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View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
The question is really important, and the answer is that rights holders were never counted in the past. There is no historical trend. Previously, people were asked whether their mother tongue was French or English. There was never a concerted, voluntary effort to enumerate the rights holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Section 23 is a specific provision that concerns minority languages. Where the number justifies it, education can be provided in the language of the minority. The question was never asked that way. There is no historical trend. So we could never look at the past context. There has never been any. The census has existed for 35 years, with seven of them having been done, and rights holders under section 23 have never been enumerated. That is what this important request was about.
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