May 07, 2014
Conservatives vote against bilingual Supreme Court
MP Yvon Godin (Acadie-Bathurst) made the following statement after his bill to make bilingualism mandatory for Supreme Court judges was defeated
“Parliament had a golden opportunity to make bilingualism a mandatory criterion for the appointment of future Supreme Court judges today. This could have guaranteed the right of Canadians to be heard in the official language of their choice, and made the highest court in the country more just.
Unfortunately, as has too often been the case under Stephen Harper, Conservative MPs chose to blindly follow orders from the Prime Minister’s Office, rather than defend the interests of their constituents.
I am particularly disappointed that MPs who represent francophone communities voted against this bill, including Shelly Glover, Maxime Bernier, Jacques Gourde, Steven Blaney, Denis Lebel and Bernard Valcourt.
Despite this setback, I intend to continue this fight until the day the Supreme Court of Canada becomes a truly bilingual institution. This is a matter of equal access to justice for all.”