Ottawa December 2, 2014 – The Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages tabled its report today entitled Seizing the Opportunity: The Role of Communities in a Constantly Changing Immigration System. The report presents the findings of the committee on the impacts of recent changes to the immigration system on anglophone and francophone minority communities. The committee dedicated 15 meetings to the study of this issue, and heard the perspective of 44 witnesses.
The study by the committee focused on changes that have occurred since the start of the 41st Parliament and on those that will be implemented by the end of 2014, with the anticipated launch of the Express Entry system. The purpose of the study was to measure the impact of these changes on official language minority communities.
“The committee understands that immigration is a key factor in the future of official language minority communities,” said Senator Claudette Tardif, chair of the committee. “It has developed recommendations to encourage the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to take positive measures to enhance the vitality and support the development of these communities.”
Senator Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis, deputy chair of the committee, said the government must “recognize that the Express Entry system requires a francophone lens so that francophone and Acadian communities can capitalize on targeted positive measures.” She also stated that the government must support “immigration research projects that will provide a concrete and direct benefit to Quebec’s anglophone communities and will build their capacity to integrate newcomers.”
The committee proposes nine recommendations to urge the government to take positive measures to enhance the vitality of official language minority communities and to support and assist their development. The recommendations presented by the committee to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration are intended to ensure the implementation of Part VII of the Official Languages Act and section 3 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.To find out more about the work of the committee and for a copy of the report, please visit: http://senate-senat.ca/ollo-e.asp.
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