Canada, Senate Debates, “Ontario—Bilingualism”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (20 January 1981)


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Date: 1981-01-20
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, Senate Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1981 at 1538.
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SENATE DEBATES — January 20, 1981

[Page 1538]

THE CONSTITUTION

ONTARIO BILINGUALISM

Hon. L. Norbert Thériault: Honourable senators, I do not want to re-raise the storm that blew over this place last Thursday when I asked a certain question of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, but at that time I was convinced that the Leader of the Opposition had quoted me wrongly, and I asked him to look at the record.

Honourable senators, with your permission I would like to read the last paragraph of a statement made by the Leader of the Government, and I quote:

Here is the opposition, which in recent weeks has interminably been stating that provincial rights are not being taken into account, that there is an attempt by the national government to circumvent the legitimate rights of provincial governments, today asking, ‘Why doesn’t the national government impose this on the Province of Ontario?

Then the Leader of the Opposition, as reported at page 1524 of Hansard, intervened with the remark:

Senator Theriault said that. Stop distorting everything.

Honourable senators, my point is that I never made such a statement, and when I am prepared to make a statement on whether I feel the Government of Canada should impose the provisions of section 133 on the Province of Ontario, I will make my position clear at the proper time.

At that time I was simply asking my leader to intercede with the Leader of the Opposition to see if some of his English-speaking colleagues-including one who has resided in New Brunswick for three years and knows the situation very well— would join with four members of Parliament from Quebec who were meeting with the Premier of Ontario to see if he would change his mind and ask the Government of Canada to have auction 133 imposed in the amendments to the Constitution. I want to make this point clear, that the interjection by the Leader of the Opposition was as a result of a misunderstanding of what I had said.

Hon. Jacques Flynn (Leader of the Opposition): So what?

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