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Bill C-286

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1st Session, 37th Parliament,
49-50 Elizabeth II, 2001

House of Commons of Canada

BILL C-286

An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (provision of bilingual services)


Whereas the policy of official bilingualism has served as a source of national division rather than national unity;

Whereas the policy of national bilingualism was created without the support of the majority of Canadians;

Whereas it is estimated that the annual cost of official bilingualism for the public and private sectors is five billion dollars;

Whereas the international language of business is English, which constitutes a greater incentive for francophones to learn English as a second language than for anglophones to learn French as a second language;

Whereas while pursuing a policy of official bilingualism in the rest of Canada, the Government of Canada has tolerated the declaration of the National Assembly of Quebec that the only official language of Quebec is French, which has undermined the rights of Quebec's anglophones;

And Whereas it is a matter of public concern that the Official Languages Act has resulted in discrimination against unilingual anglophones seeking employment with and advancement within the federal government;

R.S., c. 31 (4th Supp.)

Now, Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

1. Section 2 of the Official Languages Act is amended by deleting the word ``and'' at the end of paragraph (b) and adding the following after paragraph (b):

    (b.1) ensure due economy in the provision of services in an official language by requiring that they be provided only where there is a significant proportion of the population that has the official language as a mother tongue; and

2. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 23:

Demand by at least twenty five percent

23.1 For the purposes of sections 22 and 23 demand for communications and services in an official language is significant if the number of persons who speak the language as a mother tongue is at least twenty-five per cent of the total number of persons

    (a) in the case of section 22, who reside in the area served by the institution; or

    (b) in the case of section 23, who require the service while travelling.