Some French speaking civil servants are fretting federal budget cuts will infringe on their language rights, Canada's bilingualism watchdog says.
cuts and language rights
Each year, the federal government spends $1.5 billion on bilingualism, according to the Fraser Institute, a right leaning think tank. The Conservative government is looking to trim about $4 billion a year from the deficit and has announced a series of layoffs.
A spokeswoman for the Treasury Board the federal department responsible for trimming the budget said language training for public servants will be available to those who need it and that the "government remains committed to Canada's official languages."
right to be supervised in their language of choice.
"We're still receiving complaints and hearing from some employees who feel hampered in their rights are even hesitating to use French and feeling even more hesitant to lodge a complaint. Omega Seamaster 300m Wrist
In Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario, government workers have the Omega Seamaster Military Vintage
Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser broke from speaking about his annual report Tuesday to raise a red flag over what he said is a chilling effect the cuts have on the ability of bureaucrats to use French at work.
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We're starting to hear the voices of people who feel in a difficult situation," he said.
Fraser gave the example of a New Brunswick civil servant whose office was centralized and so he no longer works with a bilingual supervisor. Others said they are afraid to exercise their right to work in their preferred language for fear they will be singled out during layoffs.
The office labels 25 complaints or more on one issue as an incident of note. In the 2011 12 fiscal year the office dealt with a total Omega Seamaster Ladies Vintage of 518 complaints on a range of issues.
Meanwhile, Fraser rapped the knuckles of Air Canada, Parks Canada, Elections Canada and Industry Canada for their respective shortcomings in offering a full range of services in both official languages.
The federal public service employs about 450,000 people, including military and RCMP staff.
Still, the watchdog wouldn't reveal how many grievances his office has received so far.
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