Official Languages and Bilingualism

We will support minority-language rights and encourage more people to learn English or French as a second language.

Across the country, strong, vibrant minority-language communities are continuing Canada’s proud tradition of linguistic duality, with both English and French as official languages. These communities need our continued support.

To protect and promote the rights of minority-language communities, we will move forward with:

  • modernizing the 50-year-old Official Languages Act, including making Radio-Canada’s mandate for regional news part of the Act, and making sure that Air Canada provides fully bilingual services to its customers;
  • reviewing and strengthening the powers of the Commissioner of Official Languages;
  • appointing only bilingual judges to the Supreme Court of Canada; and
  • undertaking an enumeration of rights-holders and a thorough post-census survey to better account for – and better serve – minority-language communities.

Canada’s two official languages should be reflected not only in institutions but in the ability of people to speak and understand each other in both languages. To encourage more people to learn a second language, we will move forward with:

  • working with the provinces and territories to ensure that all Canadians can access secondlanguage programs, like immersion, in their local schools if they choose to do so;
  • new investments to help train, recruit and attract teachers in both immersion and second-language programs, based on new targets set by the provinces and territories;
  • developing and promoting new opportunities for language and cultural exchanges; and
  • investing an additional $60 million to help build the infrastructure that supports strong minority-language communities, including schools and cultural centres.

And to help the more than 600,000 Francophones in Ontario better access post-secondary education, we will move forward with the province to help establish the Université de l’Ontario français.