ARCHIVED - Ottawa, October 17, 2006

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Graham Fraser Appointed Sixth Commissioner of Official Languages

Graham Fraser took office today as Canada’s sixth Commissioner of Official Languages.

Mr. Fraser undertakes his mandate as Commissioner with nearly 40 years of experience in examining official languages issues from the perspective of a journalist, author and lecturer. Throughout his career, Mr. Fraser has shown a deep understanding of official language policy and has been a strong supporter of Canada’s linguistic duality, a fundamental part of our national identity.

The new Commissioner sees his appointment as an opportunity to continue his exploration of official languages issues in Canada and to persevere in the work of the Office of the Commissioner in the pursuit of meaningful results. "It's a subject I am passionately interested in," he said. "It is with a great sense of responsibility and humility that I take on my mandate. I look forward to establishing a dialogue with citizens and decision-makers across the country to discuss the realities and challenges of official languages in Canada.” As an English-speaking Canadian who became bilingual, Mr. Fraser is also committed to engaging the majority in a comprehensive vision of our country’s linguistic identity.

Community leaders throughout Canada have welcomed Mr. Fraser’s appointment with enthusiasm while acknowledging the invaluable contribution to Canada’s linguistic duality made by former Commissioner Dyane Adam, whose seven-year term ended on October 16, 2006.

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For more information:

Robin Cantin
Manager, Public Affairs
Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
Telephone: 613-995-0374
Toll-free: 1-877-996-6368

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages At a Glance

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages works to protect language rights by overseeing the application of the Official Languages Act by the federal government. It also promotes Canada’s official languages and respect for linguistic duality, which is a fundamental part of our national identity.

The Commissioner reports directly to Parliament and every year submits an annual report, along with recommendations. As an agent of Parliament, the Commissioner has the mandate of taking all measures intended to ensure the achievement of the three main objectives of the Official Languages Act, namely:

  • the equality of English and French in Parliament, within the Government of Canada, the federal administration and institutions subject to the Act;
  • the preservation and development of official language communities in Canada;
  • the equality of English and French in Canadian society.

Here are some of the activities that the Commissioner carries out to fulfill this mandate:

Protection Promotion

Proactively monitors compliance to the Act by federal institutions by carrying out audits and helps the institutions to better implement the Act in their affairs.

Monitors the advancement of English and French in Canadian society.

Receives complaints and conducts investigations; recommends corrective measures or changes.

Appeals to the Federal Court on behalf of the complainant when all other avenues have been exhausted.

Informs the Canadian public of their language rights.

Conducts research to better understand the evolution of English and French in Canada.

Works to increase public awareness of the benefits of linguistic duality.

Ensures governments at the federal, provincial and territorial level give due attention to official languages and linguistic communities.

Supports the development of official language minority communities.

The Commissioner is supported by the Office headquarters in Ottawa and by five regional offices: Atlantic; Quebec; Ontario; Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and the Alberta, British Colombia, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut Region.