the bilingualism regulation, one of the founding texts of the University of Ottawa, is embedded in its identity and in the image it projects to the world. Since the adoption of this Rules In 1974, the University of Ottawa evolved for the first time, picking up the rhythm of the world around it. Today, the campus is a living space for thousands of Francophones and Anglophones from all walks of life, while the facility embodies a modern and updated vision of their linguistic duality.
From Article 4c of its founding law (1965) and in response to its designation in 2016 under the Ontario French Language Services ActThis regulation regulates the equality of French and English as official languages of the university.
In order to realize the University’s desire to provide a sustainable response, more robust and better adapted to its ambitions regarding institutional Francophonie, the Vice-Rectorate, International and Francophonie, carried out extensive consultations with the various governing bodies of the University within a framework of an authentic dialogue. These were guided by the desire to reach the broadest possible consensus and appropriate procedures were put in place to encourage ongoing exchange and dialogue within the various governing bodies of the University.
The University of Ottawa Senate and Board of Governors unanimously approved on October 17 and 31, 2022 the Revision to the Bilingualism Ordinance, which is intended to be a key vehicle by which “the university seeks to encourage progress on its campus towards a genuine equality between French and English and the development of Francophonie and bilingualism, taking into account the minority situation of the French in Canada”.
What will the new bilingualism regulation bring?
The ordinance on bilingualism has an overarching scope and regulates all areas of activity of the university, in particular the provision of services, the range of courses, research activities, human resources, communication and the interaction of the university with several stakeholders.
In its new version, the regulations contain principles that guide our decisions, facilitate our coexistence while recognizing the language rights that are part of our institutional culture.
Active provision, affirmative action to support de facto equality of official languages, recognition of Aboriginal languages, the right of staff to work and be cared for in the official language of their choice and the encouragement of research in French are all new concepts that the Commitment of the university to bilingualism and Francophonie. In addition, the new regulations define the tasks of the Vice Rectorate International and Francophonie as guardian of the institutional francophone mission.
This order is the result of a strong consensus of our higher education community regarding bilingualism and Francophonie. It represents a milestone in consolidating our language commitments and reaffirming our commitment to the development of Canadian and international Francophonie in Ontario in a unified and inclusive manner.
We are confident that this new edition of the University of Ottawa’s Bilingualism Regulations will serve as a cornerstone for the sustainability of our community’s linguistic well-being.