Commissioner Fraser wants to see better bilingual services during the election this fall
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gatineau, July 31, 2015 – In his audit report released today on services provided in English and French by Elections Canada, the Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser, concludes that the agency needs to make significant improvements to fully comply with the Official Languages Act.
Elections Canada has difficulty guaranteeing services to electors in both official languages at its various offices throughout Canada,” said Mr. Fraser. “
This fall’s federal general election is fast approaching, and Elections Canada must implement as many measures as possible to fulfill its obligations to electors across Canada under the Official Languages Act.”
In his report, Commissioner Fraser made nine recommendations to improve services in English and French with respect to communications with electors and the delivery of bilingual services. Elections Canada has already made some changes, and plans to implement other recommendations after the election on October 19.
We recognize the agency’s commitment to improving the quality of its services in both official languages in all returning officers’ offices and in areas where there is significant demand,” said Mr. Fraser.
While Elections Canada is on the right track, there is a difference in opinion between the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the agency regarding certain obligations set out in Part IV of the Official Languages Act. Commissioner Fraser maintains that all electors have the right to receive services in the official language of their choice anywhere in Canada.
The audit was conducted over the past year, and during by-elections held on June 30, 2014, in four electoral districts in Ontario and Alberta.