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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drive-in theatre proposed for Grand Forks

City councillors will vote next month on whether to permit the use of the private property

Morning start: This famous singer is from the West Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Tuesday, May 26

West Kootenay SAR crews rescue injured mountain biker near Rossland

Crews were called in to help after the biker seriously injured himself at around noon Saturday

City of Rossland looks to implement mail ballot voting

City said new procedure could make voting easier and more accessible for residents

Bears are back, so is Rossland/Trail WildSafeBC

The organization will deliver service this season mindful of pandemic precautions

Drug-pricing petition garners thousands of signatures

Petition started by Chilliwack mom also drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Most Read