Statement from the Commissioner of Official Languages regarding the pandemic
March 20, 2020 – Gatineau, Quebec
Commissioner of Official Languages Raymond Théberge issued the following statement today:
“We are currently living in exceptional times with the COVID-19 pandemic. As most Canadians, I am deeply preoccupied with the current situation. I want to acknowledge the incredible efforts being put in place to keep all Canadians safe and healthy.
In this context, members of the public expect to be provided with statements, relevant instructions and information in the interest of public health and safety in both official languages at all times.
In addition, Canadians throughout the country, regardless of their official language, must be able to understand messages directed to them from all federal institutions, particularly in the current context.
We have received complaints related to federal government communications during the pandemic. We are currently doing an analysis of the details that have come to our attention. We also are in touch with certain federal institutions, as needed.
Beyond the Official Languages Act, it is a matter of respect and safety for all Canadians.”