Anglos must ensure their rights are respected: languages commissioner
Canada's outgoing commissioner of official languages says anglos need to stay vigilant in ensuring their rights and needs are respected.
In an interview with the Montreal Gazette,Graham Fraser claims a constant complaint his federal office has received of any minority language community is that the majority language group is not sensitive to their needs. It's up to the minority community, he added, to make their needs known and to fight for them.
Fraser said not fighting for your needs is akin to walking up the down escalator: if you stop moving, you get carried backward.
Fraser believes that Quebec's anglophone community has long suffered from a lack of optimism.
Alliance Quebec, he said, was a strong voice for anglophone rights in the 1980s and it never really was replaced when it folded some ten years ago, he said.
He did note, however, that anglophone presence in Quebec is no longer declining and the vast majority of anglos in Quebec are bilingual.
Fraser mentioned that Canadians have come a long way since the Official Languages Act was passed in 1969, but adds that there is still work to be done.
In his last report, filed in May, Fraser recommended that the federal government stop using the percentage of minority-language speakers in a given jurisdiction to decide whether a federal service will be provided in that language.
Fraser’s ten-year term comes to end an in October.