[EDLING:125] Canada: Commissioner of Official Languages' 2006-2007 Annual Report

Francis M. Hult fmhult at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 17 22:14:59 UTC 2007

Commissioner of Official Languages' 2006-2007 Annual Report

Commissioner Fraser's First Annual Report 

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 15, 2007) - Despite Prime Minister Harper 
personally setting an example by using both official languages, the government 
is not living up to its commitment in this area, Graham Fraser, Commissioner of 
Official Languages, said in his first annual report presented to Parliament 

"Prime Minister Harper's public behaviour is exemplary in terms of respect for 
Canada's official languages," Fraser said, noting that Josee Verner, Minister 
for La Francophonie and Official Languages, had expressed the government's 
support for the amendments to the Official Languages Act and the Action Plan 
for Official Languages. "Unfortunately, the government's actions over the last 
year have not reflected these public statements."

In 2005, the Official Languages Act was enhanced with the amendment to Part VII 
requiring federal institutions to take positive measures to promote linguistic 
duality and support the development of official language minority communities. 
According to the Commissioner, "Although this amendment was approved by 
Parliament, government action to date casts doubt on its genuine commitment to 
implementing this Act." The most telling example in the Commissioner's report 
is the announcement of budget cuts last fall, which abolished initiatives such 
as the Court Challenges Program.
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