February 28th, 2013

NDP reiterates priorities for next official languages initiative

The Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality expires at the end of March and New Democrat Official Languages critics wrote to Heritage and Official Languages Minister James Moore about the NDP’s recommendations for moving forward.

New Democrats want to ensure that any new initiative is an effective tool that advances the equality and status of both official languages as well as encouraging the development of official language communities.

Official Languages critic Yvon Godin and deputy critic Tyrone Benskin urged the government to maintain and index financing for the Roadmap . They also want the government, which advocates decentralization in its management approach, to ensure that Canadian Heritage has real coordination and oversight of institutions under the new initiative.

The NDP also called on the government to provide more support to community organizations, who are largely responsible for the vitality of Canada’s official languages.

In light of the most recent census data, which revealed the fragile state of the French language in Canada, New Democrats also urged the government to ensure its continued strength.

“To ensure the continued vitality and development of French-speaking communities outside of Quebec, and to make it possible to live and work in French in each Canadian province and territory, we are requesting that particular attention be paid to the following issues: education (especially in the light of increasing exogamy), early childhood development, immigration, support for the delivery of municipal and provincial services in French, and economic development,” reads the attached letter, in both official languages.