Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

June 22, 2017 12:01 ET

President of the Treasury Board announces creation of Experts Advisory Group

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 22, 2017) - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

The Government of Canada is committed to delivering better services to Canadians in the official language of their choice. As part of this commitment, in November 2016, the President of the Treasury Board, the Honourable Scott Brison, announced a review of the Official Languages Regulations (Communications with and Services to the Public).

Today, Minister Brison announced the creation of the Experts Advisory Group that will advise him directly on the Regulations review. Each member of this volunteer group has considerable professional experience in official languages and has their ear to the ground of minority linguistic communities across the country. The Group will contribute to adopting an effective approach focused on service delivery and to ensuring that the new regulations reflect the needs and socio-demographic realities of these communities.

The Treasury Board Secretariat itself has already embarked on a comprehensive engagement approach in the review of the Regulations and is actively consulting all stakeholders.

Several working groups, representing key stakeholders, have already been established and are meeting regularly to discuss issues and potential solutions around the delivery of bilingual services. Information sessions will also be held and open to all parliamentarians.

New regulations are expected to be tabled in Spring 2019.

In the interim, the government has imposed a moratorium on offices set or likely to lose their bilingual status until new and modernized regulations are in place.

Group members:

  • Senator Claudette Tardif (Alberta)
  • Senator Raymonde Gagné (Manitoba)
  • Graham Fraser, Former Commissioner of Official Languages
  • Mirelle Cyr, Co-Chair, Dialogue New Brunswick

Quote

"Each member of this group is a long-time trusted advocate for the rights of minority linguistic communities. Their expertise, experience and advice will greatly enrich our review to ensure we modernize and improve the Regulations in a way that will better reflect the needs of our communities."

- The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board

Associated Links

- Official Languages Act

- Policy on Official Languages

- Official Languages Regulations

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Experts' Advisory Group for the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations Review

The Government of Canada is undertaking a review of the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations. The Regulations implement some key provisions of Part IV of the Official Languages Act. They specify, for example, the circumstances where a federal institution must provide services in both official languages.

In conducting the review, the President of the Treasury Board has embarked on an open, transparent and comprehensive engagement approach.

Role of the Experts' Advisory Group

The President of the Treasury Board has turned to experts in the field of official languages to provide him with additional external advice in the context of the Regulations' review and created an Experts' Advisory Group (the Group). The vast experience of its members will ensure that the new social and demographic realities of minority linguistic communities can be properly captured. Noting that more than 25 years had passed since the Regulations were first applied, it is important to reflect on lessons learned and to respond to the evolving needs of minority communities as well as those of all Canadians.

Briefings on the progress of the review will be presented to the Group by Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) officials. The Group will report directly to the President of the Treasury Board and will provide him with feedback on the options being considered. TBS presentations to the Group will be open to all interested parliamentarians.

Membership

Senator Claudette Tardif

Well-known for her important role as a defender of francophone minority communities, Dr. Claudette Tardif has been a member of the Senate of Canada since 2005. Before being appointed to the Senate, Dr. Tardif was Dean of the Faculté Saint-Jean and acting Vice-President (External Relations) at the University of Alberta. She is also recognized for her important contribution in the field of education.

Raymonde Gagné

Before being appointted to the Senate in 2016, Raymonde Gagné was President of the Université de Saint-Boniface in Manitoba. Senator Gagné has a long-standing experience in the field of education, and she has played an important role in the development of Francophone communities in Manitoba and elsewhere. She also served as President of the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne.

Graham Fraser

Former Commissioner of Official Languages, long-time Quebec-based journalist, and prolific author, Graham Fraser possesses broad expertise in the area of linguistic duality and the development of English-speaking and French-speaking communities in Canada. He is also well known for penning "Sorry, I Don't Speak French," which addresses Canada's policy on official bilingualism.

Mirelle Cyr

Mirelle Cyr has more than thirty years' experience in management and coordination of issues concerning Francophonie on a provincial, national and international level. She coordinated federal-provincial negotiations in regards to official languages and set up collaboration mechanisms to maintain open and positive relations between New Brunswick's two official languages communities. She managed the review of the New Brunswick Official Languages Act, led various consultation processes and holds a master's degree in public administration from Université de Moncton.

Members will not receive a per diem for conducting work as part of the Experts' Advisory Group.

Objectives of the review

The regulatory review is a part of the commitment to deliver enhanced services to minority linguistic communities, in compliance with the Official Languages Act. The review will mainly seek to:

  • develop an improved calculation method of the official language minority population that reflects new socio-demographic realities
  • explore opportunities presented by new technologies to improve service delivery in both official languages
  • improve bilingual services in the area of transportation

The review process began immediately after the announcement by the President of the Treasury Board in November 2016. New Regulations are expected to be tabled in spring 2019.

Contact Information

  • Jean-Luc Ferland
    Press Secretary
    Office of the President of the Treasury Board
    613-369-3163

    Media Relations
    Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
    613-957-9400 / Toll-free: 1-855-TBS-9-SCT (1-855-827-9728)
    TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired):
    613-369-9371
    media@tbs-sct.gc.ca