Bill 96: some Conservative leadership hopefuls say yes, others say no to Quebec language reform
Several of the six aspiring Conservative leaders expressed their opposition to Bill 96 during a French-language debate in Laval on Wednesday night, but others shied away from the opportunity to express their views on the issue.
Brampton, Ont. Mayor Patrick Brown called the ruling CAQ party's reform of the Charter of the French Language "not right" while candidate Scott Aitchison said it was "divisive and wrong."
Roman Baber went the furthest, promising to use "all legal means" to counter the effects of Bill 96 to be sanctioned.
However, the man who is considered the leader of the race, Pierre Poilievre, did not take the opportunity during the official languages segment to speak out against Bill 96. He simply said that the French language was dear to him and that he wanted to promote it.
"Canadians have the right to receive all federal government services in both official languages," he said.
Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest also did not address the issue of Bill 96, recalling that the moderator's question was about bilingualism requirements for senior public servants.
"Those who assume the highest functions of the state must be bilingual, capable, at the very least, of communicating in both languages," Charest argued.
MIGRANTS AT ROXHAM ROAD CROSSING
The candidates had to indicate, in the first minutes of the debate, what they intended to do to curb the irregular arrival of migrants through Roxham Road.
"I am against illegal entries, but at the same time I am for immigration," Poilievre told the moderator, pointing out that his wife is of Venezuelan origin.
He indicated that he intends to conclude agreements with the provinces, if he becomes prime minister, so that the skills of newcomers are recognized within 60 days.
Charest stressed the importance of renegotiating the Safe Third Country Agreement. He later deplored the "too long" delays in the immigration department and said, "We need to clean up the department to make a decisive move."
Brown did not make it clear what he would do about illegal entries. While posing as a candidate for multiculturalism, he claimed to be "against illegal immigration because it makes it harder for people to do it legally."
Once again, Poilievre received a barrage from his opponents for extolling the virtues of cryptocurrency to protect against inflation.
"You're in the potatoes!" anti-abortion candidate Leslyn Lewis threw at him, which immediately triggered laughter in the room.
Charest also criticized Poilievre for his commitment to firing the Governor of the Bank of Canada.
OPPOSING QUEBEC'S BILL 21
Brown unsurprisingly brought up the issue of challenging the Secularism Act, having brought other cities into his financial crusade against the legislation.
He and Charest criticized Poilievre for avoiding indicating whether he would intervene in the challenge to Bill 21. Charest promised to intervene when the law is reviewed by the Supreme Court of Canada.
The debate is also intended to show the candidates' intentions on the environment and energy, trade and foreign affairs.
Wednesday night's debate is the last of those announced by the Conservative Party of Canada.
The candidates have until the end of next week to convince supporters to buy party membership cards. This will allow supporters to vote for the person they want to succeed Erin O'Toole.
The winner of the race, elected by preferential ballot, will be known on Sept. 10.
-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 25, 2022.
Montreal Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Saanich police will hold another update on a deadly shooting that took place on Tuesday afternoon, leaving two suspects dead and six officers with gunshot wounds.
The Royal Canadian Navy says it has relieved the commanding officer of a warship in the Pacific Fleet.
Two of Canada's largest airlines announced steps this week to cope with delays, cancellations and service issues. Head to CTVNews.ca to read about the changes announced by Air Canada and WestJet.
Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre joined the final leg of a march led by a Canadian soldier charged for speaking out against COVID-19 vaccine requirements that has sparked promises -- and fears -- of a new wave of protests in the capital.
Ottawa protest organizer Tamara Lich will spend at least five more nights in custody in Ottawa after she was arrested in Alberta for allegedly breaching bail conditions.
The Conservative Party of Canada says approximately 675,000 members will be eligible to vote in this year's leadership race.
Researchers examining the threat of emerging COVID-19 strains predict Omicron BA.5 will account for nearly 70 per cent of cases in much of the country by Canada Day.
The Supreme Court of Canada says the expanded rules to further prevent a sexual assault complainant's past from being used against them in a trial are 'constitutional in their entirety.'
As stocks continue to slump, it can be easy to let your emotions take over if you've got money invested in the market. But experts agree that there's no need to panic if you're invested in the right type of portfolio with the right level of risk.
Ontario drivers could soon see the end of "unfair" insurance policies with premiums based on postal codes, Premier Doug Ford said Thursday.
Ontario gas prices are about to take a huge drop and one expert says it will be 'well worth waiting' if drivers can hold off on filling up.
A man has been arrested after a car exploded in front of a police station in Oshawa.
The spouse of the gunman in the Nova Scotia mass shooting will testify mid-July before a public inquiry, but she won't face direct questions from lawyers representing victims' families.
As Claire Mahaney-Lion dropped her son off at school this morning, she questioned the reasons behind scheduling a school day that would last fewer than two hours.
Saint John is having its dog day. The host city of the 2022 Memorial Cup is celebrating after the Saint John Sea Dogs bested the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 in front of a capacity crowd during Wednesday's championship game at TD Station.
If you were one of the thousands of Londoners who bought gas on Thursday— you overpaid.
On any given day it’s not hard to find out what’s happening in the major, mainstream sports. But what about those sports that don’t have the same high profile, star players, or commercial sponsors as the likes of hockey, baseball, or golf?
Police continue to investigate after a fatal collision involving a cyclist claimed the life of a 17-year-old from Crediton.
With Health Canada's permission, street drugs can now be consumed inside Safe Health Site Timmins.
Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services is helping seniors protect themselves against fire. The Assisting Seniors Awareness Program or Project ASAP is focussed on those 65 or older, and still living independently.
While the main suspect still hasn’t been caught, two people have been charged in connection with a murder that took place June 24 on Manitoulin Island.
A piece of public art that was removed and put into storage after burning a hole through a spectator’s jacket has been reinstalled in a new location.
A southeast Calgary bank was evacuated Thursday afternoon, to allow hazardous materials crews to investigate a strange incident.
Emergency crews are on the scene of a fatal crash that took place late Thursday afternoon.
The eviction deadline for people living at an encampment at Victoria and Weber Streets in Kitchener has come and gone, but residents of the property say they’re not moving.
A miscommunication involving a COVID-19 booster shot has left a Kitchener woman concerned for her 86-year-old mother.
The news comes just two days after the City launched a naming contest for the young bird, which it said was the first offspring of Victoria Park swans, Otis and Ophelia.
After dog died on B.C.-bound flight, owner says airline offered compensation based on 'cargo weight'
Nearly two years after her beloved dog died on a flight to B.C., a Metro Vancouver woman says she’s still waiting for justice for her pet.
'We have that resilience and we are strong': Special ceremony marks one years since devastating Lytton fire
It’s been exactly one year since fire ravaged the small B.C. community of Lytton, but the source of that massive blaze remains unknown.
A B.C. father who printed off a blog post and submitted it to court in a bid to prevent his children's mother from vaccinating them against COVID-19 has lost the dispute, in part because the judge found his evidence inadmissible.
An often-vandalized memorial featuring the face of former MP Frank Oliver will no longer be displayed in front of Edmonton's Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.
A damning new report from Alberta's auditor general finds government ministries failed to include understandable, relevant and comparable data on COVID-19 in year-end reporting.
A man is facing multiple charges in connection with a rash of arsons in the Alberta Avenue area, and police are calling him a key suspect in a complex investigation.
Vaccine Mandates are slowly being phased out of many large workplaces. Some never had them, but others, including the City of Windsor, are sticking with them.
Despite the City of Windsor prohibiting the use of fireworks on most days of the year, Walkerville resident Jordan Whelan says his family has been disturbed by the sounds of loud pops multiple times a day for the past six months.
Summer is officially here as the first long weekend of the season approaches. The last week has been filled with active summer weather and heading into the weekend the story isn’t much different.
Live performance kicks off at noon on the main stage in Wascana Park with opening ceremonies, followed by a variety of entertainment:
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have 12 players on either the one or six game injured lists and 10 roster players listed as ‘out’ or ‘questionable’ leading into Saturday’s week four rematch versus Montreal.
Police officers in cruisers, on foot patrol and on bicycles are patrolling the Parliamentary Precinct, the ByWard Market and the so-called "motor vehicle control zone", as the city prepares for Canada's 155th birthday celebrations and possible protests.
Canadian Forces veteran James Topp marched through Ottawa on Thursday on the final leg of his cross-country march, and was joined by Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre for part of the walk.
Mayor Jim Watson also faced questions about a private WhatsApp chat with senior staff and members of his office, and the fact there were no city committee meetings for councillors to ask questions and receive information during the trial-running period.
Saskatchewan's social services minister announced plans to cut funding to Saskatoon's permanent downtown shelter during a talk radio appearance.
A video captured by a Saskatchewan man shows a kayaker paddling away from a developing tornado.
It’s been 25 years since Saskatchewan’s last residential school closed, but some are still healing.