Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

October 17, 2006 15:25 ET

Graham Fraser Appointed Sixth Commissioner of Official Languages

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2006) - Graham Fraser took office today as Canada's sixth Commissioner of Official Languages.

Mr. Fraser undertakes his mandate as Commissioner with nearly 40 years of experience in examining official languages issues from the perspective of a journalist, author and lecturer. Throughout his career, Mr. Fraser has shown a deep understanding of official language policy and has been a strong supporter of Canada's linguistic duality, a fundamental part of our national identity.

The new Commissioner sees his appointment as an opportunity to continue his exploration of official languages issues in Canada and to persevere in the work of the Office of the Commissioner in the pursuit of meaningful results. "It's a subject I am passionately interested in," he said. "It is with a great sense of responsibility and humility that I take on my mandate. I look forward to establishing a dialogue with citizens and decision-makers across the country to discuss the realities and challenges of official languages in Canada." As an English-speaking Canadian who became bilingual, Mr. Fraser is also committed to engaging the majority in a comprehensive vision of our country's linguistic identity.

Community leaders throughout Canada have welcomed Mr. Fraser's appointment with enthusiasm while acknowledging the invaluable contribution to Canada's linguistic duality made by former Commissioner Dyane Adam, whose seven-year term ended on October 16, 2006.


A well-known and respected journalist and author with close to 40 years of journalistic experience, Mr. Fraser was educated at the University of Toronto, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History. Prior to his appointment as Commissioner of Official Languages, Mr. Fraser worked as a National Affairs Writer with the Toronto Star. Over the years, he has held positions of increasing responsibility with various newspapers as well as with Maclean's magazine, including Montreal Bureau Chief with Maclean's; Quebec Bureau Chief with the Montreal Gazette and then the Globe and Mail; and Parliamentary Correspondent, Ottawa Bureau Chief and later Washington Bureau Chief with the Globe and Mail. He was a weekly columnist for Le Devoir from 1995 to 2000 and for the Toronto Star from 2000 to 2005 and has been a regular commentator on the TFO public affairs program Panorama.

During a long and distinguished career that has straddled the language divide, he has reported in both official languages on issues affecting Canada and Canadians, including cultural and foreign policy; constitutional debates and negotiations; and national, provincial and international politics. He has been invited to speak on official languages issues to minority organizations in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario, as well as national minority language organizations, and has given conferences on language policy as an adjunct professor at Carleton University as well as at other universities.

Mr. Fraser is the author of Sorry I Don't Speak French, which was published in March 2006, and which has helped stimulate renewed public discussion of language policy in Canada. He is also the author of PQ: Rene Levesque and the Parti Quebecois in Power, which dealt with Quebec language policy and which was nominated for a Governor General's Award for Non Fiction in 1984. In 1979, he helped found the Centre for Investigative Journalism, the bilingual precursor of the Canadian Association of Journalists, and served on the Centre's board for two terms. He is the first recipient of Public Policy Forum's Hyman Solomon Award for Public Policy Journalism.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
    Robin Cantin
    Manager, Media Relations
    Toll free: 1-877-996-6368