Statement by the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada on the Government of Canada’s decision to refer the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision in the FFCB case to the Supreme Court
Gatineau, Quebec, March 24, 2022
Commissioner of Official Languages Raymond Théberge made the following statement today in response to the Government of Canada’s decision to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision in Fédération des francophones de la Colombie‑Britannique v Canada (Employment and Social Development):
“I was dismayed to learn that the Government of Canada intends to go to the Supreme Court to overturn the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision last January in the case between the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie‑Britannique and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
“This historic decision restored the full force of Part VII of the Official Languages Act and made it possible to effectively enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minorities in Canada and to support their ongoing development.
“I will, of course, need to conduct a full analysis of the government’s position, but at first glance, I am very concerned about this situation. Right now, when the modernization of the Act is focusing on protecting the language rights of Canadians and the vitality of official language minority communities, the decision to take this to the highest court in the country seems to me to be at odds with the Government of Canada’s efforts to date.
“At this time, I plan to oppose ESDC’s request and will be submitting my detailed position on this matter shortly.
“One thing is certain: I intend to continue to defend not only the rule of law but also the language rights of Canadians, and I will do my utmost to ensure that official language minority communities can continue to grow and thrive.”
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