Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
My first questions will be for Ms. Clarke.
Ms. Clarke, we received your guide on IT procurement reform at the Government of Canada, which contains very logical and relevant recommendations, particularly regarding contract size. The smaller the contract, the lower the risk, since they allow for better follow up. You also talked about recruiting specialized employees. You said we need to make sure managers have IT knowledge. I think that's a basic requirement if you work in this field. You can be a manager and have many skills, but the IT field does require some fairly technical knowledge.
There is, however, one recommendation on which our opinions diverge. You stated yourself, in your brief, that this recommendation would likely lead to disagreements. That is indeed the case. I am talking about the recommendation to eliminate the bilingualism requirement for IT employees in order to broaden the pool of available talent.
First, talent has nothing to do with the language spoken at birth. In addition, proportionally speaking, Francophones are the most bilingual and more easily express themselves in both of Canada's official languages, especially in Quebec. Moreover, of the managers who are supposedly bilingual, some are perfectly bilingual while others have difficulty answering questions in French.
Given all of this, what impact do you think adopting this recommendation would have on the right of Francophones to access IT jobs in government and on their right to work in their mother tongue?
What about francophones' access to government information and data?
Basically, your recommendation is saying that we are second-class citizens. It's a distressing recommendation. It's as though we don't matter.
Would you be comfortable in the opposite situation, that is, if a unilingual francophone with great IT expertise made everyone work in French?
These are questions that come to mind in reading this recommendation. Sometimes, when you are part of the majority, you don't realize how this kind of recommendation can impact the minority, particularly the linguistic minority in North America. Were you aware of all the repercussions and impacts this could have on employees?