LANG Committee Report
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As a result of their deliberations committees may make recommendations which they include in their reports for the consideration of the House of Commons or the Government. Recommendations related to this study are listed below.
That the Government of Canada, as part of its modernization of the Official Languages Act, add an interpretative clause seeking to prioritize the goals and objectives of the Act; define and reinforce the concept of positive measures and other key concepts related to the effective application of the Act; and recognize the constitutional specificity of New Brunswick.
That the Government of Canada introduce a bill to modernize the Official Languages Act to redefine the roles and responsibilities of the Commissioner of Official Languages, prioritizing, without being limited to, the following:
- a) giving the Commissioner the authority to impose monetary sanctions;
- b) giving the Commissioner the authority to require institutions that are subject to the Act to submit compliance reports and having the Commissioner issue statutory requirements; and
- c) creating an administrative tribunal and defining its role and mandate.
That the Government of Canada introduce a bill to modernize the Official Languages Act with new provisions, including but not limited to the following, to:
- a) establish a formal consultation framework with official language minority communities (OLMCs);
- b) require the Government of Canada to develop a multi-year horizontal strategy for official languages with targets and performance indicators developed in collaboration with OLMCs and that is subject to both a mid-term and a final review made available to the public;
- c) require federal institutions to develop a multi-year strategy to implement the Official Languages Act;
- d) require federal institutions to include language variables in research it carries out and funds, particularly in sample selection for studies, as well as to produce and publish compelling data on OLMCs; and
- e) require Statistics Canada to collect data on OLMCs, including whether children are eligible to receive their education in the minority language, with the goal of accurately counting how many rights-holders could potentially attend English and French minority-language schools, pursuant to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and respecting provincial and territorial jurisdiction.
That the Government of Canada introduce a bill to modernize the Official Languages Act with clear objectives and obligations respecting language rights in francophone immigration and health.
That the government of Canada, in future negotiations on the Official Languages in Education Program (OLEP), work with the provinces and territories to support French first-language education and to strengthen education rights, as set out in the strategic education agreement between the Government of Canada, the Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones (FNCSF), the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA) and the Commission nationale des parents francophones (CNPF).
That the Government of Canada, in future negotiations on the Official Languages in Education Program (OLEP), work with the provinces and territories to support second-language instruction and strengthen education rights.
That the Government of Canada introduce a bill to modernize the Official Languages Act that includes a new section on the Government of Canada’s role in minority-language education. This new section should include, but not be limited to, the following:
- a) a provision ensuring the enumeration of rights-holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and
- b) a provision ensuring that the educational and cultural infrastructure needs of official language minority communities are identified as a priority in the Government of Canada’s disposal process for surplus real property under subsection 16.1(1) as it applies to New Brunswick and section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
That the Government of Canada consider, as part of its efforts to modernize the Official Languages Act, including new provisions seeking to:
- a) require the inclusion, in any agreement between the Government of Canada and a province or territory that provides for a transfer of funds, of enforceable language clauses that encourage progress toward equality of status and use of English and French, a well as the vitality and development of official language minority communities, through the establishment of consultations and transparency and accountability mechanisms;
- b) give the Minister of Official Languages the authority to ensure that all federal departments and institutions comply with the language clauses;
- c) make available, in both official languages, all federal–provincial/territorial agreements; and
- d) ensure that members of official language minority communities eligible to receive their education in the language of the minority can do so, if they so choose, and that spaces are allocated for them in public schools, particularly in the case of Quebec.
That the Government of Canada transfer the official languages file to a central agency and entrust the implementation of the Official Languages Act to that agency.
That the new Official Languages Act include a chapter on promoting the French language both in Canada and at the international level, particularly in the Americas.
That the new Official Languages Act promote bilingualism in Canada.