Raymond Théberge, Commissioner designate for Official Languages, presented an astonishing analysis on the subject of Supreme Court of Canada bilingualism: the one Justin Trudeau chose to be the watchdog of the two languages officials stated in committee that this was desirable, but “complex”.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
“In principle, I believe in it; in practice, how much will Canadian diversity be represented in the Supreme Court? He offered in response to NDP MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach.
“I think it’s the Supreme Court of all Canadians, so at a practical level, we have to start thinking: what does that mean? Added Raymond Théberge, who appeared before the Standing Committee on Official Languages.
When asked by Ms. Quach to elaborate, he spoke of Canada’s “multicultural” nature and referred to the recent debate over the difficulty of finding an Aboriginal judge who speaks English and French.
The member interrupted her to ask her whether the judges should or not, in her opinion, be officially bilingual. He then nodded. “Officially bilingual, absolutely. That does not mean that one goes against the other, “argued Raymond Théberge.
Following his testimony, which had to be postponed due to a technical problem, the Franco-Manitoban refused to answer the journalists’ questions, even though the latter explained that his remarks were confusing.
MP Quach called Raymond Théberge’s answer “soft”. The latter could be summoned again on Thursday.
Curator Alupa Clarke, who chaired the meeting, was curious about the remarks. However, in his opinion, this should not affect his chances of having his appointment approved in committee, then in the House and in the Senate.
The wish of the elected officials is to settle the file before the departure for the holidays. The case progressed quickly before the forced interruption of the committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
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Mixed reception in the Senate
The candidate nominated last Thursday by Justin Trudeau was before the Senate Monday night. The Franco-Manitoban received a somewhat mixed reception before the Committee of the Whole of the Upper House, with some senators questioning his ability to fully assume his watchdog role.
Independent Liberal Senator Serge Joyal suggested that he does not have all the teeth that this officer of Parliament needs.
His interlocutor countered by arguing that the style of mediator we seem to want to blame him was possibly more “useful for advancing the issues” than going “only two or three times to the barricades” and that “then, we do not listen to us more ».
Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s choice of a candidate from a province other than Quebec or Ontario for the first time since post, about 50 years ago.
The position of Commissioner of Official Languages, which has a seven-year term, is priced at $ 314,100. He is currently acting by Ghislaine Saikaley.