NDP TABLES BILL CALLING FOR BILINGUAL OFFICERS OF PARLIAMENT

OTTAWA – Officers of Parliament, who are appointed by resolution of the House of Commons, Senate, or both chambers, should be capable of expressing themselves clearly in both official languages and understanding both languages without the help of an interpreter, says the NDP.
NDP Official Languages Critic, Yvon Godin (Acadie-Bathurst) and the Deputy Critic for Democratic Reform, Alexandrine Latendresse (Louis-Saint-Laurent) have tabled a bill today seeking to make proficiency in both official languages essential for officers of Parliament.
“Officers of Parliament must inform taxpayers of the government’s activities and the use of public funds. Parliament functions in both English and French. So the officers must be able to communicate with parliamentarians in both official languages as soon as they are appointed,” said Latendresse.
“It’s a principle that was traditionally respected until this Conservative government decided to undermine the tradition and appoint a unilingual Auditor General. The Conservatives are turning back the clock on language rights,” said MP Yvon Godin.
Only 10 positions would be targeted by this legislation.
Godin and Latendresse invite Canadians to support this bill and make their position known to the Conservatives.
The Commissioner of Official Languages and former president of the Public Service Commission both condemned the appointment of a unilingual Auditor General of Canada.
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For more information, please contact:
Youssef Amane, Caucus Press Secretary, 613-222-6993 oryoussef.amane@parl.gc.ca