The Liberal Senate Forum


facebook Ideas Forum youtube flickr

Meet Senator

Fernand Robichaud

The Hon. Fernand Robichaud, P.C. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Fernand Robichaud represents the province of New Brunswick and the Senatorial Division of Saint-Louis-de-Kent. He has served in the Senate of Canada since September 23, 1997.

News & Releases

Senate Committee unanimously recommends that the Senate adopt the motion to concur with the passage of the new Official Languages Act by the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

More on...



Read the comments left on this page or add yours.
Posted on 12 June 2009

Ottawa, June 12, 2009 – The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs presented yesterday its report Language Rights in Canada’s North: Nunavut’s New Official Languages Act with recommendations that will help preserve, revitalize and promote Aboriginal languages.

By the Nunavut Act, Parliament must concur in the passage of this Act.  The House of Commons has already done so, and the Committee recommends that the Senate also concur.

On June 4, 2008, the Nunavut Legislative Assembly passed a new Official Languages Act for that territory. The new Act essentially gives the “Inuit Language”, which is defined as Inuktitut for most of Nunavut, and as Inuinnaqtun in some of Nunavut’s Western communities, the same status as English and French for the purposes of providing territorial government services.

Senators raised concerns regarding the content and effect of Nunavut’s new Official Languages Act on individuals who speak languages other than the Inuit Language. Given the role of the Senate in terms of safeguarding regional interests and minority rights, including minority language rights, Senators wished to ensure that the rights of linguistic minorities in Nunavut are not detrimentally affected by the coming into force of the new Official Languages Act.  The committee concluded after hearing witnesses that the Act’s effects would be positive.

In its report, the committee recommends the following:


The committee recommends that the Senate adopt the following motion, moved by the Honourable Senator Comeau, seconded by the Honourable Senator Adams: “That, in accordance with section 38 of the Nunavut Act, chapter 28 of the Statutes of Canada, 1993, the Senate concur in the June 4, 2008 passage of the Official Languages Act by the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.”


That Statistics Canada monitor and report on the composition of Nunavut’s population to identify the use of the five Aboriginal languages that will no longer be considered official languages in Nunavut (Chipewyan, Cree, Dogrib, Gwich’in, and Slavey).  


That, upon request by the Government of Nunavut or Nunavut’s Commissioner of Official Languages, the Office of the federal Commissioner of Official Languages continue to make its expertise and advice available  to assist in the  implementation of the Act and its objectives.


That, in light of Parliament’s decision to concur in the passage of the Official Languages Act by the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, the Government of Canada make adequate and sustained funding available to the Government of Nunavut for the continued protection and promotion of official languages in the territory, as is consistent with the government’s legal obligations.


That, for greater certainty, the concurrence of the Governor General, as the representative of Her Majesty the Queen of Canada, in the passage of the Official Languages Act by the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut be sought in order to ensure unquestionably that section 38 of the Nunavut Act is complied with in full.

“The committee unanimously supports Nunavut’s vision in protecting the Inuit Language to ensure the survival and improvement of the Inuit social, economic and cultural well-being”, said Senator Joan Fraser, Chair of the committee.

The Deputy Chair, Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, commented on the testimony heard by the committee “we are impressed to see the level of support expressed by the francophone community in Nunavut for equal Inuit Language rights.”

For a copy of the report, or to find out more about the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, please visit


For more information please contact:

Mona Ishack
Media Relations
Toll-free: 1-800-267-7362 or 613-944-4082

Jessica Richardson
Committee Clerk
Tel: (613) 990-6087

Most Recent News

Senator Hubley Introduces Legislation for a National Day of Fiddling

2 Apr, 2014 | By | Today, in the Senate Chamber, Senator Elizabeth Hubley introduced a Private Member’s Bill for an Act respecting National Fiddling Day.

Open Caucus: March 26, 2014—Missing and murdered Aboriginal women

26 Mar, 2014 | By | Sadly, the story of a missing or murdered mother, sister, aunt, niece, or grandmother is not a singular story in Canada's aboriginal communities. For much of our history, this human rights tragedy has terrorized aboriginal families and communities. Many victims and families have suffered in darkness.

Green Party Leader Shows Leadership on Accountability

4 Mar, 2014 | By | Charlottetown Senator Percy Downe salutes the leadership shown by Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C), for her commitment to introduce a motion in the House of Commons asking the Auditor General to conduct a comprehensive audit of MP’s expenses. This comes in response to a letter he sent to all party leaders last week, asking them to consider such a measure.

The Senate Liberal Caucus: Bringing Canadians into Parliament

26 Feb, 2014 | By | The Senate Liberal Caucus today announced five initiatives, arising from its new independence, to do politics differently in the Senate.

House of Commons Should Follow Lead of Senate: Party Leaders Urged to Move Motion

26 Feb, 2014 | By | Charlottetown Senator Percy Downe has written all party leaders in the House of Commons (letter attached), urging one of them to show leadership in moving a motion inviting the Auditor General to conduct a comprehensive audit of members’ expenses.
« 1 2 3 4 5  ... » 

You can retrieve this page at:
Please recycle this document.