Implementation of Sections 41 and 42 of the Official Languages Act

Federal Strategy to support Official-Language Minority Communities

In August 1994, the Government of Canada approved the establishment of an accountability framework for the implementation of Sections 41 and 42 of the Official Languages Act. Section 41 commits the federal government to enhancing the vitality of English-speaking and French-speaking minority communities, as well as fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. This commitment ensures not only that official-language minority communities have access to services in their language, but also that all federal institutions actively contribute to the development and vitality of these communities.

Section 42 of the Official Languages Act mandates the Minister of Canadian Heritage to promote and encourage a coordinated approach to these commitments among federal institutions.

The Accountability Framework includes the following:

  • Initially, measures will target a certain number of key institutions in areas of intervention which are vital to the minority-language communities and have the greatest impact. The key federal institutions are primarily those involved in the areas of economic, human resources and cultural development.
  • Each key institution develops an action plan for the implementation of Section 41 which takes into account the specific needs of the official-language minority communities.
  • The action plans are developed in consultation with official-language minority communities in order to identify community needs and allow institutions to take these into account in their activities.
  • Ministers responsible for key institutions transmit these plans and report on the results attained once a year to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
  • The Minister of Canadian Heritage will report to Parliament via his Annual Report on Official Languages on the implementation of this governmental commitment. The Annual Report will highlight the action plan of each key federal institution and the results attained during the previous year.

Mandate:
To coordinate the government strategy on the implementation of Sections 41 and 42 of the Official Languages Act, designed to promote the full recognition of the use of English and French in Canadian society and enhance the vitality of the official-language minority communities.

Clientele/Area of Activity:

Interdepartmental Coordination