A public hearing on the use of official languages in the Legislative Assembly is being delayed in an effort to attract more public engagement.
The event was scheduled for Oct. 8 but has been postponed to Nov. 17.
Kevin O’Reilly, chair of the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures, says in a press release the committee wants to “to promote engagement and ensure public dialogue.”
“As such, we will be postponing the meeting to further promote this meeting and extend our reach,” he says.
March 10 incident
The hearing is being held after an incident on March 10 when no Tłı̨chǫ interpreter was available at the Legislative Assembly.
Jackson Lafferty, MLA for Monfwi, says this prevented him from doing his job.
Lafferty raised a point of privilege as the Official Languages Act says that everyone has the right to use an official language in the debates and other proceedings of the Legislative Assembly.
However, the rules of the Legislative Assembly are silent on the right of members to use an official language other than English in the chamber.
It is also silent on whether other members have a right to understand what is being said when someone speaks in an official language other than English.
The press release says the committee wants to hear from the public on the use of official languages at the Legislative Assembly.
The upcoming public hearing will be interpreted in Tłı̨chǫ and French as well as any other official languages requested by the public.