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The Bloc wants Drouin to leave the presidency of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press The Bloc Québécois wants to push MP Francis Drouin to resign from his post as president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie.

Michel Saba – The Canadian Press in Ottawa

Posted at 6:38 a.m.

  • Canada

Far from having digested that the Franco-Ontarian Liberal MP Francis Drouin described two witnesses who campaign for the protection of French in Quebec as “full of crap” and “extremists”, the Bloc Québécois is now distributing letters to push the elected to resign from his position as president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie (APF).

« Mr. Drouin disqualified himself from his mandate to contribute to the influence of the French language internationally by refusing to calmly debate the influence of French here, in Quebec, the main home of the French language in America,” mentions Bloc MP René Villemure in his missives sent Tuesday evening.

The member for Trois-Rivières, who is also one of the two vice-presidents of the Canadian section of the APF, sent similar letters to the other vice-president — Liberal MP from Nova Scotia Darrell Samson — to the members of the executive committee and a copy to the members of the Canadian section of the interparliamentary organization.

He is sorry that Mr. Drouin “grossly insulted” the researcher Frédéric Lacroix and the professor member of the Regroupement pour le cégep français Nicolas Bourdon when they were commenting on Statistics Canada data before the Standing Committee on Official Languages ​​and that the elected official demonstrates “willful blindness” in a conversation that concerns the decline of French and the responsibility of the federal government.

This conduct and the refusal to act on it excuse is “unacceptable and unworthy of the function of defender of the Francophonie,” writes Mr. Villemure, who not only requests his resignation from the presidency of the Canadian section, but also that he leave his functions on the international scene, which implies that he is no longer at the head of the organization. “I invite you to think about it,” he concluded.

Monday's spat began when Messrs. Lacroix and Bourdon explained that attending an English-speaking university or CEGEP significantly increases the probability of leading one's life in English. They had been invited to comment on a study on the financing of English-speaking post-secondary institutions in Quebec and French-speaking ones elsewhere in the country.

According to Mr. Drouin, their explanation is misleading and the witnesses took him “for an idiot” by giving him “an argument that doesn’t hold water.”

“Anglicization, we have to be honest, It's not [because of] McGill then Dawson, the fault of the big bad English-speaking people of Montreal, that this is happening. It’s an international phenomenon, it’s happening in France too,” he summarized in an interview on Tuesday.

Mr. Drouin, who withdrew his remarks immediately after making them and who explains that he lost his temper, refuses to apologize, but would nevertheless agree to do so “if the person feels hurt”.

When the subject arose during question period on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and three of his ministers came to the defense of their colleague, believing that the Bloc is only looking for “squabbles » and that the liberal government will always defend the French language.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116