This morning we are holding the meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages of Thursday, November 8, 2018.
Good morning, everyone.
This morning we have Alpha Barry from the Conseil scolaire fransaskois and Martin Théberge and Marie-Christine Morin from the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française.
We also have Ali Chaisson from the Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick and Marie-France Lapierre and Marie-Pierre Lavoie from the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique.
Good morning, everyone. Thank you very much for travelling and being here with us this morning to begin, with great fanfare, a study on the modernization of the Official Languages Act. It is with great pleasure, enthusiasm and honour, as Mr. Mulroney used to say, that we begin our study. We will conduct it slowly but surely.
I must confess that committee members wanted to begin this study several months ago, but we decided to complete several reports first. Now here we are at this turning point in the committee’s history, and we will try to do as much work as possible before the next election.
Here’s how the meeting will be conducted. First of all, representatives of a group or association will have 10 minutes to outline their vision and the points they would like to make to us.
Then we’ll go around the table once, even two or three times, since we'll have two hours at our disposal. Each round will be five to seven minutes long, depending on how we're set up. We will probably have a break in an hour. We'll be spending two hours together.
I’d like to tell you what we expect of you, and that is that you tell us the direction we should take in modernizing the act.
I ask you to bear in mind that we want our study to supplement the one currently under way in the Senate. The Senate study is being conducted by the counterpart to our committee. We would like to address aspects that the senators will not have the time to consider. I ask you please to bear that in mind.
Try not to be too exhaustive, but give us some interesting ideas that you think we should focus on between now and the summer, when we will have to issue our report.
Without further ado, I turn the floor over to Mr. Barry.