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View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It is true that we invited the cream of the crop to our first formal meeting. The bar has been set very high. You couldn't have been any clearer. I prepared some questions, but your presentations were so informative that I'm going to ask other questions.
First, when it comes to the enumeration of rights holders under section 23, you pointed out that, for 38 years, we've been neglecting the two-thirds of children who could have potentially attended French-language elementary, intermediate, secondary and post-secondary schools all over the country where services were available. We've ignored them, turned our backs on them. That's the message you conveyed to us.
Second, let's consider the short-form census versus the long-form census. We all understand quite well now the absolute importance of knocking on every single door and getting the form to every community member in Canada so we can ascertain where they are, geographically speaking. I believe that was your message. Not only is it important to know how many francophones there are in Canada—or anglophones in Quebec—but it is also important to know where they live, because that's what will show whether the numbers warrant services or not.
Can you speak in more detail about the shift in Canada's francophone community? There's been a lot of movement since I was young. The community isn't necessarily where you'd expect to find it today. When I was young, there were typical well-established French-speaking households, but now I'm seeing that some francophone households have moved. Figuring out francophones' geographic location is important.
In what way is that important to you? How does all that tie in to the short form census?
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