House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was orders.

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Canada Labour Code
Private Members' Business

February 17th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, based on my understanding of the procedure, I have five minutes to conclude on such a fundamental bill. I am not going to repeat what was said by my distinguished colleagues, but I thank them for supporting this bill. I also thank all the parliamentarians who spoke during the first hour of debate that we had on Bill C-315. There were a few parliamentarians from the third party and even from the government.

I must admit that I am somewhat uneasy as I conclude in these last five minutes, because I do not really know what to expect, particularly since the government has announced the establishment of a committee to review the issue and determine whether there is a problem with the use of French in Quebec's federally regulated businesses.

If the government has not already seen that there is a problem, that is a problem in and of itself. But even if there were no problem, Bill C-315 recognizes a basic right for workers in Quebec which, again, is the only province where French is the official language. Nowhere else in Canada does a worker feel compelled to defend his language of work. This is because the language of work in the other provinces is respected. There is something unique here, and this is why this bill is also unique in that it recognizes the rights of Quebeckers. Such recognition is a no-brainer, even if there were no problems. But it is already too late: the problems exist, so let us deal with them now.

The New Democratic Party is a great national party which fully and unanimously supports this bill. No one can say that this legislation was concocted by a group of francophones seeking some privileges. Everyone recognizes that this bill provides Quebeckers with a critical element, following the recognition of their province as a nation. For this, I thank all my other colleagues, and I hope the House will at least agree to have the bill reviewed in committee.

If it needs to be improved on—like all bills, and mine is no exception—let us at least allow it to follow its course and be reviewed by a standing committee. At the same time, the minister's committee can do its own work and shed a different light on the issue. We are not opposed to anything, but please let us not shut the door on the rights of Quebeckers that are recognized in this bill. Otherwise, it will be yet another step backward. In this kind of situation, the status quo is not an option. If we do not recognize the problems, and if we do not solve them, we get caught up and we slip backwards.

I hope all francophones and francophiles in this Parliament will give the bill a chance to go further and refer it to committee for clause by clause review. I am using the term “francophiles” in its broadest sense, because one does not have to speak French to be a francophile, but simply have an open mind toward that language.

Canada Labour Code
Private Members' Business

2:15 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Canada Labour Code
Private Members' Business

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Canada Labour Code
Private Members' Business

2:15 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Canada Labour Code
Private Members' Business

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Canada Labour Code
Private Members' Business

2:15 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

All those opposed will please say nay.

Canada Labour Code
Private Members' Business

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Canada Labour Code
Private Members' Business

2:15 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Pursuant to Standing Order 93, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, February 29, 2012, immediately before the time provided for private members' business.

It being 2:14 p.m., this House stands adjourned until Monday, February 27, 2012, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 2:17 p.m.)