Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Official Languages Commission Annual Report 2006-2007

In his first official report, released today, Canada's new Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser faults the federal government for its lack of leadership in promoting the rights of linguistic minorities in Canada.

Fraser, who was appointed to the position last year, praises the government for its formal commitment to defending and promoting Canada's linguistic duality. But he explains that the words are not being followed by action.

And he comes down hard on the Conservatives for their abolition of the Court Challenges Program which provided funding to minority groups to help mount challenges to government policies in court.

Fraser said dozens of cases before the courts have lost their funding because of the decision.

The Commissioner added that the slashing of the program caused an "avalanche" of 117 complaints to his office, which acts as an ombudsman for language minorities.

The annual report comes with a series of backgrounder documents on the performance of the 200 federal government institutions subject to the Official Languages Act, a description of the Act and of the role of the Commissioner's office, statistics about official languages in Canada, and polling data on the state of Canadian public opinion about bilingualism.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:19 pm

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