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Minister responsible for Official Languages (Canada)

The Minister responsible for Official Languages is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is entrusted with the enforcement of the Official Languages Act, ensuring that government services are available in both English and French, protecting minority language rights, particularly in the area of education, and promoting bilingualism throughout Canada.

The last Minister responsible for Official Languages was Shelly Glover in Stephen Harper's Cabinet. Moore held that role since 2013-07-15. Other previous Ministers have been James Moore, Josée Verner and Mauril Bélanger.

In 2003 the first Minister responsible for Official Languages was sworn in, on the creation of the "Official Languages Branch of Intergovernmental Affairs" within the Privy Council Office.[1] In 2006, responsibility was shifted from the Privy Council Office to the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the branch was renamed the "Official Languages Secretariat".[2]

As minister responsible for official languages, Moore's portfolio included the Official Languages Support Programs Branch (which supports the Minister in implementing Part VII of the Official Languages Act) and the Official Languages Secretariat (which coordinates the Government of Canada's activities in official languages).[3]

Sections 42 and 43 of the Official Languages Act give the Minister of Canadian Heritage the specific responsibility of taking measures to advance the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society; under section 44 of that Act, the Minister must submit annual reports to Parliament on the matters relating to official languages for which the Minister is responsible.[4][5]

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ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Official Languages Secretariat". Retrieved 2011-07-23.
  2. ^ "Order Transferring from Privy Council Office to the Department of Canadian Heritage the Control and Supervision of the Official Languages Secretariat, SI/2006-45".
  3. ^ "The Honourable James Moore — Portfolios". Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
  4. ^ Official Languages Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.)
  5. ^ "Canadian Heritage Official Languages Annual Reports".