Speeches

The Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada is an agent of Parliament whose duty is to promote Canada’s official languages and protect the language rights of Canadians. A critical component of the Commissioner’s job is to report to parliamentary committees in both the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada. The Commissioner of Official Languages also travels from coast to coast, participating in panel discussions, meeting key partners and delivering speeches on official languages to young Canadians, researchers, public service employees and community leaders. You will find many of his speeches here.

2012

Notes for an address at a luncheon for the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale nationale (RGA)archived

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I would like to thank you for inviting me to talk about linguistic duality and its importance for businesses in the nation's capital. I am delighted and honoured to be here to speak with you today. The issue of language in Ottawa’s business community is of great interest to me, and was the topic of...


Notes for an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages – Celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017archived

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I am very pleased to appear before you today in preparation for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.


Notes for an address at the Official Languages Best Practices Forumarchived

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I would like to begin by thanking Daphne Meredith and Daniel Jean for inviting me to speak to you today. I am delighted to be here at the Official Languages Best Practices Forum.


Notes for an appearance before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissionarchived

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thank you for having me here today. Here with me today are Sylvain Giguère, Assistant Commissioner, Policy and Communications, Marcel Fallu, Policy Analyst, Policy and Communications Branch, and Ms. Carolina Mingarelli, Legal Advisor.


Notes for an address at a quarterly meeting of the Ontario Federal Councilarchived

Monday, November 26, 2012

I would like to start by thanking Dr. Bruce Archibald and Monika Deeg Damato for inviting me here. This is my first visit to the Council, but I have already met some of you on previous occasions. I am very pleased to be here in Toronto to speak with you.


Notes for an address at the Discussion Forum on the Perspectives of Canadians of Diverse Backgrounds on Linguistic Duality – Opening Remarksarchived

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

First, I would like to welcome you all to the Discussion Forum on the Perspectives of Canadians of Diverse Backgrounds on Linguistic Duality. Thank you for accepting my invitation. Your participation here today will help us to improve our knowledge and understanding of your perspectives on, and...


Notes for an address at the Discussion Forum on the Perspectives of Canadians of Diverse Backgrounds on Linguistic Duality – Bridging Eventarchived

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thank you once again for participating in my office’s fourth discussion forum on linguistic duality and cultural diversity. We have organized this event as part of our mandate to promote the Official Languages Act and ensure its implementation in federal institutions, to protect the language...


A Historical Portrait of French in Americaarchived

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I would like to thank Paula Bouffard for inviting me here today. It is with great pleasure that I accepted to talk to you about French in America - a subject that fascinates me, and around which I constructed my career, whether it is as a political journalist, writer, or Commissioner of Official...


Notes for an address at a meeting of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federal Councilarchived

Thursday, November 08, 2012

It’s a pleasure to be here in Newfoundland and Labrador and to speak with you. It has been too long since my last visit, in 2008.


Notes for an address to Grade 10 and 11 students in Newfoundland and Labrador St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labradorarchived

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I’m delighted to be here with you today in this beautiful region, and I would like to thank Susan Forward from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education for helping organize this great event.


Notes for an appearance before the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages – Presentation of the 2011–2012 annual reportarchived

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thank you, Madam Chair. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, honourable senators and members of the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages.


Notes for an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages – Presentation of the 2011–2012 annual reportarchived

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I would like to thank your committee for its interest in the activities of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The relationship between Parliament and my office is of the utmost importance.


Notes for the presentation of the 2011–2012 Award of Excellence – Promotion of Linguistic Duality at the Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Awardarchived

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I would like to thank the Quebec Community Groups Network for inviting me tonight. I am honoured to be here for the fourth annual Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award ceremony.


Statement to the media for the launch of the 2011–2012 annual reportarchived

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thank you for coming to the presentation of my 2011–2012 annual report. This is my sixth annual report.


Notes for an address at the 2012 National 4-H Conferencearchived

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One of the things I appreciate most about being Commissioner of Official Languages is that I am able to meet with young Canadians who are interested in our official languages—I always learn something new. You are the ones who are building the future of Canadian linguistic duality, and I am very...


Notes for the Discussion Forum on Post-Secondary Education in French in Saskatchewanarchived

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Welcome to this discussion forum on the continuum of French-language learning opportunities. It is a particular pleasure to be here in Saskatchewan. The last time I came, I was able to attend the centenary celebrations of the Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise in Duck Lake.


Notes for an address at a meeting of the Saskatchewan Federal Councilarchived

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I would like to start by thanking Deanne Belisle and Sharon Lee Smith for inviting me here today. This is my first visit to the Council, but I have already met some of you on previous occasions. I am pleased to come visit you in Saskatchewan and speak with you.


Notes for an address at the Multidisciplinary Approaches in Language Policy and Planning Conference at the University of Calgaryarchived

Friday, September 07, 2012

It is a particular honour to be speaking at this conference of international experts. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you; others, I have read and others, I am looking forward to hearing.


Notes for a speech at the Unitarian Church in North Hatleyarchived

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It is a great pleasure to be invited to speak to the Unitarian Church – for several reasons. I have a strong personal connection both to North Hatley and to the Unitarian Church. Almost exactly 45 years ago, on July 1, 1967, my father gave a Centennial Sermon at the Unitarian Church in Montréal. In...


Notes for the Canadian School Boards Association Congressarchived

Thursday, July 05, 2012

I would like to thank you for attending this session and for being open to discussions about the importance of minority-language education in Canada. Education remains the cornerstone of the development and vitality of the country’s official language minority communities.


Speaking Notes for the Forum mondial de la langue françaisearchived

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

I would like to begin by thanking Michel Audet for inviting me to moderate this roundtable on multilingualism as a necessary challenge to the development of French.


Notes for an address during a visit to the Maurice Lamontagne Institute and the general meeting of Fisheries and Oceans Canada employeesarchived

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mont-Joli, June 22, 2012Graham Fraser - Commissioner of Official Languages Check against delivery


Speaking Notes for Anglophone Heritage Week, Heritage Lower Saint Lawrencearchived

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thank you for inviting me to the 10th anniversary of Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence. I was very pleased to accept Alexander Reford’s invitation to take part in the celebrations. I appreciate the opportunity to meet people who are so involved in enhancing the vitality of Quebec’s English-speaking...


Notes for the Convocation Address at Concordia Universityarchived

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let me begin by saying how honoured I am to receive this degree from Concordia. One of the immense privileges of my role as Commissioner of Official Languages has been to learn what universities are doing with and for the communities in which they live. And it has been a particular pleasure to see...


Speaking notes for the Annual General Meeting of the Regional Association of West Quebecersarchived

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gatineau, June 13, 2012Graham Fraser - Commissioner of Official Languages Check against delivery


Notes for the Canadian Parents for French Round Table on Academically Challenged Students in French Second Language Programsarchived

Monday, June 04, 2012

Thank you for inviting me. The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has always considered Canadian Parents for French one of its closest partners. As Commissioner, I hope to maintain and strengthen the ties between our two organizations.


Notes for a keynote address at the 2nd Ruppin International Conference on Immigration and Social Integration: New Frontiers in Research and Policy Makinarchived

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I am happy to have been given the opportunity to speak to you here, at the Ruppin Academic Center. It is a great honour to be part of this wonderful event and to share our knowledge and experiences on immigration and social integration.


Notes for a keynote address on Diversity and Languages in Canada at the Halbert Centre for Canadian Studiesarchived

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to speak to you here, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I would like to thank the Halbert Centre for Canadian Studies and the Israel Association for Canadian Studies for their invitation.


Review of the 2012–2013 Main Estimates of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languagesarchived

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I would like to thank your committee for its interest in the operations of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The relationship between Parliament and my office is of the utmost importance.


Checking our Constitution@30: The Influence of the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Metaphors of Growtharchived

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I would like to thank Jack Jedwab for inviting me to participate in this conference that celebrates the 30 years of our Charter. It is an honour for me to be part of such a prestigious panel and to have the opportunity to reflect on how the country has changed since the Charter was entrenched in...


Notes for an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languagesarchived

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thank you for your invitation to discuss the Roadmap, an initiative which is of central importance to the vitality of official language minority communities and to the promotion of linguistic duality in Canada. We have discussed the Roadmap on numerous occasions over the past few years and I am...


Notes for an address at the National Metropolis Pre-Conference on Francophone Immigration in Canadaarchived

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I would like to begin by thanking the team at the Metropolis Secretariat for giving me the opportunity to take an active part in this session. I appreciate having the chance to share my thoughts with you, and to again see some of the people with whom I have had so many fascinating discussions in...


Notes for an address at a meeting of the Language Rights Support Programarchived

Monday, February 27, 2012

A few weeks ago, I saw a sticker for sale in an Ottawa store that said, “Ignore your rights and they’ll go away.” I don’t know which rights the author was referring to, but I think that this applies particularly well to today’s theme. Not many people jump out of bed in the morning, all eager to go...


Notes for an address at the Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise centennial commemorative eveningarchived

Saturday, February 25, 2012

It is my pleasure to be with you today in Duck Lake to celebrate the 100th anniversary of an organized Francophonie in Saskatchewan. As the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the province of Saskatchewan for declaring 2012 the Year of the...


Notes for an address at the conference “Finding a balance between parity in the number of voters and the community of interest or identity” organized by Elections Canadaarchived

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I would like to thank Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand and François Faucher for inviting me to take part in this conference. The process of redrawing electoral boundaries is a subject to which my office has devoted a great deal of study over the past 10 years. As such, this afternoon I would...


Notes for the presentation of the Award of Excellence – Promotion of Linguistic Duality 2010–2011 at the Governor’s Ball during the Festival du Voyageurarchived

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It is a pleasure to be here in Saint-Boniface for the Festival du Voyageur. The Festival celebrates the history and culture of the French, Scottish, Metis and Aboriginal peoples. Since it was first held in 1970, the Festival has brought together people of all origins to commemorate Manitoba’s...


Notes for an address at the international forum - Immersion at the university level: models, challenges and prospectsarchived

Friday, February 10, 2012

It’s a pleasure for me to be the closing speaker at this international forum. The discussions we had today have led me to the conclusion that language immersion at the university level has immense potential and can play a key role in creating a knowledge society, whether in Canada, elsewhere in...


Are universities responsible for promoting the value of linguistic duality?archived

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I would like to begin by thanking Mr. Poirier for inviting me to speak to you today. One of the benefits of being Commissioner of Official Languages is having the opportunity to meet people who are making French a part of their lives.


Speaking notes for the Molson Foundation immersion scholarships award ceremonyarchived

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It is a great honour to be here again and celebrate your accomplishments as young Anglophones who wish to continue their university studies in French. Given the challenges facing your generation, both nationally and internationally, it is reassuring to know that so many young Canadians are...


Notes for an address during a reception at the Centre de la francophonie des Amériquesarchived

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I would like to thank the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques for this lovely reception and for the very interesting tour of the Centre. I would also like to congratulate Mr. Roy and Mr. Desgagnés for their excellent work. I have a lot of respect for the work that Jean-Louis and Denis have...


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