The Canadian government’s institutional bilingualism watchdog battles for the Bilingual workplaces freedom in Canada.
[Alles Europa News] – The challenges that a medical doctor who travel from French zones to an English or Spanish zones should have to spends another year to learn languages before been accepted to save lives.
How about the non skilled labour like cleaners and upwards, the tales is even much worst at the workplaces, like a new world where we are all imposing our values on everybody.
It is definitely a serious issues not only in Canada but also down here in European Union, where the continent is Bilingual.
However the Canadian government’s institutional bilingualism watchdog had to step in on this one?
In its argument, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions cautioned the Court against an overly broad interpretation of the definition of a “service” to be provided in the employee’s language.
According to Le Devoir reports, his lawyer, Nadine Dupuis, this could create “linguistic silos” or excessive needs for bilingual positions.
Eleven bilingual positions would have been added to improve relations between generalist employees and specialists in Toronto.
“The Official Languages Act was enacted to allow for bilingual workplaces in which employees from both linguistic communities can work together,” said Mr. Dupuis.
According to this interpretation, employee relations would not constitute a “service”, and a bilingual employee such as Mr. Dionne cannot have the whim of speaking with his colleagues only in the language of his choice.
“Every government institution should review every employment relationship,” she says.
Speaking with Le Devoir reporters, Mr. Dionne estimated that he had to work in English “90% of the time” at the time of the complaint.
Now on a work stoppage, he was sorry that OSFI is now asking him to pay his legal fees for this legal challenge.
The case is closely followed by other institutions of federal jurisdiction, such as Canadian National. Advocacy will continue until Thursday.
What does it mean to work in the language of one’s choice at the federal level?
The Federal Court of Appeal must decide whether this definition excludes daily communications with the unilingual branch of an institution, which would create “dangerous jurisprudence”, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, who presented his arguments on Wednesday.
If a French-speaking public servant has to consult his unilingual Anglophone colleagues in Toronto every day in order to obtain the expertise necessary for his work, is this a “central service” provided by the employer? Or is it more of a simple “teamwork” that he has to live with in his second language?
This is the issue before three judges of the Federal Court of Appeal, who began hearing oral arguments on Wednesday in the case between federal public servant André Dionne and his employer, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).
“The limitation related to teamwork is unjustified. This interpretation must be quashed because it constitutes an error of law,” argued Élie Ducharme, counsel for the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL).