May 27th, 2024

Official languages commissioner sees complaints drop by more than half in past year

By The Canadian Press on May 7, 2024.

Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada Raymond Theberge holds a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – The number of complaints from Canadians who say their official language rights weren’t respected dropped by more than half last year.

In his annual report released today, official languages commissioner Raymond Théberge says his office received 847 admissible complaints between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024, down from 1,788 in the previous 12 months.

But Théberge says it’s too early to say whether the country is witnessing a downward trend in complaints about violations of the Official Languages Act.

In his report, the commissioner also criticizes “unco-operative institutions” that he says don’t accept that they have to be able to serve Canadians in both English and French.

The two biggest categories of complaints involved communications with the public, with 533, and the language spoken at work, with 227.

Federal institutions subject to the Official Languages Act include Air Canada, Via Rail, Canada Post, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the CBC, as well as all government departments.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2024.

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