Statement from the Commissioner of Official Languages following the death of Max Yalden


Maxwell Yalden, former Commissioner of Official Languages

Gatineau, February 11, 2015 - It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Max Yalden.   

Max Yalden assumed his duties as Canada’s second commissioner of official languages in 1977. Confronted with the language tensions that marked several years of his term, he helped mitigate the backlash from a large segment of the population against the Official Languages Act. Commissioner Yalden brought attention to the need to review the 1969 Official Languages Act to ensure that it complied with the language provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Mr. Yalden had a distinguished career as a senior public servant, Human Rights Commissioner and United Nations official. He was also a Companion of the Order of Canada.

I cherished his friendship, admired his energy and intellectual rigour and appreciated his advice and counsel. He remained deeply committed to the cause of linguistic duality. The precision of his thinking and the depth of his insights were always impressive. My sincere condolences go out to his family.

Graham Fraser
Commissioner of Official Languages

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For more information, please contact:

Nelson Kalil
Manager, Strategic Communications and Media Relations
Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
Telephone: 819-420-4714
Cellular: 613-324-0999
Toll-free: 1-877-996-6368
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