Linguistic Duality Day

September 8, 2020 – Defence Stories

Dear Defence Team members,

This year, on September 10, we celebrate Linguistic Duality Day, an opportunity for public service employees and military members to promote bilingualism and honour Canada’s rich linguistic heritage.

The Official Languages Act, which marks its 51st year this year, recognizes the equivalent status of French and English throughout the federal administration and, aims to ensure that the Government of Canada provides services to all Canadians in the official language of their choice. This Act has made Canada stronger, more prosperous, and more inclusive.

The Government of Canada is committed to enabling official languages services, and has reasserted this through the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future. This plan reflects our government's broad vision of a strong Canadian Francophonie; of Quebec’s vibrant English-speaking communities; and a bilingualism that recognizes our English and French linguistic heritage. The Defence Team values the importance of linguistic duality, as we reaffirmed in the Official Languages Strategy for the DND/CAF 2015. Our goal remains enduring: respect for the language rights of Department of National Defence employees, Canadian Armed Forces members and all Canadians.

The English and French languages enrich our Defence Team by connecting us to the communities we serve domestically and internationally, allowing Canadians to contribute to the Defence Team, serve, and express themselves in either official language.

Our national identity is deeply rooted in our history but embodied in our official languages. As your official languages champions, we encourage you to reflect on the importance of linguistic duality and make individual efforts to respect our obligation to serve Canada in both official languages. We all play a key role in strengthening the linguistic duality within the Defence Team. This year’s Linguistic Duality Day is a great opportunity to re-energize ourselves to set the right example by incorporating both official languages in meetings and in interactions with colleagues in bilingual regions; and, in unilingual regions, by respecting those with a minority language background.

Linguistic Duality is a fundamental value of Canadian identity. Let us be proud of it and continue to promote this rich heritage together.

If you would like to know more about Linguistic Duality or participate in federal Government activities, we encourage you to visit the Council of Network of the Official Languages Champion’s website.

Thank you/Merci.

VAdm Haydn C. Edmundson Commander Military Personnel Command

VAdm Haydn C. Edmundson
Commander Military Personnel Command

Dr. Isabelle Desmartis Assistant Deputy Minister (Science and Technology)

Dr. Isabelle Desmartis
Assistant Deputy Minister (Science and Technology)

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