The President of the AMBM, Ivan Normandeau, issued the following statement following the publication of the document entitled English and French: Towards A Substantive Equality of Official Languages in Canada, this Friday, February 19, 2021.

The Association of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (AMBM) applauds the publication of the document entitled English and French: Towards A Substantive Equality of Official Languages in Canada.

The result of a colossal amount of work by Minister Mélanie Joly and her team, this white paper recognizes the decline of the French language in Canada and announces a firm intention to protect and promote it, in order to achieve substantive equality between English and French.

We welcome Minister Joly’s desire to modernize the Official Languages Act by reaffirming and strengthening the federal-municipal partnership.

Since the late 1980s, the AMBM has been contributing to the development of Manitoba’s Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) through the 15 municipal governments that have adopted a municipal by-law committing them to offering services in both official languages to their population.

As the order of government closest to its citizens, Manitoba’s bilingual municipalities are key partners of the federal government in enhancing the vitality of Francophone minorities in our province.

The AMBM is committed to working with Minister Joly and her government to identify the tools to be developed to make our municipal governments strong public institutions that are better able to support and promote the vitality of official language minority communities, particularly in terms of infrastructure and Francophone immigration.

In the shorter term, the AMBM hopes that the federal government will materialize its intentions in a bill to modernize the Official Languages Act as soon as possible.

For more information: Justin Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, 204-289-4077, [email protected]

The AMBM supports Minister Joly’s vision to modernize the Official Languages Act