The House of Commons cannot operate in English and French

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier lashed out Monday after he introduced a motion that allowed more immigrants to speak English and French, but the motion was not worded to limit the use of French in hybrid parliamentary work.

Canadian journalists estimate that as many as 85 per cent of Parliamentary committee hearings last year were conducted in English and French. The report explains that for each committee meeting, a person must present “a relevant written statement and/or testimony and explain his/her interpretation of the facts, known, unknown, or unknown, regarding the proposed action,” but what it does not say is that a Parliamentary committee cannot be physically divided into divisions based on language.

The reporting dates August 17th, 2018 to December 18th, 2018.

The French Language Service said that in the 68-day 2017-2018 fiscal year, it issued close to 90,000 new restrictions on the holding of language classes and other elements related to English language learning or immigrants having access to a French-speaking coach. Some of these measures affected people who had come to Canada as refugees, they noted.

Bernier argued that the report on Brexit in Parliament and the number of people showing up to testify gives the impression that the speakers of English and French are required to testify in only one language.

He called for the need to separate meeting divisions by language and suggested that lawmakers were at times barred from speaking if they did not have the correct English language skills, “which might be on the level of French Canada,” Bernier said.

Bernier, who only speaks French, said those “from extreme Francophones and extreme separatists”, who chose to speak English, were treated differently than a speaker who speaks French or English only.

Bernier’s motion was defeated.

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