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.