Constitutional Conference Committee of Ministers on Official Languages, Progress Report of the Committee of Ministers on Official Languages to the Constitutional Conference (6 November 1969)
By: Gerard Pelletier
Citation: Constitutional Conference Committee of Ministers on Official Languages, Progress Report of the Committee of Ministers on Official Languages to the Constitutional Conference (6 November 1969).
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Meeting No. 2
November 6, 1986
November 6, 1969.
Progress Report to the Constitutional Conference
The Committee of Ministers on Official Languages met on November 6, 1969. All governments were represented.
The Chairman made a statement outlining the Federal Government’s proposal for financial and technical cooperation in implementing the recommendations contained in Book II of the Report of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. The meeting was informed that these proposals were to be announced in Parliament that day.
Some delegations expressed regret that the proposal was released before an opportunity for full discussion in the Committee. The Committee was assured, however, that the purpose of the federal proposal was to establish a basis for discussion with provincial governments.
Some delegations welcomed the federal proposal while other delegations expressed the view that the federal proposals should not involve the Federal Government in matters of provincial jurisdiction. In particular, one province clearly rejected the principle underlying the federal proposals. Other provinces felt that such proposals required further explanation and interpretation before they could decide whether they were acceptable. It was agreed that there should be further discussion as soon as possible between the federal and provincial governments in regard to the federal proposals. It was also agreed that, if substantial progress was made in these consultations, the SubCommittee should meet on the day following the conclusion of the Constitutional Conference, or otherwise as soon thereafter as desirable, to have a progress report on these negotiations and a further examination of the question.
The Ministers received the report of the SubCommittee on Official Languages on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.
The Ministers considered the request of the Sub- Committee on Official Languages for guidance concerning its work priorities and agreed that the Sub-Committee should concentrate for the time being on financial and technical assistance while maintaining the constitutional aspects of linguistic rights on the agenda.
The Committee expects to meet early in 1970 to continue its examination of matters within its terms of reference subject to any special guidance the Committee might receive from the Constitutional Conference.