moved for leave to introduce Bill C-309, an act to amend the Official Languages Act (provision of bilingual services).
Mr. Speaker, in the statement in the preamble of the document, the policy of official bilingualism is a source of national division rather than national unity, and it was created without the support of a majority of Canadians.
It is estimated the annual cost of official bilingualism for the public and private sectors is $5 billion. The international language of business is English which constitutes a greater incentive for francophones to learn English as a second language than for anglophones to learn French as a second language.
While pursuing a policy of official bilingualism in the rest of Canada, the Government of Canada has tolerated the declaration of the National Assembly of Quebec that the only official language of Quebec is French which has undermined the rights of Quebec's anglophones. It is a matter of public concern that the Official Languages Act has resulted in discrimination against unilingual anglophones seeking employment with and advancement within the federal government.
Accordingly, the purpose of this enactment is to redefine the criteria set out in the Official Languages Act by which the language rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will be provided so as to avoid unnecessary expense. It sets out a standard of 25% of the population speaking an official language as a significant demand that warrants service in the official language.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)