POLITICS
06/13/2011 04:17 EDT | Updated 08/13/2011 05:12 EDT

Bilingual Supreme Court Judges Mandatory: NDP

CP

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA - The New Democrats have reintroduced a bill that would require all justices of the Supreme Court of Canada to be bilingual.

New Brunswick MP Yvon Godin's private member's bill would make it a requirement that judges appointed to the country's highest court understand English and French without the help of an interpreter.

Opposition parties have supported past incarnations of the bill, while the Conservatives have voted against it.

The proposal puts the Tories in the politically tricky situation of opposing a measure that is popular among many Quebecers -- with whom the Conservatives are trying to make inroads.

The private member's bill appears on today's order paper.

An earlier incarnation of the bill made it to second reading in the Senate and was referred to a committee, but it died after the May 2 federal election was called.

Almost all the current Supreme Court justices are already bilingual.