Mr. Speaker, Quebec culture, its institutions, values, and traditions are all too often ignored by Ottawa. Federal official bilingualism means English first and French if possible. The French language is far too often given second-class status. The same goes for civil law. Canada has two legal systems: common law, in the British tradition, and the Civil Code, in the French tradition.
Between now and Christmas, the Prime Minister is going to appoint a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. For the past 18 years, the chief justice has been trained in the common law tradition. It is time to put the Civil Code, with its traditions and perspectives, back in its rightful place at the top of the highest court in Canada.
There are two legal systems, just as there are two official languages. It is time for change. It is only natural, as it will bring a critical balance. That is why we insist that the Prime Minister appoint a francophone judge from Quebec who is also trained in civil law.