February 21st, 2017

New Democrats celebrate International Mother Language Day

François Choquette, NDP Official Languages Critic, made the following statement on International Mother Language Day:

“New Democrats join with people here in Canada and around the world to celebrate International Mother Language Day.

This worldwide observance is held on February 21st, the date in 1952 when two students were shot while demonstrating for recognition of Bengali as an official language.

Over 200 unique languages are spoken in Canada, including our two official languages, over 60 Indigenous languages, and Bengali.

Language is the mainstay of our cultural identity and heritage. It is our means of passing on knowledge, expressions, traditions and history and must be promoted, protected and respected. Unfortunately, of more than 60 Indigenous languages, only a few remain strong and viable.

New Democrats support initiatives that advance the equality and status of both official languages, work to help preserve, restore and protect Indigenous languages, and celebrate linguistic diversity in our communities.

Canada is a country of diversity, peace and inclusion. On International Mother Language Day, let’s celebrate the linguistic diversity that helps make our country great.”