Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

June 19, 2008 16:25 ET

Graham Fraser Relieved Official Languages Investments Will Continue

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 19, 2008) - "I am relieved to learn that the federal government's new official languages plan will allow the progress accomplished over the past five years to continue," Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages, said today.

"The Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality is a complex document that must be closely reviewed; however, my initial reaction is one of relief," said Mr. Fraser. "This plan should enable the institutions involved to continue with their current initiatives. The Roadmap also contains some new components, specifically in the area of arts and culture."

Mr. Fraser welcomed the federal government's intention to increase its focus on promoting official languages. "Clearly, it all depends on how the federal institutions and their partners implement this commitment," he added.

However, the Commissioner expressed concern that the document released today by Minister Josee Verner does not include a component on the public service. "It goes without saying that I am disappointed. I was hoping this aspect would be included in the government's priorities. Barely three weeks ago, I released my annual report, in which I insisted on the importance of strengthening the application of the Official Languages Act within the federal public service and creating a workplace that is conducive to the use of both official languages. This aspect is barely mentioned in the Roadmap," he stated.

The Commissioner encouraged the federal government to work with its partners to set specific objectives and measure progress under the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality.

Mr. Fraser welcomed the idea of setting up a new program for the defence of language rights, which will replace part of the Court Challenges Program. "I am pleased to see the government recognizes that Canadians need access to the courts to ensure that their constitutional language rights are respected. The re-establishment of a program to support language rights once again makes an essential tool available."

Contact Information

  • Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
    Robin Cantin
    Manager, Media Relations
    613-995-0374
    Cell.: 613-324-0999
    Toll-free: 1-877-996-6368