Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'll go on to my seventh question.
In proposed paragraph 43.4(1) of the bill, on the collective rights of the New Brunswick communities, was your objective to attach financial reality to section 16 of the Constitution Act, 1982? Aside from indigenous peoples, the Constitution only recognizes the Acadian people.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
If you say so.
Quebeckers have not managed to obtain that recognition, to date. This would be a great victory for the Acadians and I'm very happy for them. However, is your objective here to codify that recognition in the act so that the money will follow?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
Let me go on to my next question, on proposed paragraph 43.14(1) of the bill, on page 41 of your document.
These are my last questions, because I think my time must be almost up.
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 both of you, Mr. Jedwab and Ms. Chouinard. I am very happy that you are here.
Ms. Chouinard, I think this is the first time you have appeared before the committee. You said it was an honour and a privilege to be here. I am glad to have given you this honour and privilege, since it was my office that invited you. I have seen all your expertise over the past year.
I wanted to hear what you had to say about the administrative tribunal. You mentioned it during your presentation, but I have a few specific questions.
But first, Mr. Jedwab, I want to tell you that I really liked what you said at the end of your opening remarks on the country's fundamental proposals, namely the two founding peoples and the multicultural environment in which we live. This fundamental proposal must never be forgotten. I agree 100% with this vision of the country.
Ms. Chouinard, I detected a contradiction in your comments that may not be a contradiction. I wanted you to correct or clarify what you said. You said that, since the Charter was enshrined, there has been a liberal and generous interpretation by the Supreme Court with respect to language rights. On the other hand, you said that the Official Languages Act and the Federal Court have not yielded the expected results.
Personally, I see this as a contradiction. Can you elaborate on it, please?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
You say that the commissioner could have more coercive powers, or rather that he definitely has coercive powers right now, but that he does not always use them.
Do you think we should either strengthen the commissioner's coercive powers or create an administrative tribunal, or do you think we could do both at the same time?
What do you think the best option is?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In your opinion, what are the main benefits of an administrative tribunal?
First, would it be an independent, autonomous tribunal, or would we give responsibility for language rights to the human rights tribunal, for example? Do you envision a completely separate administrative tribunal for official languages?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
There is a lot of talk about the wording of the act and replacing the word “may” with “must”. That's interesting and it would be very good, but I have concerns about part VII and the impact it might have on the British North America Act and the separation of powers.
Do you think that this change of wording from the word “may” to “must” should also be done in part VII, while fully respecting the areas of jurisdiction?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Ah, yes, I heard that. Part IV has regulations, but Part VII doesn't.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
It's like a body without legs, basically. We have no idea how to make it work.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have another quick question.
As far as the Commissioner is concerned, when I spoke to other international experts, I noted that there was a lot of room for the idiosyncrasy of the individual in the position. As you said, never has a commissioner brought a case to court. I think I understood that.
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