My question is for the University of Ottawa's representative, given his studies.
I think awareness of linguistic duality in our country will improve from generation to generation. I come from a unilingual francophone family and I have a basic knowledge of English. However, I asked my children to take the time to learn English because it was important. I brought them movies in English, which allowed them to learn the language. They are now teenagers and young adults and they almost always watch movies in English just to perfect their knowledge of the language. One of my daughters is studying languages.
In the federal public service, we have the beginning of the second generation of public servants. They are no doubt better than those of the first generation were at their age. Of the first public servants, some were bilingual, but others had to learn a second language, whether it was French or English. The young people who start in the public service now are practically all bilingual. They are better than their predecessors were and I am convinced that their children will be even better. The new generation of Canadians does not perceive a confrontation between English and French because it is naturally bilingual. Some even learn a third language, as you said earlier, such as Spanish, Portuguese, German or Mandarin, given economic development.
There are economic advantages to speaking two, three or four languages. That could encourage more young Canadians to take the time to learn another language for their career or to travel, depending on their goals and what they want to do in life. It is a clear advantage to speak two languages in Canada and to stand out in the global economic community. Canada is a gateway to francophone communities, and English, which is the language of the global economy, is also spoken here.
Is the next generation of young Canadians aware of the advantage it has in having this linguistic duality?