Speeches

The Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada is an agent of Parliament whose duty is to promote Canada’s official languages and protect the language rights of Canadians. A critical component of the Commissioner’s job is to report to parliamentary committees in both the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada. The Commissioner of Official Languages also travels from coast to coast, participating in panel discussions, meeting key partners and delivering speeches on official languages to young Canadians, researchers, public service employees and community leaders. You will find many of his speeches here.

2011

Notes for an address to members of the Human Resources Councilarchived

Thursday, December 15, 2011

As our country evolves, important issues will continue to arise, such as the role of diversity within our linguistic duality and Canada’s role in today’s knowledge-based economy. As senior departmental human resources officials, you need to stay abreast of current trends and needs to ensure that...


Notes for an address at the conference lunch of the National Capital Region’s Association Canada-Francearchived

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Recent headlines are forcing us to re-examine the language issue and to reflect on the path Canada has taken in the past 42 years. One thing is certain: when it comes to language, Canadians have high expectations. Just look at the public reaction to recent events like the appointments of a...


Notes for an address at the staff meeting of the Department of Justice’s Central Agencies Portfolioarchived

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I would like to thank Sandra Hassan for inviting me to speak to you today during your staff meeting. Your group plays a key role in the way federal institutions apply the Official Languages Act. But rather than talk about compliance, I would really like to talk to you about leadership this morning...


Notes for an address to the officer cadets of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean as part of Heritage Weekarchived

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, November 30, 2011Graham Fraser - Commissioner of Official Languages Check against delivery


Notes for an address to the staff of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean as part of Heritage Weekarchived

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It is always with the greatest of respect that I meet those men and women who have chosen to serve their country and dedicate themselves to educating members of the military. Your job is demanding, and few people are capable of doing what you do. I admire the dedication that you show. You have a...


Notes for an address at the Conference on 25 years of the French Language Services Act at the University of Ottawaarchived

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Twenty-five years ago, the Government of Ontario officially recognized Franco-Ontarians’ contribution to the province’s economy, education and culture by enacting the French Language Services Act. I am pleased to be here with you to celebrate its 25th anniversary.


Notes for a speech commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Community Learning Centres of the Quebec English School Boards Associationarchived

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It is a great pleasure to be with all of you this morning to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Community Learning Centres in Quebec—and the addition of 14 new CLCs, for which I will be awarding certificates a little later. I would like to thank you for inviting me to be part of this great success...


Notes for an address at the Discussion Forum on the Perspectives of Canadians of Diverse Backgrounds on Linguistic Duality – Session for English-Speaking Canadians of Diverse Backgroundsarchived

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

First, I would like to welcome you all to the Discussion Forum on the Perspectives of Canadians of Diverse Backgrounds on Linguistic Duality. You were invited to participate because of your active involvement in and your commitment to Canadian society. I would also like to thank you for accepting...


Notes for an address at the Discussion Forum on the Perspectives of Canadians of Diverse Backgrounds on Linguistic Duality – Bridging Eventarchived

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thank you again for coming to the third forum on linguistic duality and cultural diversity organized by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. We are now halfway through the forum—today, we met with the French-speaking participants. We learned a lot, and I want to thank them all for...


Notes for an address at the Discussion Forum on the Perspectives of Canadians of Diverse Backgrounds on Linguistic Duality – Session for French-speaking Canadians of Diverse Backgrounds on Linguistic Duality archived

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thank you for being here today at the Office of the Commission of Official Languages’ third forum on linguistic duality and cultural diversity. You were invited to participate in this forum because you represent the diversity of the immigrants who have settled in the Atlantic provinces and have...


Speaking notes for an address to students at the Master of Public Administration at Dalhousie Universityarchived

Monday, November 07, 2011

I am here in Halifax this week to attend the third forum on the Perspectives of Canadians of Diverse Backgrounds on Linguistic Duality. Building on the success of the first two forums, which were held in Toronto and Vancouver, my office decided to pursue this initiative in the Atlantic region.


Notes for an address to the “Penser la ville – Ottawa, lieu de vie français” seminararchived

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I am delighted and honoured to be here today to speak with university researchers and community representatives about all aspects of the French-speaking community in our nation’s capital. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Linda Cardinal as well as all the seminar organizers for inviting...


Notes for an address during an informal discussion with participants of the Canada School of Public Service’s pilot projectarchived

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I am pleased to be here this afternoon for several reasons. First, because this activity is part of the Universities Language Training Project, which I have praised on numerous occasions. I am also glad of this opportunity to talk to you because you are the ones who are building the future of...


Notes for an address at the Canadian Parents for French Ontario Provincial Conferencearchived

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I am very pleased to be here with you today as part of your provincial conference, and I would like to thank Canadian Parents for French for inviting me to speak to you. As parents, educators and partners in teaching French as a second language, you are on the front lines of education, and you set...


Notes for an address on the 2010–2011 annual report at the meeting of national section 41 coordinatorsarchived

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I am pleased to participate in your meeting and I would like to thank France Caissy for her invitation. I have come to present my fifth annual report, entitled, Leadership, Action, Results.


Informal discussion with the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada and his management teamarchived

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last week, I tabled my fifth annual report entitled Leadership, Action, Results. The report focuses primarily on Part VII of the Official Languages Act, which aims to enhance the vitality of official language communities and to promote linguistic duality.


Standing Committee for Official Languages Presentation of the 2010-2011 Annual Reportarchived

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

To present the findings of volume I of my fifth annual report, titled Leadership, Action, Results, I am accompanied today by Sylvain Giguère, Assistant Commissioner of Policy and Communications; Ghislaine Charlebois, Assistant Commissioner of Compliance Assurance; Johane Tremblay, General Counsel...


Notes for an appearance before the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages about volume II of the 2009–2010 annual report and other topicsarchived

Monday, October 24, 2011

I would like to thank you for inviting me to speak about volume II of my 2009–2010 annual report, my 2010–2011 annual report, the audit of service delivery in English and French to Air Canada passengers, and social media.


Statement to the media for the launch of the 2010–2011 annual reportarchived

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Language issues can still be emotional and often divisive. We saw this with the Federal Court decision in Thibodeau v. Air Canada. There was also the outcry in the media following our call for tenders to make observations to evaluate the bilingualism situation in the capital.


Speaking notes for a presentation during the seminar program for parliamentarians and their employeesarchived

Friday, October 07, 2011

This is a new Parliament, so may I say welcome to all new MPs and their staff. You all have a lot on your plates, and the eyes of Canadians are on you. I am looking forward to the new session of Parliament with much optimism. I hope you share my enthusiasm, and that you have the same attitude...


Notes for a Pre-Recorded Address at the Empowering Language Professionals Conference: Plurilingualism in a Globalized 21st Centuryarchived

Friday, September 30, 2011

Canada’s experience with language has shaped the country in many ways. Language is a defining characteristic for Canada, just like class is for Britain and race is for the United States. It has been a source of conflict, compromise and creativity.


Address for the European Day of Languagesarchived

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thank you for inviting me to attend the celebrations for the European Day of Languages, which is focusing this year on the state of sign languages. I regret that I cannot be there in person to celebrate this day with you. As Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages, I am responsible for language...


Notes for an address to deputy ministers at the Canada School of Public Servicearchived

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I would like to thank Mr. Guy McKenzie for the invitation to come and speak to you today. It is a pleasure to be here during this luncheon presentation. This afternoon, we will try to better understand why the skills you need to excel as public service leaders cannot be dissociated from your...


Notes for a speech for the CEDEC Banquet and Awards Ceremonyarchived

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It is a great pleasure to be with all of you this evening for the CEDEC Banquet and Awards Ceremony. I have had the privilege to meet some of you in the past, but this is the first time I am addressing your organization officially. I would like to thank you for inviting me to discuss linguistic...


Notes for an address at the opening of the new Community Learning Centrearchived

Monday, September 12, 2011

It is with great pleasure that I am here today for the official opening of the new Grosse-Île Community Learning Centre. It is a great project that has proven highly successful in other English-speaking communities across Quebec. As you may know, one part of my mandate as Commissioner of Official...


Notes for an address to the employees of Public Works and Government Services Canada on Linguistic Duality Dayarchived

Thursday, September 08, 2011

First of all, I would like to welcome you all, and thank you for joining us. It is a pleasure for me to be here today at Public Works and Government Services Canada for your Linguistic Duality Day activities. I would also like to thank François Guimont and Gilbert Taylor for inviting me today and...


Notes for an address to the employees of Citizenship and Immigration Canada on Linguistic Duality Dayarchived

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

First of all, I would like to welcome you all, and thank you for joining us, here in person or via videoconferencing. It is a pleasure for me to be here today at Citizenship and Immigration Canada for your Linguistic Duality Day activities. I would also like to thank your official languages...


Address for the Canada Day Celebration in Hatley, Quebecarchived

Friday, July 01, 2011

It is a pleasure and an honour to be back for the 103rd anniversary of the Canada Day Celebrations in Hatley. For me and my family, the Eastern Townships region holds an important place in our lives. We feel at home here. I have been coming back for the last 25 years with my children and...


Address to the Quebec Community Groups Network 2011 Member Conventionarchived

Friday, June 17, 2011

It is my pleasure to be here in the Montréal region for the QCGN’s member convention and annual general meeting. I would like to thank Sylvia Martin-Laforge for inviting me to moderate one of your panels. It is always a special opportunity and privilege for me to address members of my community.


Notes for an address to the Humanities and Social Sciences Federationarchived

Friday, June 03, 2011

The official program abstract suggests that, “Based on recent history in the Netherlands, France and Germany, one would believe that pluralism is running out of steam.” Let’s stop right there. Canada’s experience is very different, and Quebec’s experience is also very different. Our approach to...


Address to the Graduating Class of Toronto French Schoolarchived

Friday, May 27, 2011

I would like to begin by thanking Headmaster John Godfrey for having invited me today. One of the great privileges of being the Commissioner of Official Languages is having the opportunity to meet young people who live in both of Canada’s official languages. Celebrating their accomplishments is...


Notes for an address during the visit of the American Congressional Fellowsarchived

Monday, May 16, 2011

First of all, I would like to welcome the American Congressional Fellows to Canada, and also thank Mackenzie Grisdale for inviting me on behalf of the Parliamentary Internship Programme. It is a great honour for me to discuss Canada’s language situation with such a knowledgeable group of people.


Notes for an Address at FUTURES Conference: Innovation in Global Educationarchived

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

This conference on innovation in global education is a wonderful initiative of the Toronto District School Board. As teaching tools and methodologies change rapidly, and the flow of information grows at a dizzying pace, more than ever, we must use innovative approaches as we educate our children....


Speaking notes for the Calgary French for the Future Forumarchived

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It is a pleasure to be here for the Calgary French for the Future Forum. One of the privileges of being Commissioner of Official Languages is the opportunity to meet young people like you who are learning French and making room for it in their lives. By doing this, you are also opening doors. I am...


Linguistic Duality as a Leadership Competency Speaking notes for an address to assistant deputy ministers at the Canada School of Public Servicearchived

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I would like to thank Mr. Guy Mc Kenzie for the invitation to come and speak to you today. It is a pleasure to be here as the first speaker in your two-day orientation session. This afternoon, I will discuss how the skills that you need in order to excel as public service leaders are tied to your...


Speaking notes for an address to students at the Master Level of Public Policy and Governance at Ryerson Universityarchived

Friday, March 18, 2011

First of all, I would like to thank Professors Patrice Dutil, Janet Lum and John Shields for giving me the opportunity to speak to you. I suspect that some of you may be wondering what relevance the federal government’s language policy might have to your program—or to your career. To the extent...


Notes for The Quiet Evolution of Language and Culture Relations in Canada A Tribute to the Work of Professor Wallace Lambertarchived

Thursday, March 17, 2011

To begin with, let me say what a pleasure it is to be here, and to speak to the extraordinary revolution in language learning that began with Wallace Lambert’s experiment in Saint-Lambert. We have heard from some of the scholars who have carried on the work that was begun by Dr. Lambert—researchers...


Notes for an Address to be Given at the Opening of the Discussion Forum Implementing Part VII: Understand, Talk, Actarchived

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I am pleased to welcome you to this discussion forum on implementing Part VII of the Act. Three words eloquently sum up both the day’s objectives and the challenges of Part VII: understanding, talking and action. During the forum, you will be able to talk about your experiences, discuss the...


Speaking notes for the Laskin Moot Court Competitionarchived

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thank you for inviting me to this event, which wraps up the 2011 Laskin Moot Court Competition. I have always had a soft spot for the Laskin Moot because of its bilingual and bijural nature, and also because it fosters dialogue among legal scholars from Canada’s two official language communities.


Speaking Notes for the Immersion Scholarships Award Ceremony of the Molson Foundationarchived

Monday, January 17, 2011

This is the fourth time I have been invited to celebrate your achievements as young English-speakers who want to pursue university studies in French. It’s a great honour to be here with you once again.


Notes for a speech for the 11th Sir John A. Macdonald Dinner of the Kingston Historical Societyarchived

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It is both a pleasure and an honour to speak to you tonight, following such distinguished guests as Hugh Segal, Charlotte Gray and Richard Gwyn. At previous dinners, you have heard about Sir John A.'s political skills, his wit, his economic vision, his foibles. Your guests have, I am sure, a deeper...


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