Nov 30, 2023
By Bob Komsic
A war of words on Parliament Hill – if you will.
Conservative MP Rachael Thomas asked Pascale St-Onge to answer her in English during the Heritage Minister’s appearance before a parliamentary committee.
”Minister, I notice that you answer my questions in French, but other English questions you answer in English if they’re from your Liberal colleagues,” Thomas said.
”I realize it’s completely your choice, we’re a bilingual country, but if at all possible I’d love to have,” other committee members drowned out Thomas’s remarks before she could finish, accusing her of insulting francophones and Quebeckers.
Don Valley East Liberal Michael Coteau said Thomas’s request ”goes against everything this country has been built on.”
Later on her way into Question Period, St-Onge said the comments were inappropriate and disrespectful.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet says the lack of respect ”does not surprise anybody in Quebec any more.”
Thomas later apologized in writing.