Conservatives need to take bilingualism seriously

Conservatives are once again failing to live up to their obligations by barring their ministers from appearing before the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

Yesterday, Conservative MPs voted down two motions tabled by NDP Languages Critic Yvon Godin (Acadie-Bathurst). One called for the Justice Minister to give an update on the status of access to justice in both official languages. The other called for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to update the committee on the future of the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre of Quebec.

"New Democrats tabled two motions which are extremely important to Francophones and Conservatives just shrugged them off,” said Mr. Godin. “Once again, Conservatives are using every strategy possible to avoid answering questions. What use are parliamentary committees if the government refuses to allow a real debate on issues? When will they take their responsibility to protect official languages seriously?”

"We want to know what the government plans on doing with the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre of Quebec,” added Annick Papillon (Québec).  “Conservatives need to reverse their decision to close it—otherwise they're risking lives. We've known for years now that the Centre's future has been uncertain, so can the Minister tell us what she's been doing since she's been heading the department?"