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Deeds, not just words, (Des Actions Pas Juste des Paroles) Monsieur Harper.

Shorter summary of the official report of the Official Languages Commissioner: It’s great you start a lot of your speeches en Francais Mr. Harper, but your government’s policies show that’s just a lot of window dressing and you aren’t doing much beyond that:

Graham Fraser targeted Stephen Harper’s government for its decision in September 2006 to scrap the court challenges program, which provided funding to minority groups to challenge government policies in court. The government violated the Official Languages Act by getting rid of the program, Fraser said, because minority language groups are no longer getting access to the courts to guarantee their linguistic rights…Fraser said 40 cases before the courts have lost their funding because of the Conservatives’ decision.

I’m not going to get too much puzzlement up like Steve and Jeff did over the apparent contradiction Mr. Fraser did of praising Harper while attacking his government. I think that’s called being politically subtle on Graham’s part. The point is that he has stated the government has violated the Official Languages Act with its disbanding of the Court Challenges Programme.

Combine that with this little incident coincidentally happening on the same day:

Fraser’s report comes on the same day a political spat forced the House of Commons official languages committee to shut down. After opposition members teamed up to vote out Conservative chairman Guy Lauzon Tuesday, the government said he will not be replaced, and committees cannot sit without a chairman.

What caused the opposition to vote out the Tory chair? Why, he shut down the committee rather then have to listen to reports from witnesses on what the Languages Commissioner just repeated: the Court Challenges Programme being cut is a serious blow to linguistic minorities.

Somehow, I’m pretty sure sure the French Canadian population of Quebec are just going to be thrilled to hear Canada’s New’ish-Like Government caring so much about the French language.

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3 comments to Deeds, not just words, (Des Actions Pas Juste des Paroles) Monsieur Harper.

  • Vicky asked
    [quote comment=”4150″]Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Official Languages committee is a permanent one? And therefore cannot not sit. If Lauzon quits, then the House has to find another chairman…[/quote]

    According to the parliamentary rules as I understand it, any committee cannot reconvene til a chairperson is appointed. Jay Hill said in that report I quoted that the chairperson has to be a government member, and he has no intention of allowing the opposition parties to dictate to him who can be chair.. so he’s stated the committee won’t sit – implying unless they vote to reinstate the guy they ousted, that’s that.

    Hopefully the opposition will make some hay outta this.

  • Ed King

    Somehow, I’m pretty sure sure the French Canadian population of Quebec are just going to be thrilled to hear Canada’s New’ish-Like Government caring so much about the French language.

    The nationalists Harper is courting in Quebec are not too fond of linguistic minorities or the Official Languages Act either. Remember, the Bloc joined the dregs of the Conservative backbench in voting against Bill S-3 in the previous Parliament, a bill that improved enforcement of the OLA, on the flimsy grounds of protecting the government of Quebec’s right to pursue its own language policies without having to worry about inconveniences like the constitution and federal laws. The Conservative stance on bilingualism is more likely to worry and anger French-speaking communities in other provinces.

  • Harper isn’t one to take criticism…especially not from the opposition…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Official Languages committee is a permanent one? And therefore cannot not sit. If Lauzon quits, then the House has to find another chairman…

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