Why is modernizing the Official Languages Act necessary?

13 Good Reasons to Modernize
the Official Languages Act

  • Because in the 50 years since its enactment, the Official Languages Act was never fully implemented
  • Because even after 50 years, our two official languages are still not fully equal in status
  • Because year after year, reports by the Commissioner of Official Languages highlight the same shortcomings, the same violations and the same failures
  • Because governments spent too much time in the last 50 years justifying language obligations instead of promoting the equal status of our two official languages
  • Because after years of plateauing, bilinguism is now stagnating in Canada
  • Because when there’s a crisis like COVID-19, communicating health and safety information to Canadians in their preferred official language should be a priority
  • Because Canada has changed significantly since the last major overhaul of the Official Languages Act in 1988
  • Because the Act itself must designate a federal institution as “head of official languages” with the responsibility and power to hold all federal institutions accountable of the implementation of the Act
  • Because the time has come to create an official languages tribunal with the authority to hear complaints on the implementation of the Act and impose sanctions and fines
  • Because sums transferred by the federal government to provinces and territories must produce an impact for Francophones AND Anglophones, for the majority AND the minority
  • Because Supreme Court justices must be bilingual
  • Because every Canadian who has the right to education in the official language of the minority should be able to receive it, and every Canadian who wishes to learn his or her second official language should be able to do so
  • Because the country’s immigration policies should support Canada’s linguistic duality instead of undermining it