The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, took part in a forum on official languages in Vancouver on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie.
VANCOUVER, April 24, 2019 /CNW/ - Our official languages are a tremendous asset for Canada. This year, the Official Languages Act turns 50. In addition to a year-long anniversary celebration in 2019, the Government of Canada has initiated a review of the act to ensure it still meets the needs of current and future Canadians.
As part of a national tour, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, was in Vancouver to take part in a forum on official languages and Canada in the digital age. Minister Petitpas Taylor attended the forum on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie.
The Internet and social media have revolutionized how Canadians communicate with each other and the world. Access to culture and information, consumer goods, services and knowledge has become a core issue. The Official Languages Act plays a key role in supporting our languages in Canada, but how might this legislation ensure that digital technology contributes to the development of Canada's official languages? Also, how does this act account for new technologies and how does it affect the Canadian government's use of these technologies? These important questions and many others were at the heart of the discussions at today's forum.
The event brought together various stakeholders from the English- and French-language communities. Drawing on their experience on the ground and their commitment to the vitality of their communities, participants had many ideas and suggestions for elected officials.
The Vancouver forum is one of a series of meetings in several cities across Canada that will provide Minister Joly with food for thought on the main issues and on the best approaches for modernizing the Official Languages Act.
The minister invites all Canadians to share their thoughts and comments on the role of English and French in Canadian society. To do this, they can send a message to the general email address or visit the website.
"The Prime Minister gave me the mandate to review the Official Languages Act so that it meets the needs of the Canadian population in the coming decades. Laws evolve to reflect societal changes. Therefore, it is important to ask ourselves, 50 years after its adoption, how to strengthen this act that is fundamental to our country. Our approach is based on open dialogue and meaningful collaboration with key stakeholders. I am grateful to everyone who joined the conversation in Vancouver on official languages and Canada in the digital age."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
"As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, the Government of Canada has reaffirmed the importance of our official languages. Indeed, English and French are an integral part of our shared heritage, and our government's commitment to protecting them and promoting bilingualism are stronger than ever. I would like to thank everyone who took part in today's forum."
— The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health
In June 2018, the Government of Canada announced its intention to modernize the Official Languages Act.
As part of this review, the Government of Canada is conducting national discussions on the following topics:
- The mobilization, development and vitality of official-language minority communities
- Federal institutions that embody official languages
- Promoting culture and bilingualism
- Official languages and Canada in the digital age
- Official languages and Canada's place in the world
This exercise will complement the consultations and reviews already conducted in the areas of administration of justice, the language of government communication, the language of work of federal public servants, the role of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the promotion of official languages, and debates and parliamentary proceedings.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
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