Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
However, official-language minority communities have not been officially placed higher in the hierarchy as provided by the Act.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, Ms. Adam.
I am very pleased that you are here with us today. The last time we saw you was in December, in the middle of a storm, a political storm, not a winter one. We are finally coming out of the winter.
I see that you are still full of will and full of hope. It's more than hope, I feel: you have pointed out a huge number of very interesting solutions.
And yes, the fact that you are here today, still Chair of your board of governors, has been made possible by the two million dollars that the federal government has contributed, and that's great.
You said that you are having ongoing conversations with all levels of government, which includes the government of the province of Ontario, of course. I gather that the Université de l'Ontario français Act, 2017 has not been repealed, I gather.
I would like to know two things.
First, how do provincial authorities see the existence of the UOF?
Second, between December and today, what was your last correspondence with the Government of Ontario? Perhaps there was more. What is it about? Basically, what does it say?
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)
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)
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)
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)
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?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Commissioners, there are two aspects to our great crusade to modernize the Official Languages Act. I think "crusade" is the right word.
First, there's the act as such, and we'll want to change a lot of words and sentences to strengthen it, regardless of the government that's in power in 2019. Second, there are more general issues, such as whether a tribunal should be established, how governance should be centralized and so on.
We've addressed these more general issues during the question period, but I'd like to hear you talk more about the act as such, about the minor details that change matters every day for the minority linguistic communities. For example, representatives from Power Law came and presented a lot of very specific recommendations, such as replacing the word "may" with the word "shall" in part VII of the act. Do you have similarly specific recommendations for amendments to the present act?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Dupuis. I want to thank you for the unrelenting work you do for Canada's official languages, and particularly for the francophonie.
You are more in favour of the creation of an administrative tribunal, rather than granting coercive powers to the commissioner, such as the power to impose binding measures, correct?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In the version of the law you are proposing, which would include an administrative tribunal, would there be some change made to the commissioner's mandate? In addition to the administrative tribunal, would you want us to add any elements to the commissioner's mandate?
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