Marc Garneau concerned for language minority rights in Quebec
Former Liberal cabinet minister Marc Garneau, who announced his resignation from the post of MP this weeksays that he considers the rights of Anglophone minorities in Quebec “a hill to die on.”
Garneau’s comments on CTV’s Power Play with Vassi Kapelos on Thursday come as the federal government considers opposition amendments to a key piece of legislation C-13.
The bill itself would amend the Official Languages Act to ensure that federally regulated businesses in French-dominated areas of Quebec offer services in French. But the bill’s preamble cites the state’s controversial language law, known as House Bill 96, as a model for protecting and promoting French.
Garneau does not shy away from criticizing his own government for including Bill 96.
“I’ve been in this for 14 years where you have to say, is this a hill to die on, is this something you feel so strongly about,” Garneau said. “Because if you don’t subscribe to it, you should speak up, and yeah, that’s how I felt about it.”
“I think it’s unacceptable and that was my point. one is a federal bill, one is a state bill, each with slightly different goals.”
Garneau spoke to Kapelos the day after his resignation was announced. The former astronaut, who served as a member of parliament for 14 years, including seven years in government, delivered a farewell address in the House of Commons on Wednesday, where he said he did much more to unite parliamentarians than to divide them.
Garneau discusses minority language rights in Quebec in the video at the top of this article.
With files from CTV National News Parliamentary Bureau reporter Annie Bergeron-Oliver
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