The Modernization of the Official Languages Act: Bill S-211 referred to Committee for further study
Senator Maria Chaput introduced Bill S-211 in the Senate on May 16, 2012. The purpose of this bill is to modernize Part IV of the Official Languages Act – communications with and services to the public.
Senator Chaput presented the highlights of the bill to the Senate on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, at second reading. Following debate in the Senate, the Bill was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance on February 13, 2013.
The modernization proposed by the Bill will result in stronger protections for the rights of official-language minority communities. It also embodies the spirit of the Official Languages Act, which is to promote the use of both official languages and to enhance the vitality of official-language minority communities.
“Across Canada, official-language minority communities are working very hard to maintain their language, defend their rights and protect the gains they have made,” said Senator Chaput. “It’s time for Canada’s legislation to recognize and adapt to this reality.”
In June 2010, the Senator tabled Bill S-220, which died on the Order Paper once the most recent federal election was called for May 2011. According to the Senator, “This new bill has kept intact the essential aspects of the Bill S-220. It has been drafted to correct certain outdated provisions of the Official Languages Act, thereby encouraging the full development of official-language minority communities.”