2016 Census language data

Federal government must renew its support for official language communities


Gatineau, August 2, 2017 – In response to the release of the 2016 Census data about the linguistic characteristics of Canadians, Interim Commissioner of Official Languages Ghislaine Saikaley urged the federal government to put concrete measures in place that take into consideration all of the data released by Statistics Canada today.

It is important that the Government’s next official languages action plan include concrete courses of action that factor in the most recent data about Canadians’ linguistic realities and what that data means for the vitality of these communities,” said Saikaley.

Specifically, the Interim Commissioner believes that the federal government must work together with provincial and territorial governments to continue its efforts to increase immigration in Francophone communities and ensure that they have the means to serve as host communities.

For example, setting up the Mobilité Francophone program in June 2016 was a step in the right direction and showed leadership on the part of the provinces, the territories and the federal government,” Saikaley said. “But in light of the data released today, it is clear that further action is needed.”

The data confirms that Quebec’s English-speaking community is still vibrant, and the Interim Commissioner reiterated the importance of supporting this community.

The English language is not in danger in Quebec; however, the province’s English-speaking communities, especially those in more isolated areas, have specific needs,” explained Saikaley. “These communities help to enrich society in both Quebec and Canada.”

The Interim Commissioner highlighted the increased rate of bilingualism not only on a national level but also in each province and territory: “Canadians don’t all have to be bilingual, but those who want to become bilingual should have the opportunity to do so, both at school and throughout their lives.”


For more information or to schedule an interview with the Commissioner, please contact:

Nelson Kalil
Manager, Public Affairs
Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
Telephone: 819-420-4714
Toll-free: 1-877-996-6368
Cellular: 613-324-0999
E-mail: nelson.kalil@clo-ocol.gc.ca
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