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French for the Future and the modernization of the Official Languages Act

 

Introduction

  1. French for the Future is a national organization that works with students from grades 7 to 12 to promote linguistic duality and the benefits of bilingualism.

  2. French for the Future thus contributes to building a Canadian society where more and more youth are confident and use their language skills in both official languages.

  3. French for the Future believes that the Official Language Act must be modernized and encourages a thorough revision of the act which defines the central entity that will be authorized to implement it.

A Canada where all youth appreciate francophone cultures

French for the Future has been working for more than 20 years to bring youth from the two official languages communities closer, and we believe that the Official Languages Act could play a key role in this direction. In addition to formally committing to fostering the vitality and development of Canada’s francophone and anglophone minorities, the government must commit to supporting and recognizing Canadians who master or learn the other official language through the Act.

Recommendations and amendments

  1. The Official Languages Act must ensure direct support at all levels of education, from junior kindergarten to post-secondary, to increase the learning opportunities in the second official language.

  2. The Official Languages Act must recognize education as a major vector in fortifying linguistic duality in Canada.

  3. Address the inaccuracies of Part VII by obligating the government to adopt a development plan in terms of employability and economic development with the aim of creating more authentic opportunities to live in French for French learners.

  4. Include a right of participation to ensure true community involvement. In the regulation prescribing the terms of consultation, it is important to include at least one member of the linguistic duality network within the advisory committee.