March 18th, 2014

The NDP places a complaint with the Commissioner of Official Languages

Bilingual CRA positions eliminated

With the Journée internationale de la Francophonie on the horizon, the NDP critic for Official Languages Yvon Godin (Acadie – Bathurst) placed a complaint with the Commissioner of Official Languages, criticizing the Conservative government’s decision to arbitrarily render formerly bilingual positions with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) unilingual.

“Once again, the Conservative government is making unilateral decisions without consulting anyone,” said Godin. “The message is clear: they want nothing to do with bilingualism.”

Godin argues that the language requirements of public service positions must be studied without bias and following set guidelines. He noted that these positions included an $800 yearly bonus being bilingual. It is not yet known how many positions were affected by the changes.

“This represents minute savings for the government, while Francophones and employees risk no longer being able to receive services or work in their own language. The commissioner must inquire,” added Godin.

The NDP laments that the Conservative government has again dismissed the importance of bilingualism in the public sector—a key objective of the Official Languages Act. Assigning bilingual positions helps ensure that Canadians can receive services in the official language of their choice. It’s time to stop eroding official languages in the federal public sector.