Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

September 08, 2009 17:00 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates 40 Years of the Official Languages Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 8, 2009) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwire.

The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, on behalf of the Government of Canada, brought together community groups, parliamentarians, and representatives of official-language communities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the coming into force of Canada's first Official Languages Act (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/O-3.01/index.html?noCookie).

"Our Government is proud to mark the 40th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, which gave English and French equal status not only in Parliament and before the courts, but also in the federal government for the first time in Canada's history," said Minister Moore. "Our country's official languages are part of what defines the Canada I have always known. And I can appreciate its merits in a very personal way, since I studied in a French immersion setting."

The event, held on Parliament Hill, was an excellent opportunity to highlight the Act's longevity and the progress that the Government of Canada has made in promoting and supporting both of our country's official languages over this period of our history.

The Minister highlighted the work of everyone who contributed to the evolution of our major language policies: the Prime Minister, Cabinet, the Commissioners of Official Languages, the founders and builders of organizations like the Federation des communautes francophones et acadienne, the Quebec Community Groups Network, and Canadian Parents for French, members of the Senate and House of Commons Standing Committees, the Network of Official Languages Champions, and all his provincial and territorial counterparts. He also recognized the essential contribution of the men and women who speak out on behalf of our communities, and of the artists and artisans who help keep Francophone and Anglophone cultures alive.

Minister Moore took the opportunity to recall the Government of Canada's contribution to the vitality of official-language minority communities, while encouraging all Canadians to participate in linguistic duality. "Our Government is promoting both official languages throughout Canada," he said, "and we are showing leadership, as demonstrated by our commitments in the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future (http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/slo-ols/pubs/08-13-LDL/index-eng.cfm) and the actions taken to meet those commitments."

Guests at the reception were able to appreciate archival documents related to the 40 years of the Act thanks to the contribution of Library and Archives Canada (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html).

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken
    Director of Communications
    819-997-7788
    deirdra.mccracken@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca