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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You said you were looking for solutions. What can you do collectively to help the francophones in Toronto? Maybe it's already the fact. What are the measures you can do to help them to have a continuum to university, while the project goes forward when the fiscal situation becomes more healthy in Ontario? What are you going to do? What's your insight into that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Which francophone university is the closest to the GTA right now?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's interesting.
Finally, sir, each year annually for the francophone programs for the official language minority groups, the federal government either through the action plan or through Canadian Heritage sends money to each province on a gratis basis. Some information was quite concerning. We learned that in Ontario it's around $2 to $3 per head, compared with other provinces where it's between $8 and $12. I've heard also that it depends on what the province puts forward, and then federal government tries to add the same amount. I would like to hear from both of you on that.
Do you think it would be necessary to increase this flow of money from the federal government on the per capita basis?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I don't understand. I thought that under the agreement, if the province invested $1 million, the federal government had to invest the same amount. But that is not what happened.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have a somewhat difficult question, which I expect you will not be able to answer, but I'll try it anyway. After all, we're like a family here, we all support the francophonie, and these matters are important to all of us.
In your relationship with the Government of Ontario, have you ever encountered any ill intent at any point during all of this affair?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's very good, thank you. It's good news.
I want to ask you one last thing, to conclude.
Based on what we understood from the public comments made by the Premier of Ontario, the premier would like to go forward with the Université once his finances are sound—according to his perspective, as I have no idea what the situation is in Ontario.
Have you been told to continue the work?
You said you meet with the board of directors of the university. If I were in your shoes, and if I were present at those meetings, I would tell people that there is no need to panic, that work should continue, that it's in the works and that things will go forward when it is possible. To be able to move forward in four or five years, you have to continue to work on various elements now, such as finding students to register or finding land to build the university.
While preserving confidentiality, can you tell us whether things are moving forward at this time?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am very honoured to be with you this morning for the last committee meeting in Parliament Hill's Centre Block.
Ms. Adam, your comments are very enlightening. I thank you for agreeing to come meet with us this morning on such short notice. You talked about very important concepts and terms: “obligation to act”, “strong leadership”. You also repeated that all necessary measures should be taken.
I feel that this is a golden opportunity for a federal government, regardless of the party in power, to materialize, define and turn into reality the meaning of “positive measure”.
I cannot believe that I have before me someone who participated in the implementation of part VII of the Official Languages Act.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, I was born, as it was in 2005. I was travelling around Europe at the time.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I did not have long hair. I cut it when I was 17 years old.
Some hon. members: Ha, ha!
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Ms. Adam, could you tell us what stage you are at, practically speaking? We are hearing about a date, such as January 15, and about the $1.5 million you have left.
So what stage are you at from a practical perspective?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
When you talk about urgent measures, you are of course thinking of money.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I did not understand what January 15 is related to? What exactly does that date mean?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Caza, I want to continue exploring the issue of moral responsibility at the political level. I completely agree with what you said on that. Getting back to the metaphor you used, I think the Standing Committee on Official Languages can serve as a bit of a lighthouse, or at least I hope it can, for official language minority communities all across the country. The ultimate goal of the study we have urgently undertaken is to toss them a lifeline. That's why I'd really like you to talk about the intentions and directives you would like to be included in the report, and please be as specific as you possibly can. We will be sending it to the federal government, and that is where our power lies.
What would you like to see in the report, Mr. Caza?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Ideally this would be finished before Christmas.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Exactly, but it has to be before January 15.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Ms. Effendi, welcome to the federal government's Standing Committee on Official Languages. I'm pleased to see you here. Thank you for all the work you and your organization are doing.
First, I would like to ask you a brief question. You said the Ontario government paid the AJEFO for the legal information centre to provide resources such as justice camps to young people.
How much funding was allocated to those activities last year, for example?
I'd just like to get an idea of what that might mean.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's interesting. Thank you.
We all agree the decisions Mr. Ford made in Ontario are an affront to French Canadians. You say that you're concerned and that this constitutes a serious attack on the status of francophones in Ontario.
I'd like you to explain to us, in your own words, how this is a serious attack, even though we know in a general way.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Good. Thank you.
The federal government's court challenges program was suspended for the last 20 months as a result of an administrative restructuring, but it was announced a few weeks ago that it would be reopening. Since I imagine you're very much in the know, do you know whether the program is accessible now and whether applications can be made to it?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
All right.
I'd also like you to tell us a little about the current state of Canadian jurisprudence on language rights, in all courts.
I'm thinking, for example, of the decision rendered in May by Judge Denis Gascon, who dismissed an application by the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique and bluntly held that part VII of the Official Languages Act was meaningless.
Do you think that case poses a threat to Canadian language rights jurisprudence?
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