An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (understanding of official languages)

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.


François Choquette  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of June 19, 2018
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Official Languages Act to provide that the requirement to understand both official languages also applies to judges of the Supreme Court of Canada. It also provides for a commitment to that effect from the Government of Canada.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Official Languages ActRoutine Proceedings

June 19th, 2018 / 10:05 a.m.
See context


François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-411, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (understanding of official languages).

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to continue the long fight for access to justice in both official languages, a fight that was started by our former colleague, Yvon Godin.

After introducing Bill C-203 on the bilingualism of Supreme Court of Canada judges, which was sadly voted down by the Liberals, I am now introducing a bill to amend the Official Languages Act in relation to the understanding of official languages. To summarize, this bill would require the government to commit to ensuring that judges who sit on the Supreme Court understand both official languages.

In its report entitled “Ensuring Justice is Done in Both Official Languages”, the Standing Committee on Official Languages made a series of recommendations, the first being that the government table a bill during the 42nd Parliament guaranteeing that bilingual judges are appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

It is obvious that the government lacks both the will and the resolve to listen to the experts' testimony and to the committee members.

Everyone knows that a policy is not an effective way to ensure access to justice in both official languages. A policy is not a law. That is why I am introducing a bill that, admittedly, is not a panacea. However, it is a good step forward, and it will help improve the situation.

(Motion deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)