Evidence of meeting #34 for Official Languages in the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was federal.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Roger Lepage  Lawyer, As an Individual
Étienne-Alexis Boucher  President, Droits collectifs Québec
François Larocque  Canadian Francophonie Research Chair in Language Rights, Full Professor, Faculty of Law - Common Law, University of Ottawa, As an Individual
Ania Kolodziej  President, French for the Future
Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Michelle Legault

12:45 p.m.

Canadian Francophonie Research Chair in Language Rights, Full Professor, Faculty of Law - Common Law, University of Ottawa, As an Individual

Dr. François Larocque

Thank you very much for your question, Ms. Ashton.

I commend this committee and the Senate committee. You do excellent work. Keep your efforts to improve Bill C‑13, which is an important bill.

My message is as follows: we have to make sure this bill is really what we need for the coming years until it is reviewed in 10 years. Let us do what we have to now to adopt the best bill possible.

12:45 p.m.


Niki Ashton NDP Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB

Thank you, Mr. Larocque.

I would also like to give Ms. Kolodziej the opportunity to send a final message to the committee in its proceedings.

12:45 p.m.

President, French for the Future

Ania Kolodziej

Part VII of the act is very important. Personally, I make an effort to speak French every day to improve my skills. I take the necessary steps to improve and to be part of this wonderful French-speaking community. The government should do the same thing.

12:50 p.m.


The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

Thank you, Ms. Kolodziej.

There is still a bit more time before the last five minutes of the meeting. I will use my privilege as chair to ask a question that I think will interest everyone.

We have talked about Treasury Board, positive measures, and linguistic clauses. Since we are surrounded by legal experts, I'm wondering if would they like to comment in writing on the following questions. How can we create linguistic clauses that are consistent with the intended objectives while respecting federal and provincial areas of jurisdiction? How far can we go before it becomes a jurisdictional irritant? How can we impose the federal government's will and vision in this regard?

I invite the witnesses to answer these questions in writing. In addition, if there are any other questions that they could not answer because I had to cut them off, in my role as chair to adhere strictly to our schedule, I invite them to send their replies or written information to our clerk, who will forward them to all committee members.

I would like to thank all the witnesses. That ends this round of questions.

The meeting is not over because we have to spend the last five minutes on committee business. Our witnesses may feel free to leave or remain in person or online if they wish.

Dear colleagues, before moving on to committee business, I must mention the important contribution of our two colleagues, Mr. Gourde and Mr. Lehoux, who will be leaving us for other commitments. I want to thank them for being here for our recent meetings. The members replacing them will have their work cut out for them.

As to committee business, we have to talk about two things: the preliminary travel proposal and the budget —

12:50 p.m.


Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Chair, do we have to be in camera?

12:50 p.m.


The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

No, that is not necessary.

I was talking about the proposed supplementary budget for the many witnesses we have invited. This has been a change in course, if you will, that we also have to talk about.

Our clerk will now brief you on these two items.

October 18th, 2022 / 12:50 p.m.

The Clerk of the Committee Ms. Michelle Legault

The first item is the preliminary travel proposal that I sent you last week and that is also in your digital binder. In short, it is very similar to the proposal made by the committee in the spring and submitted to the Subcommittee on Committee Budgets of the Liaison Committee, the SBLI. This proposal covers the trip to Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Only the dates have changed. As the committee requested, we indicated that the trip would now be during March break, from March 12 to 18, 2023. Our analyst, Lucie Lecomte, made some minor changes to the travel objectives and rationale to reflect that it is now the fall, and that the trip will be next March.

Very little has changed in the proposal. It still involves informal meetings and visits to sites. The total budget is estimated at between $100,000 and $150,000. I would remind you that this is a very general preliminary proposal, which has to be approved by the committee before Mr. Arseneault can submit it to the SBLI. If the SBLI approves the proposal, we will then proceed to a more detailed budget, which the committee could consider at a later date.

As to the second item, let me say simply that I will consult the committee's logistics officer to ensure that the budget approved by the committee last spring still reflects the committee's real expenses for its consideration of Bill C‑13. I might provide you with a supplementary budget in the coming days if we find there is any shortfall requiring the approval of another budget.

For the time being, you just have to approve the preliminary travel proposal. I will let you discuss it.

12:50 p.m.


The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

If we want to visit our European cousins grappling with language issues, it is the same proposal, except that the dates have changed. Are there any questions?

Since there are no questions, does the committee wish to approve the preliminary proposal?

12:50 p.m.

The members


12:50 p.m.


The Chair Liberal René Arseneault

Thank you.

The meeting adjourned.