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March 10th, 2023

NDP amendment to defend linguistic minority communities gets all-party support

OTTAWA — On Friday, an NDP amendment to improve the government’s languages Bill C-13 received unanimous consent at the Languages Committee. This amendment brought forward by the NDP critic for Official Languages Niki Ashton will ensure that funding for services in the language of linguistic minority communities is considered in federal negotiations with provinces and territories on public services for Canadians.

“With this amendment, any federal agreement with provinces and territories must include consultation and funding commitments to ensure linguistic minority communities receive the services they need in their official language of choice,” said Ashton. “This means, should C-13 pass into law, whether it’s an agreement on child care, employment or education, the federal government will have a clear obligation to ensure that these services are delivered in people's choice of English or French.”

Ashton added that francophone communities across the country had to always fight harder to protect their services in the French language. This amendment will ensure these communities are never forgotten in agreements that involve services they depend on.

“I commend those who fought to keep Montford hospital in Ottawa, those who fought to keep St-Jean campus in Alberta and those who are fighting hard to protect French post-secondary education in Sudbury and in the North,” said Ashton. “This NDP amendment builds on the struggles of francophone communities over the last decades and will ensure the federal government will never forget linguistic minorities when negotiating essential services for people.”