Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Library of Parliament Updated Research Publication on Official Languages Act

The Library of Parliament recently updated its research publication The Official Languages Act: Understanding Its Principles and Implementation:

"The Canadian Constitution does not contain any provisions relating to jurisdiction in matters of language. In a 1988 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that the power to legislate in matters of language belongs to both the federal and provincial levels of government, according to their respective legislative authority. "

"The first Official Languages Act (OLA) was passed by the federal government in July 1969, in response to the work of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. In 1982, the entrenchment of language rights in the Constitution opened a new chapter in the evolution of this issue. The OLA was revised in 1988 to take into account the new constitutional order. The new Act expanded the legislative basis for linguistic policies and programs adopted by the federal government. The OLA was revised again in November 2005 to clarify the duties of federal institutions with respect to enhancing the vitality of official language minority communities and promoting linguistic duality (...) "

"Since amendments were made to the OLA in November 2005, federal institutions have had a duty to take positive measures to follow through on the commitment set out in section 41 of the OLA. These positive measures may vary according to the mandate of each institution. Their implementation must respect the provinces’ areas of jurisdiction and powers."

"Consultations were launched in the spring of 2012 to identify the current challenges and priorities relating to linguistic duality and to develop a future federal strategy on official languages. The Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008–2013 came to an end on 31 March 2013. The new Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018 came into force on 1 April 2013 with three priority sectors for action: education, immigration and communities."

"On 16 May 2012, a bill on amending provisions dealing with communications with and services to the public was tabled in the Senate. A similar bill had been introduced in a previous Parliament; however, it died on the Order Paper. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:20 pm


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