Anglo Mps from Quebec not in Attendance for Official Languages Announcement

MPs representing Quebec ridings with a significant English-speaking population have raised objections to the Trudeau government’s Bill C-13, updating the Official Languages Act (OLA). None — other than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — attended yesterday morning’s unveiling of the new Action Plan for Official Languages. MP Anthony Housefather earlier suggested he could not vote for the bill as written. Marc Garneau recently quit as MP and subsequently specified that defending the rights of Quebec Anglophones was “a hill to die on.” The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has repeatedly expressed concerns that Quebec’s Bill 96, embedded within the new federal OLA, and Quebec’s Bill 21 ignore fundamental rights and minority protections. Both Quebec bills include the pre-emptive use of twin notwithstanding clauses in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. This renders it particularly difficult to challenge these laws in court.

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