Commissioner Fraser’s recommendations for ensuring Francophones’ safety at sea have not been implemented
OTTAWA — The Commissioner of Official Languages’ follow-up report confirms what New Democrats have been saying since the beginning about the Quebec Search and Rescue Centre: the only officially bilingual centre in the country must remain open. It also says that the Conservative government hasn’t implemented recommendations to ensure Francophones’ safety at sea.
New Democrat MP Annick Papillon (Québec) sees this report as a partial victory. “This report confirms that the Trenton and Halifax centres are still not ready to take distress calls from the St. Lawrence River. So why do Fisheries and Oceans and National Defence still want to put the lives of Francophones in danger,” she said.
This report was produced following a complaint filed by six NDP MPs. “I suspected that the Conservative government would ignore Commissioner Graham Fraser’s first report, despite its promises,” said Official Languages critic, Yvon Godin (Acadie - Bathurst). “But with a second solid report from the Commissioner, who did a remarkable job on this issue, the government simply doesn’t have a choice: it must face the facts.”
“We now expect the Conservatives to do the right thing and publicly announce – not in November 2013, but today – that Quebec’s centre will stay open,” concluded Papillon and Godin.