Report of the committee

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples has the honour to present its


Your committee, to which was referred Bill C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous languages, has, in obedience to the order of reference of May 27, 2019, examined the said bill and now reports the same with the following amendments:

1.Preamble, page 2: Add the following after line 12:

“Whereas Inuktut is the first language of Inuit Nunangat and is the first language of the majority of Inuit Nunangat residents and the Government of Canada is committed to maintaining, revitalizing and promoting Inuktut;”.

2.Clause 2, page 3: Replace lines 24 to 26 with the following:

(a) that represents the interests of an Indigenous group and its members;

(b) other than in section 45, that is specialized in Indigenous languages; or

(c) that delivers services to Indigenous people where they reside, including friendship centres and other Indigenous community-based organizations. (organisme autochtone)”.

3.New clause 3.1, page 4: Add the following after line 11:

3.1 In exercising any power, duty or function under this Act, the Minister, the Office or the Commissioner, as the case may be, must act in a manner that is consistent with the Government of Canada’s commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”.

4. Clause 5, pages 4 and 5:

(a) On page 4, in the French version, replace line 19 with the following:

(i) évaluer la situation de diverses langues autoch-”; and

(b) on page 5,

(i)replace line 9 with the following:

(d)establish measures to ensure the provision of ad-”, and

(ii)replace lines 18 and 19 with the following:

“jurisdictions of Indigenous governing bodies;”.

5.Clause 6, page 5: Replace line 33 with the following:

“Indigenous languages, including the right to communicate in the Indigenous language of their choice and the right not to be deprived of that right to communicate.”.

6.Clause 7, page 6:

(a)Replace line 1 with the following:

7 (1) The Minister must consult with a variety of Indigenous”; and

(b)add the following after line 6:

(2) In this section, adequate and sustainable funding is determined having regard to a balancing of the following factors:

(a) the number of persons composing the Indigenous language population of an area;

(b) the particular characteristics of that population; and

(c) the objective of the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance or strengthening of all the Indigenous languages of Canada in an equitable manner.”.

7.Clause 8, page 6:

(a)Replace line 11 with the following:

“arrangements with them for purposes such as providing Indigenous language programs and services in relation to education, health and the administration of justice — to coordinate efforts to effi-”; and

(b)replace lines 16 and 17 with the following:

“tions of Indigenous governing bodies.”.

8.Clause 9, page 6: Replace lines 24 and 25 with the following:

“of Indigenous governing bodies, the Minister and an appropriate Minister may”.

9.New clauses 10.1 and 10.2, page 7: Add the following before line 7:

10.1 A federal institution or its agent or mandatary may, in accordance with the regulations, provide access to services in an Indigenous language, if the institution or its agent or mandatary has the capacity to do so and there is sufficient demand for access to those services in that language.

10.2 (1) An agreement or arrangement may be entered into under section 8 or 9 for the purpose of allowing a federal institution or its agent or mandatary to provide access to services in an Indigenous language.

(2) In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between an agreement or arrangement referred  to in subsection (1) and  the regulations made under paragraph 45(1)(a.2), the agreement or arrangement prevails to the extent of the inconsistency or conflict.”.

10.Clause 11, page 7:

(a)Replace line 9 with the following:

“into an Indigenous language;”; and

(b)replace line 12 with the following:

“federal institution’s activities; or

(c) the delivery of federal programs and services to be made using an Indigenous language in geographic areas where the number of speakers of that language warrant.”.

11.Clause 23, pages 9 and 10:

(a)On page 9, replace line 14 with the following:

23 (1) The mandate of the Office is to”; and

(b)on page 10, add the following after line 9:

(2) In fulfilling its mandate, the Office must, where appropriate, consult and coordinate with any Indigenous, provincial or territorial entity that is responsible for the promotion, revitalization or protection of Indigenous languages.”.

12.Clause 24, page 10:

(a)Replace line 26 with the following:

“that contributed to that research or study. Subject to any law, the Office”; and

(b)replace lines 34 to 36 with the following:

“use the research or study free of charge for the purpose of reclaiming, revitalizing, maintaining or strengthening Indigenous languages. Subject to any law, the”.

13.Clause 45, page 18:

(a)Add the following after line 14:

(a.2) for the purpose of section 10.1,

(i) specifying the services to which access may be provided in an Indigenous language and the region in which a federal institution or its agent or mandatary may provide access to those services in that language,

(ii) defining the expression “provide access to services”, and

(iii) defining the expressions “capacity” and “demand” and specifying the circumstances in which a federal institution or its agent or mandatary has the capacity to provide access to services in an Indigenous language and those in which demand for access to services in that language is sufficient;”; and

(b)add the following after line 19:

(2) The regulations made under paragraph (1)(a.2) may provide definitions and requirements that vary depending on

(a) the Indigenous language in question;

(b) the use and vitality of that language;

(c) the unique circumstances and needs of an Indigenous group, community or people that uses that language;

(d) the region where that language is used; and

(e) the federal institution or its agent or mandatary that may provide access to services in that language.”.

14.Clause 49.1, page 19:

(a)Replace line 32 with the following:

49.1 As soon as feasible after the third anniversary of the”; and

(b)replace line 34 with the following:

“subsequent third anniversary, a review of this Act and of”.

15.New clause 49.2, page 20: Add the following after line 2:

Review — Inuktut in Canada

49.2 (1) No later than the third anniversary after the day on which this subsection comes into force, the Minister must prepare — in consultation with Inuit organizations and Indigenous governing bodies in Canada — a report on the availability and quality of federal government services provided in Inuktut in Canada.

(2) The report must set out the Minister’s findings, conclusions and recommendations as well as provide a summary of the consultations that took place in accordance with subsection (1).

(3) The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the day on which the report is completed.”.

Respectfully submitted,