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Cross-Canada Official Languages Consultations 2016

The public component of the consultations comes to a close

/ -- GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Dec 8, 2016) - Department of Canadian Heritage

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced the end of the public component of the cross-Canada consultations on official languages. The Minister will be holding a meeting in Ottawa to review the situation with organizations that work in official-language minority communities and promote linguistic duality.

The consultations, which took place from June through December 2016, consisted of round table discussions held in each of the provinces and territories. The public also had an opportunity to complete an online questionnaire.

All of the round table discussions were led by the Minister or her Parliamentary Secretary, Randy Boissonnault. Several ministers and members of Parliament also participated in the discussions to become more familiar with official languages issues and the realities of official-language minority communities.

The consultations were open to Canadians from all walks of life. The online questionnaire gave them a chance to express their views on Canada's language policy and the realities of their communities.

The data gathered online and during round table discussions will give the Minister food for thought on the key issues and actions to focus on in developing a new multi-year action plan for official languages.

Minister Joly would like to thank Canadians who took part in the consultations.


"These consultations gave me a chance to see just how much Canadians across this country care about our two official languages, which are fundamental to our Canadian social contract. The stories, experiences and challenges may vary from one region to the next, but there is no doubt that our official languages are an integral part of our identity. I will continue to reflect on the situation so that I can come up with a new action plan in 2018."

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"Citizens raised important issues, like French education in early childhood, bilingualism, the situation of English speakers in Quebec, and engagement between speakers of English and French. Our official languages remain an area where issues affect people in their everyday lives."

- Randy Boissonnault, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick Facts

  • A total of 22 round table discussions were held in all of the provinces and territories, during which more than 350 leaders and stakeholders were heard.
  • Nearly 6,400 people completed the online questionnaire, which is double the number of the previous cross-Canada consultations.
  • The media were invited to all of the round table discussions as observers, and the public was able to view webcasts of some of the discussions from start to finish.
  • A total of 90 briefs were submitted by organizations and individuals.
  • A report will be posted soon on the Consultations webpage.

Associated Links

Cross-Canada Official Languages Consultations 2016

Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018

Mandate letter for the Honourable Mélanie Joly

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Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
Media Relations
Canadian Heritage