are scheduled to testify before the committee on November 17. Each will have 30 minutes to answer questions from MEPs.

However, contrary to what elected officials wanted, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, will not be summoned.

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