Forum on Federal Institutions that Embody Official Languages

From: Canadian Heritage

OTTAWA, March 18, 2019

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 make sure it still meets the needs of current and future Canadians.

As part of a Canada-wide tour, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, was in Ottawa today to take part in a forum on federal institutions that embody official languages.

The event brought together various stakeholders from the English- and French-language communities. Drawing on their experience on the ground, participants had plenty of ideas and suggestions for elected officials.

The Ottawa 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.

The minister invites all Canadians to take part in the forums to 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 tasked me with reviewing 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 that is so 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 Ottawa on federal institutions that embody official languages.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

Quick facts

  • 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 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.

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