The federal government has unveiled a new strategy to "strengthen" and "modernize" Canada's Official Languages Act over the next 50 years with the aim of further protecting the use of French across the country. \nThis subject is frequently debated — something Quebecers know all too well, as provincial officials propose changes to Quebec's Charter of the French Language and Premier François Legault's government considers "limiting the number of places" in English CEGEPs. \nEditor's Choice: 5 Jobs Hiring In Montreal With A Yearly Salary of AT LEAST $75,000\n\nThere is a decline in the French language and French must be protected and promoted outside Quebec as well as within Quebec. We want to ensure that businesses under our jurisdiction contribute to the effort to protect French. #OLA 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/0DVq0cFe9l— Mélanie Joly (@melaniejoly) February 20, 2021\n\nWhat's the goal of the document?\nThe document, titled, "English and French: Towards a substantive equality of official languages in Canada," is meant to articulate the government's "visions and intentions" before a bill is tabled in the House of Commons later this year. \nPresented by the minister of economic development and official languages, Mélanie Joly, it attributes the decline of French to digital technology and international trade, which it says favours English.\nIn 1971, the Francophone population outside of Quebec was 6.6%. In 2011, it was 3.9%.\nAccording to Statistics Canada projections, it could drop to 3% by 2036.\nThe reform document, Minister Joly says, gives us "tools we need to achieve true equality between French and English" — both inside and outside of Quebec.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWhat are some of the proposed revisions? \nThe revisions include increasing opportunities to learn both official languages by "recognizing" Francophone teachers educated here in Canada while recruiting Francophone teachers from around the world.\nThe government would also like to introduce teaching diplomas for French immersion, French as a second language and French as a first language. \nIn addition, the government has asked CBC/Radio-Canada to implement a free digital language learning tool that would be accessible to adults across the country.\nThe government has already committed to only appointing functionally bilingual judges to the Supreme Court of Canada and, according to the document, it has been evaluating candidates' bilingualism since 2016.\nThe new proposal would amend the Official Languages Act so there's no longer a written exemption for the Supreme Court of Canada to ensure bilingual judges are available.\nThe proposal includes a periodic review of the Official Languages Act at least every 10 years.\n\nHow are Quebec organizations reacting?\nThe Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal issued a press release on February 19 praising the proposed changes, noting they should help Canadians be assured that "the French language and culture will continue to survive and flourish."\n"The time has come to act to protect French, and the plan proposed by Minister Joly meets our expectations," said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.\nThe Fonds de solidarité (FTQ), Quebec's largest central labour body, issued a response on the same day, stating that "the Government of Canada finally admits the decline of French and the need to reform this long outdated law."\n"Workers in companies under federal and provincial jurisdiction in Quebec must have the same rights, and the enforcement of their rights must be the responsibility of a single body, the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF)," said Denis Bolduc, general secretary of the FTQ.