July 6, 1988

NDP

Michael Morris Cassidy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Mike Cassidy (Ottawa Centre):

Madam Speaker, a number of amendments have been proposed here. One by my colleague, the Hon. Member for Ottawa-Vanier (Mr. Gauthier), is aimed at reinforcing Bill C-72 by reinstating wording that was dropped from the Bill during consideration in committee.

The other amendments, Madam Speaker, were approved by members of the Group of Fifteen, the dinosaurs, the Tory backbenchers who objected to the principal contained in Bill C-72. I deeply regret the fact that these Members submitted these amendments, because I believe that the split in the Conservative Caucus has been very damaging, not just to the Progressive Conservative Party but also to our country.

I believe the concept of bilingualism, adopted unanimously in 1969 by all political Parties in this Parliament, is very important and deserves our support. I also think, Madam Speaker, that when a Government introduces this kind of policy, it is entitled at the very least to the support of all its Ministers and parliamentary secretaries, including the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Assiniboine (Mr. McKenzie) who just spoke and who is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Motion No. 2 and Motion No. 2A standing in the name of this Member would have the effect of weakening the Bill's statement of purpose. Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, because of time allocation, I will not have a chance to speak to the other amendments proposed by this Member and by his colleagues who are of the same persuasion. However, my point is that all these amendments are not just minor changes or adjustments. They are major changes.

I will give you an example. In the amendment he just moved, the Hon. Member wants to strike out "and in carying out the work of federal institutions".

In the present legislation, of which Bill C-72 is an extension, it is clear that the objective is to maintain or enhance or reinforce the use of both official languages, not just when the federal Government communicates with or provides services to

the public but also in carrying out the work of federal institutions. That is a very important principle, and it has had the effect of giving Anglophones and Francophones equal status within the Public Service. Before 1969 that did not exist.

Madam Speaker, I am sure you remember when, for instance at CN, everything was in English, and when government cheques were in English only. All that has changed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

An Hon. Member:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Michael Morris Cassidy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Cassidy:

Other things still need to be changed, but we have nevertheless made a big step forward.

However, whether French or English speaking and whatever their language of work, young people are still unsure about finding a job in the government of Canada. Madam Speaker, this is a principle I cannot accept. But this is what the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Assiniboine is proposing.

As I said, I deeply regret the statement made by this Hon. Member. Madam Speaker, I deplore that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) is keeping silent. He has not condemned the very negative and destructive series of amendments put forward by many of the government Members. I am sorry that the Secretary of State (Mr. Bouchard) failed to intervene, in spite of his responsibilities towards bilingualism, and that he chose to go on holidays instead of getting involved in this matter in order to give some leadership.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Albert Glen Cooper

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cooper:

Madam Speaker, on two separate occasions within the last couple of minutes the Member has made reference to the absence of Members of this House, and that is clearly against the Standing Orders. I would ask that the Chair bring that to his attention.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Champagne):

I am sure that the Hon. Member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) does know the normal way of the House, which is not to mention the presence or absence of Hon. Members, but what I have heard, in French, was not the Hon. Member mentioning the presence or absence in the House of Hon. Members. This is what I have heard. This is why 1 did not make any comment.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Michael Morris Cassidy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Cassidy:

Thank you, Madam Speaker, if I have referred to a member absent from the House, I made a mistake. I wanted to refer to the silence of the Secretary of State on this matter and to the fact that the government seems to be tolerating the behaviour of some of its important members, and even some of its ministers, allowing them to take a stand against a basic policy of the government.

Madam Speaker, our time is limited, but I would also like to mention an issue which seems to be of concern to Canadians, the problems facing the language teachers who have now been on strike or locked out for a period of eight to nine months,

Official Languages Act

who are being asked by the Treasury Board to work five more hours a week and who would see their capability to teach in both official languages diminished. The four amendments in front of us do not directly, but indirectly, relate to that clause. The member for Ottawa-Vanier (Mr. Gauthier) wants to know if we think the Act must ensure the strenghtening of the equal status of both languages, Madam Speaker, and that is a very important matter. On the one hand, the government says he is for the official languages principle, but, on the other hand, he does nothing to implement this principle and does not react to the concerns of the French speaking community, and of Quebeckers. But when the defender of the rights of the French-speaking Canadians, the new minister who has just joined us, keeps quiet on this issue, I think we are entitled to ask ourselves some questions and to feel concerned, Madam Speaker.

I just want to say, finally, that in the committee a substantial number of adjustments and changes were made to this Bill. They were made in an effort to try to accommodate some of the concerns that have been expressed by different Members, including some constituents in my riding of Ottawa Centre, and there was an honest effort at compromise and in finding constructive solutions to the concerns being expressed by members from the Conservative back benches and from time to time by constituents of mine in Ottawa Centre or elsewhere.

To come at the last minute with this lengthy series of amendments, which at one time or another suggested that the Armed Forces should be English only, that the National Capital Region's language of work should be English, that the basic commitment to bilingualism should be reversed or should be undermined, at a time when we know that it is fundamental to our country and fundamental to keeping the country together, is not playing fair.

I hope that Canadians who are watching this debate realize what we are talking about here. This began as an effort by the Government, I believe, to reinforce the principle of official bilingualism. Unfortunately, it has turned into a sorry and distressing and regrettable affair in which one is forced to question the commitment of the Government to the concept and principle of bilingualism because of the degree to which they have allowed two messages to go out.

When the Member for Winnipeg-Assiniboine (Mr. McKenzie) presents himself in the election next time, will he be supporting the Government's policy of bilingualism or will he in fact be against? No matter how he votes tonight or how he votes tomorrow, a Parliamentary Secretary, without being disciplined, will have been allowed to have raised serious questions which indicate that he is not at all in sympathy with the basic tenet of government policy, and that I believe to be unacceptable.

I think I would apply the same comments to one of the ViceChairmen of the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages, who is another of this group of 15 back-benchers

Official Languages Act

opposed to bilingualism. I think he too, particularly since the position is that of the vice-chairmanship of the Official Languages Committee, should retire himself from those particular functions.

As far as back-benchers are concerned, Madam Speaker, I am not sure whether or not they could be disciplined without being kicked out of the caucus. I think, however, that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) and the Secretary of State (Mr. Bouchard), who is responsible for bilingualism, should surely by now in a week have been able to stand up and say directly, not indirectly, that they did not agree and that they condemn those interventions which are so harmful to the Party, to our Parliament and to this country.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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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 appreciate the opportunity to participate in the report stage debate dealing with the amendments that have been put forward by the Hon. Member for Ottawa-Vanier (Mr. Gauthier) and the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Assiniboine (Mr. McKenzie).

I find it rather ironic that after all of the rhetoric in the House over the course of the last few days the first motion we are debating is the one put forward by the Member from Ottawa-Vanier. Here is a person who sat diligently during the course of the committee proceedings, had opportunities to deal with every facet of the Bill and had co-operation. I thought he would be the last person to come forward with amendments at report stage, but that, I guess, is a commentary of what goes on in this House from time to time.

Let me simply refresh the memories of Hon. Members and Canadians generally with respect to this legislation. Bill C-72 was introduced by this Government as a follow-up to a commitment made in the Speech from the Throne, one which has been given substantial and absolute support not only by the Government of this country but by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) giving superb leadership on the official languages policy in Canada both as Prime Minister and while Leader of the Opposition. This legislation was brought forward on June 25, 1987, a year ago.

I suppose it is a piece of legislation that has received the most intensive examination of any in the course of this Parliament. It has been scrutinized and examined by Members of Parliament and by the public at large. Representations have been made. But when all is said and done, I think the response to this Bill by editorialists across the country and by people from coast to coast from Newfoundland to British Columbia to the territories can be described as fair, equitable and very much in Canada's national interest.

The Bill itself is a response to our obligation as parliamentarians to deal in a legislative way as a result of constitutional provisions. Language provisions are the most entrenched parts of our Constitution. We are a country in which there are two official languages, and it is important for us to have legislation

that recognizes and puts into effect our constitutional obligations. We come from various regions of Canada with different perspectives, but we are all interested in one Canada, a united Canada and one that reflects our heritage.

When I look at this legislation I think in terms of minority groups across the country. We have to be tolerant in the official languages policy. When we are not tolerant of any minority we are intolerant of all minorities in the country.

We have this Bill which I brought before the committee. We had a substantial number of sittings covering days, afternoons, mornings and nights. We were able to discuss in some detail various ideas both from the Government and from the Opposition. As a result of those deliberations we were able to come forward with more than 50 amendments.

What are the amendments with which the committee came forward? They had the effect of clarifying and of making more precise the meaning of the legislation. They were amendments which had the effect of making sure that fairness and equity would prevail in the application of the official languages policy in Canada. After all that is what our function as parliamentarians is all about.

We wanted to make sure, when we had the legislation, we had the best possible legislation to present to the people of Canada so that they knew in this area, as in any other area, that there would be equity of application, that the rules would be fair, and that the development of those rules would be such that they would be seen to be fair, that people would be able to understand the rules and we would be able to deliver on our commitment to make sure that, where there is significant demand, all Canadians receive, at the federal level, services by the Government of Canada in the language with which they are familiar.

What could be more reasonable than to have legislation to recognize that Canada has two official languages, that the country is one where we have a system established to ensure that the services of the Government of Canada are delivered in our official languages? 1 think the people of Canada understand that this legislation is fair.

An editorialist in the Globe and Mail described the Bill as magnificent because it is fair and does set in place reasonable rules. It is a Bill on which we worked together with all Members of Parliament to make sure that various points of view were taken into account.

We have heard statements made concerning the commitment of this Government on official languages and particularly the commitment of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney). Let me conclude my participation at this time by paying special tribute to the Prime Minister in his role on official languages in Canada. I say, and I know that this will not be seriously challenged, that the Prime Minister has been steadfast in his leadership on the official languages policy in Canada. He has demonstrated his belief in one of the fundamental principles on which he as Prime Minister and the Government operate that

there be fairness in the application of the official language policy across the country.

He faced some difficult challenges as Leader of the Opposition when an attempt was made virtually to embarrass him on the day that he arrived her as the elected Member of Parliament for Central Nova. He met that challenge head on. I say to you and to all Canadians that there is no person in this country with a better sense of fairness and equity on official languages than the Prime Minister of our country. I can say that without any fear of serious challenge. He has demonstrated time and time again that he understands this country. He has a sense of the country and is prepared to give it leadership.

This Bill is legislation that will be passed by this House. Actions speak far, far louder than words. We will have this legislation which has been considered in very great detail by Members of Parliament. We have had a chance on the part of the Government to assist as much as possible in making sure that the Bill in the form in which it has come forward does reflect the considered views of Members of Parliament from all sides of the House.

It is fine for the Member from Ottawa-Vanier to come forward and try to be purer than pure concerning Bill C-72, but I commend to Members of the House of Commons that we take the legislation as it has been reported to the House by the committee with its amendments, that it go forward from report stage in that form, that we move forward tomorrow and pass it at third reading and send it to the Senate. We can then at the earliest possible date have Royal Assent and have a fair, equitable official languages law in Canada.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Jacques Guilbault (Saint-Jacques):

Madam Speaker, I would like to deal more specifically with motion No. 1A on the Order Paper, which is being put forward by my colleague for Ottawa-Vanier (Mr. Gauthier). It aims at restoring the original wording of the Bill, that is to restore the concept that the purpose of the Government legislation now before the House is to extend the Official Languages Act.

Historically, what transpired is that the Bill included that extension concept, but before the House Committee to which the Bill was referred an amendment was introduced to take that concept out. If I understood correctly the committee proceedings, it is the Hon. Member for Charlevoix (Mr. Hamelin), who usually acts as a champion of official languages and the French language in particular who, interestingly enough-but since I did not attend the committee, I would like him to explain why he did that.

I read in the committee proceedings that he did so in a spirit of consensus in order I suppose to try and rally the most regressive Members of his party whith whom there was difficulty in committee in support of official languages. We are seeing the results. Unmoved, the dinosaurs came back with some 136 amendments they put on the Order Paper in order to

Official Languages Act

try not only to completely water down the Official Languages Act, but clearly to try and kill the legislation because as we know the session already is well-advanced. We know we have very little time left, and if each of those amendments were to have been discussed one by one, the legislation would have died on the Order Paper. This is why last week, in the Official Opposition, we challenged the Government to bring in time limitation on the Bill, in order to ensure that the Conservative dinosaurs would not succeed in killing the Official Languages Act.

But to come back to the relevant amendment, what happened in committee in my view is a serious change that significantly weakens the Official Languages Act. To answer the question put by an Hon. Member, let me repeat that it is the Hon. Member for Charlevoix who in committee, to everyone's surprise, put forward that amendment that significantly weakens the Official Languages Act since in fact it deletes from the Act, in clause 2, which is an interpretation clause, therefore a very important clause, a clause that will guide the court when it will interpret the Act, and render a legal decision. In the original wording put forward by the Government, the bill read: "The purpose of this Act is to extend the present laws of Canada relating to official languages to ensure respect.. . ". Those are the terms, "to extend the present laws of Canada relating to official languages" that were taken out by the amendment put forward by the Hon. Member for Charlevoix. Thus, the English version reads:

-the purpose of the Act is to extend the present laws of Canada relating to official languages, and so on, and to ensure the respect for both languages, blah, blah, blah. This concept, in French, "renforcer", and in English, "to extend", has been removed by the amendment, all in an attempt to try to appease the most regressive elements of the Conservative Party.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

Not true.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Guilbault (Saint-Jacques):

Yes, read the text of the committee hearings.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

You read the committee hearings, you'll find out it's not true.

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Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Guilbault (Saint-Jacques):

I have them here. I am being told it is wrong but I will quote it in French because the Hon. Member for Charlevoix (Mr. Hamelin) spoke in French. He said this:-

The Member from Charlevoix says: "You can well understand that I am proposing this amendment for reasons-and if I do so, it is via conciliatory spirit." His intentions were good and I am not questioning them. However, it didn't do much good. In fact, the amendment was agreed, and the Bill is now short a very important provision for the reinforcement of the Official Languages Act, but that didn't satisfy the dinosaurs who made new attempsts.

Official Languages Act

Madam Speaker, of all the things this amendment was proposed on June 22, on the very day when the new Secretary of State was elected in Lac-Saint-Jean and was still celebrating his victory! He did not object to this amendment although he knew full well he was to be responsible for the adminstra-tion of the Official Languages Act. He did absolutely nothing to stop the Conservative members from using their majority in committee to water down with their amendments, the basic concept of the Official Languages Act which is to reinforce not to weaken the Act.

Where is the Secretary of State at a time when we are trying to restore the Bill to its original version? Where is he? I'm not saying, Madam Speaker, that he is absent from these premises. I ask this question: Where is Lucien, the guy who is supposed to defend the people of Quebec and the French language? While we are trying to reinstate the concept that the Official Languages Act must be enhanced our man is sunbathing! That is what is going on!

Madam Speaker, allow me to propose an amendment which brings the English version of the amendment put forward by my colleague from Ottawa-Vanier more in line with the French version.

Motion No. 1A proposed by my colleague from Ottawa- Vanier reads as follows: That Bill C-72 be amended in Clause 2 by striking out line 40 at page 2 and substituting the following therefor, and I quote:

"2. The purpose of this Act is to reinforce the present laws of Canada relating to official languages to ... "

Unfortunately, the word "extend" does not appear in the English version of the amended bill, as it did in the original text introduced by the Government. Before the dinosaurs removed this clause in Committee, it was the word "extend" which appeared in the text.

In order to re-establish the original text, I suggest for the English version only, since my colleague's motion is right in French:

That Motion No. 1(a) be amended in the English text only by replacing the

word "reinforced" in the fourth line of the motion by the word "extend".

I made this suggestion, with the support of my colleague the Hon. Member for Laval-des-Rapides (Mr. Garneau).

Madam Speaker, I suppose that it is with the rather clear and acknowledged purpose to demonstrate that the Liberal Party of Canada has every intention to support the principle that all the amendments to this bill should essentially reinforce the Official Languages Act.

They are not there to make small ad hoc adjustments Bill C-72 is not there to weaken the Official Languages Act but to enhance it, give it more teeth and add in an interpretative clause which is extremely important for legal purposes guarantees, so that a magistrate will readily understand that

the purpose of Bill C-72 is to reinforce the current policy of the Federal Government in the area of official languages, a policy established several years ago.

Madam Speaker, such was the purpose of my intervention. [English]

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Champagne):

Mr. Guilbault (Saint-Jacques) seconded by Mr. Garneau moves:

That Motion No. 1(a) be amended in the English text only by replacing the

word "reinforced" in the fourth line of the motion by the word "extend".

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The committee, in its wisdom, considered the issue, and the committee's decision was to remove the lines because of the lack of equivalence between the word "extend" and the word "renforcerWe are dealing with a clause that deals with the equality of status and use of the two official languages.

In this case, this amendment was to change the English-language version to the word "extend". I think if you consult English-French dictionaries and French-English dictionaries you will find that the word is not equal to the word "renforcer". I suggest that you have a bit of a dilemma as to whether the amendment is, therefore, admissible. We are dealing with a very sensitive language issue and talking, in this particular clause, about equality.

It is clear that our Party is attempting to pass a piece of legislation which deals equally and fairly with the two language groups in this country. To admit a set of words in the Purpose clause which are different on one side of the Bill from the other would not serve the nation well. It was the committee's conclusion that it did not serve the nation well in the first instance and that is why the words were removed. We have, in the amended Bill as reported to the House, a clause which the committee, in its wisdom, considers to be equal in both languages. The Official Opposition is seeking to amend this Bill in such a way as to produce inequality in the use of language.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier:

Madam Speaker, what we have just heard is, to my mind, a lot of nonsense. The Parliamentary Secretary is the expert in the domain. I am surprised he used that argument because he is more intelligent than that. He knows, I know, and everyone knows that Bill C-72 was drafted in parallel. That is, it was drafted in English with instructions given by the Cabinet, by the Ministers, to express thoughts clearly and to express objectives clearly.

Indeed, if one looks at the Bill one sees that it sometimes does not go on in French as it does in English. It is not meant to be a direct translation, as it was in the old days. The concept of translating from English to French is now passe. We now have the concept of parallel drafting, which the Parliamentary Secretary knows about. The English-speaking team and the French-speaking team are asked to draft Bills in parallel but with the same objective.

Using Clause 11 as an example, it does not make any sense to refuse-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Champagne):

I think that by discussing the Hon. Member for Saint-Jacques's amendment, we have now reached the point where we are almost dealing in semantics.

As your Speaker, I suggest that the House should set aside this amendment for the time being and allow the procceedings to continue; the Chair would be in a position to rule on the relevancy of this amendment in a few minutes.

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Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Ronald Alexander Stewart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ron Stewart (Simcoe South):

Madam Speaker, it is with no joy that I participate in this debate, that I refute the amendments from across the way, and that I support my colleague, the Member for Winnipeg-Assiniboine (Mr. McKenzie). I am almost debating a question of privilege, because some of us who moved amendments to this Bill have been maligned from across the way. It has been said that we are opposed to official bilingualism. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are opposed to Bill C-72. It is unfair; it is unjust; it makes second class citizens of Anglophones, and some Francophones; and it was drafted, I might add, by six out of seven Francophones in Treasury Board.

The Speaker explained to the television audience just how important this matter is. I am a Conservative. I am a member of this Government and a strong supporter of this Government and of my Prime Minister. No government in the history of Canada has accomplished more in three and a half years. It has dealt with free trade, the western concept, the Atlantic Accord, aid to farmers, the cancelling of the drastic NEP, and the cancelling of FIRA and bringing this country back, I hope, to a free enterprise system.

I support every bit of that, but I do not support unfairness. I do not support the fact that without the amendments of the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Assiniboine people in my riding can be dead-ended on a supervisory position because they are not bilingual. That has nothing to do with bilingualism. Everyone applauds the educating of young people in this country in two official languages.

I am devastated and heartbroken that my English-speaking colleagues, with whom I have served here, would stand back and allow this to be perpetrated on them and their constituents.

I have been called, from across the way, a dinosaur. I would like to tell you what happens when a dinosaur crashes through the bush. It tramples sheep and mice in its way who no longer speak up for their constituents, the reason for which they were sent to these hallowed halls.

I would like to speak for a minute about what happens with the amendments of the Hon. Member for Winnipeg- Assiniboine in relation to Bill 101 of Quebec. The Government

Official Languages Act

can tell us that we must support bilingualism in Manitoba, that we must oppose bilingualism in Saskatchewan and Alberta, that those people are all wrong, but no one must dare stand in this Chamber or stand in committee and mention Bill 101.

In excess of 800,000 English-speaking people in the Province of Quebec, and in the rest of Canada some 600,000, are trampled by a Bill which prohibits them from putting up an English sign or conducting business in English. Is that fairness?

We heard the Member across the way say that he wanted an amendment on "extension". I do not have a dictionary in front of me, but I know that they spent hours and hours on frivolous amendments to this Bill. One of the things about which they argued for days and days was the word "extend". Members over there tried to say that "extend" has the same meaning as "reinforce". When you reinforce a building that is falling down, you prop it up. Reinforce means a propping up. When you extend something, you lengthen it. They want to lengthen bureaucracy and control from one end of this country to the other. It has nothing to do with bilingualism.

With regard to the fairness about which we speak, we must not even mention the fact that unless people are in "bilingual imperative" positions, which means that they must have C-level French, they cannot be promoted. A little girl from Parks Canada phoned me this morning and told me that she was fired because she could not speak French. A fellow in Mississauga was given a promotion in Revenue Canada. This is recorded in the committee reports and no one denied it. After being given the promotion he was given a language test. This was in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. They said that with 1,300 more hours of immersion training he could not attain C-level which was required for the promotion. They said "Goodbye, Mister". I can document that. Consider the girl who lost her job in a drugstore here in Ottawa because three customers did not feel she had enough facility in French.

Bill C-101 says:

Every inscription on a product, on its container or on its wrapping, or on a leaflet, brochure or card supplied with it, including the directions for use and the warranty certificates, must be drafted in French. This rule applies also to menus and wine lists.

Catalogues, brochures, folders and similar publications must be drawn up in French.

Except as provided by regulation of the Office de la langue fran9aise, it is forbidden to offer toys or games to the public which require the use of a nonFrench vocabulary for their operation, unless a French version of the toy or game is available on no less favourable terms on the Quebec market.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

The same applies here.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
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PC

Ronald Alexander Stewart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stewart:

Like fun it does. You can sell anything you want in Saskatchewan and Ontario, you can put up any sign or do anything you want. But you will not be able to do it in Saskatchewan with Bill C-72. Everyone knows that Bill C-72

Official Languages Act

is a power struggle. It is a grab for the bureaucracy of Canada from one end to the other, to control this great nation.

Every company name that is not in French must be changed before December 31. What happened when Mr. Bourassa said that he might change Bill 101? On April 17, 25,000 marched for French in Quebec. Did they say anything about bilingualism then? Is there anyone fighting for 800,000 Anglophones in the Province of Quebec?

This is a Draconian Bill. It will change the face of Canada. All I can say to my English speaking colleagues who believe in their heritage and have any thought about this nation ever progressing, is, stop this Bill. Let us take bilingualism where it belongs, from the schools up. Give bilingualism to our children, do not force it down their throats.

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Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Champagne):

I have reviewed the points brought out by the Hon. Parliamentary Secretary with respect to the amendment presented by the Hon. Member for Saint-Jacques (Mr. Guilbault). I found the points to be arguments for debate but not reasons to declare the amendment unacceptable. Therefore, we will continue debate on the amendment of the Hon. Member for Saint-Jacques.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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July 6, 1988