An Act that serves all Canadians
The Official Languages Act plays a key role in the lives of Canadians.
Its purpose is to:
- Ensure respect for English and French as the official languages of Canada in government and parliamentary institutions.
- Support the development and vitality of official language minority communities.
- Set out the powers, duties and functions of federal institutions with respect to the official languages of Canada.
In particular, it affirms the right in certain circumstances to:
- Communicate with and receive services from federal institutions in the official language of one’s choice.
- Work in English or French in federal institutions.
The Act also gives individuals the right to express themselves in the language of their choice before the federal courts.
It supports measures that enable Francophones and Anglophones in minority situations to receive an education in their own language and encourages the learning of English and French as second languages throughout the country.
It has the following positive effects:
- Promoting the expression of Canada’s cultural diversity.
- Increasing opportunities for economic and cultural exchanges at the international level.
- Strengthening Canadian leadership and diplomacy in many international organizations.
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