Statement of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada on the modernization of the Official Languages Act

For immediate release

Gatineau, Quebec, September 23, 2021

Commissioner of Official Languages Raymond Théberge made the following statement today:

“Official languages have been the focus of much media attention over the past year. The amount of coverage they have received shows how important our official languages are to Canadians and what an essential role they play in Canadian society.

Although we have come a long way, there is still much work to be done. As I have said repeatedly, the Official Languages Act is the cornerstone of our federal language policy, and it needs to be reviewed in depth to make it relevant, dynamic and strong. There is a very real necessity for a modernized Act to better protect the language rights of Canadians and to enhance the vitality of official language minority communities.

Now that the federal election is behind us and Parliament is about to reconvene, I urge the new government to continue to make our official languages and the modernization of the Act a top priority and to honour its commitments to Canadians. Now, more than ever, it is time to take action, and I expect a bill to be tabled as soon as possible. I would like to thank the parliamentarians who helped to advance this important project, and I congratulate all of those who have been newly elected or re-elected and who will be entering or returning to Parliament in the coming weeks.

I look forward to actively re-engaging in the modernization of the Act and to sharing my thoughts with parliamentarians when the time is right. Although we have seen some progress on the modernization of the Act, the work is ongoing and is far from over.

We all need to work together to ensure that this modernization, which is long overdue, becomes a reality. Both of our official languages must continue to thrive in today’s Canada and in our country’s future.”

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For more information, please contact:

Media Relations
Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).

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