Singh Quickly Backtracks After Saying Indigenous Supreme Court Candidates Should Be Exempt From Bilingualism Requirement

Many in the NDP Caucus were not happy with Singh’s suggestion.

Jagmeet Singh quickly backtracked after a suggestion on Supreme Court nominees generated a backlash from some members of the NDP Caucus.

Singh had said that the official bilingualism requirement for Supreme Court justices could be a barrier to Indigenous candidates, and suggested that the requirement be waived – but only for Indigenous candidates:

“I would say in general our position as a party is that we support bilingualism. It’s important as a nation that has two official languages that we support bilingualism with respect to judges but there is a specific case to be made for the Indigenous community.”

As noted by the CP, the top NDP member in Quebec quickly fired back:

“That is not a position of the NDP,” said Alexandre Boulerice. “He knows it … but we are ready to work with anybody from the Aboriginal community to … see how we can integrate more efficiently Aboriginal languages.”

Singh quickly backtracked:

“I am open to hearing suggestions of how to remain fully committed to bilingual judges while supporting the advancement of judges from Indigenous communities. It’s my sincere hope that we will see, in near future, a Supreme Court Justice from a First Nation, Metis or Inuit background.”

Rules should be the same for everybody

The official bilingualism rule is totally flawed. Canada has two official languages. If someone is fluent in either one, they should be able to serve on the court.

In fact, official bilingualism is used as a way to keep jobs entrenched among the elites, locking out the majority of Canadians who speak English.

That’s why the bilingualism requirement should be struck down.

However, until it is struck down, the rule should either be in place for everybody, or in place for nobody, no exceptions.

Spencer Fernando

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Major Tom

Forced bilingualism in the federal government for advancement is a form of extortion….

Alan Burley

Her we have another politician behaving like a Lying Liberal Leader, coming up with ideas that have not been advised about. Now he will have to proclaim that all NDPers are to follow his lead ,always. Just like that Lying Liberal Leader!

Derek Williams

I think six of the nine supreme court justices should not require to have any working knowledge of french after all, three of the nine are guaranteed to be from Quebec in perpetuity. That is a third of the supreme court representing the french when in fact they are only about a quarter of the population. Quebec also seems to have the vast majority of prime ministers ever since Trudeau, the Elder. Ask yourself “when was the last PM from Ontario”? The most populous province not having a PM with a riding in that province, of any stripe, since about… Read more »

Dave A

Welcome to Canada, we’re everyone is equal. Some more equal than others.

Jay Jamieson

Since when is there a rule that Supreme Court justices be Bilingual French and English? Trudeau stipulated that, for his appointees, but it isn’t or wasn’t required. There is nothing stopping an appointee being French and Chinesespeaking for example, or English and Spanish etc.