The NDP’s Quebec caucus off to an early start

In my article “Canada’s election: The demographic implications” (May 3rd, 2011) I stated the following:

While the NDP was the main beneficiary of the Liberal collapse, the majority of their new caucus is now from Quebec, and that will bring a variety of problems with it.”

Now we see the first instalment of renewed efforts to advance what I call “French cultural imperialism” by MP’s who are nominally socialist rather than separatist. The real separatists will be all over the Quebec members of the NDP caucus, appealing to their nationalist sentiments, and Jack Layton will have to work overtime to keep his Quebec members focused on being the “Loyal Opposition”.

Canada has already had the spectacle of the Bloc Quebecois occupying Stornoway…

Jeff Goodall.

NDP re-introduce bilingual Supreme Court bill

Toronto Sun

Kristy Kirkup: June 13th, 2011

OTTAWA, ON – NDP MP Yvon Godin may be back at square one with his quest to ensure all Supreme Court justices are bilingual, but he’s not ready to back down.

Godin is reintroducing his private member’s bill, which calls for all top court appointees to speak both official languages.

The New Brunswick MP’s proposal made it to the Senate in the last Parliament but it was killed when the election was called.

Former Supreme Court justice John Major — who served on the bench for 14 years — said he believes bilingualism should not be the primary requirement for appointees.

“I’m not waging a war against bilingualism,” Major said. “The fact is, there just isn’t that many fluently bilingual, competent, qualified candidates … we never had it. We don’t have it now. There may be three judges on the present court that are fluently bilingual, but it has never been a problem.”

Godin said translations can’t substitute for a judge’s understanding of a language.

“I often hear the argument that competence comes before language,” he said. “That always makes me jump because a judge’s understanding of language is the foundation of his or her competence.”

There will soon be two vacancies to fill at Canada’s top court. Justices Ian Binnie and Louise Charron are set to step down in August before the mandatory retirement age of 75.

See original here.