October 24th, 2012

Official languages: government must support francophone communities

A strong economy and French language services are necessary: NDP

In light of language data released by Statistics Canada this morning, the Conservative government must support French language jobs and services across the country to ensure the future of Canadian Francophonie, says the NDP.

“We need strong and vibrant local francophone communities. To achieve this, French language services and good jobs are essential. The Harper government has no vision for the country’s francophone regions, which means they are becoming less populated,” said New Democrat Official Languages critic Yvon Godin.

According to Statistics Canada, the country is more diversified than ever with over 200 recorded languages. The majority of immigrants choose to adopt one of the two official languages. However, the proportion of citizens who declared French as the language spoken at home went from 21.4% five years ago to 21% today. Bilingualism rates increased in Quebec, while the opposite is true in the rest of Canada.

“The government’s role in this situation is simple: it must show by example and respect the spirit of the Official Languages Act,” said NDP critic for La Francophonie, Pierre Dionne Labelle. “But the Conservatives have done the opposite since coming to power. They appointed a unilingual auditor general and Supreme Court judge as well as closing the only bilingual search and rescue centre in Canada and privatizing post offices.”