Trudeau accused of “disrespecting” French speakers

According to Queens’ Punch Court in New Brunswick, language deficiencies prevent Brenda Louise Murphy from adequately performing her duties in this officially bilingual county. His appointment was therefore declared unconstitutional, as it contravened the articles of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that guarantee the bilingual status of New Brunswick.

The principal role of the Deputy Governor of New Brunswick — as the person who signs provincial laws and ordinances, among other things — means he must be bilingual, says the provincial court of the Privy Council.

There is only one head of state […] Simply saying that the requirements for bilingualism do not extend to the Vice-Governor because the latter, that is, a person, cannot be considered an institution is a blanket simplification of a complex issue that does not ignore the very unique and constitutional character of the role as such. »

Quote from Tracey K. DeWare, Chief Justice of the Queen’s Bench Court in New Brunswick

Opposition parties in Ottawa praised the court’s decision and defended the rights of linguistic minorities across the country. After this decision, many questioned whether the Governor-General of Canada should know French and English.

a Amazing gains

Brenda Murphy’s appointment, made in 2019 on the recommendation of Justin Trudeau, has been challenged in court by the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB).

lawyers New Brunswick Acadian SocietyMark Bauer and Darius Posey are now calling for the bilingual requirement for New Brunswick’s Lieutenant Governor to be included in the new version of the Official Languages ​​Act.

The discussion that needs to be made are the other parts of the Official Languages ​​Act, what other rights need to be rethought and need to be upgraded given the massive gains that have been made todayMark Bauer thinks.

Attorney Mark Bauer (file)

Photo: Radio Canada / Frédéric Bruggin

The attorneys add that there should be a discussion of the position of Governor-General of Canada. However, according to them, it is too early to say that the decision in the New Brunswick case would set a precedent for the office of the Governor-General, since in their case the decision was based on a part of the charter dealing with the New Brunswick situation only.

Lawyers hope Ottawa will not appeal the case.

Political science professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, Stephanie Chouinard, adds that this episode once again makes the federal government look bad about its treatment of the country’s linguistic minorities.

Stephanie Chouinard poses in front of Radio Canada's lobby in Toronto.

Stephanie Chouinard, Professor of Political Science at the Royal Military College in Kingston

Photo: Radio Canada / Rosen Nicol

Sure, Mr. Trudeau’s government has been calling itself a champion of official languages ​​for the past seven years…but official language minority communities have been waiting to update the Languages ​​Act since 2019. Officialas you say.

As for Mary May Simon’s future as Governor General of Canada, Stephanie Chouinard says a new legal challenge should be launched.

This is an argument that should be made in court rather than just making that decision and repeating it at the federal level.as you say.

Brenda Murphy’s future

In her ruling, Chief Justice Dewer said the onus was now on Ottawa to take action convenient and fast To rectify the situation, without the need for Brenda Murphy’s departure.

Brenda Murphy.

Brenda Murphy, Deputy Governor of New Brunswick

Photo: The Canadian Press / Stephen MacGillivray

According to lawyer Darius Boss, she will have to ask herself whether her French skills meet the level required by the court.

If you comply, there is no violation. In the event of non-compliance, the violation continues until replacedHe said.

Conservative MP Joel Godin says this dossier illustrates the flaws of Justin Trudeau’s liberal government when it comes to the treatment of language minorities.

This is unacceptable disrespectHe says. This again demonstrates the hypocrisy of the current government when it comes to official languages ​​and everything to do with French.

NDP Representative Nikki Ashton added that she hoped Ottawa would not appeal the case.

A woman standing behind a microphone and wearing glasses.

New Democratic Representative Nikki Ashton (archive)

Photo: The Canadian Press / Justin Tang

Since New Brunswick is the only bilingual province in Canada, it is self-evident that a vice-governor must also be able to express herself and carry out her duties in our two official languages. By appointing a monolingual person to this position, the liberals showed disrespect for the Acadians and Francophones of the province.argue.

The same story is from Rep. Real Fortin from the Quebecoa block.

By appointing only one viceroy, but two of the Queen’s representatives unable to speak French, the Liberals are doing a very poor job of respecting our language.He says. Instead of appealing the decision, liberals should take note of the ruling and work to respect their own laws: [de] French language.

The federal government has yet to say how it will respond to court requests.

We will take the time to review the decision and consider next steps, but we remain committed to protecting and promoting the French language throughout the country and promoting bilingualism.said Chantal Obertin, press secretary to the Minister of Justice, David Lamette.

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