Mr. Speaker, as we come back for the fall 2017 session of Parliament, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to begin this evening's adjournment proceedings. It is a pleasure to be here and to be able to speak on behalf of not only the people of the riding of Drummond, but also all residents of official languages communities throughout Canada.
Today I wish to come back to a question I asked last March. That was several months ago, but nevertheless, it remains an important issue and I hope to get some clear answers.
Last March I asked how the Prime Minister could justify the fact that he failed to abide by the Official Languages Act during his cross-Canada tour at the beginning of 2017. There was a bit of a scandal at the time that really reverberated with people. People may recall a trip to the Aga Khan's private island over the holidays. In fact, the media recently reported, on September 13 to be exact, that that holiday did not cost $127,000, but rather double that, $215,000.
Anyway, the Prime Minister went on a cross-Canada tour, and during that tour, he went to Peterborough, Ontario, and he forgot that there are Franco-Ontarians. Someone asked a question in French, and he said that he was going to answer only in English because he was in Ontario. Then he went to Quebec, to the Eastern Townships, where there are a lot of English Quebeckers. Someone asked a question in English, and he refused to answer it in English. He forgot all about the English-speaking official language minority communities in Quebec and the French-speaking official language minority communities in Ontario.
I asked him if he felt he had violated the Official Languages Act, and even though he would not admit that he had, about fifty people submitted complaints to the Commissioner of Official Languages, and the Commissioner of Official Languages responded with a finding that the Official Languages Act, parts VII and IV in particular, had indeed been violated.
In the report, the Commissioner of Official Languages recommended that the Privy Council Office put measures in place by September 2017, in order to ensure that the public receives services in both official languages during public town hall meetings where the Prime Minister is to address Canadians. The funny thing is that it is September 2017 and we might be lucky enough to have some information on the measures that are supposed to be in place.
The Prime Minister holds open town hall meetings and receives information from the public. He has to be able to hold them in both official languages. He has to provide all the services in such a way that both official languages are respected. The Prime Minister himself does not necessarily have to speak both official languages at the time, but the Privy Council Office has to ensure that both official languages are respected. The Prime Minister has to realize that he has responsibilities when it comes to promoting English and French within Canadian society. Part IV—