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(Posted 5:30 p.m., Dec. 31)
Leslie clarrifies position on official bilingualism for Ottawa

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ottawa-Orléans MP Andrew Leslie says he still thinks Ottawa should adopt official biligualism, but he stops short when it comes to trying to force the city's hand.

In a recent article in Le Droit, Leslie said that although he still wants to "champion" the cause, he has no intention to put pressure on the mayor, or Ottawa city council.

"Yes, I will be a champion for official bilingualism in Ottawa. (But) it must start with the City of Ottawa and we must work with the councilors to establish the conditions to develop a consensus," Leslie told Le Droit.

The only problem with Leslie's position is that the city has shown zero interest in exploring the issue since last year's municipal election, and without any outside pressure it will likely never see the light of day.

Mayor Watson, in particular, is quite happy with maintaining the status quo, as is the majority of city council including local councillors Bob Monette and Stephen Blais. During last fall's municipal election, Innes Ward Coun. Jody Mitic said he was opposed to making the city official bilinguali.

In his interview with Le Droit, Lelslie said the current French language services policy doesn't go far enough. Still he thinks any potential improvements are up to council.

Leslie also said he wants to work with local organizations to improve French language services in Orléans, although he didn't elaborate.

While Leslie appeared to temper his position on official bilingualism, he doubled down on his desire to see Phase II of light rail extended to Trim Road from Place d'Orléans.

"It's my job to ensure that it does not stop at Place d'Orléans. It'll take a few months to reach a consensus (with the other elected and government). The good thing is that we have two years to get there," Leslie said..

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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