Skip to content

QUESTION PERIOD — Canadian Heritage

Recommendations of Commissioner of Official Languages

December 13, 2022

My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Leader, we’ve learned in the last few hours, following the release of a report by the Commissioner of Official Languages, that nearly half of the commissioner’s recommendations made in response to the shortcomings identified in his reports and investigations have been ignored by federal institutions.

The commissioner listed the organizations, institutions, departments and agencies in order of least to most effective. Air Canada is ranked seventh.

Which department is the worst performer in terms of complying with the commissioner’s recommendations?

Leader, the Privy Council Office, the Prime Minister’s Office, has the worst record. It is the department that hasn’t followed any of the recommendations of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

Leader, I imagine that you’re familiar with the expression “all talk, no action.” Do you think it applies to the Prime Minister of Canada?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

The answer to your question is no.

This doesn’t mean that the commissioner’s recommendations are not important or that the government and the departments identified in the report can’t do better, but the answer is no.

Leader, after the President and CEO of Air Canada’s English-language speech, the Minister of Official Languages, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, said the following, and I quote:

I acknowledge his apology, but it must be followed up with concrete action to demonstrate that he takes his obligations seriously . . . . It is a question of respect.

The Prime Minister and the Privy Council haven’t taken any concrete action after the Commissioner of Official Languages made his recommendations. Does this mean that they don’t take their obligations seriously and that they don’t respect the Official Languages Act and Canada’s francophones?

Senator Gold [ - ]

No, I’m not of that opinion. However, I will commit to finding out about the next steps of the process. I hope to find out more about the progress being made within the government and I will inform the Senate as soon as I have information.

Back to top