In the years ahead, I think we will first have to focus on the modernization of the Official Languages Act, more specifically, part VII. Work is already under way on part IV, which deals with service delivery, among other things.
Part VII holds tremendous possibilities. It addresses the vitality of minority communities. What constitutes a positive measure is, however, not defined.
If we go by the writings of such people as Michel Doucet, Érik Labelle, and Pierre Foucher, part VII of the act does not define vitality, development, or positive measures. We therefore have to improve part VII of the act.
What's more, the upcoming action plan is already more or less complete. Giving part VII a more meaningful impact will mean redefining the relationship between the government and minority communities in the next action plan.
On the one hand, we will have to find a way, over the next seven years, to slow the gradual and historical erosion of francophone communities outside Quebec and the anglophone community within Quebec. To do that, the act has to set out the obligations and necessary actions in a much more clearly defined way.
On the other hand, we need to tackle the language of work issue in the federal government. A recent report noted how difficult it was for employees to use French in the federal public service. How is it that, half a century later, we are still dealing with the same challenges?
The study laid out some recommendations. The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages met with the Public Service Commission to explore options for progress. Five issues were identified in relation to leadership, culture, and training.