Mr. Speaker, in 1969, the Parliament of Canada enacted the Official Languages Act. This legislation has had significant and positive impact on minority language communities.
Since then, we have also expected our government to affirm, on a regular basis, the benefits and the importance of linguistic duality. Therefore, as we celebrate the Semaine de la Francophonie this week, it is appropriate to reaffirm in this House, with a loud and clear voice, the importance of linguistic duality for our country.
We are talking about much more than just a simple asset or a series of programs to be funded every five years. We are talking about a defining characteristic of our identity. In fact, linguistic duality is an integral part of this country's social fabric. For that reason it must be treated with respect and given priority, and we must provide the requisite financial support.
Therefore, I ask my colleagues to join with me to ensure that linguistic duality remains a core priority and part of the legacy we will pass on to our children.