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The Task Force on the impact of government transformations on the official languages, established by the President of the Treasury Board, tabled its report in January 1999. It studied the major transformations throughout the federal government designed to modernize and rationalize the delivery of services to Canadians.

Recommendation 7 of the Task Force dealt with partnerships with the communities: “That the government implement pilot projects to explore the possibility of establishing partnerships with minority official language communities with a view to the delivery of certain services by the latter.”

The Task Force emphasized that it was important, however, to be cautious in adopting this type of approach, which entails the creation of a new, parallel program delivery mechanism that has not necessarily proven itself.

With a view to preventing potential problems in the creation of new procedures, and in anticipation of possible impacts and consequences on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter) and the application of the Official Languages Act, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages conducted this study, which has two objectives:

  • to inventory examples of new procedures for cooperation between the government and the official language communities for the delivery of services by community groups;

  • to determine the conditions that must be fulfilled to ensure respect for the spirit and intent of the Official Languages Act.

This report presents, first, the results of data collection by analyzing three typical examples, namely, the London-Sarnia regional ACFO model, the Éducacentre model in British Columbia, and the National Committee for Canadian Francophonie Human Resource Development model. A legal analysis presents certain legislative perspectives on these models of cooperation. A description of all the examples inventoried is found in the Appendix 1. This analysis is followed by a clarification of the terms used to describe these new practices.

The results of the study lead to recommendations addressed to community groups and federal institutions. The conclusion includes a series of principles that should guide the implementation of models of cooperation for the delivery of a government service by a community group.

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