Evidence of meeting #85 for Official Languages in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was théberge.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Raymond Théberge  Nominee for the position of Commissioner of Official Languages, As an Individual

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Vice-Chair Conservative Alupa Clarke

We did that on purpose, Mr. Arseneault.

December 7th, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.

Liberal

René Arseneault Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Théberge, I know that some people are questioning the process, but the process does not concern you. You went through all of the steps successfully to be nominated.

You appeared before the committee on Tuesday for an hour, but unfortunately the meeting had to be adjourned because of technical problems. So you are with us for a second hour today.

I come from Acadia and I am a graduate of the University of Moncton, but I never met you there because you arrived some time after me.

There have been some excellent official language commissioners from Quebec and Ontario. I am pleasantly surprised. From your CV, I see that you have also worked in Ontario. You left Manitoba and you went to McGill University. And so you understand the reality of anglophone minorities in Quebec. You also spent time in Acadia.

I think this gives you a host of advantages. You are aware of the challenges this vast country of Canada faces with regard to minority official language communities. I am really impressed and I only have good comments to make, but I am going to stop here.

Mr. Chair, I would like to move the motion I sent you. It can be distributed. We were supposed to do this last Tuesday but it was not possible because of the technical problems.

I nominate of Mr. Théberge as candidate to the position of Commissioner of Official Languages. The motion reads as follows:

That the committee report the following to the House: Your committee has considered the Certificate of Nomination of Raymond Théberge, the nominee for the position of Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada referred to the committee on Thursday, November 30, 2017, pursuant to Standing Order 111.1(1). Your committee has considered the proposed appointment of Raymond Théberge as Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada and reports its recommendation that he be confirmed by the House of Commons as Canada's Commissioner of Official Languages.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Vice-Chair Conservative Alupa Clarke

Everything is as it should be. This motion was tabled more than 48 hours ago. Everything is in order. We will begin our debate. If anyone has any comments to make, either to express support or oppose the motion, now is the time to do it.

Ms. Lapointe, you have the floor.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Chair, I will be here tomorrow morning and will be available to present the recommendation regarding the Commissioner of Official Languages to the House.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Vice-Chair Conservative Alupa Clarke

That's very honourable of you, Ms. Lapointe.

If I understood correctly, Madam Clerk, we are going to vote now, in the nominee's presence.

Mr. Samson, you have the floor.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Mr. Théberge, I've always been impressed by your work in the past. Your presence at the past two meetings has confirmed that you are going to do an excellent job of representing francophones outside Quebec, and anglophones in Quebec.

5:10 p.m.

Nominee for the position of Commissioner of Official Languages, As an Individual

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Vice-Chair Conservative Alupa Clarke

I see that no one else wants to speak.

Mr. Théberge, thank you for appearing before the committee. I wish you good luck and continued courage for the events that you may encounter after this vote.

As for the bilingualism of Supreme Court judges and the coercive power this committee would like to grant you, remember that it is not up to you to determine whether this is practical, that is our job. However, if ever you have this power, what we ask is that you use it.

We will now vote. My colleagues will be voting, but I do not have the right to vote, unfortunately.

(Motion agreed to.)

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Vice-Chair Conservative Alupa Clarke

Now that the vote has been held, we can move on to the rest.

Ms. Lapointe, you will therefore be entrusted with reporting to the House of Commons on the number of yeas and nays.

We are going to suspend the meeting and return in a few minutes to discuss next week's agenda.

Thank you, Mr. Théberge.

5:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Vice-Chair Conservative Alupa Clarke

[Proceedings continue in camera]