Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Drummond. Our government has a clear mandate to develop a new official languages action plan that enhances the vitality of minority francophone and anglophone communities.
For two years now, we have been actively working to support English- and French-speaking Canadians from coast to coast to coast and to promote our official languages.
We would like to point out that, in the summer of 2016, we held 22 round tables across the country to hear from official language communities and work with them to address issues affecting their cultural development and vitality. We are proud to report that nearly 7,000 people participated in the consultation process on line and at the round tables.
The cross-Canada consultation process was carried out using an approach based on respect, openness, and sincere collaboration. What we learned has been used to develop a new multi-year official languages action plan to support English and French-speaking minorities across the country.
We listened very carefully to the concerns of our official language communities all over Canada. Those communities raised some crucial issues and challenges, including the importance of ensuring the continued existence of the Canadian Francophonie, as well as enhancing the vitality of official language minority communities, raising the individual bilingualism rate, and working to bring Canada’s linguistic communities closer together.
Our government is committed to putting forward a new official languages action plan, which will come into force on April 1, 2018. We and the member for Drummond know that our new action plan will breathe new life into government action in support of our linguistic minority communities, and we will stick to that plan.
We now have a new Commissioner of Official Languages, appointed in keeping with the government's commitment. This progress comes on the heels of many other meaningful steps our government has taken to support these communities. In particular, we have appointed two bilingual justices to the Supreme Court of Canada. We have modernized the court challenges program, initiated a review of the rules on designating bilingual service points, invested in the construction of educational infrastructure in minority communities, and restored the international mobility program, in relation to the other immigration program, as well as many other achievements that we are proud of.