Support to Official-language Minority Communities

Understanding and taking action!

(Implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act, Part VII, Enhancement of English and French).

Under the Official Languages Act, the federal government sees to it that Canadians are addressed in both English and French, that English- and French-speaking Canadians are hired within its administration, and that Canadians are able to work in their language, in accordance with the terms of the Act. The government also supports the development of official-language minority communities and works to enhance English and French in Canadian society.

Who makes up official-language minority communities? They generally consist of Anglophones in Quebec and Francophones outside Quebec. These communities are often represented by organizations, such as the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (Web site not available in English), the Quebec Community Groups Network and the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (Web site not available in English), just to name a few. They are also dynamic and represented across the country in key areas such as health, economic development, immigration and communications etc.

What must federal institutions do? Understand their duties… and take action! They must do this at various levels, including within senior management, branches, policies and programs etc.

How can federal institutions achieve this?

Under the Official Languages Accountability and Coordination Framework and the Guide for Federal Institutions, federal institutions are required to, among other things:

  • make employees aware of the needs of official language minority communities, and of the requirements for enhancing English and French in Canadian society;
  • determine whether the federal institution’s policies and programs impact on the development of official-language minority communities and the promotion of English and French in Canadian Society, from the initial development of policies through to their implementation, including the devolution of services;
  • consult affected publics as required, especially representatives of official-language minority communities, particularly in connection with the development or implementation of policies and programs;
  • be able to describe the federal institution’s actions, and to demonstrate that it has taken into consideration the needs of these communities or the requirements of the promotion of linguistic duality.
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