Official Languages Commissioner Raymond Theberge responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday May 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Commissioner recommends updating Canada’s Official Languages Act by 2021

He also called for the Official Languages Act to be fully modernized by 2021

Canada’s official languages commissioner says bilingual greetings such as “Hello! Bonjour!” should be the standard at airports, border crossings and Service Canada counters, and that full service should be available in both English and French.

Raymond Theberge’s latest report says the Official Languages Act already obliges federal institutions to offer service in both languages, but the rules are applied inconsistently and he argues they should be clarified through new regulations.

READ MORE: ‘Swole’, ‘buzzy’ among new words in Merriam-Webster dictionary

Theberge concluded that when Canadians are greeted in both languages, they respond in the language of their choice 80 per cent of the time — a number that drops significantly if only one language is used.

The commissioner notes a more than 20-per-cent increase in the number of complaints over the past year, with the largest number coming from the National Capital Region in Ottawa and Gatineau.

He also called for the Official Languages Act to be fully modernized by 2021 in order to make it more current, dynamic and robust.

Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly has already announced that a series of consultations will be held aimed at updating the law.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

New Seven Sisters replacement confirmed

Mental health facility will have 25 beds, up from 20 in current facility

Terrace hospital’s business plan approved

Health Minister’s announcement opens door to construction phase

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams to return to Quesnel court next week

Adams is facing a breach of probation charge stemming from a 2015 conviction in Smithers

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Most Read