October 16th, 2012

NDP urges government to respect official languages

Following the publication of the annual report of the Commissioner of Official Languages, New Democrat Official Languages critic Yvon Godin slammed the Conservatives’ record on official languages.

“The commissioner highlights the successes and progress achieved, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that since the Conservatives came to power, official languages have been on a downward trend,” said Godin.

From the appointment of a unilingual auditor general and closing the only bilingual search and rescue centre in Canada to the closure of the only Francophone Sea Cadet summer training centre in Bécancour, the message the Conservatives are sending to Canadians is that official languages and French services are not important.

“As the commissioner mentions in his report, problems still persist at Air Canada and Elections Canada and it’s unfortunate that too often Francophones cannot get service in French at the Ottawa airport,” said Tyrone Benskin, deputy critic for Official Languages. “That’s only the tip of the iceberg, and we are very concerned.”

The two critics urged the Conservative government to stop attacking those who are working to build bridges between Canadians. “It’s a question of respect and equality,” they concluded.