[lg policy] Canada's bilingualism in federal institutions is reportedly experiencing "embarrassing lapses".

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 8 22:10:34 UTC 2013

OTTAWA: Fifty years after a royal commission recommended English and French
as Canada's two official languages, bilingualism in federal institutions is
reportedly experiencing "embarrassing lapses."

Despite a sharp increase of bilingual Canadians, "subtle erosion" of
bilingual services prevailed in Canada thanks to government cutbacks, said
Graham Fraser, head of the commission, in his annual report.

The service was weakened either by the transfer of federal government
offices to regions where public servants cannot work in French or the
"quiet reduction" of the level of language skill required for bilingual
positions, Xinhua news agency reports Fraser as saying.

At a press conference, Fraser spoke about a "completely unacceptable"
incident last month when a parliamentary briefing was delayed as a member
of parliament demanded French interpretation.

 "The fact that a member of parliament even had to ask for a briefing in
French in 2013 -- 55 years after simultaneous interpretation was introduced
into the House of Commons and 50 years after the launch of the Royal
Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism -- was deeply disappointing,"
he said.

Besides the parliament, airports also have difficulty in offering
travellers with bilingual services.

In his report, Fraser said his office has received 2,581 complaints
regarding communications with public service since 2006 when he was first
appointed commissioner, 369 of which involved Air Canada, the country's
largest airline.

"Too often, people have to ask. And too often, when they do, they face
incomprehension or delays," he added.    --BERNAMA

Read more: Canada's bilingualism policy has embarassing lapses: report -
Latest - New Straits


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