OTTAWA — A veteran Liberal MP has written to Treasury Board President Tony Clement seeking assurances that federal ministers communicate in both official languages on social media networks like Twitter.
Stephane Dion says in his letter that according to the government’s communication policy, institutions must ensure that communications conform to the Official Languages Act.
But Dion, the Liberal official languages critic, says an overwhelming number of ministers — including Clement himself — do not do so on social media.
He says its raises concerns that social media becomes a way to circumvent the requirements of the act.
Dion’s letter follows a scolding from the commissioner of official languages, who said federal ministers should be tweeting in both English and French.
Acting on a complaint, Graham Fraser concluded that former foreign affairs minister John Baird and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney violated the language laws with unilingual tweets.
Fraser’s office says ministers don’t have to be bilingual, but when they communicate with the public in their official capacities, they must use both official languages.
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