Letter to the editor - Missed opportunities

September 29, 2017

When I learned that Governor General Designate Julie Payette spoke mostly in English when she helped to induct Quebec band Beau Dommage into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in Toronto on Saturday, I thought about missed opportunities.

Speaking both official languages at public events and celebrations helps to foster cultural growth and mutual understanding among Canadians. It gives us the chance to learn from each another and ensures that everyone feels welcome and respected.

Going forward, it is my hope that Canadian leaders realize the power of these moments to affirm official languages as part of our national identity. Whether appearing at a gala in Toronto, giving a speech to community groups or attending a major national event, leaders have a tremendous opportunity to help build a stronger and more inclusive country every time they step onto the stage and speak in English and French.

Ghislaine Saikaley, Interim Commissioner of Official Languages

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