Numerous official-language minority community leaders took part in an official languages forum in Edmonton
EDMONTON, April 23, 2019 /CNW/ - Canada's official languages are a tremendous asset. This year, the Official Languages Act turns 50. In addition to year-long celebrations in 2019, the Government of Canada has initiated a review of the act to make sure it still meets the needs of current and future Canadians.
A cross-Canada tour is encouraging Canadians to share their thoughts on the issues surrounding the modernization of the Official Languages Act. A forum in Edmonton today focused on the mobilization, development and vitality of official-language minority communities.
Two million Canadians live in official-language minority communities across the country. These communities differ greatly from one another. Some have aging populations while others are characterized by a primarily urban territory and a high mobility rate. However, these communities often have slower growth rates than the Canadian population as a whole. The diversity of their needs can put a strain on the capacity of local community associations. The Official Languages Act plays a key role in supporting our languages in Canada. But how can it further strengthen official-language minority communities and ensure their sustainability as well as their access to services, education and justice? These important issues, and many others, were central to the discussions at today's forum.
The event brought together various stakeholders from the English- and French-language communities. Drawing on their grassroots experience, participants had plenty of ideas and suggestions for elected officials.
The Edmonton forum is one of a series of meetings in several cities across Canada designed to provide Minister Joly with food for thought on the main issues and on the best approaches for modernizing the Official Languages Act.
Minister Joly invites all Canadians to follow the forums online, as well as share their thoughts and comments on the role of English and French in Canadian society. To do this, they can visit the website.
"The Prime Minister has asked me to review the Official Languages Act so that it meets the needs of the Canadian population over the coming decades. Laws evolve to reflect the changes in our society. Therefore, it is important to ask ourselves, 50 years after its adoption, how to strengthen this act, which 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 Edmonton on the mobilization, development and vitality of official-language minority communities."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
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:
- Official languages and Canada in the digital age
- Promoting culture and bilingualism
- Federal institutions that embody official languages
- Official languages and Canada's place in the world
- The mobilization, development and vitality of official-language minority communities
This exercise will complement the consultations and reviews already conducted, which focused on the 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
For further information: (media only), please contact: Jérémy Ghio, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, [email protected]; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]