Frequently Asked Questions
- How does the Official Languages Secretariat differ from the Official Languages Support Programs Branch?
- How does the Official Languages Secretariat differ from the Francophone Secretariat?
- What are the responsibilities of the Minister of Official Languages?
How does the Official Languages Secretariat differ from the Official Languages Support Programs Branch?
The Secretariat supports the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and senior officials from federal departments, institutions and agencies in coordinating all Government of Canada activities on official languages. For its part, the Official Languages Support Programs Branch (OLSPB) supports the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages in implementing Part VII of the Official Languages Act which targets enhancing the development of official-language minority communities and promoting both official languages in Canadian society. Through its programs and policies, the OLSPB supports groups, provinces and territories and encourages all federal institutions to do the same.
How does the Official Languages Secretariat differ from the Francophone Secretariat?
The role of the Francophone Secretariat is to ensure that the cultural artistic policies and programs managed by the Department of Canadian Heritage adequately reflect the distinctiveness of the Canadian Francophone cultural community. It focuses exclusively on cultural activities, while the Official Languages Secretariat coordinates the Official Languages Program within the Government of Canada. The mandate of the Official Languages Secretariat therefore is much larger than that of the Francophone Secretariat.
What are the responsibilities of the Minister of Official Languages?
The Minister of Official Languages is responsible for coordinating the activities of government institutions relating to official languages to ensure that they comply with the Official Languages Act. To do so, he plays a political leadership role amongst his Cabinet colleagues and articulates the Government's position on current issues. He is also responsible for representing the Government and conducting a constructive dialogue with the communities, provinces and territories. The Secretary of State also co-chairs the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie.
In addition, he is responsible for all the Official Languages Support Programs in the Department of Canadian Heritage. These programs support the associative network of the communities, provinces and territories. The programs focus especially on minority‑language education and second-language education as well as the delivery of services to official-language minority communities.