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

Quintessential Revelstoke piece of rail equipment to be moved to railway museum

The Selkirk Spreader was built specifically for Revelstoke in 1931 and retired in 2005

Columbia-Shuswap governments promised voice in caribou recovery

Population of Frisby-Boulder herd northeast of Sicamous at 11 animals and declining

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

‘We think the democratic process is eroding’: Czech family visit Revelstoke promoting new voting method

In the Janeček voting method, voters can cast both positive and negative multiple votes

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Fire at Kelowna home sends three to hospital

The fire which was located on the second floor of the townhouse complex is now out

Reports of chaos in Penticton, involving police cruiser and possible shots fired

Residents also reported hearing shots fired at the same time as the crash

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

Provincial Mobile Medical Unit makes an appearance in Kelowna

The high tech hospital on wheels provides medical care for rural communities and during emergencies

Most Read