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