Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup for his excellent work alongside all my colleagues on the Standing Committee on Official Languages.
It was one of the first things we studied on the Standing Committee on Official Languages. I remember very well because it was the late Mauril Bélanger and I who had suggested that study, in light of all the concerns around the issue at that time.
The Translation Bureau was going through a terrible crisis and haemorrhaging expertise. The unions indicated that there was a lot of stress, that a lot of people were taking sick leave, that the Translation Bureau was literally emptying out.
We all worked hard on the Committee and we presented a very solid report that had a lot of good points. Unfortunately, we had a hard time knowing who was in charge of official languages. We are still asking today and no one can tell us who is currently official languages commissioner. We have a major problem, and it is always the same thing: there is no leadership.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage does not even have the title Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages that she had before, and that is disappointing. When she was asked what the government was going to do for the Translation Bureau, she said that it was not her responsibility, but rather the responsibility of the Minister of Public Services and Procurement. Therefore, let these ministers discuss it a bit and take care of it. We heard this minister’s initial response, which was unsatisfactory.
I congratulate all the members of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, the Conservatives as much as the Liberals, because together we all said that it did not address our concerns and recommendations and that we were therefore going to call for a new response. In this respect, I have a question for my colleague.
Currently, 400 positions have been cut from the Translation Bureau and there has been a commitment to rehire only about 20. Is more investment needed in staff, particularly translators, interpreters, and terminologists, in order to restore the Translation Bureau to its former glory?