Ottawa’s plan to boost the French was met with a dose of mistrust

Melanie Jolie, Federal Minister for Official Languages, aims to “establish a new balance in linguistic matters” in Canada that reflects “the special status of French in North America”. She said that “stronger intervention in defense of” the French language is required, “including in Quebec,” more than half a century after the adoption of the first official languages ​​law.

The official-elect revealed the document on Friday, capping the address French and English: Toward Real Equality between Canada’s Official Languages, Where it formulates “56 legislative and administrative proposals” for Fatah[r] The way for the next 50 years in terms of official languages.

In particular, the federal government intends to “learn about linguistic dynamics” in Quebec, where “French is the official language”, but also in areas “with a strong Francophone presence” elsewhere in the country.

In this spirit, Mélanie Joly is ready “to prohibit discrimination against an employee simply because he or she only speaks French or knows no other language than French in federal private companies” – banks, airlines, railways, etc. – set up there.

A Trudeau team member also suggests “compelling” companies whose activities are subject to federal jurisdiction to communicate with them [leurs] French employees ”, in addition to publishing their job offers or collective agreements, especially in the French language, without being subject to the French Language Charter (Law 101).

MI am Jolie will instruct a panel of experts to determine “possible remedies for workers,” as well as “consumers,” whose “new rights regarding work and service language” will be violated.

Not sure welcome

It took no more to start the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCNG). It explicitly requires the Trudeau government to ensure that “English-speaking consumers and workers can communicate with these companies in the official language of their choice.” “English-speaking Quebecers should be wary of proposals to extend French language obligations to federally regulated companies in Quebec,” said Marilyn Jennings, president of QCGN, Friday.

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For its part, the Quebecoan Bloc cannot understand why the liberal government is reluctance to subject the companies under its responsibility to Law 101; The idea is “simple and logical”. All Quebec workers must have the same rights. Representative Mario Beaulieu argued in the House of Commons on Friday that it was a fundamental principle.

Tory leader Irene O’Toole regretted seeing Justin Trudeau’s team “still talking instead of acting”. He pledged in writing to “establish an asymmetric approach that protects French as a priority” within 100 days of a conservative election victory.

In the eyes of the New Democratic Party, the White Paper on official languages ​​is a “hot air” intended to give the same “credibility to this government when it comes to protecting the French language.” “Minister Jolie’s document risks leading to new consultations that will lead to the drafting of new reports,” the council’s vice-president, Alexander Bulleris, was arrested.

For his part, the leader of Quebec’s Council of Employers, Karl Blackburn, had nothing to say on Friday about the “desire to strengthen the French presence throughout the country, especially in Quebec” that Minister Jolie expressed. However, he expects that ” [initiée au moyen d’un livre blanc] Helping true public thinking during a slow and subtle economic recovery.

The president of the Metropolitan Trade Council of Montreal, Michel LeBlanc, stressed the need to “succeed in preserving the predominant place of the French language in the public space while allowing companies to use the English language when the international context“ requires ”. However, he agreed that“ it should not be any A company that is able to avoid submitting to the obligations of others. “

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Melanie Jolie surpassed her Quebec counterpart Simone Jolene Barrett, whose “robust” action plan to promote French in Quebec remains pending. The Quebec government refuses to comment until it has “analyzed” a proposed reform of the Official Languages ​​Act. “Before any measure of any kind can be applied on Quebec soil in terms of language, the federal government must obtain the consent of the Quebec government,” said Mario Beaulieu, a bloc member.

Toward a really bilingual Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court also sees Secretary Melanie Jolly.

Canadian law establishes the right to be understood directly by judges, without the assistance of an interpreter, in all federal courts except the Supreme Court of Canada. The Trudeau government is now ready to withdraw this exception, especially since “the past decades have favored the development of a group of competent jurists [les] Two official languages ​​in all regions of the country. “

“The judges appointed to the Supreme Court must be bilingual,” agrees.I am Julie. However, the federal government “remains [a] Bearing in mind the importance of indigenous peoples’ representation in the highest institutions in our country, ”including within the country’s highest court. In this white paper, which was unveiled on Friday, it was stated that“ the increasing presence of more competent indigenous jurists is leading the government to actively consider appointing Aboriginal judges in the Supreme Court of Canada. “

MI am Jolie will be able to count on the help of the Attorney General, David Lametti, to make it happen, and the promises of the Trudeau government.

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