[ SkipToMainMenu ]

February 8th, 2022 - Question Period - Modernization of the Official Languages Act

Modernization of the Official Languages Act

Hon. Rose-May Poirier: My question is for Senator Gold, the Government Representative in the Senate. Last week, the federal government once again failed to uphold its commitment to minority language communities. It broke its promise to introduce a bill to modernize the Official Languages Act within the first 100 days of cabinet being sworn in. It is getting harder and harder to take the Trudeau government seriously on language rights issues. When will this bill be introduced?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question. Modernizing the Official Languages Act is a priority for the government. As you know, dear colleague, just a week and a half ago, the Federal Court of Appeal released a decision relating to the Official Languages Act. That decision requires the government to spend some time analyzing what impact, if any, the appeal court decision could have on how legislation is drafted.

I am told that the bill modernizing the Official Languages Act will be introduced in the House of Commons in the weeks to come. As soon as that happens, the exact date will be known.

Senator Poirier: The government also has a nasty habit of sending us bills at the last minute, which prevents us from reviewing and debating the proposed legislation properly.

This bill will require serious study, and all this delay on the part of your government worries me, because I’m afraid that, come June, we’ll be urged to pass it quickly.

Can you promise us that once this bill reaches the Senate, it will be given serious consideration and properly debated?

Senator Gold: Thank you for the question. Before a government bill is introduced in the Senate, as I have done today, the way it will be dealt with is discussed collegially and in collaboration with my counterparts from all parties and parliamentary groups. I assure you that I have every confidence in my colleagues and in this collegial process, and we will find ways to ensure that the Senate has enough time to study the bills properly so we can do our job of providing sober second thought.

Back to: In the Chamber