To ensure that government actions are more cohesive, we believe that it is high time that we modernize the governance of the organizations responsible for applying the Charter of the French Language and for monitoring the linguistic situation.
Implemented in 2002, the current structure has significant shortcomings. The Office Québécois de la Langue Française (OQLF) has become a superstructure with sometimes contradictory roles of monitoring the language situation and sometimes monitoring the law’s application, in addition to processing complaints. For its part, the Conseil Supérieur à la Langue Française has been stripped of its essence and its resources, and can no longer adequately play the role for which it was created, that of advising the Minister.
To ensure better organization as well a more efficiency among institutions, we propose abolishing these organizations and replacing them by:
The creation of the position of an independent French Language Commissioner appointed by the National Assembly. The Commissioner’s mandate would be to annually report on the status of the French language with the help of studies and analyses, as well as report on public language policies, including those of ministries and organizations;
The establishment of the Office de Protection et de Valorisation de la Langue Française (Office for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language) would have a clearer, more coherent role. It would take the existing OQLF resources, including the regional satellite offices, under its wing, but would also have a more proactive presence in the field. In collaboration with partners, it would need to intensify and diversify its actions to promote and protect the French language. Toponymy, officializing terminology and applying the law, which includes processing complaints, would all fall under its purview. For this vision to be carried out, the Office would be endowed with a Board of Directors to ensure renewed, more transparent governance.
The proposals we are advancing are the result of thorough reflection following several consultations.
In order to undertake this process, we first identified the fundamental principles that should guide us. It was important for us to identify the foundations upon which all Quebecers of all origins could readily unite and rally.