Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the appointment of former New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord as Special Advisor for the Consultations on Linguistic Duality and Official Languages. The appointment fulfills the Government’s commitment to conduct public consultations on the future of minority language policy as part of its strategy to update the Action Plan on Official Languages. In the 2007 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada affirmed its commitment to the principle of linguistic duality and highlighted the importance of promoting the two official languages.
“Mr. Lord is a proven leader, experienced consensus-builder and, through his experiences and his actions, the very model of a bilingual and bicultural Canadian,” said the Prime Minister. “It is hard to imagine anyone better qualified for this assignment.”
Mr. Lord will chair and moderate consultations with representatives of minority language communities and experts in the field to develop the government’s strategy on official languages. The regional consultations will take place in the first two weeks of December in seven cities across Canada. Mr. Lord will report his findings to Josée Verner, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, by mid-January.
“We’re making sure that minority language communities here in New Brunswick and across Canada are getting the benefits they deserve,” said the Prime Minister. “This is how we’re building more and stronger bridges between our minority and majority language communities.”