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Results: 1 - 15 of 355
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Welcome to the 47th meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages. Today is Tuesday, May 26, 2015.
We are here to discuss committee business and two motions of Mr. Nicholls, but he isn't here. I have the committee's consent to move on to the second item of our agenda, which is to consider the draft report.
We have the consent of committee members to move into the second rubric of the orders of the day, which is to consider the draft report.
We'll suspend for a minute to allow the technicians to bring us in camera.
Before we do, however,
Ms. St-Denis, do you have a question?
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Because nobody is willing to move the motion, and there's been discussion among all members of all parties, we'll just move to the second item of business for today.
We'll suspend for a minute to allow the technicians to go in camera.
[Proceedings continue in camera]
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2015-05-13 16:49
I'd like to direct a few questions to the Treasury Board officials. I first want to thank all the witnesses for appearing here this afternoon.
For a report like the official languages annual report, can you walk me through the process of collecting the information and compiling it, and tell me who reviews it and what all of that looks like?
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Welcome to the 46th meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages on this Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Pursuant to Standing Order 108, we are going to discuss with the Commissioner of Official Languages his 2104-15 annual report, which was referred to the committee on Thursday, May 5, 2015.
Before I give the floor to Mr. Fraser, I will give it to Mr. Nicholls, who would like to give notice of a motion.
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Fraser.
Last week you submitted your report, and certain parts of it were criticized by the French-language media in Quebec. Would you like to provide any clarifications in response to that criticism?
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Fraser.
Let us now move to the other side of the country.
You spoke about incentives that are available to Canadian entrepreneurs to attract French speakers to western Canada. Can you give us more details on what could be an incentive? How can we encourage more French speakers to settle in our official language minority communities across the country, other than in Quebec?
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
I have one last question for you, Mr. Fraser.
Do you think that western Canada entrepreneurs offer internships to young francophones, whether they are from Quebec or from other French-speaking countries? Often these are post-secondary and university students, who might later be recruited to work in their company. They could live the French experience in western Canada through short-term jobs and work placements of two, four or even six months. In your opinion, is this a practice that is already in place or that would be desirable?
View Joe Daniel Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Commissioner, for being here with your team. It's always good to see you here, obviously to put you in the hot seat a little bit.
In your report, you mention that only 2% of immigrants coming to settle in provinces other than Quebec speak French as their official language. You go on to say that this is too low to ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities outside of Quebec. I would fully agree with you on that.
One of the things that concerns me, as an immigrant myself, and one the reasons that I and many other immigrants have come here is jobs, prosperity, and moving things forward. In many of these communities, they don't have the businesses to be able to do that. In fact, we've had witnesses here who have told us that many of the younger French-speaking people have to leave for education and that they don't generally come back, because there aren't jobs there.
Can you comment and tell me your feelings on that and how that impacts the immigration status of getting more people in?
View Joe Daniel Profile
CPC (ON)
Okay, thank you.
We've also had interesting information from one of the councillors from Moncton, I believe, who came here. They are clearly going out in a very proactive way to set up francophone-related businesses to create an environment for all of that. They are performing way above the average in attracting francophone people, etc.
Why can't that model be expanded to some of these other communities so they can generate revenue? As I said, immigrants generally come here for economic benefit. They want jobs whatever the field is, whether it's the arts, engineering, or whatever. If there aren't those jobs there, they're not going to stay there. Right?
View Corneliu Chisu Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much for coming in front of us again.
I was really interested in your report. You are basing the report, as you said, on the concerns you have about anglophone immigration into Quebec and francophone immigration outside of Quebec. Could you tell us what your concerns are based on?
Following that I will continue with another question expressing my concerns.
View Corneliu Chisu Profile
CPC (ON)
As you know, this issue is also connected with jobs and exercising your profession. I am telling you this from my own experience. I'm a licensed professional engineer in the Province of Ontario. To be licensed in the Province of Quebec, I must pass the language exam, not vice versa.
View Corneliu Chisu Profile
CPC (ON)
If I go into an anglo community in the province of Quebec, I will not be able to exercise my profession until I've passed the French examination.
It's the same thing, but in a much different way in the Province of Ontario, where the language is not so important. Of course, you need to be able to converse in English, but the level of conversation in French is a much higher requirement in the Province of Quebec than English in the Province of Ontario.
That is also true around the country.
Speaking about interprovincial barriers that affect the minority linguistic community in this way, if you are looking at not only engineering but also at other trades and professions that are regulated provincially, I think they are not just looking at Immigration Canada and how they can increase the 2% of services. I say this because these are professions. If you are not able to exercise your profession, then you will go to where you will be able to work in your profession. If it is difficult to exercise your profession in any of the provinces, even in one in which you would like to establish yourself, like the Province of Ontario, or Quebec if you are a francophone, you will have a problem with that.
I think that speaking with a professional association, in health or in nursing, it is important to contribute to the vitality of the minority languages. I don't know if you have ever thought about that.
View Chungsen Leung Profile
CPC (ON)
Merci, monsieur le président .
Thank you, witnesses.
My questions are directed at Mr. Fraser. One of the tasks of parliamentarians or government is to ensure that we maintain our global competitiveness into the 21st century and that we also position Canada in the best possible position to be competitive in the 21st century. For most immigrants who come to Canada for that, we would look at things like whether Canada offers the best educational institutions, especially in light of the past where the Jesuit institutions were some of the best.
We also look at whether Canada offers that economic prosperity that, probably a generation ago, the province of Quebec supplied, from the mining industry, the forestry industry, and also from manufacturing. But in today's world, we're looking globally and we need to be competitive. Can you comment on how maintaining that fluent, bilingual environment in Canada allows us the opportunity to address our competitiveness, especially in light of the fact that we also need to be addressing languages in Asia—Chinese, Japanese, Korean—and in Latin America, Spanish, and perhaps in Africa, where there are more than a few official languages.
Perhaps you can share your comments and thoughts with us on that.
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Order, please.
We are resuming the 42nd meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages. In accordance with Standing Order 81, we will discuss and vote for or against the main estimates 2015-16, specifically vote 1 under "Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages", which was referred to the committee on February 24, 2015.
We're here with the Commissioner of Official Languages to discuss and to vote on the estimates for the amount of $18,556,100. The remaining $2,277,425 was previously approved by Parliament under statute.
We will begin by giving the Commissioner of Official Languages the floor for an opening statement.
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thanks again, Mr. Fraser.
At the beginning of your presentation, you said that you would focus on Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations in 2017. A few weeks ago, Canadian Heritage unveiled plans for the 150th anniversary celebrations, plans that include a bilingual component.
What do you think the plans should include in terms of how Canadians can honour the reality of Canada's two official languages? In my region, there is an organization that wants to commemorate the arrival of the Irish in our region and their influence over the past 150 years. There are other francophone communities in western Canada that could do the same thing. There are now many non-francophones in communities of francophone immigrants that settled in the west. Many francophones have lost their ability to speak French, but their names remain. We know that many of the francophones who settled in western Canada in the late 1800s and early 1900s came from Quebec.
What would the office of the commissioner like to see in those plans?
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