Evidence of meeting #33 for Official Languages in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was french.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Donna Achimov  Chief Executive Officer, Translation Bureau, Department of Public Works and Government Services
  • Marc Olivier  Manager, Translation Bureau, Linguistic Services Division, Department of Public Works and Government Services
  • Jeff Moore  Vice-President, Policy, Partnerships and Performance Management, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Lisa Marie Perkins  President, National Office, Canadian Parents for French
  • Justin Morrow  Founder and Executive Director, Canadian Youth for French
  • Robert Rothon  Executive Director, National Office, Canadian Parents for French
  • Susan Anzolin  Director General, Innovation and Economic Development, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

10:35 a.m.

Founder and Executive Director, Canadian Youth for French

Justin Morrow

No, we have not.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Thank you.

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Did you have another question, Mr. Aubin?

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Do I have any time left?

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Yes.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

I thought that my time had run out. But if I have some left, I have a lot of questions I could ask.

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Fine, but be quick.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

This is for the representatives from Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Given the attrition you mentioned earlier, departments are having more and more of their translation work done by private companies. Do those companies have to be registered with Public Works and Government Services Canada?

10:35 a.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Translation Bureau, Department of Public Works and Government Services

Donna Achimov

All companies that do business with the Government of Canada have to go through a procurement process.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

That is all the questions I have now, really.

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Your turn, Mr. Menegakis.

March 27th, 2012 / 10:35 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Richmond Hill, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I also would like to welcome all of you, and thank you for your presentations and for being here with us today. I found all of your presentations to be very interesting. In fact, there are a lot of good things happening.

As you know, we're studying the road map. The road map is an investment by our government of more than $1 billion. It's at the 60% point of its life, if you will, so we want to evaluate what the progress has been to date, and your presentations today certainly have shed a fair bit of light in that regard. We also want to see where we're going with the road map in the future, because as you know, its expiration is coming up in 2013.

I was very encouraged to hear from you, Ms. Achimov, and particularly to see the good work that has been done with road map money on the Language Portal of Canada. There have been 29 million hits. You can call them anything you want, but the bottom line is that there are 87,879 visitors per day on the site. That translates to 3,661 per hour. I did a little bit of a calculation on that. I think that's very impressive, especially since it has gone from 14 million to 29 million in a year, and we still haven't finished the numbers for this year. That's for only 11 months. Excellent work has been done on that.

With regard to FedDev, I think the seven initiatives you outlined and the work that's been done in southern Ontario in a very short period of time are certainly very impressive.

Regarding Canadian Parents for French, Mrs. Perkins, I have to tell you that it's wonderful to hear from you, particularly, a resident of Alberta. It's interesting that you brought up how some people say to you, “Why French and why not another language?” I suppose the best answer for that is that we have two official languages in this country. The French were founders of this land and of this country, and we want to promote linguistic duality throughout the country. That's the purpose of the road map. It's nice to know another language. I speak another language. My parents came here from Greece. It's great to be able to speak another language, but I think the priority is French, and that's the simplest answer we can give somebody.

Mr. Morrow, your personal story is very impressive. In a short period of time you've done very well. It seems to me as though there was this little box inside of you that one day—boom!—opened up, and you were able to be so successful.

I know I spoke a lot, but I have just a couple of questions.

The first is for you, Mr. Morrow. Tell me a little bit about your organization. You mentioned you don't have an executive right now, so you weren't able to do some of things you would have liked to do, although your presentation was very impressive. How big is your organization? How do you market your organization across the country?

10:40 a.m.

Founder and Executive Director, Canadian Youth for French

Justin Morrow

Right now, we're waiting. We have our board of directors. There are five of us on the board. We have no executive staff. We have no membership.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Richmond Hill, ON

How were they elected?

10:40 a.m.

Founder and Executive Director, Canadian Youth for French

Justin Morrow

They were appointed. They were there from the very beginning. When we first submitted our papers to Corporations Canada, they were the ones who were there, and Mr. Andrew Molson was added to our board at a later time.

We have those. We haven't started a membership yet, because we've spent the past three years building a plan.

If we are accorded our next grant, which I hope we'll get the approval for soon so we can start to work, we're going to search across the country for a national board of directors of probably about 13 young people, who will be able to put us in contact with a select number of schools and school boards within their areas. We will market our services through those board members and put the schools and the school boards in touch with our executive staff through our board members. That's how we'll market our services to the students.