Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Candice Bergen, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Official Opposition, made the following statement on the occasion of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day:

“Every year, on June 24, Francophone communities across Canada gather to celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. This holiday is celebrated in many communities with parades, festivals, and picnics. It’s also a great opportunity to remember the important role that Francophone communities play across the country.

“From Newfoundland to British Columbia, through Tracadie-Sheila, Sudbury, Saint-Boniface or Gravelbourg in Saskatchewan, Francophone communities champion their cultures and defend their language. Thanks to their determination, they remain dynamic, proud, and deeply rooted in every corner of our country.

“Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day also reminds us of the struggles that Francophone communities have faced throughout history, notably the Franco-Ontarian resistance to Regulation 17. Fortunately, Canada has grown since then, but many challenges remain, including the recent struggles to protect Francophone post-secondary institutions.

“Conservatives will fight every battle to protect the language rights of Francophones in minority communities. Over the years, we have urged the government to take action on the modernization of the Official Languages Act. We have proposed several measures to ensure that a new Act responds to the many challenges facing the Canadian Francophonie today.

“On behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, I would like to wish all Francophones and Francophiles in Canada a happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day.”