Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

July 09, 2009 10:00 ET

Statement by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, on the Occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Official Languages Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 9, 2009) - Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Official Languages Act by the Parliament of Canada. This law established the equality of status of French and English not only in Parliament and before the courts, but also within the federal administration for the first time in the history of Canada. This marked the beginning of a new era for linguistic duality in Canada. The Official Languages Act gave rise to countless possibilities in our society by allowing Canadians to take advantage of having two official languages.

Four decades later, English and French continue to coexist across this country. Canadians feel a strong attachment to our two official languages. Our linguistic duality is a cornerstone of our national identity and is a source of pride on the international stage.

This 40th anniversary attests to the great deal of progress that has been made in Canada with regard to the vitality of our two official languages. Our Government recognizes the tremendous amount of ground we have gained and is demonstrating leadership and vision in this area. We are firmly committed to ensuring the promotion and vitality of our linguistic duality. The announcement and implementation of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future confirm this commitment. Through our investment of $1.1 billion over five years, we are helping official-language minority communities continue to enrich the economic, cultural, and social life of Canada.

On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada, I commend all Canadians who are working to increase the vitality of our linguistic duality and pass it on to younger generations, as well as everyone who chooses Canada as their home. This unique treasure allows us to anticipate the future with confidence and continue to make Canada a prosperous country that is open to the world.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Stephanie Rea
    Press Secretary