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

Second annual Delta Pride Picnic to highlight LGBTQ+ inclusion

This year’s event is slated for Saturday, Aug. 31 at Memorial Park in Ladner

Securing Olympic spot the latest test for Canadian softball squad at Surrey tournament

Softball hasn’t been included in the Games since 2008 when Canada finished fourth in Beijing

UPDATE: Two men injured in north Surrey shooting

Police say the incident was targeted, may be linked to drug activity

City Dream Centres hands out 1,000 backpacks at back to school event in Surrey

This is the fifth year the charity is hosting the event in the city

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read