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