(Ottawa) Liberal backbench MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos is backing down after questioning the existence of the decline of the French language in Quebec.
“I recognize that there is a decline in French and I would like to help find ways to further protect the French language”, we can read on Saturday in a statement posted on the elected representative’s Twitter account, including comments formulated the day before during a meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages raised eyebrows.
“We hear – I don’t mean to call this a myth; I will give the benefit of the doubt – we hear that the French language is in decline in Quebec. I have heard this over and over. I need to see it to believe it, ”she said in English, addressing the Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge.
After inviting her interlocutor to explain what could be hidden behind this “vision”, she concludes her intervention with this question: “What do you think contributes to this decline of French in Quebec? “. As she pronounces the word decline, she imitates an air quotes symbol using the fingers of her right hand.
Commissioner Théberge does not dwell on the issue of decline in his response to the committee.
At the antipodes of the liberal position
Going there from these remarks, the member – who had caused the surprise by winning the liberal nomination against the former Quebec minister Yolande James, the current liberal member of the National Assembly Marwah Rizqy and the borough mayor Alan DeSousa , in 2017 – flies in the face of the Trudeau government’s message.
Because not only was the Minister responsible for official languages, Mélanie Joly, final on the issue of the decline of the French language in Quebec in an interview with La Presse, but in addition, the Trudeau government took the lead. take care to mention its fragility in the Speech from the Throne, speaking of the importance of “recognizing that the situation of French is special”.
“There are nearly 8 million Francophones in Canada in an ocean of more than 360 million mainly Anglophone inhabitants. The government therefore has a responsibility to protect and promote French not only outside Quebec, but also in Quebec, ”it is written in the speech read last September by the Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette.