Response of canada on the implementation of the

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Canadian Commission for UNESCO


United Nations and Commonwealth Affairs Division

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada


The 2005 UNESCO General Conference decided by resolution 33 C/Resolution 54 that Member States should submit every 4 years a report on the current state of the implementation of the Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace. This document is the report of Canada.

In drafting this preliminary report, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO requested a contribution from several federal government departments, as well as from all of the provinces and territories. As a federal state, provinces and territories in Canada have the authority to develop policy, programs and measures related to information and communication technologies.
The Commission received replies from five federal departments and the information provided is contained herein.
It should be noted that while the activities and measures mentioned are not explicitly intended to give effect to the Recommendation Concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace, several of them contribute directly or indirectly to its implementation.
Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is an agent of change and ombudsman for the Government of Canada. Its mission is to take all measures necessary to achieve the three main objectives of the Official Languages Act, namely:

  • the equality of English and French in Parliament, within the Government of Canada, the federal administration and institutions subject to the Act;

  • the preservation and development of official language communities in Canada;

  • the equality of English and French in Canadian society.

Translation Bureau
The Translation Bureau of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is one of the organizations responsible for applying the Official Languages Act, enacted in 1969 and amended in 1988. The Translation Bureau—the main employer in the linguistic field in Canada— offers services in translation, terminology and interpretation to the Canadian Parliament thanks to its 1200 translators, terminologists and interpreters.
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

As an independent public agency charged with authorizing, regulating and monitoring Canadian radio-television and telecommunications companies, the CRTC is governed by the Broadcasting Act, 1991 and the Telecommunications Act, 1993.

The main objective of the Broadcasting Act is to ensure that the public has access to quality, diversified Canadian programming; that of the Telecommunications Act is to ensure access to reliable and affordable telephony and other telecommunications services.

In the same way that the CRTC is governed by these laws, it is also responsible for reporting to Parliament (through the Minister of Canadian Heritage), implementing the orders of the Governor in Council (the Cabinet), and listening to the public, industry, and various other stakeholders.

In short, the CRTC’s mission is to manage, in the public interest, the delicate balance that exists among the cultural, social and economic objectives of broadcasting and telecommunications legislation.
The agency’s mandate is to ensure programming with content that reflects, both at home and abroad, the creative talent of Canadians, as well as this country’s linguistic duality, multicultural diversity, the special place of Aboriginal peoples, and social values. At the same time, it must ensure that all Canadians can enjoy affordable communication services that are innovative, varied, of high quality and competitive at both the national and international levels.
Canadian Heritage
Canadian Heritage is the federal department responsible for arts, culture, sport and participation of Canadians.
The Department and its legislative mandate were established by the Department of Canadian Heritage Act. The Department is also responsible for other legislation (see, including the Copyright Act, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; the Library and Archives of Canada Act, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, the Official Languages Act, and the Act to Amend the Copyright Act.
The Department of Canadian Heritage Act sets out the Department’s roles and responsibilities in matters relating to Canadian identity and values, cultural development and heritage. Included among those responsibilities are:

  • the promotion of a greater understanding of human rights, fundamental freedoms and related values

  • multiculturalism

  • the arts, including cultural aspects of the status of the artist

  • cultural heritage and industries, including performing arts, visual and audio-visual arts, publishing, sound recording, film, video and literature

  • the advancement of the equality of status and use of English and French and the enhancement and development of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada

  • broadcasting, except in respect of spectrum management and the technical aspects of broadcasting

  • the formulation of cultural policy, including the formulation of cultural policy as it relates to foreign investment and copyright

  • conservation, exportation and importation of cultural property

  • national museums, archives and libraries

Industry Canada

The department's mission is to foster a growing competitive, knowledge-based Canadian economy. The department works with Canadians throughout the economy and in all parts of the country to improve conditions for investment, improve Canada's innovation performance, increase Canada's share of global trade and build a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace. Program areas include developing industry and technology capability, fostering scientific research, setting telecommunications policy, promoting investment and trade, promoting tourism and small business development, and establishing rules and providing services that support the effective operation of the marketplace.

As requested in the Guidelines for the Preparation of Reports by Member States to the General Conference on the Implementation of the Recommendation Concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace, this report includes four elements for reporting on the specific provisions of the Recommendation: 1- Development of Multilingual Content and Systems; 2- Facilitating Access to Networks and Services 3- Development of Public Domain Content; and 4- Reaffirming the Equitable Balance between the Interests of Rights-Holders and the Public Interest.


In accordance with Canada's Official Languages Act, first enacted in 1969 revised in 1988 and 2005 (, the Act establishes obligations for the federal government to communicate with the Canadian public in both official languages, and thus to publish its information on the Internet in both official languages, as well as to take positive measures to promote the use of English and French in Canadian society. The Official Languages Regulations set out the conditions under which the government must provide services in both official languages.


Regarding the Canadian government's performance with respect to the Internet, we would like to bring to your attention the September 2005 report, Bridging the Digital Divide: Official Languages on the Internet. This is a follow-up to studies conducted on various aspects of the Internet. Recommendations seek to ensure equal quality of content in the two official languages at government online sites and to reduce the digital divide between Anglophones and Francophones. The recommendations have three themes: promote French-language Internet tools; ensure equal quality of Internet content in English and in French; encourage the government to establish a solid governance framework.

Canadian Heritage
The Official Languages Secretariat, like Canadian Heritage as a whole, implements some sections of the Official Languages Act (Parts IV, V and VI, as well as Part VII, which deal with the concept of English-French duality).
The Secretariat conducts consultations with official-language minority communities both French and English. The consultations take place in the community’s language and are designed to inform everyone of the initiatives undertaken in other communities. A process involving some public servants takes place before a department-wide process on an annual basis. The Secretariat supports a committee of deputy ministers on official languages, which provides coordination on major official-language issues. It also takes part in a variety of sector-specific forums to exercise its “horizontal responsibilities”, which include active participation in the development and preparation of memoranda to cabinet.
The Secretariat also coordinates a research group on official languages to make information available to all concerned. The Survey on the Vitality of Official-Language Minorities conducted in conjunction with Statistics Canada and numerous other partners was one of the initiatives undertaken.
Since 1998, the Government of Canada has supported community-based programming through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI), which provides $5 million per year to help reverse the loss of Aboriginal languages and increase the number of Aboriginal Canadians who speak their language. ALI is delivered in partnership with the national organizations representing First Nations (Assembly of First Nations), Inuit (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami), and Métis (Métis National Council), and regional language organizations.

Through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, Aboriginal communities across Canada have access to funding in support of activities to revitalize their languages. In 2005-2006, this initiative provided funding to over 300 community-based Aboriginal language projects. Approximately 5% of these projects create Internet or digital-based resources to promote teaching languages in cyberspace. These tools have proven particularly effective for providing language-learning tools to remote and northern communities. Internet-based tools have also proven an effective means to archive and document critically endangered languages. Through organizations such as FirstVoices, this technique has been used extensively on Canada’s west coast, where the critical state of Aboriginal languages is particularly acute.

In 2005, the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures submitted its report, Towards a New Beginning: A Foundational Report for a Strategy to Revitalize First Nation, Inuit and Métis Languages and Cultures. Included as one of 25 recommendations in the report was the call for the creation of an Innovative Projects Fund, which would support innovative projects, research and the use of new technology in language education and revitalization efforts.
There are 52 Aboriginal languages in Canada, and Canadian Heritage is currently working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultural centres and organizations to translate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms into many of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages spoken in Canada. The Inuktitut, Ojibway, Oji-Cree and Central Cree versions are available in syllabics. The Mi'kmaq and Ojibway versions are now printed in Roman orthography. Work on the Algonquin, Blackfoot, Dene, Dakota, Haida, Maliseet/Passmaquoddy, Michif, Nakota, Okanagan, Plains Cree, Woodland Cree and Saulteaux versions are underway.
The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of online learning tools and continues to examine the Task Force’s recommendations. The Department of Canadian Heritage is working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to develop a comprehensive approach to language revitalization. This approach to Aboriginal languages will include financial support for language initiatives in Aboriginal communities, and will complement the larger Government of Canada framework in support of Aboriginal education, cultural retention, and quality of life.

Canadian Culture Online (CCO)

The mandate of Canadian Heritage’s Canadian Culture Online program is to develop policies and programs related to the Internet and digital technology to bring our country’s cultural content to all Canadians.

Through a variety of funding components and the policy initiatives, Canada’s cultural industries, institutions, creators and communities are able to develop and publish cutting-edge cultural products and content on the Internet, in both of Canada’s official languages (English and French).
CCO subsidies and policies enable Canadians, regardless of location, to participate in and learn about our country’s rich and diverse heritage, arts and culture.
From 2000-01 to 2005-06, C$187,275,000 was paid out through Canadian Culture Online and its various funding components to develop, enhance and make available Canadian cyberspace content.

CCO’s objective stipulates that at least 50% of all content created must be in French. Over the last four years, CCO has exceeded that objective, with over 80% of the content produced being made available in French.

The following are some bilingual sites:
The notion of multilingualism does not refer just to Canada’s two official languages, but also to its cultural diversity. Through grants and contributions from the Gateway Fund in particular, CCO supports not-for-profit organizations and associations that wish to promote Canadian cultural content that would otherwise be unavailable on the Internet. A large number of Web site projects funded provide contemporary expressions of the cultures of Aboriginal and ethno-cultural communities. Some of the sites are available in several languages, i.e. English, French and the community’s specific language. The following are some examples:

Language: Cree

Inuit Heritage Trust

Language: Inuktitut

Somali Immigrant Aid Organization

Language: Somali

Chinese Canadian National Council

Language: Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Tagalog (Filipino)


The Canadian Heritage web site is committed to providing all its content in both official languages. As such, Canadians and international audiences can easily access quality, diverse cultural content online in both of the country's official languages.

The Canadian Heritage web site has also undertaken measures to ensure that external links are bilingual, or, if that is not possible, represent an equal balance of English and French links.
The eCulture Directorate web sites, and, undertook measures for a wide range of diverse, high quality Canadian cultural content in both official languages.
All partnering agreements made with Canadian cultural organizations since fiscal 2005/2006 have been based on bilingual content, and new collaborations have been initiated with partners within PCH, Portfolio Agencies and other federal or governmental organizations.
Participation in the “Rendez-vous de la francophonie 2006” has increased’s visibility with stakeholders, government representatives and users.
Content published reflects well both languages, with significant increases:

    • 7 thematic showcases, including the Aboriginal Cultures in Canada

    • 150 interviews with Canadian cultural stakeholders, including Acadian and Aboriginal personalities

    • 6 newsletter editions

    • 300 new featured sites
Monthly eNewsletters are produced in both official languages with a balance of diverse sources, which reflect language and cultural diversity.
Of the “In Focus” online features produced (all with strategic partners in 2005/2006), 25% were written originally in French and 75% dealt with how culture intersects with cultural diversity (including language diversity).
All partnering agreements made since fiscal year 2005/2006 have been based on bilingual content such as the one with Canadian Heritage Aboriginal Affairs Branch.
Translation Bureau
In keeping with the terminology standardization mandate that the Cabinet conferred upon the Translation Bureau in 1974, the Bureau makes TERMIUM®—the linguistic data bank of the Government of Canada—and the Language Nook available to the federal public service. These powerful tools facilitate communication in the two official languages.
TERMIUM® contains not only three and a half million terms in English and in French, but also 160 000 terms in Spanish and 7000 in Portuguese, making it one of the most important term banks in the world and the main bank of the Americas in Spanish and Portuguese.
Moreover, the Translation Bureau makes bilingual (English and French) and quadrilingual (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese) glossaries and linguistic publications available to the public.
The Broadcasting Act is the legislative pillar of Canada’s broadcasting system. Indeed, the Act stipulates that the system should, “through its programming and the employment opportunities arising out of its operations, serve the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations, of Canadian men, women and children, including equal rights, the linguistic duality and multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society, and the special place of Aboriginal peoples within that society.”
The Act also requires the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada’s national broadcaster, to provide programming in both English and French, “reflecting the different needs and circumstances of each official language community, including the particular needs and circumstances of English and French linguistic minorities.” The CBC is also to “reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada.”
Innovative and bold, the Broadcasting Act has made it possible to develop a Canadian broadcasting system that reflects this country’s values of tolerance, inclusion, and respect for the diversity of all Canadians. Over the years, that system has developed to the point that it reflects and reinforces Canada’s linguistic duality while ensuring that Aboriginal and foreign languages have a place in the world of Canadian broadcasting.
Canada’s linguistic duality is reflected in coast-to-coast access to radio and television services in both official languages. Since it was established, the CBC (Radio-Canada) has provided English and French radio and television services in this country—a prime example of this fact being TVA, Canada’s largest private general-interest French-language network.i

Like the other institutions designated under section 41 of the Official Languages Act, the CRTC is responsible, within the limits of its mandate, for “enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development; and…fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.” Moreover, the CRTC recently filed with the Department of Canadian Heritage its 2006-2009 action plan on implementing section 41 of the Act—a plan that proposes a number of activities to enhance the vitality of Canada’s English and French linguistic minorities.ii

Promoting Aboriginal Languages
The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) is the only national Aboriginal broadcaster in the world. Canadians—Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals alike—have access to this service in all areas of the country.iii Run essentially by Aboriginals and broadcast in a number of different languages, APTN offers all Canadians a window into the remarkably diverse worlds of indigenous peoples. In addition to APTN, Canada boasts more than 250 Aboriginal radio stations operating on reserves and in rural areas and small communities.
Promoting Third Languages

By virtue of the CRTC’s approach to licensing, the Canadian ethnic broadcasting landscape has changed greatly over the years. Today, Canada has four over-the-air television stations and 17 radio stations, each dedicating a good portion of its line-up to third-language programs. Canada also has five specialized general-interest third-language services (theme channels) in Hindi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Spanish and Italian broadcast in analogue mode.

In addition, Canadians have access to more than 20 specialized ethnic services authorized to broadcast in digital mode, as well as several specialty audio services. More than 100 other ethnic digital services have also been authorized, but have not yet begun broadcasting.


Since 2004,iv the CRTC has been using a new approach to evaluate applications to add non-Canadian third-language digital satellite-television services. This policy advocates a more open attitude toward licensing such general-interest services, insisting, in particular, on the need to broaden the diversity and choice of services available to Canada’s third-language ethnic communities. At present, more than 20 non-Canadian third-language services are authorized for distribution in Canada.

Reflecting the Diversity of the Canadian Public
The CRTC expects all broadcasters to mirror the country’s demographic diversity equitably and inclusively. The agency’s objectives are to ensure that broadcasters paint a true picture of ethno-cultural minorities, Aboriginal peoples and the disabled, and that the programming portrays these groups in an accurate, honest and stereotype-free manner. Since 2002, the CRTC has required broadcasters to file a business plan setting out the measures established to better translate cultural diversity within their organizations, programs, and community relations. Canadian broadcasters, for their part, have undertaken far-reaching qualitative and quantitative research into the reflection of diversity on television, the findings of which have greatly contributed to the general awareness and recognition of the importance of this issue.v

Access to Networks
The Government of Canada launched the Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program (BRAND) on September 5, 2002. This $105 million (CDN) program supports Canadian communities in the development and implementation of business plans for the deployment of broadband infrastructure with a one-time strategic

capital investment. A priority for this program was placed on communities facing geographic and socio-economic barriers to broadband access, such as Aboriginal, northern, rural and remote communities.

In October 2003, Industry Canada, in partnership with Infrastructure Canada and the Canadian Space Agency, launched the National Satellite Initiative. It was created to make available affordable satellite capacity for the deployment of broadband services to communities in the far to mid-north, and in isolated and remote areas of Canada, where satellite technology is the only practical connectivity solution. In addition to the programs outlined above, Infrastructure Canada coordinates federal government efforts focused on cities and communities, and supports infrastructure initiatives (such as transport and communications) across the country. The Canadian Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) is a $4-billion (CDN) fund directed at projects of major federal and regional significance in areas that are vital to sustaining economic growth and enhancing the quality of life of Canadians. Note that broadband projects are eligible for funding under CSIF.
– Community Access Program:
– An indicative listing of Canadian Federal Programs can be found at:
– Industry Canada web site:
– Government of Canada web site:
At the national level, the Canadian Telecommunications Act, 1993 establishes a number of related objectives through legislation, including:
“7. (b) to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada….”
Access to Services
In accordance with Government of Canada Internet standards, the Canadian Heritage web site provides equitable access to all visitors, including persons with disabilities, who access the site using assistive computer technologies.
Through various Canadians and international audiences can easily access quality diverse cultural content online in both official languages.

  • 11-member Editorial Advisory Committee with linguistic, regional and cultural representation

  • 30% increase in content submissions made by users in 2005/2006: 1,907 link suggestions (in contrast to 1,465 in 2004/2005)

  • Web site achieved an increase in traffic to French content from 26% of page views in 2004/2005 to 32% in 2005/2006

  • Steady increase in eNewsletter subscriptions in 2005/2006: 25% more French and 26% more English subscriptions than in 2004/2005

  • More than 15 cultural organizations contributed directly to the elaboration of content in both official languages.

  • Implemented direct marketing initiatives specifically targeting French search engines

  • Outreach to 12,000 Canadian schools and libraries in both official languages for the students and teachers Web zone

Canadian Culture Online’s Internet policy deals with the following three objectives

(for more details, see:

  • To support the creation and production of innovative, interactive and engaging Canadian cultural content for the Internet, in both English and French

  • To increase access and build audiences for Canadian digital cultural content

  • To contribute to an environment that enables Canada’s cultural industries, institutions, creators and communities to produce and make available high-quality Canadian cultural content

In terms of access to information, the portals for Canadian Heritage, the Virtual Museum of Canada, and are all useful tools for discovering more about Canadian cultural content in both official languages:

Canada’s cultural professionals and institutions have easy access to a transactional space for the gathering and exchange of relevant information.

  • The Observatory is now able to track, by official language, the daily updates of content to the site.

  • Creation of one new French group (100% increase from 2004/2005) and three new bilingual ones (66% increase from 2004/2005)

  • In 2005/2006, 55% of page views were English content and 45% French (a 2% increase of pages view in French from 2004/2005).

International Context/Treaty Obligations
Canada is a signatory to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. In 1972, the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) was created to fulfill specific obligations of the treaty by establishing a national inventory of protected property, and a centre of expertise to ensure the preservation and presentation of cultural property held in Canadian museum collections. With content contributions from among CHIN’s 1,200 members, Artefacts Canada ( makes publicly accessible millions of records and over 400,00 images from heritage collections across Canada.
Stewardship Role/Presenting Canada’s Digital Heritage
Since CHIN launched the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) in 2001, hundreds of online bilingual exhibits, games and didactic tools have been created by heritage institutions and their community partners for informal learning. In 2005/6, the VMC received 11.5 million visits from 180 countries. CHIN is now undertaking a pilot research initiative to leverage the VMC’s content and investment by creating trusted digital heritage learning resources that facilitate use for formal learning by the K-12 education sector.
Knowledge Exchange among Heritage Professionals
Recognizing the need to better equip Canadian museums with the right know-how to address the ongoing challenges of preservation and presentation of digital content, CHIN launched the Knowledge Exchange in 2006. It provides an online learning space where heritage professionals have access to a wealth of resources including published research, self-paced and instructor-led training, and online communities of practice for collective learning. The Knowledge Exchange forum provides learning opportunities related to challenges faced by heritage professionals, i.e. standards, best practices, copyright and intellectual property, privacy, authenticity and technology. As a benefit of membership, CHIN's 1,200 museum members receive a free Internet connection. Among CHIN members, over 90% are connected to the Internet, almost half of those by means of a high-speed connection.
In addition to its online learning tools and training, CHIN provides workshops for

heritage professionals across Canada, to enable their use of innovative technologies.

Translation Bureau

The Translation Bureau, which is also a language industry leader, partners with the Language Technologies Research Centre (LTRC) of the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), a centre whose activities focus on developing tools for translation, terminology and interpretation.

Within the framework of Article 41 of the Official Languages Act, the Bureau has, over the years, made its main linguistic tools available to the official-language minority communities. The Translation Bureau promotes Aboriginal languages, in particular Inuktitut and Cree, and heritage languages, such as Spanish and Portuguese, which are respectively the first and the seventh foreign languages most translated in the Canadian government.
The Bureau concludes co-operation agreements with various national and international organizations in order to enrich TERMIUM® in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. It also enters into co-operation agreements with Aboriginal organizations, in particular from Nunavut, in order to disseminate their terminology through the Internet (for example, the Inuktitut language, by linking the Living Dictionary to the TERMIUM® site).
Additional information is offered by the Translation Bureau on its products and services at the following Internet address:
Please indicate the measures taken for encouraging the development of information strategies and models that facilitates community access and support cooperation on ICT among public service institutions.

– The (Canadian) Telecommunications Policy Panel Review Report was released on March 22, 2006. This independent panel made a series of recommendations to Government in its report including recommendations on a national ICT strategy. The Government of Canada is currently reviewing and analysing these recommendations. The full report can be viewed at:

– CANARIE Inc. - Canada's advanced Internet development organization, begun in 1993, is a not-for-profit corporation supported by its members, project partners and the Federal Government. CANARIE's mission is to accelerate Canada's advanced Internet development and use by facilitating the widespread adoption of faster, more efficient networks and by enabling the next generation of advanced products, applications and services to run on them.
Partnerships/Support for Digitization
Canadian Heritage and its portfolio agencies are involved in numerous digitization initiatives, whether directly (e.g. the national museums) or indirectly through funding (e.g. Canadian Culture Online Program). CHIN has established partnerships in support of digital initiatives in Canada with the Library and Archives of Canada, Canadian Museums Association, and with international groups such as the Institute of Museums Library Services, Museum Computer Network, Coalition of Networked Information, and the New Media Consortium, all from the U.S.


The Translation Bureau translates multilingual content in the Web pages of federal departments—in particular for Industry, Human Resources, Agriculture, Correctional Service, the Border Services Agency—in order to give allophone Canadians (persons whose first language is neither Canada’s official languages) and the international public access to information published in English and French in Canada regarding immigration, pension plans, education, etc.

The Translation Bureau translates forms and brochures of various departments—in particular the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture, Correctional Service, Foreign Affairs, Human Resources, Justice—in order to provide allophone Canadians with general information on measures taken during health or national security crises.
It also translates brochures to promote Canada abroad as a country that offers investment advantages and also to promote Canadian agricultural products, as well as Canadian government surveys conducted in the general population, the last one being the 2006 Census in 62 languages.
The Translation Bureau created the Aboriginal and Other Languages Section, whose mandate principally consists in supporting the promotion of aboriginal languages.

Canadian Heritage and Web sites

Through the Canadian Heritage Web site, various Canadians and international audiences can easily access information and knowledge in the public domain.
300 new featured sites: 40% increase in English-language links and 53% increase in French-language links in one year.

  • As of March 31, 2006 the links collection included more than 16,000 links, of which 69% (11,368) are in English and 31% (5,014) are in French. The proportion of French vs. English links increased by 2% during the last year.


The Copyright Act has always protected literary, dramatic and dramatico-musical works regardless of the language of their author. No special action was taken in regard of multilingualism recently, as no problems or gaps in the legislation have been identified from that standpoint, whether in the traditional, everyday sense or on the Internet.
As for access, Canadian Heritage, along with Industry Canada, has looked at the issue of giving schools access to and use of works that are legally and freely available online. Many copyright collective societies in Canada also offer licences to reproduce and communicate works online. On the other hand, digital content aggregators also provide access and the ability to reproduce certain repertoires of works online. Plays, songs, music and literary works are therefore now available online and can be reproduced legally on the Internet. There is an ongoing evaluation by the Canadian Government of how technological changes impact on copyrights and public access.


This report discusses some of the measures, policies and programs established by the Government of Canada to provide Canadians with cyberspace access and a range of services, as well as to support content-creation efforts that take account of the country’s linguistic diversity. Such initiatives are very numerous, and not all are mentioned here; most were established by the federal and provincial governments well before the Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace was adopted, demonstrating that Canada has long been at the fore in this regard. While we regret we were unable to include the contribution of the provinces and territories in this report, we are confident the next document will highlight their achievements.

i Public Notice 1999-27-1, Order Respecting the Distribution of the French-language Television Service of TVA Group Inc., 12 February 1999.

ii The electronic version of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Action Plan 2006-2009 – Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act can be found at

iii Public Notice 1999-70, Order Respecting the Distribution of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, 21 April 1999.

iv Public Notice 2004-96, Improving the diversity of third-language television services A revised approach to assessing requests to add non-Canadian third-language television services to the lists of eligible satellite services for distribution on a digital basis, 16 December 2004.

v The study is available at

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