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Results: 1 - 15 of 26557
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
That, in relation to Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act, to enact the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act and to make related amendments to other Acts not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the Bill; and
That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.
View Carol Hughes Profile
Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period. I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places or use the “raise hand” function so the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in this question period.
The hon. official opposition House leader.
View John Brassard Profile
Madam Speaker, I am certainly not surprised that we are at this point of time allocation by the government considering it is being aided and abetted by the NDP, a party, by the way, that used to rail against time allocation every time it came up in the last Parliament, the Parliament before that and Parliaments before that. As the now moderate wing of the Liberal Party, the NDP is furthering a decline in democracy.
Millions of people voted for opposition parties other than the NDP. Those voices are being silenced as these types of things happen, and it is unfortunate that we are seeing a further decline in our democracy. There is a decline in the faith people have in our institutions when these types of tactics are employed by the government, aided and abetted by its lapdogs in the NDP.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Madam Speaker, first and foremost, it is just the opposite. Over the past number of weeks, we have seen many tactics being used by this opposition party. The reason we are moving forward with this today is that we really want to make sure we can move forward with this important piece of legislation.
Bill C-13 would make a real difference in the lives of Canadians, and I am now looking forward to seeing the important work the committee is going to be able to do. We certainly recognize that committees here work independently. They are able to look at bills and move forward with calling in witnesses. From there, we will be able to continue this very important discussion on Bill C-13.
Bill C-13, as I indicated, would make huge differences in the lives of those in official minority communities across this country. That is why it is so important that we move forward. Canadians expect that of us.
View Christine Normandin Profile
Madam Speaker, the previous version of the bill to reform the Official Languages Act was introduced at the end of the previous Parliament by the member for Ahuntsic-Cartierville. We did not really have a chance to debate it since the government had taken almost two years to introduce it. This time, the government introduced the bill and then quickly moved to cut off debate.
The government was taken to court in British Columbia for failing to provide British Columbians with services in French, basically violating its own legislation. Then the government appointed a unilingual anglophone lieutenant governor in one of the Atlantic provinces. The government appears to be trying to hide the fact that it is really struggling to enforce the use of French.
Is that why the government is once again cutting off debate in an affront to democracy?
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Madam Speaker, just the opposite is true.
Our government is firmly committed to protecting and promoting French across the country, including in Quebec. We recognize that there has been a decline in the use of French across the country, including in Quebec. That is why we are moving forward with this new version of our bill.
The former Bill C-32 was introduced last June. Since being appointed Minister of Official Languages, I have had the good fortune and privilege of meeting many of the people who have been working on this file for years. Based on the information we have received, we can say that they are very happy with the new version of the bill, which they think has more teeth.
That is why we really want to ensure that parliamentarians can continue the debate at the Standing Committee on Official Languages and move Bill C-13 forward.
I would remind the House that following the committee study, the bill will come back to the House before going to the Senate. I look forward to ensuring that this great bill receives royal assent as soon as possible.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
Madam Speaker, roughly eight months ago, we had a federal election. That was not very long ago. It is not a stretch to think that we could take more time to study Bill C‑13.
That said, francophone communities outside Quebec have been waiting for the modernization of the Official Languages Act for 30 years, not eight months. Let us not forget how critical this file is for them and their vitality, as well as for cultural institutions, positive measures and francophone immigration.
What does the minister think about the fact that these people cannot wait any longer for things to improve?
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Madam Speaker, I want my colleague to know that he is absolutely right.
Official language minority communities have been waiting a long time for the modernization of the Official Languages Act that Bill C‑13 offers them.
Our new version of the former bill has more teeth. As I have said it many times, Bill C‑13 will make a real difference in the lives of Canadians from coast to coast to coast, including official language minority communities.
As a francophone living in one such community, it is partly thanks to the Official Languages Act that I had the privilege or the right to live in French, attend university in French and work in French. However, we want to make sure we go further by clarifying the definition of part VII in order to achieve substantive equality. We will continue to work on advancing our language rights.
View Stéphane Lauzon Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, as a francophone from Quebec, I concur with the government that Bill C‑13 is extremely important. It is not a question of debating the timing of its introduction, because I do not believe there is a right or wrong time. As my colleague stated earlier, I believe that today, the time has come to move forward.
However, I do have a question for the minister. At what point in this process do we need the support of the other parties to demonstrate to Canadians that we have two official languages and that it is important to protect French in a minority context?
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Madam Speaker, all members of the House share the objective of protecting our two official languages and ensuring that we do everything possible to protect the French language, given that we recognize that French is in decline in Canada, including in Quebec.
That is why we have worked tirelessly with our partners and stakeholders from across the country, who wanted to improve former Bill C‑32. That is exactly what we did to come up with a new version, Bill C‑13.
It is very important to remember that all members of the House must work in close co-operation. As I mentioned, our common goal is to pass Bill C‑13, which, I repeat, will make a real difference in the lives of official language minority communities.
View Joël Godin Profile
Madam Speaker, I like what my colleague, the Minister of Official Languages, is saying, but the government is not walking the talk.
In my opinion, Bill C-13 is very important because it establishes rules to ensure that, in 50 years, Canada will still be a bilingual country, where both French and English are spoken.
The minister is from New Brunswick, the only bilingual province in Canada, yet she is supporting her government as it argues against including a requirement in the act stating that the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick must be bilingual. I am having a hard time understanding the logic behind what she is saying.
Furthermore, the minister said that stakeholders were happy with what had been done with Bill C‑13. Indeed, it is a step forward, but when I met with the same stakeholders, they told me that it was not enough.
We do need to work on it, but in a democracy like the Canadian Parliament, all parliamentarians must be respected, be given the right to speak and be allowed to express themselves, because this is a very important bill for the future of bilingualism in Canada.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Madam Speaker, let us get one thing straight right off the bat. This is day four of debate on Bill C‑13. There have been 63 speeches in the House about this bill: 19 by the Conservative Party, 18 by the Liberal Party, 13 by the NDP and 12 by the Bloc Québécois.
Let us not forget that, even though a big part of the work is done in the House, a lot is done in committee as well. Committee work is very important. I also know that my hon. colleague is a member of the committee, which does great work, often working very closely with all the parties. That does not mean we always agree, but some great work gets done.
At this point, we are very eager for the parliamentary committee to get going on this so the bill can then come back to the House.
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.
I would like to ask the minister a question. The government says it recognizes the decline of French in Canada and Quebec, especially in Montreal. However, this bill would give people in Quebec the choice to speak English or French. Quebec is the only place where the official language is French, yet the government wants to give people the choice to speak English.
I would like my colleague to explain how we are supposed to protect French when Bill C‑13 gives federally regulated companies the choice to speak English or French.
View Ginette Petitpas Taylor Profile
Lib. (NB)
Madam Speaker, once again, our government is the first to recognize that French is in decline in Canada, including Quebec. That is why we are moving forward with an ambitious bill. We also must recognize that the Bloc Québécois does not represent all of Canada's francophones.
As Minister of Official Languages, I want to ensure that I am putting in place a bill that will respect official language minority communities across the country. That is why I am very pleased to move forward with this ambitious bill that will make a real difference in the lives of those residing in such communities.
View Peter Julian Profile
Madam Speaker, we have seen in the course of last few weeks that we have two blocs in the House of Commons: the Bloc Québécois and the “block everything party”. The “block everything party” has been the Conservative Party.
We have seen its members systematically blocking every single piece of legislation, refusing to have legislation go through to committee to improve it. These are fundamentally important things, yet what we saw this week was absolutely a travesty. Conservative MPs, when we extended hours so that everyone could speak to important legislation, decided they wanted the House of Commons—
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