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QUESTION PERIOD — Public Safety

Royal Canadian Mounted Police--Official Languages

October 3, 2023


Leader, Radio-Canada published an article today revealing that several senior officers at RCMP headquarters occupy bilingual positions even though they don’t speak French and aren’t on language training.

Despite bilingualism requirements, about a half-dozen senior RCMP officers in Ottawa can neither speak nor understand French. What about RCMP recruits? Here’s what the RCMP spokesperson said, according to Radio-Canada:

Only francophone RCMP recruits currently take second language courses during their training in Saskatchewan. Anglophone recruits do not currently take French classes . . . .

Leader, how can your government claim to respect both official languages? How can it tolerate such appalling complacency within the RCMP?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Thank you for the question. Bilingualism is fundamental to our country’s identity. I understand that the RCMP is negotiating contracts to offer French classes and launch a pilot project for in-house language training. The Government of Canada expects the RCMP, like all federal agencies, to meet its obligations under the Official Languages Act.

Your government has been in power for eight years, but your answer to me today is that the RCMP is calling for bids for language classes. Are you kidding me?

Senator Gold [ - ]

The information I was given is that the Government of Canada expects the RCMP to take responsibility and meet its obligations under the Official Languages Act. That is what the government expects, and those are the RCMP’s obligations.

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