The Government of Canada continues its review process to modernize the Official Languages Act
OTTAWA, June 28, 2019 /CNW/ - Fifty years ago, Canada adopted the Official Languages Act to embody the vision of a country based on collaboration between two major linguistic communities: Francophones and Anglophones. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that the Official Languages Act continues to meet the needs of Canadians today and tomorrow. That is why it has undertaken a review to modernize the Act.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, took advantage of her attendance at the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie to present to her colleagues a document summarizing the views of Canadians collected during the pan-Canadian tour conducted as part of the review process to modernize the Official Languages Act.
The purpose of the tour—the first step toward modernizing the Act—was to connect with Canadians from diverse backgrounds, including academics, engaged citizens, representatives of official-language minority communities and experts.
The meetings provided an opportunity to address Canadians' concerns and hopes about the state and future of our official languages. During these consultations, participants expressed their strong attachment to their official languages and their wish to modernize the Act in order to maintain its positive influence on Canadian society. The reflections emerging from this review, together with the results of other reviews and consultations conducted by other bodies, will guide the process of modernizing the Act.
"The Prime Minister mandated me to review the Official Languages Act to ensure that it would meet the needs of Canadians in the decades ahead. The law evolves to reflect the transformations in our society. Therefore, it is important to consider how to strengthen this very fundamental law for our country, 50 years after its adoption."
—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 the Official Languages Act modernization review process, the Government of Canada held a series of 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
In-person sessions were held in 17 cities in every province and territory. Several of these sessions have been posted online. The Government of Canada also hosted a major symposium attended by more than 500 stakeholders.
This exercise complements the consultations and reviews already conducted by other bodies in the areas of 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
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