Speeches given by the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada

The Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada is an agent of Parliament whose duty is to promote Canada’s official languages and protect the language rights of Canadians. A critical component of the Commissioner’s job is to report to parliamentary committees in both the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada. The Commissioner of Official Languages also travels from coast to coast, participating in panel discussions, meeting key partners and delivering speeches on official languages to young Canadians, researchers, public service employees and community leaders. You will find many of his speeches here.

2013

Speaking notes for the Official Languages Good Practices Forum - ARCHIVED

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I am pleased to take part in this sharing of ideas and best practices, and I commend all of you on the efforts you are making to encourage the use of both languages in your departments on a daily basis and over the longer term as well. Continue reading Speaking notes for the Official Languages Good Practices Forum - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED

Monday, December 02, 2013

I am delighted to appear before the Committee today to discuss immersion education, an approach to learning that helps young Canadians develop a strong sense of our country’s bilingual nature. Right now across Canada, immersion education programs continue to be an unparalleled success. Thanks to... Continue reading Notes for an address to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED


Notes for an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage - ARCHIVED

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I appreciate this opportunity to address the Committee on a topic of great interest to all Canadians. Like you, I have certain concerns regarding the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. The Olympic Games are always an extraordinary occasion for Canadians to join together and feel... Continue reading Notes for an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage - ARCHIVED


Notes for an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am particularly pleased to be here before you today to share a few of my thoughts on my 2012–2013 annual report, which I tabled in Parliament on November 7. But first, I would like to recognize the recently re-elected Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages, the... Continue reading Notes for an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED


Speaking notes for an appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED

Monday, November 25, 2013

I am particularly pleased to be here before the Committee today to share a few of my thoughts on my 2012–2013 annual report, which I tabled in Parliament on November 7. But first, I would like to recognize the newly elected Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, Senator... Continue reading Speaking notes for an appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at the annual meeting of the Language Rights Support Program - ARCHIVED

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My colleagues, Katherine d’Entremont and François Boileau, and I were delighted to accept the Program’s invitation to present the findings of our joint study, which was released on August 16, 2013, at the Canadian Bar Association’s annual meeting. Continue reading Notes for an address at the annual meeting of the Language Rights Support Program - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address to McGill University’s Faculty of Law - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Let me begin by thanking Lawrence David and Droits linguistiques McGill for extending this kind opportunity to address the Faculty of Law on an issue of great importance to all Canadians. This university holds a special place in the story of official languages in Canada. Two McGill faculty, Dean of... Continue reading Notes for an address to McGill University’s Faculty of Law - ARCHIVED


Notes for the launch of Seniors Action Quebec and the release of a study on English-speaking seniors in Quebec - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I am very pleased to be here in Montreal to take part in the launch of Seniors Action Quebec and to release my new study, which includes a portrait of Quebec’s English-speaking seniors. Continue reading Notes for the launch of Seniors Action Quebec and the release of a study on English-speaking seniors in Quebec - ARCHIVED


Statement to the media for the launch of the 2012–2013 annual report - ARCHIVED

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Over the course of my first mandate as Commissioner, one of the questions that I have often received is the most general and difficult one: how are we doing in terms of official bilingualism? The answer is often unsatisfying—it depends. Continue reading Statement to the media for the launch of the 2012–2013 annual report - ARCHIVED


Notes for a conference marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal 22e Régiment - ARCHIVED

Friday, October 18, 2013

It’s a tremendous honour to be here this morning at Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean to take part in this conference on the Royal 22e Régiment’s 100th anniversary. I would like to thank the Collège’s Dean of Studies and Research, M. Marc Imbeault, for extending this kind invitation to share a... Continue reading Notes for a conference marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal 22e Régiment - ARCHIVED


Notes for a round table on 50 years of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism: The teaching of history and relations between Anglophones and Francophones - ARCHIVED

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thank you very much for inviting me to take part in this round table to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. As Commissioner of Official Languages, I am honoured to be here. Continue reading Notes for a round table on 50 years of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism: The teaching of history and relations between Anglophones and Francophones - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at the annual convention of the Association québécoise pour l’enseignement en univers social and the Association for Canadian Studies - ARCHIVED

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I am delighted to be here with you today in Bromont to discuss the importance of viewing our shared history from the perspective of identity and bilingualism. Once a student and then a journalist, I have always been passionate about the teaching of history. Today, I am the Commissioner of Official... Continue reading Notes for an address at the annual convention of the Association québécoise pour l’enseignement en univers social and the Association for Canadian Studies - ARCHIVED


Agents of Parliament and the Machinery of Government – Notes for an address to Statistics Canada's executive conference - ARCHIVED

Monday, October 07, 2013

For some time now, we have used the term “agents of Parliament” to describe individuals who report to parliamentarians, in order to distinguish us from those who work directly for Parliament, like the Clerk. We are, in some ways, neither fish nor fowl: neither public servants in the classic sense,... Continue reading Agents of Parliament and the Machinery of Government – Notes for an address to Statistics Canada's executive conference - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at the Association Richelieu Fondateur's annual conference - ARCHIVED

Friday, September 27, 2013

I am greatly honoured to be at your annual conference in this place “Where Ontario Began,” as the municipal slogan says here in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. I thank Association Chairman Gilles Ménard for inviting me to say a few words on the subject of bilingualism in... Continue reading Notes for an address at the Association Richelieu Fondateur's annual conference - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address to Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat employees on the significance of Linguistic Duality Day - ARCHIVED

Friday, September 13, 2013

It's a tremendous pleasure to be here today at Treasury Board. I very much appreciate your invitation to discuss the importance of linguistic duality in the federal public service and to share my thoughts on the importance of leadership and collaboration as they pertain to our official languages. Continue reading Notes for an address to Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat employees on the significance of Linguistic Duality Day - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address to Public Safety Canada employees on Linguistic Duality Day - ARCHIVED

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I would like to thank your deputy minister, François Guimont, for inviting me to speak today with the upstanding employees of Public Safety Canada. His continued commitment to linguistic duality is much appreciated. Continue reading Notes for an address to Public Safety Canada employees on Linguistic Duality Day - ARCHIVED


Notes for an armchair discussion at the Canada School of Public Service on Linguistic Duality Day - ARCHIVED

Thursday, September 12, 2013

As it happens, our discussion coincides with the release by my office of a new study on language training in the federal public service. I'd like to use my time this afternoon to address some of our findings. I will use Blueprint 2020 to frame the discussion by looking at ways linguistic duality... Continue reading Notes for an armchair discussion at the Canada School of Public Service on Linguistic Duality Day - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address during the second annual Multidisciplinary Approaches in Language Policy and Planning Conference at the University of Calgary - ARCHIVED

Friday, September 06, 2013

It is a great pleasure to be here with you at the University of Calgary once again, and to have the opportunity to address this conference. Before I begin, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Professor Ricento for inviting me to speak. I was so impressed by the range and depth of last year... Continue reading Notes for an address during the second annual Multidisciplinary Approaches in Language Policy and Planning Conference at the University of Calgary - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at the Canadian Judges' Forum during the Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference - ARCHIVED

Monday, August 19, 2013

I would like to thank you for allowing me to share with you today the findings and recommendations of the study titled Access to Justice in Both Official Languages: Improving the Bilingual Capacity of the Judiciary for Superior Courts, which was released on August 16. Access to justice in general... Continue reading Notes for an address at the Canadian Judges' Forum during the Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address during the Meeting of Council at the Canadian Bar Association's Legal Conference - ARCHIVED

Sunday, August 18, 2013

It is always a pleasure to participate in the discussions of Canadian Bar Association Council members. Six months ago exactly, I met some of you during the Mid-Winter Meeting of Council in Mont Tremblant. At that time, I presented you with an outline of my study on access to justice in both... Continue reading Notes for an address during the Meeting of Council at the Canadian Bar Association's Legal Conference - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Bar Association during its annual legal conference - ARCHIVED

Friday, August 16, 2013

Before I turn to the topic that I’ve come to talk to you about, let me take this opportunity to share with you the major findings of the study on access to justice that I released just this morning. I know that access to justice is a priority for the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), as was... Continue reading Notes for an address to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Bar Association during its annual legal conference - ARCHIVED


Fifty years later: The legacy of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism – Notes for an address at a conference at the Université de Moncton - ARCHIVED

Friday, June 14, 2013

First, I would like to thank the Université de Moncton for agreeing to hold this conference. In particular, I would like to thank Éric Forgues, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities, and Michel Doucet, Director of the International Observatory on... Continue reading Fifty years later: The legacy of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism – Notes for an address at a conference at the Université de Moncton - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at the International Conference on Language Rights - ARCHIVED

Friday, May 24, 2013

I am pleased to be with you today, in the historic city of Dublin, to take part in the International Conference on Language Rights. The history of Canada’s federal language regime is rich and constantly evolving. While much progress has already been made over the past decades, I believe that Canada... Continue reading Notes for an address at the International Conference on Language Rights - ARCHIVED


Notes for a keynote address on Canada's linguistic duality in a multicultural framework - ARCHIVED

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This is not my first visit to Sri Lanka. I was here 10 years ago, on a delegation visit. Like all visitors who have an opportunity to visit your beautiful country, I found my experience in Sri Lanka fascinating. It is a great pleasure to return as Canada’s commissioner of official languages. Continue reading Notes for a keynote address on Canada's linguistic duality in a multicultural framework - ARCHIVED


Notes for an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED

Thursday, May 09, 2013

I would like to thank your committee for its interest in the operations of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. As an agent of Parliament, I provide parliamentarians with unbiased advice based on objective and factual information to help you hold the federal government accountable... Continue reading Notes for an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED


Notes for an appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages regarding terms of reference for two studies - ARCHIVED

Monday, April 29, 2013

I would like to thank you for inviting me here today to discuss two important studies that your Committee is undertaking. Second-language learning and the impact of immigration on official language minority communities are issues that I have been examining since the beginning of my mandate. Continue reading Notes for an appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages regarding terms of reference for two studies - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at a luncheon of the Chambre de commerce francophone de Saint-Boniface and CentrePort Canada - ARCHIVED

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Many of you may think that the question of official languages is solely a concern for government. You might be wondering—what business is it of the Commissioner of Official Languages what language I use in my line of business? The preamble to the Official Languages Act commits the Government of... Continue reading Notes for an address at a luncheon of the Chambre de commerce francophone de Saint-Boniface and CentrePort Canada - ARCHIVED


Notes for a meeting with the management team of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thank you for inviting me to discuss linguistic duality and its importance for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. I have always thought that your remarkable building was in a particularly symbolic place. Geographically, you are near the mid-point of the country; historically, you overlook the St... Continue reading Notes for a meeting with the management team of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thank you for having me today and allowing me to speak to you by videoconference. I am currently in Winnipeg to meet with Manitoba’s Francophone community. I appreciate the steps you are taking to adapt our democratic processes to new technologies, especially when those technologies better serve... Continue reading Notes for an address to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at the Symposium “Les médias et la francophonie canadienne : quel passé, quel présent, quel avenir?” - ARCHIVED

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I am very pleased to participate in this symposium, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of Le Droit. I would like to start by saying “Congratulations!” and “Happy anniversary!” Newspapers, and the media in general, are tools for public engagement. They strengthen the ties between members of... Continue reading Notes for an address at the Symposium “Les médias et la francophonie canadienne : quel passé, quel présent, quel avenir?” - ARCHIVED


Notes for an appearance before the Senate Committee of the Whole - ARCHIVED

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thank you for considering the certificate of nomination extending my term as Commissioner of Official Languages. The past six years have been marked by important events, including regular meetings with members of this committee. I hope that you will grant me the privilege of continuing this... Continue reading Notes for an appearance before the Senate Committee of the Whole - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address given at the Société Gatineau Monde - ARCHIVED

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I would like to begin by thanking Claude Robert for inviting me here. I would also like to thank you for coming here to listen to me this evening. I’m going to be passing on a few thoughts about linguistic and cultural diversity, and the issues they raise. I’ll also be looking at the role of the... Continue reading Notes for an address given at the Société Gatineau Monde - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thank you for considering the certificate of nomination extending my term as Commissioner of Official Languages. The past six years have been marked by important events, including regular meetings with members of this committee. I hope that I will have the privilege of continuing this relationship... Continue reading Notes for an address to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages - ARCHIVED


Statement to the media for the signing of the memorandum of understanding with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick - ARCHIVED

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Thank you for attending this press conference to celebrate the 20th anniversary of section 16.1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada and the Office of the Commissioner... Continue reading Statement to the media for the signing of the memorandum of understanding with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address for the Bilingualism in Business: The Bilingual Advantage Symposium - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

It’s a pleasure to be with you here today in Prince Edward Island—Canada’s gentle island. Thank you for inviting me to discuss linguistic duality and its importance to business people. Many of you may think that the question of official languages is solely a concern for government. You might be... Continue reading Notes for an address for the Bilingualism in Business: The Bilingual Advantage Symposium - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at a meeting of the Prince Edward Island Federal Council - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

It’s a pleasure to be here in Prince Edward Island. This is my first visit to the Council, but I have already met some of you on previous occasions. Very early in my mandate, I realized how useful it is to talk to the people who coordinate what their institutions are doing at the regional level. It... Continue reading Notes for an address at a meeting of the Prince Edward Island Federal Council - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions information session for new official languages champions - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thank you for inviting me. I am very pleased to speak to you as new official languages champions. My presence here today is of special importance, since as champions, you are the spokespeople for linguistic duality in the public service. Linguistic duality and cultural diversity are important... Continue reading Notes for an address at the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions information session for new official languages champions - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address to students in the Université Laval's Master in Public Affairs Program - ARCHIVED

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Two years ago, I gave an address to Master of Public Policy students at the University of Toronto. I wanted to emphasize the importance of understanding and speaking both official languages when choosing to study public policy in Canada. It can sometimes be more difficult to convince Anglophones in... Continue reading Notes for an address to students in the Université Laval's Master in Public Affairs Program - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address to CÉGEP Champlain – St-Lawrence students - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It is always a pleasure for me to come back to Québec City. I would like to take the opportunity to thank your director, Jean Robert, for inviting me to discuss linguistic duality with you. First, let me tell you a little about myself. I lived in Quebec for a decade—three years in Montréal and... Continue reading Notes for an address to CÉGEP Champlain – St-Lawrence students - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at the networking and partnership retreat of the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) - ARCHIVED

Monday, February 11, 2013

People are the lifeblood of every organization and at the heart of every community’s vitality—they give a community its vigour, strength and ability to develop to its full capacity. Since 2000, the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) has greatly contributed to the vitality of... Continue reading Notes for an address at the networking and partnership retreat of the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) - ARCHIVED


Notes for an address at a workshop on the application of the Official Languages Act at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

First, I would like to thank Josette Couture for inviting me to be with you here today. I am pleased to be participating in this workshop on the application of the Official Languages Act at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and, more particularly, to be talking about official... Continue reading Notes for an address at a workshop on the application of the Official Languages Act at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada - ARCHIVED


Notes for an Inaugural Lecture at Ottawa University - ARCHIVED

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Thank you very much for the introduction, and for agreeing to host this first lecture in a series of lectures, workshops and round tables that will be held across Canada to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. Continue reading Notes for an Inaugural Lecture at Ottawa University - ARCHIVED


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