Complaints concerning bilingualism down, except in regards to the unilingual AG

OTTAWA – The official languages commissioner received 518 complaints about bilingualism over the last year — an improvement compared with previous years.

Commissioner Graham Fraser’s annual report says Stephen Harper’s appointment of a unilingual auditor general was particularly controversial in 2011-2012.

The appointment drew 45 complaints and prompted an investigation, the results of which have not yet been made public.

Almost half of the 518 complaints came from the area around Ottawa and Gatineau, but a mystery-shopper-style survey found that bilingualism was alive and well in the national capital region.

Fraser recommends that the federal government focus on developing bilingualism among young people by doubling the number of exchanges and boosting post-secondary courses available in a second language.

He also wants Industry Canada to develop incentives for businesses which offer services in both official languages.