Ottawa, December 1, 2020 – Alliance des femmes de la francophonie canadienne (AFFC) is joining Francophone and Acadian minority communities nationwide, today, in an urgent plea on a national day of Francophone solidarity. In the closing weeks of a year which has shown more than ever the erosion of the status of French, we are asking the federal government to confirm a timetable for modernizing the Official Languages Act.
The analysis of the Report of the Pan-Canadian Survey on the Priorities of Francophone and Acadian Women Living in Minority Contexts in Canada confirms that the transmission of French to children is vital to the development of communities. AFFC believes that it should be more included in the development of policies for the growth of Francophone communities. The government must ensure that its policies do not have a negative impact on the vitality of Francophone women, provide them with access to French services and adequately fund their activities. The national report emphasizes that to ensure the development and growth of Francophone and Acadian women in Canada, a greater and more vigorous action on the part of Ottawa is necessary.
AFFC is preoccupied that 10 days before Parliament adjourns for the Holidays, the government has given no indication on when it intends to introduce a bill to modernize the Official Languages Act. AFFC fears that a Bill introduced too late may not be adopted before the next election.
« As our report states, the revision of the Official Languages Act is one of the major concerns for Francophone and Acadian women. We live our lives in French, we invite Minister Joly to take action as soon as possible in defense of the French language » said the AFFC president, Lily Crist.
Francophone and Acadian communities want a modernized Act which, among other things, would designate a central authority responsible for overseeing implementation of language obligations throughout the federal government. This would ensure that failures to communicate in both official languages in an emergency situation, such as the COVID-19 crisis, doesn’t happen again. A modernized Act would also commit the federal government, as well as provinces and territories, to increased efforts in terms of protection and promotion of French. It would eliminate obstacles to French second-language education, and create an Official Languages Tribunal so that citizens can easily and quickly obtain redress for violations of the Act.
AFFC is encouraging citizens to visit ourofficiallanguages.ca and write to their MP to demand immediate action for the modernization of the Official Languages Act.
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Click here to consult the Report of the Pan-Canadian Survey on the Priorities of Francophone and Acadian Women Living in Minority Contexts in Canada (in French).
AFFC defends the rights of 1,326 million women from Francophone and Acadian communities in Canada. It is devoted to raising awareness and promoting the role and contribution of Francophone women in their communities and the right to live and reach their full potential solely in French.
Source : Alexandra Krüger, Communication and Public Relation Officer
Alliance des femmes de la francophonie canadienne