Minister responsible for Official Languages (Canada)

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Minister responsible for
Official Languages
Government of Canada signature.svg
Melanie Joly 2017.jpg
Mélanie Joly

since 18 July 2018
Department of Canadian Heritage
StyleThe Honourable
Member of
Reports toThe Prime Minister of Canada
AppointerGovernor General of Canada
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure

The Minister responsible for Official Languages is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is entrusted with the enforcement of the Official Languages Act, ensuring that government services are available in both English and French, protecting minority language rights, particularly in the area of education, as well as promoting bilingualism throughout Canada.

In 2003 the first Minister responsible for Official Languages was sworn in, on the creation of the "Official Languages Branch of Intergovernmental Affairs" within the Privy Council Office.[1] In 2006, responsibility was shifted from the Privy Council Office to the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the branch was renamed the "Official Languages Secretariat".[2]

Sections 42 and 43 of the Official Languages Act give the Minister of Canadian Heritage the specific responsibility of taking measures to advance the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society; under section 44 of that Act, the Minister must submit annual reports to Parliament on the matters relating to official languages for which the Minister is responsible.[3][4]

List of Ministers[edit]

No. Name Term of office Political party Ministry
1 Pierre Pettigrew December 12, 2003 July 19, 2004 Liberal 27th (Martin)
2 Mauril Bélanger July 20, 2004 February 5, 2006 Liberal 27th (Martin)
3 Josée Verner February 6, 2006 July 28, 2008 Conservative 28th (Harper)
4 James Moore October 30, 2008 July 14, 2013 Conservative 28th (Harper)
5 Shelly Glover July 15, 2013 November 4, 2015 Conservative 28th (Harper)
6 Mélanie Joly July 18, 2018 Incumbent Liberal 29th (Trudeau)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Official Languages Secretariat". Retrieved 2011-07-23.
  2. ^ "Order Transferring from Privy Council Office to the Department of Canadian Heritage the Control and Supervision of the Official Languages Secretariat, SI/2006-45".
  3. ^ Official Languages Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.)
  4. ^ "Canadian Heritage Official Languages Annual Reports".