New Federal Language Laws being Implemented Across Canada

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The national official languages act is going to be replaced soon. All the federal political parties have committed to pushing through a new act as described below. (Yes, Mr. Sheer as well). The new draft which will be adopted is a creation of the Francophone leadership in Canada. There has been virtually no input from English Canada, but we are expected to bear the costs and live with the fact that 80% of our population will never qualify for managerial or leadership positions within our own government.

When this new act is adopted, it will a be a monument to the power of the Francophone leadership of this country. The draft that they are proposing contains aggressive action to bring any resistance to the advancement of their version of bilingualism to submission.

This is an experiment that has not only been a tremendous challenge for the leadership of the Francophone community but indeed it will be a tremendous victory. For a minority of approximately 20% in our country to gain such disproportionate power is amazing. For this minority to accomplish the creation of laws that simply dismiss any impractically of serving small populations in all corners of Canada is a credit to their determination and strength. Francophiles have joined them in this effort and point to a tremendous support for this new set of laws.

The following are a few examples of the direction they are heading, more bureaucracy, more penalties for non compliance, and a greater reach of bilingualism.

• An Official Languages Secretariat be created to support the Treasury Board in the performance of its duties;

• Create the Official Languages Tribunal, independent of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

• Not give consideration to the proportion of the official language minority population with respect to the majority

• Air, marine, rail and road transport companies be required to provide communications and services in both official languages

• Require that,on appointment, deputy ministers have a sufficient understanding of English and French to be able to perform their duties in both official languages

• The language requirements of deputy heads and managers be increased, in all cases, to the C-B-C level, and that deputy heads and managers already in these positions at the time of the coming into force of this amendment be given two years to meet the requirement.

• The need for bilingual judicial candidates in all regions of the country

• Extension of New Brunswick’s constitutional rights

Read the rest for yourself in this report of the Senate committee. This is only a report but you can count on it being the Act in the end with no meaningful input of English Canada outside Quebec.

We have said all along that we see the need to serve our Francophone neighbors in their language. How that is accomplished needs to acknowledge the affect of these laws on Anglophones and address those concerns as well.

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