Major victory for access to justice in both official languages

For immediate release

Gatineau, November 16, 2018 – The Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge, welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada this morning in the case of Mazraani v. Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

This decision confirms the fundamental nature of the right to use the official language of one’s choice in federal courts as well as the role of judges and courts in actively ensuring the protection of that right.

The Commissioner appeared as an intervener before the highest court in Canada to support the importance of language rights protected by the Official Languages Act.

It was essential for me that the Supreme Court of Canada recognize the fundamental right of every person to freely choose the official language in which they want to express themselves. I am pleased that the unanimous decision of the Court makes it very clear that it is important to allow a meaningful choice to speak in English or French,” stated the Commissioner.

This important victory reminds me that in terms of language rights, we must always remain vigilant in order to protect our gains and institutions to truly support the vitality of official language minority communities in Canada. I remind the federal government and the provinces and territories that they have a vital role in protecting these communities,” added the Commissioner.


For more information, please contact:

Véronique Robitaille
Acting Manager, Public Affairs
Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

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