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Pana Merchant

The Hon. Pana  Merchant, B.A. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Pana Merchant represents the province of Saskatchewan and the Senatorial Division of Saskatchewan. She has served in the Senate of Canada since December 12, 2002.

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Obligations of Federal Institutions

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Statement made on 16 June 2011 by Senator Claudette Tardif

Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):

Honourable senators, the Conservative government's budget has confirmed what a number of groups and organizations feared — federal spending cuts of $11 billion by 2015-16.

It is vital that in the review of spending and programs just getting underway, the government take into account the obligations of federal institutions under the Official Languages Act.

Marie-France Kenny, president of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne, expressed her concerns about the objectives of the federal budget cuts and stated, and I quote:

Federal institutions have very clear obligations with regard to the offer of services in both official languages and positive measures to support community development. These are quasi-constitutional obligations that must remain a priority in the review of spending and programs.

How does the leader intend to ensure that her government's budget cuts will not affect the rights of Canada's 2.5 million francophones and francophiles?

Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's question

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