Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to thank the three witnesses from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for being here today.
Mr. Théberge, you talked about your three objectives or wishes for the coming years, namely, stopping the erosion of language rights, modernizing the act, and providing strong and clear leadership. I think this is extremely important. I have just met with representatives of the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française, who somewhat criticized the fact that Canada's youth policy doesn't address official languages, when it should be part of our Canadian identity in every respect.
Recently—I think it was yesterday or the day before—Mr. Bigeau of RDÉE Canada, the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité for francophone minority communities, deplored the fact that the Canadian tourism strategy does not include a francophone component. According to him, “If the situation isn't corrected, francophone tourism will be neglected for five years in a rapidly changing sector. We can't afford to walk, when everyone else is running.”
In key or strategic sectors where we must promote both official languages, it therefore seems that we are forgetting our Canadian identity, one of the principles of which is bilingualism, the existence of our two official languages. It seems that we forget it and, when we point out this omission, we're told that bilingualism is implicit, that it goes without saying and that it isn't necessary to mention it.
What do you think about these omissions or this way of thinking and saying that bilingualism is obvious and doesn't need to be included in the youth policy or the tourism strategy, for example?