Mr. Speaker, every year in May, I make a point of drawing attention to Hearing Awareness Month and the fact that, in Canada, some 3 million people, including more than 750,000 in Quebec, have a hearing problem.
As parliamentarians, it is critically important that we make sure that the deaf and the hearing impaired have equal rights when it comes to communications.
In this respect, captioning of television programs is essential, and I would like to acknowledge the great work done by the Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal, which has developed an automatic speech recognition system.
This technological advance which will provide real time transmission of information was recently introduced to both houses of Parliament and would allow, among other things, the captioning of proceedings in the House of Commons in French; at present, captioning is only available in English and only during oral question period.
The technology is there. All we need now is the political will to make it accessible as quickly as possible, not only to Parliament but also to all broadcasters.