June 30, 1988

LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. John N. Turner (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to put a question to the Minister of Justice.

On today's Order Paper and Notices of the House, there are 136 proposed amendments to Bill C-72 respecting the Official Languages Act. Those amendements are moved by 15 Conservative Members.

Mr. Speaker, I must say to the Minister that those amendments are an insult to the dignity of all Canadians. We have here tangible and concrete evidence that an important number of Conservative Members are against the bilingualism policy we have here, in Canada, and do not believe in it.

Will the Minister of Justice require of his Conservative colleagues that they withdraw the shameful amendment, and I

June 30, 1988

quote number 11, which says: "If the two versions of this Act differ..."

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
Sub-subtopic:   DEMAND THAT AMENDMENT NO. 11 BE WITHDRAWN
Permalink
PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I regret to interrupt the Right. Hon. Member, but I think he should ask his question directly.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
Sub-subtopic:   DEMAND THAT AMENDMENT NO. 11 BE WITHDRAWN
Permalink
?

M. Turner (Vancouver Quadra):

Mr. Speaker, will the Minister request that his Conservative colleagues withdraw the shameful amendment, namely Motion No. 11 which appears on this morning's Order Paper and which reads: "If the two versions of this Act differ, preference shall be given to the English version."?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
Sub-subtopic:   DEMAND THAT AMENDMENT NO. 11 BE WITHDRAWN
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada):

Mr. Speaker, I think Bill C-72 represents a very substantial advance in recognition of the bilingual status of Canada. The Bill is one which has the full support of the Prime Minister, the Government, and the caucus of this Party, the government Party. It is a Bill which has received very careful attention on the floor of the House of Commons. Amendments have been put forward by members of the right hon. gentleman's own Party.

I do not think it is appropriate for me to make comment with respect to every amendment. I think it is the right of Members of Parliament to bring forward amendments as they see fit. I may disagree profoundly with the principle stated in that matter. I can tell the Right Hon. Member that we will have a chance to analyse the amendments that have been placed, on the question of dealing with the admissibility of some of these amendments, and whether they are appropriate.

Let me tell the right hon. gentleman that this Prime Minister and this Government have done more to enhance the understanding between the two founding groups in our country. It is a commitment we hold very dearly and one we are going to carry out.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
Sub-subtopic:   DEMAND THAT AMENDMENT NO. 11 BE WITHDRAWN
Permalink
LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Turner (Vancouver Quadra):

Mr. Speaker, in 1969 1 had the honour to introduce Canada's Official Languages Act, and I find these amendments insulting.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
Sub-subtopic:   DEMAND THAT AMENDMENT NO. 11 BE WITHDRAWN
Permalink

ALLEGED ATTACK ON FRANCOPHONE RIGHTS-GOVERNMENT POSITION

LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. John N. Turner (Leader of the Opposition):

Why did the Minister of Justice and his leader, the Prime Minister of Canada, as well as his colleague the Deputy Prime Minister, an Albertan, fail to have the Conservative caucus withdraw these amendments?

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives who are against bilingualism have already managed to make 52 amendments to the Official Languages Act, and now they want to add 136 more, including a discriminatory provision, and I quote Motion No. 39 which appears on this morning's Order Paper:

English shall be the language of work in federal institutions within the

National Capital Region ...

Oral Questions

English shall be the language of work for all members of the armed forces of

Canada ...

The last of these amendments, Motion No. 136, maintains that Canada's two official languages are a source of divisiveness.

How can the Minister of Justice allow Parliament to waste time debating such a flagrant attack by the Conservative Members against the rights of French-speaking Canadians?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ALLEGED ATTACK ON FRANCOPHONE RIGHTS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada):

Mr. Speaker, as the old hope would have it, I may disagree profoundly with the position the right hon. gentleman takes but 1 will defend with my life his right to express it. This is a democratic institution. I am opposed to those amendments. I make no secret of that. But what does the right hon. gentleman hope to accomplish by suggesting that we arbitrarily prevent people from moving amendments?

What did the right hon. gentleman do with respect to the dissidents in his own caucus on Meech Lake? Why does he not tell those people, who are against the inclusion of Quebec in the Canadian federation, to sit down or get out of the House? If he is so smart about his own Party, maybe he had better start getting his own act in shape.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ALLEGED ATTACK ON FRANCOPHONE RIGHTS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink

POSITION OF MINISTERS

LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. John N. Turner (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, these antediluvian Conservatives opposite are so desperate to destroy the official languages policy in our country that they are even willing to sacrifice English-speaking Quebecers.

I want to refer to amendment No. 39: "French shall be the language of work in federal institutions in the Province of Quebec". It is right on the Order Paper this morning. How else can one explain that type of amendment?

I want to say to the Hon. Minister that if Parliament has to debate every one of these 136 amendments under the current rules of the House it would take a full year. Will the Minister explain how the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister and he himself could allow their colleagues to put forward such offensive and discriminatory amendments on the Order Paper of this House?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSITION OF MINISTERS
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada):

Mr. Speaker, I just want to make one thing very clear to the right hon. gentleman. This Party and this Government are going to move forward with this legislation. We are going to have it brought down and passed on third reading and send it to the Senate. I hope the right hon. gentleman has some influence in that place to make sure it gets through the other place.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSITION OF MINISTERS
Permalink
LIB

Jean-Robert Gauthier (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier:

He has spoken in the debate. You guys didn't.

June 30, 1988

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSITION OF MINISTERS
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hnatyshyn:

I want the right hon. gentleman to know that all of us in this country understand the principles of democracy with respect to the ability of people to put forward their points of view. I may disagree, very profoundly disagree, with the position put forward by Members on this side occasionally and very often with Members on the other side of the House, but we are determined to get this Bill passed into law and we are going to want the assistance of the Opposition in that respect.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSITION OF MINISTERS
Permalink

OPPOSITION OFFER-MINISTER'S POSITION

LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Liberal Party Deputy House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Jacques Guilbault (Saint-Jacques):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice just told us that the Government is determined to have the Official Languages Act, or Bill C-72, passed by this Parliament, by this House before the next election. If I understand him well, he asked for the help of the Opposition. Well, I want to offer him that help. On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada, I would like to give the consent of the Official Opposition to time restriction under Standing Order 115. I am sure the New Democratic Party would also consent to limit the debate on Bill C-72, because we know very well that a clause-by-clause debate of those 136 amendments would put that off indefinitly. Is the Government willing to accept that offer?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OPPOSITION OFFER-MINISTER'S POSITION
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada):

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. gentleman was less interested in grandstanding than he was in making progress, he would have already discussed this matter with the House Leader. It is a little bit of show business for that Hon. Member to stand up and suggest he was prepared to do a certain thing in a procedural way. This is Question Period.

If the hon. gentleman wants to know where we stand on this Bill, we stand behind a Bill that has been described across the country by editorialists and thinking Canadians as being a fair and equitable piece of legislation, one that deserves the support of all Members of this House of Commons, and we intend to get on with the job.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OPPOSITION OFFER-MINISTER'S POSITION
Permalink

OFFER TO APPLY TIME ALLOCATION TO DEBATE

LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Liberal Party Deputy House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Jacques Guilbault (Saint-Jacques):

Mr. Speaker, I think everyone understands that these 136 amendments are just dropping out of nowhere. We did not know about them yesterday. We did not know about them two days ago. So I am making the offer in all honesty because the Government is telling us it wants to pass Bill C-72, the official languages amendment Bill, before the next election. I am saying right now that we will agree under Standing Order 115 to apply time allocation to this Bill to ensure that it passes before the next election. This is an offer which is made not behind the curtains, not under the table like the way in which the dinosaurs move their amendments-it is made in the open. Just say yes or no.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OFFER TO APPLY TIME ALLOCATION TO DEBATE
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OFFER TO APPLY TIME ALLOCATION TO DEBATE
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada):

Mr. Speaker, I guess I have heard it all. Here is the Liberal Party in the Opposition who attempted to filibuster this Bill at second reading.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   OFFER TO APPLY TIME ALLOCATION TO DEBATE
Permalink

June 30, 1988