Mrs. Lise Bourgault (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Supply and Services):
Mr. Speaker, I went to a meeting with the Federation des parents francophones in Winnipeg, in the hon. member's riding I believe, in St. Boniface.
He knows perfectly well that Francophone parents and Franco-Manitobans are very grateful to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney, for saying that he supported and stood behind Franco-Manitobans in their struggle, in 1984, after the Supreme Court's decision on the province's statutes. The hon. member knows perfectly well that the Conservative
government and the Prime Minister enjoy great respect in Manitoba, in his riding.
Mr. Speaker, the reform of the Official Languages Act is the best indication of this government's commitment and vision with respect to the interests and concerns of official language groups.
Our commitment goes further, Mr. Speaker. As partners sharing the same values, the federal government, the provinces and the territories have concluded new bilateral agreements on minority language education and second language education. We have also signed co-operative agreements with nine provinces and territories, to promote an increase in minority language services. We have also increased support for organizations and institutions in official language communities.
The hon. member alluded to a minor problem that occurred in connection with children who wanted to play
hockey in Quebec. Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member either had a poor interpretation or perhaps misunderstood, because that is what often happens. People tend to misread the facts. I know the hon. member did not pass judgment. I know him well, and I know that he would be the last person to pass judgment on this matter, being the perfectly bilingual member for Manitoba. However, it is all a matter of understanding and occasionally of being more open to our minorities, and so we have these minor problems.
That is all I wanted to say. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
Topic: PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic: LINGUISTIC MINORITIES