Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cooperative efforts

The Cons' efforts to shut down the Standing Committee on Official Languages have apparently met total failure, as the three opposition parties have agreed to set up a "consultative committee" to take over while the Cons sulk in the corner over the vote of non-confidence in former chair Guy Lauzon:
We do not accept being muzzled by the Conservative government. This is the reason why the three opposition parties decided to set up a consultative committee on Official Languages, which will be chaired by the current vice- chair of the Standing Committee, Pablo Rodriguez.

The mandate of this committee is to take up where the Standing Committee left off, namely studying the impact of the decision to abolish the Court Challenges Program, and then considering the Commissioner’s report, as per article 88 of the Official Languages Act. This consultative committee will begin its hearings tomorrow (before Parliament goes on break) and will prepare the work of the Standing Committee, which cannot be paralyzed forever.
It remains to be seen how long the newly-formed committee will operate, or whether the Cons will realize they're probably better off nominating a new chairman - both from a perception standpoint, and to offer at least some chance to include the Cons' spin within any committee hearings and reports.

But whether or not the new committee ends up generating much by way of final work products, it looks certain to put some serious pressure on the Cons to work with the opposition. And all three opposition parties deserve credit for working together to make sure that the Cons' stubbornness doesn't lead to a lack of discussion about language issues.

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