Merci, Monsieur le President. [No translation provided.]
Mr. Speaker, I am going to save my reflections and thanks for the replies to the Commissioner's address a little later. I have spoken several times, though, in this House about the often strained relationship between the Department of Education, Culture and Employment and the NWT francophone community.
On October 16, 2016, the then-Minister said, "That's where we don't want to end up, is in the courthouse, and then have a court order against the government." Unfortunately, that is where this government has gone again on the issue of the directive on French First Language School Non-Rights Holder Admission Policy.
On July 2, 2019, the NWT Supreme Court ruled against this government in relation to constitutionally entrenched French language rights. The Minister did not properly apply the policy on admission of non-rights holder. The Minister was directed to reconsider her decision while paying attention to the need for a restorative approach to French first language education.
I am disappointed with the Minister's decision, again, to go to court. Many of my constituents do not understand why our government would continue to spend money on adversarial court proceedings rather than fixing the problem of a faulty ministerial directive that is out-of-date and too narrow.
I will have questions later today for the Minister on why we continue to devote resources to court proceedings rather than working with the francophone community and families to ensure that our children have access to an adequate francophone first language school system. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.