The folder of Ottawa bilingual has arisen at the federal level. A memory, was submitted to the standing senate committee on official languages this summer to be presented on the 24th of September last.
“It would be an excellent opportunity for the federal government to really clarify its responsibilities with respect to official languages in the region and the city of Ottawa,” says Linda Cardinal, who has written the thesis in collaboration with François Larocque, who is the holder of the research Chair in canadian francophonie rights and linguistic challenges, and Soukaina Boutiyeb, president of the Association of francophone communities in Ottawa (ACFO).
Discussions are underway to modernize the official languages Act (OLA), a promise from the prime minister. The co-signatories of the memorandum have wanted to take the opportunity to talk about the situation in Ottawa, and remember that the federal government has responsibilities towards the equality of official languages in the national capital region. An opportunity to “close the loop” in the folder of Ottawa bilingual.
“The City of Ottawa has a bylaw and the province has adopted the law that confirms the bilingual character. It remains for the federal government to do its part. It is his turn to assume its responsibilities and play its leadership role with other orders of government to ensure that bilingualism is reflected in the capital, ” says Ms. Cardinal who is the holder of the research Chair in canadian francophonie and public policies University of Ottawa.
The federal government should collaborate with the City of Ottawa to develop services in French and the bilingual image of the capital, she believes, recalling that the action Plan on official languages of the liberals, a budget of $ 2.5 million to promote bilingualism in the capital.
“It would be the perfect opportunity for the federal government to adopt a language policy towards the region and the city of Ottawa and to have a special provision on the active offer of French-language services, explained the political scientist. But also to recognize the work that has been done by other orders of government, and foster interjurisdictional collaboration. “
Beyond the symbolic dimension of this recognition, the signatories of the memory to evoke that there is also a real dimension.
The professor recalls that the last of the commissioners of official languages have ” regularly demonstrated that in the Byward market, in the shops that are in federal buildings, French is not respected “.
“A strengthening of the provisions of the Law would create an additional incentive for the government to take care also of the official languages in the national capital region “, she believes in giving the example of the Ottawa airport which would fall under this provision.
The senate committee shall file its report by the end of the year.