moved for leave to introduce Bill C-411, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (understanding of official languages).
Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to continue the long fight for access to justice in both official languages, a fight that was started by our former colleague, Yvon Godin.
After introducing Bill C-203 on the bilingualism of Supreme Court of Canada judges, which was sadly voted down by the Liberals, I am now introducing a bill to amend the Official Languages Act in relation to the understanding of official languages. To summarize, this bill would require the government to commit to ensuring that judges who sit on the Supreme Court understand both official languages.
In its report entitled “Ensuring Justice is Done in Both Official Languages”, the Standing Committee on Official Languages made a series of recommendations, the first being that the government table a bill during the 42nd Parliament guaranteeing that bilingual judges are appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
It is obvious that the government lacks both the will and the resolve to listen to the experts' testimony and to the committee members.
Everyone knows that a policy is not an effective way to ensure access to justice in both official languages. A policy is not a law. That is why I am introducing a bill that, admittedly, is not a panacea. However, it is a good step forward, and it will help improve the situation.
(Motion deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)