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Tuesday, June 6th 2017 - Question Period - Bilingual Status for Canadian Cities

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Bilingual Status for Canadian Cities

Hon. Rose-May Poirier: My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Yesterday, during her testimony in Committee of the Whole, Madeleine Meilleur confirmed that she believes the City of Ottawa should be an officially bilingual city. What is the government's position on that? What criteria does it use to determine whether a city should be officially bilingual?

[English]

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her question. The position of the Government of Canada on this issue has not yet been enunciated, and I would defer to the minister responsible.

As you know, as we approach our one hundred and fiftieth anniversary, there is renewed advocacy for the recognition of such status. I will bring your question to the attention of the minister responsible.

Senator Poirier: Leader, I would also like to know, in those discussions that are happening to see if Ottawa should be bilingual, are they considering looking at criteria that would be set for whether other cities in Canada should also be bilingual?

Senator Harder: I would be happy to add that to my inquiry.

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