Although the federal government is required to serve the public in both official languages in 83 of its Winnipeg offices, it is not required to ensure that employees in these same offices are able to work in the official language of their choice.  In a city with a large, vibrant official language minority community, this makes no sense.

Having witnessed the shift of Canada’s population toward the West, Winnipeg’s francophone community is rooted in the country’s history and is also at the centre of Manitoban reality.  How is it, then, that employees working in the 83 federal government offices designated bilingual for the purpose of service to the public don’t have a work environment that is conducive to the effective use of both official languages?

Steps must be taken to ensure that federal employees in Winnipeg are able to hold meetings in French, prepare documents in French and have access to training in the official language of their choice.  This would contribute to the vitality and development of this official language community and would remedy an unfair and illogical situation.

Winnipeg needs to be designated a bilingual region for language-of-work purposes and will make this a priority when Parliament reconvenes.