Good afternoon, Mr. Carrière.
I would like to tell you about my experience. Before I became the Liberal critic for La Francophonie, I was the Liberal critic for official languages. At that time, I travelled from one end of Canada to the other to meet with francophones from Canada, and obviously anglophones from Quebec. Two things struck me and I was told them over and over. The first is the old story of the abolition of the Court Challenges Program of Canada. Then the government restored it, in a way, but that caused great harm to French-speaking and English-speaking minority communities across Canada.
I am sitting on this committee for the day. I see an institution that I respect enormously, for a number of reasons, and that is maybe also going to lose a lot of blood and have its wings clipped. I think that institution has created a Canadian spirit for anglophones from sea to sea. It has also created a francophone spirit, a minority spirit, certainly, but francophone nonetheless, in all of Canada.
Mr. Carrière, what I am hearing from you makes me very afraid. I am afraid when I hear what you are saying about an isolated community in Northern Ontario, where the young people are already suffering a phenomenon called "language loss", which amounts to culture loss. It is inevitable when they listen to radio and watch television in English. Our generation does the same thing, but it's worse for young people. Once they have lost their language, it is almost lost forever.
I know the CBC is not run by the government. We all know it, but we also know that what the CBC can do also depends on the budgets it is allocated by the government, is that right?