Reid Condemns RCMP Decision to Violate Federal Law by Enforcing Bill 101October 31, 2002
October 31, 2002
OTTAWA- Scott Reid MP (CA Lanark-Carleton) expressed dismay today at the RCMP’s admission that it is serving at the enforcer of Quebec’s Charte de la langue francaise (Bill 101) on federal lands in Gatineau.
In response to Mr. Reid’s Question Period comments yesterday, the RCMP has confirmed that it is policy to issue traffic tickets in Gatineau in French only. A spokeswoman for the RCMP has indicated that this is done in order to enforce Bill 101, which forbids the issuing of bilingual traffic tickets and other similar government documents. The spokeswoman added that it is only by consulting a telephone number on the back of the tickets that individuals can obtain an explanation of the meaning of their ticket.
Mr. Reid emphasized that this action is not merely an infringement of minority rights within the National Capital Region, it is also a violation of federal law.
Mr. Reid quoted Section 22 of the Official Languages Act:
Every federal institution has the duty to ensure the public can communicate with and obtain available services in both official languages… with respect to any of its… facilities within the national capital region.
“The Liberal Government is simply standing by while the RCMP actively breaks the law,” said Mr. Reid. “Does anybody really believe that the Liberals allow the RCMP to issue English-only tickets on the Ontario side of the National Capital Region, with a token phone number on the back for French-speakers to call? That would be illegal, and it would be wrong. So is this.”
Reid indicated that he intends to continue demanding answers from the government regarding its double standard on bilingualism in the National Capital Region: “Official bilingualism will be just, and fair, and worthy of this country, only when it is applied equitably to both of our official-language minorities. Anything else is unworthy of Canada.”
For more information or to speak with Mr. Reid
Please call (613) 257-8130 or (613) 947-2277.
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