Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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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.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I'm always honoured to start the rounds of questions.
Mr. Doucet, we are pleased to have you here with the committee. On behalf of the members, I would like to thank you for your lifelong commitment to official languages.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Precisely. I've heard good things about you, of course.
Getting right to it, would you prefer to have an administrative language rights tribunal established or coercive powers granted to the Commissioner of Official Languages?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'd like to take a closer look at the tribunal issue with you. I'm very pleased to see that you sat on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Excellent.
How does it work when a tribunal decides to order a department or central government organization—not an individual—to pay a monetary penalty or pay back funding? Several people have told me it makes no sense to compel a department to pay penalties to the government.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I see.
As regards governance, would you prefer that the act be the responsibility of the Treasury Board or the Privy Council?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
But that's done in a haphazard way.
What institution would you prefer if a government were less interested in the issue?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
What institution would you prefer regardless of the situation? Canadian Heritage has no power.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Two weeks ago, we heard from senior officials at the departments of Canadian Heritage and Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. Exactly how they were divided was unclear.
I asked them whether they had begun to take their first step, regardless of what it might be, in the process of revising the act. Someone answered yes. I asked what that first step was, and the answer was that they had to organize consultations, slowly but surely. I asked whether that first step had begun. I think he answered that that was not really the case, but I'll have to look at the transcript of the meeting. The witness seemed to be saying that the officials in question were currently in talks with the minister to determine how to move forward and begin the first step.
Mr. Power, I'm recalling these facts in order to tell you that I don't think a major revision of the act will take place between now and the next election. I want to be logical and efficient for the benefit of the OLMCs across the country, and I don't want to repeat myself. However—I think you addressed this question indirectly with Mr. Choquette—the judgment that was rendered in British Columbia is really negative for language rights in Canada. However, it significantly illustrates the deficiencies of part VII of the act.
Consequently, if I tell you, sadly, to abandon hope of a major revision of the act before the 2019 election, what legislative measures could the government introduce immediately without waiting for that revision? I'm thinking here of measures that can be easily passed in the House in the six months we have left in which to sit.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Without producing a completely new act, could we simply amend part VII of the act?
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