December 9, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

Complete Canadian News World

1867 Constitution Act | There are no official traces of the French language yet

(Ottawa) The Trudeau government rejects the idea of ​​exploiting its broader reform Official Languages ​​Act We need to expedite the translation of 22 texts of the Canadian Constitution into English only.

Released at 12:00 p.m.

Joel-Denise Bellevance

Joel-Denise Bellevance
Press

These texts were not properly translated and incorporated into the country’s basic law, even though the Ministry of Justice tried to do so as soon as possible in 1982, when the Constitution was repealed.

Conclusion: After 40 years, only the English version Constitution Act of 1867 The courts have legal force.

Photo by Patrick Doyle, Canadian Press Archives

Janet Pettipass Taylor, Minister of State for Official Languages

Minister of State for Official Languages ​​Jeanette Pettitbass Taylor confirms that the file is within the purview of the Department of Justice and aims to modernize C-13 of the Bill. Official Languages ​​ActMust be accepted by the end of the session, there is no adequate way to achieve this.

In a statement, Marianne Bland, spokeswoman for Minister Pettipas Taylor, said, “The Government of Canada recognizes that official languages ​​are a fundamental component of our identity and a strong symbol of a diverse and inclusive society. Press.

“The preparation and adoption of the French version of the Constitution, which is not yet official in that language, has been the subject of much work by the Canadian Department of Justice for many years.

Necessary constitutional amendment

Currently, the French version Constitution Act of 1867 Translation provided for document purposes only. Reason: The official version of this Act was passed in English only by the UK Parliament.

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Based on the work of the Committee of Constitutional Experts formed in 1984, the Ministry of Justice produced the French edition of the Constitution. They were tabled in the House of Commons and the Senate in 1990.

The problem is that a constitutional amendment is needed to include the French version. According to some experts, the amendment should be approved not only by the House of Commons and the Senate, but by all provinces.

Since 1997, the provinces have made little effort to ratify it, especially in the wake of the two constitutional agreements (Meech in 1990 and Charlotte Down in 1992) and the defeat of the 1995 referendum in Quebec.

“It simply came to our notice then. That’s why it wasn’t done. It also apologizes to Ottawa, ”explained Benoit Belletier, a former Canadian government minister and constitutional expert for Quebec.

Concrete effects

In 2018, the Canadian Bar Association recommended that the Trudeau government add an article to the news Official Languages ​​Act Once in five years, I request the Minister of Justice to submit a report outlining the efforts made to implement Section 55. Constitution Act 1982.

The article precisely states, “The Minister of Justice of Canada is responsible for drawing up, as soon as possible, the French version of the areas appearing in the appendix to the Constitution of Canada. [de cette loi] “.

According to the Canadian Bar Association, the absence of an official French version is not without effect. Among other things, it “has a practical impact on the development of law and undermines the participation of French-speaking lawyers and advocates in discussions about the interpretation of the most basic legal texts in our society.”

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Senator Pierre Dalphond has been waging a crusade for months to redouble the efforts of the Trudeau government to ensure a French translation. Constitution Act of 1867 Will be accepted. He also endorsed the proposal of the Canadian Bar Association.

In particular, Mr. who served as a judge in the Quebec Court of Appeals. Tolfont did not respond to messages sent. Press. But in a speech to the upper house last December, he described the situation as “a source of embarrassment, especially for the federalists living in Quebec.”

“Although French-speaking Canadians have a constitutional right to trust the French version of all ordinary federal laws, this fundamental right cannot be exercised in relation to all of Canada’s constitutional texts. Bilingual since 1968,” he said.

In collaboration with William Lecklerk, Press