Evidence of meeting #16 for Official Languages in the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.)

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

April 25th, 2022 / 4:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

The committee is now in public.

Mr. Boulerice, you had a motion.

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

This is an important motion in light of the somewhat scandalous events involving the status of French and Canadian National's leadership. It created quite a stir.

For the benefit of those following today's proceedings, I will read the motion I am bringing forward. As I see it, the motion is especially relevant and will help us gain clarity on the status of French at CN.

The motion reads as follows:

That the committee invite the directors of the Canadian National for a two-hour meeting to answer questions from parliamentarians on the Board of Directors' and the companies' respect for the official languages; that the Minister of Transport participates to this meeting to update the committee on what steps the government intends to take to ensure that the Official Languages Act is enforced at the Canadian National; and that this meeting take place at the earliest opportunity.

The committee members should adopt the motion so that we can question Canadian National's leadership and the transport minister directly.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

Great.

Go ahead, Mr. Drouin. You can now comment on the motion.

If any other member wishes to comment, just raise your hand, whether you are in the room or participating via Zoom.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Drouin Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

We do not object to the motion, but I wonder whether the honourable member would be amenable to a minor amendment. It reads as follows:

That the motion be amended by adding the words “that the Commissioner of Official Languages also be invited to answer questions from the committee;” before the words “and that this meeting”.

I simply want to add the commissioner to the motion as a witness, since he is responsible for the application of the act.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

Go ahead, Mr. Boulerice.

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

I think it's important to hear from the Minister of Transport so that he can answer our questions.

I am certainly amenable to inviting the Commissioner of Official Languages if that is the committee's will.

If that is what the honourable member is proposing, I am fine with the amendment.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

Are there any other questions? I see no hands up.

Mr. Boulerice, would you mind reading your motion as amended?

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

The amended motion reads as follows:

That the committee invite the directors of the Canadian National for a two-hour meeting to answer questions from parliamentarians on the Board of Directors' and the companies' respect for the official languages; that the Minister of Transport participates to this meeting to update the committee on what steps the government intends to take to ensure that the Official Languages Act is enforced at the Canadian National; that the Commissioner of Official Languages also be invited to answer questions from the committee; and that this meeting take place at the earliest opportunity.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

Thank you, Mr. Boulerice.

Is there agreement to adopt the motion, or do we need a vote?

Please raise your hand if you are opposed to the motion. Seeing no hands up, I believe we have unanimous consent on the motion.

(Motion agreed to)

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

We will now suspend so that the committee can go in camera.

The meeting is suspended.

[Proceedings continue in camera]