This results in a strong political risk for the new New Democratic government of causing disappointment and discontent among some voters. This is something that can turn against the government when the next election comes, warns Mr. Boily. It is a heavy responsibility [which rests] on the shoulders of the minister.
In an interview with Radio-Canada, the new Minister of Francophone Affairs, Glen Simard, plays it safe when it comes to specifying what the order indicated in his mandate letter means.
For him, the essential element is the offer of service in both official languages: it is a question, [whether one is] English-speaking or French-speaking, [of being able to] find the services [governments that we] need in French, he says.
But when asked whether making Manitoba a truly bilingual province involves going further and potentially changing the Canadian constitution, he states laconically: At this moment, I can't say anything [about] that.
As for the Société de la francophonie manitobaine, we are not moving towards such a request. Its vice-president, Derek Bentley, sees in the government's desire to make Manitoba a truly bilingual province an incentive to dream of where we want to be in 5 years, in 10 years, in 20 years and to start putting things in place [which are not just] temporary but which are also protected.
The government could give some answers as to its intentions towards the Francophonie in its first speech from the Throne, which will be delivered on Tuesday.