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QCGN Supports Commissioner’s Call for Symmetry in the Official Languages Act

Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages Raymond Théberge is advising the federal government to maintain the equal status of French and English in its coming changes to the Official Languages Act. The Quebec Community Groups Network enthusiastically endorses this advice.

In his annual report tabled in the House of Commons today, Commissioner Théberge said he is “pleased to see that the Government of Canada’s proposed overhaul is based on the principle of substantive equality, because beyond guaranteeing the equal status of English and French, the new Act must provide the means to actually achieve this equality.”

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New official languages plan aims to end the decline of French in Canada

The federal government recently unveiled an ambitious new official languages plan to modernize the 51-year-old Official Languages Act.

It’s the most significant proposal on the status of French and English in Canada since the 1982 enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which entrenched the main provisions of the 1969 Official Languages Act in the Canadian Constitution. The last major reform to the act was in 1988.

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HOW POWERS ARE DIVIDED BETWEEN OUR FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS

Many issues in the news these days directly relate to Canada’s fundamental structure – the way legislative powers are allocated by our Constitution. Three examples come immediately to mind: how the federal and provincial governments are co-managing the COVID-19 pandemic; the way some provinces are contesting the Government of Canada’s carbon tax; and the application of language rights.

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