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Evidence of meeting #35 for Official Languages in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was education.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Charles Childs  President, English Language Arts Network Quebec
Guy Rodgers  Executive Director, English Language Arts Network Quebec
David D'Aoust  President, Quebec English School Boards Association
Michael Chiasson  Executive Committee Member, Quebec English School Boards Association
Gerald Cutting  President, Townshippers' Association
David Birnbaum  Executive Director, Quebec English School Boards Association
Ingrid Marini  Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

June 1? Oh, I have something else the same weekend.

9:35 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

We'll be doing a vernissage celebrating young artists.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Oh, great.

What StatsCan and you folks did was excellent. It was very useful. So congratulations again on that document.

I have a more touchy question on this week's L'actualité. May I have your comments on this?

9:35 a.m.

Executive Director, English Language Arts Network Quebec

Guy Rodgers

I have thought about that.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Please.

9:35 a.m.

Executive Director, English Language Arts Network Quebec

Guy Rodgers

Fifty percent of anglophones are married to francophones.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

For colleagues who don't know, L'actualité is the Maclean's equivalent, if you will. I know the chairman is aware.

They ran a cover this week that could become rather controversial, or rather is controversial, about the future of French in Montreal. It's not very complimentary. I'll just leave it at that.

9:35 a.m.

Executive Director, English Language Arts Network Quebec

Guy Rodgers

I mean, 50% of anglophones have married francophones. Partly that's because of love and partly it's kind of strategic. If you want your kids to stay in Quebec, they have to be bilingual, so having a francophone spouse is a very good advantage. I'm one of the traitors who's raised his kids in French.

This study somehow excludes all of those bilingual kids. Half of those kids are the most integrated, the most forward-looking part of our population, but he only interviews people who are not in that category. There's a ton of transient students. It's a completely biased, unfocused, unjust, reprehensible portrait, so there's a lot of controversy. We have made tremendous strides to increase our level of bilingual integration. Where this came from and what Jean-François was trying to do with this is a complete—

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

I think we know what Jean-François might—

9:40 a.m.

Executive Director, English Language Arts Network Quebec

Guy Rodgers

He's written a couple of letters saying what he didn't intend to do, which makes no sense at all.

9:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

All right.

9:40 a.m.

Executive Director, Quebec English School Boards Association

David Birnbaum

It's important that the committee knows that the person who did this study is the chief advisor to future, former, and current Parti Québécois leaders. That was not noted in the study itself.

9:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

This was by Mr. Lisée, right.

9:40 a.m.

President, Quebec English School Boards Association

David D'Aoust

It's a sad indictment of the anglophone community that it's gotten off its butt and tried to learn to speak French, not just to speak French but to function in French.

9:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

You're not in Montreal, but would you care to comment, Madame Marini? We'd like to hear from you.

9:40 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

Myself...?

9:40 a.m.

President, Townshippers' Association

Gerald Cutting

I would reiterate that in a certain sense, whenever we look at something that claims to be scientific we should apply a certain rigorous analysis to it. Right away, one of the first things that came out is that it was written by someone who came at the study hoping for the results he obtained. Anyone who has done any type of polling or surveying will know that you have to spend a great deal of time constructing the instrument that you're going to use. Anyone who is going to look at it will first of all question what kinds of methodologies were applied. In this sense, I don't want to offend anyone, but I would certainly question the methodology.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Michael Chong

Thank you.

Madame Marini.

9:40 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

The information in this book will prove contrary to the information in that article. We're quite confident of the methodology used to get this information.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Michael Chong

Thank you very much.

I've been looking through your book. It's very impressive. It's your second edition, I understand.

Congratulations.

9:40 a.m.

Executive Director, Townshippers' Association

Ingrid Marini

If you'd like a copy of the first, I can send one out to you.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Michael Chong

Okay.

Thank you.

Monsieur Trottier.

April 3rd, 2012 / 9:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I would like to thank the witnesses for coming here this morning.

As my colleague Mr. Godin said, we have been examining the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality for several months now.

Thank you for coming in this morning.

We've been talking to several stakeholder groups, people who've received funding under the road map. Not surprisingly, every single one of them has said to maintain the funding or increase it. I don't want to ask you that question, because all things being equal, people would prefer more funding so they can attain their objectives.

I want to talk more about the how and the functioning of your interaction with the various levels of bureaucrats and civil servants who are well-meaning and want to assist official languages development in minority situations in particular. I'll give the example of the English language art network. You mentioned that you deal with Heritage Canada, Industry Canada, and you deal with some bureaucrats from Official Languages. Is there a sense that within your group you're spending a lot of your resources and time doing grant applications and dealing with your interaction with the different levels of government? Of course, I didn't even mention some of the provincial and regional bureaucrats you must have to deal with.

Is there a way to streamline the delivery of these things to have a better operating road map or a better operating support for official languages in Canada, and especially in your context?

9:40 a.m.

Executive Director, English Language Arts Network Quebec

Guy Rodgers

I alluded to that earlier on. ELAN, in particular, does a lot of national work. We spend a lot of time consulting about policy and programs. It is time consuming. Currently, our organization is not funded for that kind of work so we do it in our spare or volunteer time. We have very positive relationships with our federal bureaucrats. We find it well-invested time. Of course, some of the forms are a little time-consuming, and the reports, etc., can be streamlined. We find our relationship with our federal partners extremely beneficial.

We have tremendous problems within Quebec. If we had more time, I could tell you stories about trying to deal with Quebec City, not le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, which is arms length and artist-driven; it's irreproachable. But as soon as we start dealing with the ministry of culture, some sort of mid-level bureaucrat who controls the doors, it's horrifying in some cases.

At least for the time we spend working on federal funding applications the outcome is normally positive and is a result that makes the effort worthwhile, compared to other places where we can devote our effort and have no results whatsoever.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Just within the federal government, though, do you find that you have multiple points of contact? Or are you seeing at least the coordination between different branches of the federal government?