moved for leave to introduce Bill C-455, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (French language).
Mr. Speaker, it is truly an honour for me to introduce a bill today that will ensure the application of the provisions of the Charter of the French Language in businesses under federal jurisdiction, whether they be chartered banks, interprovincial transportation companies or telecommunications companies. The Charter provisions give rights to workers, for example, to receive documents in their own language, and prevents an employer from requiring knowledge of a language other than French if it is not required to do the job.
There has been a controversy in recent years over whether or not to change the Official Languages Act. We are not changing the act. Instead of making ambulatory references to the Charter, we took all the provisions of the Charter of the French Language and incorporated them into the Canada Labour Code. We believe that this is a real, concrete recognition of the Quebec nation, without changing the Official Languages Act. Everyone wins here, because it does not take anything away from the English-speaking linguistic minority in Quebec.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)