Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

A Conservative MP demands an “English” response from Minister St-Onge

Open in full screen mode

Rachael Thomas, Conservative MP from Alberta and heritage critic.

The Canadian Press< p class="text-medium leading-6 text-gray600 light:text-gray600 dark:text-gray400 xsOnly:mb-4 smOnly:mb-4 flex justify-start">Feature being tested

Log inCreate my account

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

Canada may well be a An officially bilingual country, French does not always suit certain elected officials. Thursday, in the middle of a parliamentary committee, a Conservative MP from Alberta insisted that the Minister of Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, answer her questions in English, causing the consternation of many elected officials.

I realize that it's entirely your choice, we are a bilingual country, but, if it's possible, I' would like it to be in English, said MP Rachael Thomas as she began a second round of questions.

Ms. Thomas said she noticed that Minister St-Onge systematically responded to her in French, but that she responded in English when the questions came from the Liberals.

The member had not finished her sentence when points of order burst into the room. There were at least five people shouting, said Canadian Heritage committee chair Hedy Fry, who was struggling to determine who should speak first.

What I heard is insulting for Quebecers, for French speakers, said the Bloc heritage spokesperson, Martin Champoux. Committee members and witnesses can speak in the official language of their choice, he recalled, adding that the interpretation service is extremely efficient and that it can be used in any language. uses regularly.

LoadingFAE strike: progress at the tables, tension rises in front of schools

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: FAE strike: progress at the tables, tension rises in front of schools

Ontario Liberal Lisa Hepfner made similar comments. I don't think we can ask him to answer in one language or the other, she said in French.

It is offensive for everyone to question bilingualism in the country, added the NDP critic for Canadian Heritage, Peter Julian.

Open in full screen mode

Burnaby-New Westminster NDP MP Peter Julian.

But MP Thomas had not said her last word. Rather than resume her questioning, she chose to reiterate her request. I'm just curious if you would be willing to respond in English, she said.

This only reignited the indignation. This request from the Conservative Party of Canada goes against everything on which this country was founded, lamented Liberal Michael Coteau.

This is simply unacceptable, he added. It should be noted that this should never happen in committee, it should never happen in the House of Commons. This is simply something that goes against our basic values ​​as Canadians.

The chair of the committee has, on several occasions, confirmed that the point of order is valid and that the minister can speak in the official language of her choice .

Given the evolution of the discussion, MP Peter Julian of the New Democratic Party set out to educate the MP. Having been raised in an English-speaking environment and having learned French at school, there are many occasions where your vocabulary in a language allows you to express yourself more easily in that language and that's the principle of official bilingualism, he said.

According to him, it is absolutely reprehensible to question this notion. I can't believe how radical and extreme this party has become since the MP for Carleton [Pierre Poilievre] took control, he argued.

Open in full screen mode

Minister Pascale St-Onge.

When the testimony resumed shortly after, the minister explained, in French, that she is responding in her mother tongue because she has a lot of respect for my colleague's questions and that she wishes to be certain to use the right vocabulary, to respond clearly and adequately.

The Constitutional Act specifies that French and English are the official languages ​​of Canada, that they have equal status and equal rights and privileges regarding their use in the institutions of Parliament and the Government of Canada.< /p>

This new linguistic controversy comes a few days after a unilingual French-speaking Bloc MP, Mario Simard, said his linguistic rights were being violated and placed the blame on the conservatives.

The problem is that the interpreters stop translating the deliberations of this natural resources committee where the #x27;elected due to the cacophony, which prevents him from following the deliberations.

Conservative MPs, who are x27;parliamentary obstruction of the committee, consider instead that they have the right to speak over other elected officials who have the floor and that the president misled them by invoking health and safety issues for interpreters.

By admin

Related Post