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The discussions held during the Vancouver forum on the perspectives of Canadians of diverse backgrounds on linguistic duality were very passionate, rich in content and predominantly contextualized to the regional setting. In Vancouver, participants brought new issues, concerns and challenges to the Commissionerís attention that are of particular interest to the different ethnocultural groups in British Columbia.

British Columbia is home to a very engaged ethnocultural leadership that is passionately involved in promoting a participative integration of its communities in the development of Canada. Participants were community leaders with great inside knowledge of the issues, challenges and expectations of their communities, which they shared with the Commissioner.

Forum participants saw linguistic duality as both an essential part of the Canadian identity and a real value added for its citizens and for the country as a whole in an increasingly competitive world.

Participants felt that actions need to be taken at all levels of government and must actively involve community groups. Education, promotion and awareness seem to be at the heart of the potential ways of going forward. They also urged the Commissioner to take concrete actions to make the integration of linguistic duality and cultural diversity a reality for all Canadians.

OCOL will continue its reflection on this issue and is planning to hold a third and final forum in another Canadian city in 2010.

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