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March 9th, 2023

Justin Trudeau turns his back on francophone communities — raising concern the language rights bill won’t be supported

Justin Trudeau chooses to play politics instead of advancing a bill to protect language rights in Canada

OTTAWA — On Wednesday, in question period, NDP critic for Official Languages Niki Ashton urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to assure francophone communities that his caucus will vote in favour of his own government’s bill C-13 on the modernization of the Official Languages Act. Ashton said this bill is a chance to bring an end to the decline of the French language across Canada, including Quebec, and to support linguistic minority communities — but, cryptically, Trudeau refused to commit support for the Act.

“Francophone communities are under threat of disappearing because Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have failed to act,” said Ashton. “Despite the fact that C-13 is their own bill, Justin Trudeau and his Liberal MPs are taking contradictory stances. Some Liberals are even threatening to vote against it — including one of his own ministers. These political games only hurt francophone communities. New Democrats are pushing to pass this legislation as quickly as possible for the sake of francophone communities who depend on us to stand up for them.”

Since the Liberals came to power, the French language has been in decline. Without concrete measures to protect the language and services francophone communities rely on, some of these communities believe they will disappear.

“Francophone communities have been waiting for this bill for years and Justin Trudeau hasn’t taken any action. He delayed the tabling of this bill and now he’s refusing to commit full support from his government to finally implement it,” added Ashton. “Unless Trudeau stops playing political games, there is concerns that this bill won’t pass before the house rises in June.

New Democrats will not rest until this bill reaches the final stage so we can protect language rights in Canada and support francophone communities all over the country.”