Mr. Speaker, this evening, I once again have the pleasure of speaking about official languages. As my colleagues know, I am a tireless supporter of official languages. I am therefore pleased to often be here to participate in the adjournment proceedings.
Today, I would like to come back to a question that I asked the Minister of Canadian Heritage on November 27. That day, the minister appeared before the Standing Committee on Official Languages. I asked her a very simple question, but one that is very important for official language minority communities, a question regarding the principle of by and for.
That means that services must be offered by and for official language minority communities. This extremely important issue has been brought forward by many groups, the two main ones being the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada or FCFA and the Quebec Community Groups Network or QCGN. These are the two largest national groups that represent the two minorities, the anglophone minority in Quebec and the francophone minority in the rest of Canada. They put forward the important principle of by and for.
Unfortunately, submissions by certain federal departments, such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada, do not cover the importance of the principle of by and for. I am not talking about provincial organizations. The provinces are free to use their transfers as they see fit. We owe it to them to respect their jurisdiction.
The Official Languages Act mandates not only respect for linguistic duality but also the promotion of linguistic duality and official language minority communities. Offering some services is not good enough. A whole range of service must be made available to the community. For example, people who need immigration services should not be referred to other services available in French, such as cultural, health, or justice services.
I would like to remind the House that I introduced Bill C-203, which would amend the Supreme Court Act to make equality before the law a reality in the Supreme Court. In other words, it would make bilingualism a requirement for Supreme Court justices so that all Canadians can have access to justice in the Supreme Court. The NDP is alone in championing this. I hope that the Liberals will change their mind and support my bill to entrench the bilingualism of Supreme Court of Canada justices.
Why do government members not support the principle of by and for, which is meant to ensure that services are available in official language minority communities?