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View Alupa Clarke Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning to all of you, ladies and gentlemen. I am very pleased to be with you in Saskatchewan today.
This is the third place we have visited in three days. We've met with nearly all francophone groups from all provinces in the past year and a half.
Listening to you this morning, I sensed bitterness and considerable frustration. I sense it's not easy for you in Saskatchewan, but please know that we hear you and sympathize with you. We know your situation is not an easy one.
I will begin by telling you that French is an everyday struggle in Canada. Some people, like you, are in the trenches every day of their lives. I want to thank you, and I know this Isn't easy. As a Conservative from Old Quebec, I'm in a political trench, but you are in a linguistic trench.
Getting back to serious matters, although I understand your frustration and bitterness over your respective files, such as health, school boards, economic development, parents and the Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise, I would like to hear what you have to say about topics other than your respective grievances. Our main task from now until the next election—at least it's my objective—is to lay the foundation for a revision of the Official Languages Act.
Mr. Barry, I believe you touched on that subject a little earlier when I went out for coffee. I heard you talk about modernizing the act. I was just leaving, and I felt I had to come back as soon as possible. However, I believe the concern you addressed was just about the school boards.
I would like each of you to give me one or two general priorities that you would like to see addressed in the Official Languages Act, such as enforcement powers for the Commissioner. That's a priority; it's a general one, and it's mine.
Let's start with you, Mr. Simard. What are your priorities for the revision of the act?
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