2nd Annual Meeting of the International Association of Language Commissioners

The next meeting of the International Association of Language Commissioners (IALC) will be held in Ottawa on May 20 and 21, 2015. This second annual conference, whose theme is “Protecting language rights, promoting linguistic pluralism”, comes at a time when we are celebrating 50 years of bilingualism in Canada and the 400th anniversary of the Francophone presence in Ontario. As a founding member of the Association, I think it is a great opportunity to discuss challenges, review the current state of affairs and share our bilingualism success stories.

The IALC’s mission is to “assist the language commissioners’ role throughout the world by promoting best practice and standards of excellence and by advancing language equality and diversity.” A variety of topics are on the program to galvanize these exchanges, including the promotion and protection of linguistic pluralism, the preservation and revitalization of aboriginal/indigenous and minority languages, and language and group conflict. For my part, I will be participating in a panel discussion on language rights, specifically “the art of recommendations and follow-up”. Having produced seven annual reports, seven investigation reports and two joint reports since the Commissioner’s Office was established in 2007, we know a bit about this! While we still have a lot to learn ourselves, of course, I’m sure that our experience may be beneficial to our counterparts in holding governments to account, while pointing out best practices.

I encourage you to have a look at the conference program and especially to mark the dates in your calendar, because spaces are limited.

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