Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) President Vicki-May Hamm, alongside chair of FCM's Réseau Francophone Luc Desjardins, issued the following statement in support of bilingualism:
"Recently in Canada, an important conversation has been taking place regarding the linguistic rights of Francophone Canadians, and how all orders of government should work together to support Canada's status as an officially bilingual country.
"FCM's identity embraces bilingualism as a core value. Our organization holds a firm commitment to serving our Francophone member municipalities through our bilingualism policy, and through the mandate of our Réseau Francophone. We add our voice to that of our colleagues in the Union des municipalités du Québec, the Fédération québécoise des municipalités, the Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick, the Association des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba, and the Association française des municipalités de l'Ontario to reiterate the importance of respecting both official languages.
"The Official Languages Act dictates bilingualism as a federal responsibility. It also makes clear that respecting both English and French as official languages with equal status, rights, and privileges is its mandate.
"However, municipal leaders from across this great country have made clear that this issue is tremendously important to them. We have been encouraged to see the agreement from federal and municipal leaders alike that Canada is a bilingual country and that our federal-municipal relationship is stronger because of it.
"As municipal leaders, we are proud to reaffirm our federation's commitment to the values and policies in defence of the linguistic rights of Francophone Canadians."
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of municipal government, with 2,000 members representing 90 per cent of the Canadian population.
For more information, please contact:
FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, firstname.lastname@example.org