Mr. Speaker, that means that we can now go to the airport and throw a tantrum or try to sneak bottles of tequila and that is all right.
In any event, on March 18, 2010, I asked the Minister of Justice a question. I would like to ask the question again.
Mr. Speaker, in 2008, two full-time Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice positions, which had been occupied by bilingual justices, were filled with unilingual anglophone justices. There is now only a single bilingual justice in the court.
Two other positions will need to be filled soon in Yarmouth and Sydney, which have a significant proportion of francophones.
Will the Minister of Justice ensure that representatives of the francophone and Acadian communities in Nova Scotia are part of the nominating committee, and will he promise to appoint two bilingual justices to the court?
The Conservative government says that it respects our country's two official languages. As members know, I presented a bill, that is subject to a vote on Wednesday, requiring the appointment of bilingual judges to the Supreme Court of Canada. I am not asking that judges be Francophone, but that they be bilingual. I am certain that in Nova Scotia, and elsewhere in Canada, there are English judges who are bilingual.
My question was on the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. What is more, the Acadian francophone community is asking to be part of the nominating committee. The end of the minister's response was:
We encourage minority language communities to apply for judicial appointments. It is very important to this country and certainly to the judiciary itself.
If the minister wants people to apply, then it is important to listen to the francophone community of Nova Scotia. What was the reason for this? Two years ago, in Nova Scotia, two bilingual judges retired. They were replaced by two unilingual anglophone judges. There is just one bilingual judge left at the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. The concern of the community in Nova Scotia is that the government will turn around and appoint unilingual people during the next appointments.
If the government respects both official languages of the country, then how does it explain that the last appointments to replace two bilingual positions were given to unilingual people? The second last appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada was also given to a unilingual person. That is where I take issue with this.
How can the Conservatives boast about supporting both official languages when they do not appoint bilingual judges to the Supreme Court, whether it is a provincial supreme court, which is under federal jurisdiction, or the Supreme Court of Canada?