Today, the House of Commons adopted C-13 at third reading, having adopted amendments to the legislation last week that are deeply troubling to the English-speaking community of Quebec. The bill now proceeds to the Senate, where our community hopes the Upper Chamber will closely study the inclusion of Quebec’s Charter of the French Language within the purpose clause of the Official Languages Act.
Tag Archive for: House of Commons
This weekend marks the unofficial end of the political season. The National Assembly and House of Commons have broken for their summer recesses, and politics takes a deep breath for two months.
For Quebec’s anglophone community, however, this is no time to sit back and relax. In the fall, the community will be facing one of its greatest political challenges of the past 50 years as Bill 96, which injects steroids into Bill 101, will be going through parliamentary hearings and debate in the National Assembly. At the same time, there may be a federal election campaign. The Liberal government’s plan to enact changes to the Official Languages Act that dilute minority language rights of Quebec anglophones, would probably figure prominently.
The QCGN is gearing up for the public hearings through coalition-building and highlighting the impact of Bill 96 on individual freedoms.
The Quebec Community Groups Network recognizes the federal bill tabled this morning in the House of Commons to amend the Official Languages Act for what it is – a clear attack on the equality of Canada’s official languages.
Traditionally, the Official Languages Act has given life to constitutional official language rights. These rights define much of the relationship between Canadians and our federal government. The Act has been grounded on the principle that English and French are equal in law.
Montreal, December 15, 2016 – The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is generally pleased with the House Standing Committee on Official Languages’ report Toward a New Action Plan for Official Languages and Building Momentum for Immigration in Francophone Minority Communities however it is concerned that our community was somewhat sidelined by the study and one of its major recommendations.
“We are particularly pleased to see the Committee’s recommendations related to transparency, accountability, and involvement of official language minority communities in the Government of Canada’s official languages’ strategy,” said QCGN President James Shea. “The federal government must partner with linguistic minority communities in a real way. After all, this strategy is for the support of community vitality, and must therefore be developed and implemented by the community sector providing direct services to individuals. We want a seat at the table.”
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