Final month, Canada’s commissioner of official languages Raymond Théberge reacted to the discharge of the most recent Census information associated to official languages by recommending a re-evaluation of bilingual training provisions: “In accordance with the information, one third of eligible youngsters throughout the nation have by no means attended faculty within the official language of the linguistic minority. Governments in any respect ranges have to do extra to make sure that rights holders can ship their youngsters to high school within the official language of the linguistic minority.
“The info additionally exhibits how essential French immersion packages are for English-speaking youngsters throughout Canada. Though the information on French immersion in Québec was not accessible, we are able to nonetheless see that 16% of school-aged youngsters exterior Québec have been in an immersion program. Being bilingual creates alternatives and may contribute considerably to the usage of each official languages in Canadian society. The brand new Census information exhibits, for instance, that immersion graduates are a significant contributing consider the usage of French within the office.
“Though Statistics Canada notes that evaluating 2021 information with 2016 information ought to be completed with a point of warning, we are able to nonetheless see a decline in the usage of French as the first language of labor in some areas of the nation. I encourage policymakers to look at this new information—particularly by way of the potential hyperlinks between language of instruction and language of labor—and to do extra to advertise the usage of French within the office.
“Shifting ahead, the federal authorities might want to take inventory of all the 2021 Census information regarding official languages and use it to develop its packages and initiatives, together with the subsequent Motion Plan for Official Languages, which is about to start in April 2023.
“With a purpose to attain equality of standing and use of each our official languages in Canadian society, English and French have to obtain the required assist, and authorities spending wants to realize outcomes.”