Mr. Speaker, you and I both know that your primary duty is to defend the Constitution and the rights of this House. One of the constitutional documents governing us is the Official Languages Act. The minister was referring to what happened in an ad hoc manner last year at the beginning of the process—he had an excuse, people wanted to know as quickly as possible—but that is not the case today. There is no possible excuse.
Earlier I was listening to the Minister of Justice, who is responsible for defending our rights, answer a question from one of my colleagues, the hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst. He said that they had examined thousands of documents. There was absolutely nothing stopping them from having the documents translated as they went along. It is even more unacceptable to hear the minister claim the high cost of translation as an excuse.
Since when do our constitutional rights depend on the high cost to the government? This is a totally unacceptable situation and they are denying it. Look at the situation we are being put in. The media were duly notified that these documents were going to be tabled. We did not take part in this totally improper, bogus process and now we are being asked today, given the high cost of translation, to accept the tabling of these documents in English only. I was responsible for supervising the translation of Manitoba's laws and regulations following a Supreme Court ruling in 1985. The high cost of translation was one of the arguments put forward in the Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court immediately rejected it. It is unacceptable. The cost of translation cannot be used as an argument. This government, which has the gall to claim to respect rights, is tabling thousands of pages—which it could have had translated along the way—and saying that the cost of translation is too high. To the Conservatives, our rights cost too much and they will not respect them.
Before giving our answer, I have one question. The minister speaks of 362 priority documents totalling 4,218 pages. He also says that these documents contain a report. Has the report been translated, yes or no?