Interventions in Committee
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
In spite of your important visit, I'm nevertheless going to introduce a motion. This is further to the fact that, in the past year, I've received many groups such as the SANB and the FCFA in my office. I see them constantly. I've also received individuals and representatives of many other community organizations and groups, such as the official language minority communities, the OLMCs. They have told me they're fed up and want us to start focusing on modernizing the Official Languages Act and other matters. Rather than start a broad-based effort like that, we can do something much more focused.
What's really made me want to introduce my motion today is the judgment that was rendered three weeks ago concerning services to francophones in British Columbia. I love the judgment, although I love the outcome less. It states clearly, objectively, and rationally that it's impossible to take positive measures given the way the act is drafted and that the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada plays nothing more or less than a symbolic role.
Here's the motion I am introducing, colleagues:
That the Committee study Parts IV, VII and IX of the Official Languages Act in light of the ruling by the Federal Court in Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique v Canada (Department of Employment and Social Development).
If my motion is adopted, I will introduce an amendment. I would like the motion to be drafted as follows: "That the Committee study in the context of the modernization of the Official Languages Act..."
I would like to know what you think of that. I've met experts in the official languages field in Canada who have told me this would help us get directly to the heart of the problem the OLMCs are currently experiencing with respect to these parts of the act that prevent them, for example, from obtaining favourable judgments. It's on the basis of these issues that we can determine which direction to take in modernizing the act and know what we're doing about the commissioner's future powers.
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