Quebec Rescue Centre: government ready to jeopardize francophones’ safety

New Democrats raised the issue of Quebec’s Rescue Centre again today, urging the Conservative government to reverse a closure that will jeopardize the safety of Francophones at sea.

“The Conservatives refused to listen to experts about the risks they were taking with this decision. The government insists on maintaining its decision, even though it is unable to respond to safety concerns. You don’t play with people’s lives,” said Annick Papillon (Québec).

New Democrats have raised the issue in Parliament more than fifty times, calling on the government to reverse its decision. Members called once again for the intervention of the Commissioner of Official Languages, who concluded in his inquiry that Fisheries and Oceans was not on the right track to ensure the safety of Francophones. Graham Fraser’s team will now visit the centre earlier than planned, on April 15, to assess the situation.

“Quebec’s Rescue Centre was created expressly to address language difficulties that unilingual centres were unable to respond to. This is another decision by the government that will roll back official language rights in Canada,” added NDP Official Languages critic Yvon Godin (Acadie--Bathurst), who will request an emergency debate on the issue in the House today.