Click here to read the official 2017-2018 Annual Report from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.
Brief Submitted to the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages
Study on Canadians’ Views about Modernizing the Official Languages Act
Founded in 1995, the QCGN is a not-for-profit organization linking more than 56 English- language community organizations across Quebec.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (“QCGN”) welcomes this opportunity to contribute to this Committee’s study on modernizing the Official Languages Act (“the Act”). In the spirit of modernization, the QCGN takes this opportunity to present a picture of the contemporary English-speaking community of Quebec. As this Committee noted in 2011, there are certain widely-held myths regarding this community. The QCGN hopes to contribute to a modernized understanding of this community and its role as a unique and important official language minority community in Canada. In this regard, the QCGN puts forward three propositions:
- 1) The English-speaking community of Quebec is a unique official language minority community;
- 2) The English-speaking community of Quebec has transformed into a diverse, bilingual and resilient community, but public perception has not kept pace;
- 3) The vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec does not threaten French in Quebec.
The Official Languages Act is a lifeline for English-speaking Quebec. The Act is the only language rights legislation that protects the interests of English-speaking Quebecers as a community. The Act sets out quasi-constitutional rights for English-speaking Quebecers, including the right to access federal services in English, the representation of English-speakers in the federal public service, and the right to work in English in the federal public service. Further, the Act provides the framework for much-needed financial support for the community’s institutions and networks.
In this brief, the QCGN presents proposals for a modernized Act.
Download Complete Brief (PDF)
The Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future is the Government of Canada’s official languages strategy for the period from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2023. It outlines the Government of Canada’s vision for supporting official-language minority communities and promoting our two official languages. The Action Plan for Official Languages delivers an investment of $499.2 million over the next five years and outlines new initiatives to support the two official languages. It is based on three pillars: Strengthening Our Communities; Strengthening Access to Services; and Promoting a Bilingual Canada.
The purpose of this report is to present the results of the PSSC’s efforts monitoring the six evolving community priorities through an online survey and strategic consultations in 2017. The survey results provide a portrait of the activities undertaken in the current fiscal year, identify needs that are underserved and sectors of service that are under-developed, and, identify the plans developed by the various groups and organizations for addressing these needs.
Read the Executive Summary
Read the PSSC Survey Report
Read the PSSC Chair’s Verbal Report made during the 2017 AGM
In 2016, the Minister of Canadian Heritage (PCH) Mélanie Joly oversaw the Cross-Canada Official Languages Consultations, a step in the Government of Canada’s development of a new multi-year action plan for official languages. This final report presents key findings from the roundtables, an online survey, and various briefs and written submissions received by PCH.
The House Standing Committee on Official Languages (LANG) this morning presented its fifth report related to the enumeration of rights-holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The QCGN and the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) appeared together as witnesses on February 16, during the report’s study phase. The report makes the following recommendations, which support our community’s interests.
Recommendation 1: That, pursuant to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Government of Canada work with the provincial and territorial governments, official-language minority school boards and other community stakeholders to develop and fund a national awareness and outreach campaign to inform Canadians about their constitutional rights in education and the language options available for their children’s schooling.
Recommendation 2: That the Government of Canada recognize it is responsible for collecting complete data on rights-holders subject to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and commit to obtaining a complete portrait of rights-holders by 2021.
Recommendation 3: That the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development ask Statistics Canada, as part of its preparation for the 2021 Census, to establish an advisory committee specifically mandated to examine the enumeration of rights-holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Recommendation 4: That the Government of Canada require Statistics Canada to include questions in the 2021 Census that would allow for the enumeration of all rights-holders under the broadest interpretation of paragraphs 23 (1) (a) and (b) and subsection 23 (2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Recommendation 5: That, as part of the next official languages action plan, the Government of Canada:
- mandate Statistics Canada to conduct a new post-censal survey on the vitality of official language minorities based on data from the 2021 Census; and
- provide Statistics Canada with the necessary funding to conduct this survey, analyze the data and distribute products derived from the survey.
Recommendation 6: That, as part of the new survey on the vitality of official language minorities, Statistics Canada establish an advisory committee that would include representatives from anglophone and francophone minority communities.
In this brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages for a study on the Full Implementation of the Official Languages Act in the Canadian Justice System, QCGN expressed support for a Supreme Court of Canada appointment process that is transparent, inclusive, and accountable to Canadians. The brief also states there must be a systemic capacity for justices to hear cases and render decisions in both official languages and that the language skills of judges must be sufficient to ensure the evolution of Canadian law.
This report presents the findings of the Canadian Content in a Digital World consultations that took place during Fall 2016. The report is a synthesis of feedback collected by Ipsos via the online portal, in-person events and social media discussion as well as mail and e-mail submissions received by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The department initiated this consultation process to review the current measurs taken to ensure that Canada’s culture remains strong and competitive within the global landscape.