UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATING THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT

8:00 AM: Registration begins – Networking breakfast

9:10 AM: Opening Keynote

Raymond Théberge, Commissioner of Official Languages

Raymond Théberge

Raymond Théberge took office as Commissioner of Official Languages in January 2018. He had most recently served as president of the Université de Moncton. He has a doctorate in linguistics from McGill University and has worked with community organizations and the governments of Ontario and Manitoba. A franco-Manitoban, he is the first Commissioner who is not from Quebec or Ontario.

9:30 AM: Explanation of the Official Languages Act

Explanation of each part of the Act 

  • Part III = Administration of Justice
  • Part IV = Communications with and Services to the public
  • Part V = Language of Work
  • Part VI = Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians
  • Part VII = Advancement of English and French
  • Part IX = Duties of the Commissioner of Official Languages (complaint process)

Marion Sandilands, B.A., M.A., B.C.L., LL.B.

Marion Sandilands practices civil litigation, constitutional and administrative law at Conway Baxter Wilson LLP. After her call to the bar, she served as a law clerk to the Honourable Andromache Karakatsanis at the Supreme Court of Canada. She teaches Canadian Federalism Law at the University of Ottawa. She has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on matters of constitutional law and language rights.

11:00 AM: Plenary

  • Discussion of Part VII in greater detail
  • Discuss how Part VII impacts our community

12:30 PM: Networking Lunch

1:30 PM: Panel Discussions

Why we should care about the Official Languages Act?

Geoffrey Chambers

Geoffrey Chambers, President of the Quebec Community Groups Network, is interested in and generally knowledgeable about the cultural, geographical, historical, political and institutional character of Quebec’s English-speaking community. Through his participation in the Council of Quebec Minorities and his founding role in Alliance Quebec in the eighties, Geoffrey worked hard to support and promote the community’s interests through difficult, transitional times. He continued to work and advocate for the community’s interests in the nineties through his involvement in the Montreal Children’s Hospital and as Vice-President, Anglophone, of the Liberal Party of Quebec. More recently he has worked on education and health and social service policy.

Carol Jolin

Carol Jolin has been active in the Franco-Ontarian community since 1983 – first as a language monitor, and then as a teacher in the Niagara region. Active in the Association of Franco-Ontarian teachers since 1992, he went on to become local President of the Centre-Est catholic board and then provincial President in 2012. He has served on numerous boards of directors, including: AEFO, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Unique FM, and the Ontarian French Assembly, of which he has been President since October 2016.

3:45 PM: Wrap up

What have we learned? What are best practices?