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Regulations on official languages ​​hoped for “as quickly as possible”

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press The Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge, during a press conference in Ottawa on May 7

Lisa Denis in Ottawa

Posted at 10:38 p.m.

  • Canada

The Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge, reiterated on Monday his calls for action to the government and federal institutions to supervise and implement the new law “as quickly as possible”.

“We are seeing a slowness in the development of regulations. This is a pressing situation. In my opinion, we must move as quickly as possible,” he declared before the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

At the beginning of the month, Mr. Théberge had already invited the President of the Treasury Board, Anita Anand, to publish her regulations on Part VII of the Act “sooner rather than later”. Because this section of the legislative text, which concerns “progress towards equality of status and use of French and English”, is the one which will have “the greatest impact on the development of our communities”.

The commissioner also believes that the new version of the Accountability and Accountability Framework prepared by the Treasury Board is not “prescriptive” enough. “We were consulted, but it didn’t necessarily bear the fruit we wanted. […] We still give too much latitude to federal institutions to judge how they should implement the law. »

Yet these are the same institutions that “do not take […] seriously” their linguistic obligations, Mr. Théberge warned a few weeks ago. The latter “must redouble their ardor”, he insisted again on Monday afternoon. “We need a renewed […] commitment, and it starts with senior management and it also starts with leadership from ministers. »

“Work with respect” in committee

Even though it failed last Thursday to remove Franco-Ontarian MP Francis Drouin from his position as president of the Canadian section of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, the opposition returned to the charge, taking advantage of the commissioner's presence to question him about the liberal's comments.

“I think that what is important is always to work with respect,” Raymond Théberge soberly replied. “A painting, in itself, does not represent an entire reality,” he added. “But I think what is important is to realize that it is extremely important, especially for Francophones in a minority environment, to have access to an education system from early childhood to post-secondary in the language of the minority to precisely counterbalance the very English-speaking environment in which he finds himself. »

The Minister of Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, declined the invitation to return to testify to conclude the committee's study on the financing of postsecondary establishments in minority settings, President René Arseneault said Monday. Completely erased by the debates on the call for the resignation of Mr. Drouin, the elected official, who was to testify this month, had only answered one question, on his colleague's excuses.< /p>

This report is supported by the Local Journalism Initiative, funded by the Government of Canada.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116