Why in Hell is the Federal Liberal Party Threatening to Borrow the Overused CAQ Tactic of Closure to Speed Through Bill C-13?
After suffering through four years of the Tyranny of the Majority (of Seats) of the Coalition Avenir Québec Government of Premier François Legault being used to enact Laws 21, 40, and 96, Quebec Anglophones and Allophones must now brace themselves for the Federal Liberal Party threatening to use closure to rush Bill C-13 through the House of Commons before the Christmas break.
Yes, it is difficult for the average citizen to find the time to keep track of all the political maneuvering going on in the House of Commons, the National Assembly of Québec, their local City Hall, and the monthly meetings of the Council of Commissioners of their School Board.
Let me try to cut to the chase and share with you what has happened and is happening more recently on Parliament Hill.
On March 1st, 2022, on the floor of the House of Commons, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, New Brunswick Member of Parliament for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, and Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, introduced Bill C-13: An Act to amend the Official Languages Act, to enact the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act and to make related amendments to other Acts. Thank goodness, there is a short title for this proposed legislation: An Act for the Substantive Equality of Canada’s Official Languages.
However, the briefs submitted by many community organizations including those of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), the Task Force on Linguistic Policy (TFLP), and the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations Inc. (QFHSA), among others, oppose the new direction being proposed by the Government of Canada aimed at the protection and promotion of one official language – French. The language rights of English-speaking Quebecers are not addressed in an adequate manner at all in the opinion of many. There is widespread criticism of the trend towards what many feel is an asymmetrical treatment of official language minorities. You may consult the websites of the above organizations for more specific details.
There has also been criticism expressed that groups favouring the proposed Bill C-13 have been offered overly generous amounts of time to present by the Standing Committee on Official Languages of the House of Commons, while groups opposing have not, and some have not been invited at all, and only their written briefs were distributed.
And now, the demand from some Federal Liberal M. P.s that the imposition of closure – that is the limiting and ending of debate - be considered so that Minister Petitpas Taylor’s wish to have Bill C-13 passed before the Christmas break can be achieved.
What can the average citizen do? Well, many M. P.s are on record stating that they are aware of the wishes of their constituents through those who reach out and contact them.
So let us consider utilizing that route. Reach out to your Member of Parliament and ask her or him why she or he supports Bill C-13 and is there any way to amend Bill C-13 to improve the language rights of English-speaking Quebecers. You may call their constituency offices, or write letters postage-free to them @ House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
If you prefer e-mailing them, here are their e-mail coordinates:
- in Hull-Aylmer, the Honourable Greg Fergus Greg.Fergus@parl.gc.ca
- in Gatineau, the Honourable Steven MacKinnon Steven.MacKinnon@parl.gc.ca
- in Pontiac, Ms. Sophie Chatel Sophie.Chatel@parl.gc.ca
- in Argenteuil-La Petite-Nation, M. Stéphane Lauzon Stephane.Lauzon@parl.gc.ca
For more detailed information, you may access the actual legislation @:BILL C-13 - Parliament of Canada https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-13/first-reading
“People don't get involved with local charities or politics because they think it's hard to make a difference and the problem feels overwhelming. But I believe that if all I've time for this year is to write one letter to the local council, it's still worth doing.”
— Monica Ali, bestselling novelist