An Act to amend the Judges Act (bilingualism)

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.


François Choquette  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of Oct. 31, 2017
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Judges Act to specify that, in certain cases, in order to be appointed as a judge of the superior court of a province, a person must be able to speak clearly in and fully understand both official languages.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Judges ActRoutine Proceedings

October 31st, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
See context


François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-381, An Act to amend the Judges Act (bilingualism).

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce a second bill, an act to amend the Judges Act with regard to bilingualism. This bill is very important and it responds to the recommendations of Graham Fraser, the former official languages commissioner, who issued a report in 2013 entitled “Access to Justice in Both Official Languages: Improving the Bilingual Capacity of the Superior Court Judiciary”. When I met the commissioner in early 2015, he told me that he had tabled this report but that the Conservatives had shelved it. He asked me to dust it off and do something with it.

I decided to move forward. I am therefore introducing this bill and hoping that the Liberals will implement it, since it seeks to replace the existing system in which judges evaluate their own mastery of the two official languages with an evaluation by the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, as recommended by the Commissioner of Official Languages. Everyone knows that self-evaluation does not work and that a formal assessment is needed.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)