All ministers will have to vote in favor of Bill C-13, says Trudeau

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All ministers must vote in favor of Bill C-13, says Trudeau

Adrian Wyld The Canadian Press Justin Trudeau will force all his ministers to vote in favor of the official languages ​​reform and will ensure that the text is adopted by Parliament, he said on Friday.

Despite the displayed ambivalence of some of his troops, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, will force all his ministers to vote in favor of the official languages ​​reform and will ensure the adoption of the text before Parliament , he said on Friday.

“All the ministers obviously will support Bill C-13 [on the reform of the Official Languages ​​Act],” said Justin Trudeau, during of a press conference.

The Prime Minister added that the text of the bill, tabled by his government and promised during the 2021 election campaign, “is the solution that will both protect linguistic minorities across the country, recognizing that we has an additional responsibility to protect French, including in Quebec.

His friend and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Marc Miller, had a completely different tone when questioned by the parliamentary press on the subject on Wednesday. “You'll see,” he said, casting doubt on his support for the Liberal bill, amended at parliamentary committee stage by opposition parties.

“Yes, it's an election campaign promise, but obviously, in [a] minority situation, we don't necessarily control the situation. […] There are amendments from the Bloc, from the Conservative Party, which obviously completely undermine the spirit of the law. That is to say that the federal government assumes its jurisdiction to protect French and English, where applicable, within its sphere of jurisdiction,” explained Marc Miller, whose riding is in the center of the city. city ​​of Montreal.

First outside Quebec

In English, he went on to clarify that his “job is primarily to defend French outside of Quebec, and to ensure that the rights that exist for English-speaking minorities are not abused in the process of s ensure that we have a country that is bilingual. »

However, all Liberal MPs ran in the last election with a platform announcing a reform “aiming at the real equality of French and English”. This after a change of course for the Liberal Party of Canada, which now recognizes that French is threatened even in Quebec, and no longer only in a minority situation in other provinces.

Liberal Bill C-13, which modernizes the Official Languages ​​Act and creates an Act respecting the use of French in private businesses under federal jurisdiction, is currently before a parliamentary committee. The opposition parties, the majority on the committee, have already modified certain articles and also plan to extend the powers of the Charter of the French language of Quebec to federal companies on its territory.

Dissatisfied MPs

The idea of ​​extending the powers of the Quebec Charter, recently amended by Bill 96 in Quebec, shocks elected Liberals. On Tuesday, Montreal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather threatened to outright vote against C-13 at third reading in the House of Commons unless the text was changed again to his liking. Liberal members of the committee had previously tried unsuccessfully to remove any reference to the Quebec charter, claiming a decline in the rights of Anglo-Quebecers.

The Liberal MP for Saint-Laurent, Emmanuella Lambropoulos, also announced on English-language radio that she would vote to defeat C-13 in its current form. In a letter on his website titled “The Editorial of Paul Journet,” Liberal MP Marc Garneau criticizes any “inclusion in C-13 of the [Quebec French language] charter.” The elected official of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount declined to answer questions from the parliamentary press on Thursday.

The leader of their party, Justin Trudeau, did not want to say if he was going to impose the party line on those dissatisfied MPs. “I also know that there are MPs who, like all MPs, are going to want to defend the interests of their community, represent the interests of their community, these are conversations that we are having, but I can ensure that C-13 will pass,” the Prime Minister responded to a question from Duty.

Liberal Party of Canada Discipline Officer Steven MacKinnon said clarified on Wednesday that even if his party allows free votes for its members most of the time, the party line is imposed when it comes to an issue involving the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a matter of confidence to the government or an election promise.