Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
This paragraph is about the Official Languages Promotion Fund. Would funds made available following an order of the Official Languages Tribunal go into this fund?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
How would the money in the fund be spent? Your text is not clear on that. The minister seems to have a certain discretionary power, but could he spend that money anyway he wished? That's the part I don't understand.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon to you, Minister, and to your colleagues who are here to support you. I am very pleased to see you before the committee today.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I would like to ask you a quick question first. In your presentation, you mentioned the 20% increase in core funding for community organizations. We are fully aware that this is very important for linguistic communities. Would you be able to provide the committee with budget figures confirming that, in the past year, each community has in fact received more funding?
Communities used to receive 7¢ of each dollar. I think that's the number. According to the enhancement, that amount of 7¢ should have been increased. Is it possible for you to provide this information to the committee, in order to confirm that the communities are benefiting from the increase?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much.
You also mentioned funding for community media, which brings me to one thing I have noticed recently.
According to the preliminary budget you sent us, $302 million will be allocated to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which is very good. However, I read in L'Acadie nouvelle that there had been a 10% reduction in jobs at the Radio-Canada station in Moncton. I was a little troubled.
I would like to understand how it is possible to increase funding for the CBC, which I think is commendable, while also cutting funding for its station in Moncton, where there is a francophone minority language community?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Ms. Joly, I think Canadians expect you, as minister, to question the CBC, not a member of the opposition. I have every confidence in your good intentions, but I would still invite you to ask the CEO why those cuts were made. They fly in the face of your intentions with respect to official languages.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You are responsible for the vitality of linguistic communities, Minister.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In cabinet, isn't it your responsibility to ask your colleague why, in this case, action is being taken to the detriment of the vitality of linguistic communities?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
As you know, we have finally begun a study on the modernization of the Official Languages Act. You have followed suit and I am very happy about that.
To date, however, two presentations have sort of confused me.
First, there was the one on February 18, 2019. It was not before our committee, but before the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages. Senator Rose-May Poirier asked Pierre Lavallée, the CEO of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, whether he had spoken with you or people in your office about his official languages duties. As we know, the Canada Infrastructure Bank has had some problems with this. To everyone's surprise, Mr. Lavallée replied that your office had never contacted him or the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
You seem to be saying that, in the case of Radio-Canada, another minister is responsible. In this case, clearly, you did not contact the Infrastructure Bank yourself. Have you at least discussed this issue with Mr. Champagne in cabinet?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Minister Joly, I was a little surprised by your response to Mr. Choquette. You said that you hoped the commissioner would have a generous interpretation. However, you and your Prime Minister were the ones who chose the person and submitted his name for the position.
Didn't you first determine the person's approach to official languages? How can you hope for something from an individual, when you were the one who chose that person? That seems very strange. I don't understand.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You didn't submit three suggestions. You submitted one suggestion, Minister Joly.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's fine, thank you.
I have two minutes left.
I may be wrong, but I think that I'm right. Across Canada, people have mainly told me that, while they're pleased with your measures, they find that you lack the leadership to ensure that Part VI of the act is applied in all government agencies.
When he met with us on Tuesday, the commissioner said that federal agencies were following his recommendations in 80% of cases. That's fine. However, in 20% of cases, the agencies aren't following the recommendations or are struggling to follow them. If it were 5%, I could understand. It would almost be by default. However, 20% is significant.
Why did the National Energy Board publish a report in English only? The Canada Infrastructure Bank and Public Services and Procurement Canada websites display calls for tenders that are still riddled with mistakes in French. Why are 20% of federal agencies unable to follow the recommendations? Minister Joly, we don't expect you to be offended by the shortcomings, but to act. You don't seem to be taking action.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In the committee, we mostly say that the main issue, other than the act, is the lack of political will.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
The issue is the lack of political will. The issue is your place in cabinet. Do you say these things in cabinet? Do you criticize your colleagues for these shortcomings? The 20% rate is unacceptable. A 5% rate would be understandable, by default. However, a 20% rate clearly indicates an issue.
As I told you, people are generally happy with your investments. It's the continuation of the story of the past 20 years. All action plans increase investments. However, people are telling me about your lack of leadership, Minister Joly. That's the serious issue right now. That's why the act must be strengthened. The current Minister of Official Languages in the government doesn't show leadership. If you're doing so, your colleagues aren't listening to you.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay, but what do you have to say about the Prime Minister, who spoke only in English yesterday to 78 daughters of the vote participants from Quebec?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Commissioner and all those accompanying you, good morning.
Welcome to this new room; this is the first time we are meeting here.
Mr. Théberge, I would first like to ask you how many employees the office has.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's a fairly substantial number.
You shouldn't see any hidden agenda in my next question.
I see that you have $19 million in main estimates 2018-19.
We also see an amount of $4 million for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, and another $5 million for the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.
What explains that discrepancy between your office and those other offices, just for our information?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That is noteworthy.
Commissioner, in your opening remarks, you talked about the fact that you didn't think you would take office during a year when language rights were being infringed, as you put it.
In relation to that realization, have you seen an increase in complaints during this year compared with other years?
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