The Official Opposition critic for La Francophonie and the Official Languages Act, Benoît Bourque, is calling on the Higgs Government to begin the review of the Act mandated to happen every 10 years and to create a Standing Committee on Official Languages.
“To respect the Official Languages Act, government must do a full review of the act by December 2021. Since the last review took 2 years to complete, there is some cause for concern that the review hasn’t begun yet,” says Benoît Bourque. “I think Premier Higgs needs to show that he recognizes the importance of this process and is not trying to avoid his responsibilities.”
Bourque also supports a more transparent process since the last review was done behind closed doors under the Alward government.
“The creating of a standing committee on Official Languages is long overdue and we urge the Higgs government to put such a committee in place and allow the members to hold public hearings on the Official Languages Act as part of the review,” says the MLA for Kent South. “Respecting and upholding the Official Languages Act should not a partisan issue, I would suggest that no political party have a majority of members on this committee as to ensure that no government, now or in the future, can make unilateral decisions on official languages.
With the fall sitting of the Legislature approaching, Bourque indicates that the Official Opposition would be willing to take steps within the Legislative Assembly to ensure the creation of this committee. “The Liberal Party will take the necessary steps to ensure the creation of a Standing committee on Official Languages and the proper review of the Official Languages Act as mandated.