French Language Rights Must be Protected Across Canada: Hughes

Ottawa – French language rights are important all across Canada and the laws that protect them must be honoured or risk being seen as toothless, according to Carol Hughes.

The MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing delivered a strong statement at the outset of International Francophonie week that stressed the strength of French communities outside Quebec, using local examples to illustrate her point.

“In my riding, from Smooth Rock Falls to Hearst, and Dubreuiville the francophone population makes up a majority and the culture in these places reflect that identity,” said Hughes.

Hughes challenged the Conservative government to preserve French language rights and honour the laws that protect those all across Canada.

“From the appointment of a unilingual Auditor General, to budget cuts that force public servants to work in English, it is clear that Canada’s Official Languages Act is not cherished by the Conservatives,” said Hughes.  “For public servants, working in French is a right entrenched in part V of the Act. “

The MP reminded the House that even in communities where francophones are a minority, the government must preserve their rights.

“We must remember the strong francophone culture in many of the communities that make up Canada even in communities like Espanola or Manitouwadge,” said Hughes. “This diversity makes us stronger, but it comes with obligations that flow from rights that must be honoured.”