After 50 years of the Official Languages Act, what is the place of French in Canada?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act and the International Day of La Francophonie on March 20, an Open Caucus was held at the Senate of Canada to reflect on the place of French in Canada.

Professors Stéphanie Chouinard, Michael MacMillan and Benoît Pelletier addressed the following question: What is the place of French in Canada 50 years after the Official Languages Act was first enacted?

The good news is that since it was enacted, the presence of the French language within government has become considerably stronger.

The federal government passed the Official Languages Act in 1969 to correct a historical injustice that partly manifested itself in the near total absence of francophones within the federal public service.

In this regard, the act was a notable success: over 43 per cent of public service positions today are now designated bilingual, and more than 96 per cent of employees in these positions have achieved the required language proficiency, according to a 2017 report by the Public Service Commission’s Patrick Borbey and Matthew Mendelsohn of the Privy Council Office.

But it’s not all good news.

Read more: CBC

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