Canada's Original Think Tank

Open Caucus

In the spring of 2014, the Senate Liberals began our Open Caucus initiative. The goal of these meetings is to foster nonpartisan discussion on issues facing our country. We invite all parliamentarians as well as the public to take part in the discussion with a panel of experts on any given topic, and focus informing ourselves and others on matters that are important to Canadians.

 

Open Caucus Themes

  • March 20, 2019 – The International Day of La Francophonie

    The Open Caucus, a forum for discussion on issues of national importance, was first established in 2014 when Senate Liberals opened their Caucus doors to the public on Wednesday mornings. The Open Caucus is now co-sponsored by the Independent Senate Liberals, the Independent Senators Group, and the Office of the Government Representative in the Senate. This non-partisan collaboration now brings together three groups representing the majority of the Senate’s current membership.

    The discussion is open to all Members of Parliament, Senators, parliamentary staff, media, and the public.

    This year, Canada is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Official Languages Act, which recognized French as an official language alongside English in the development and vitality of Canadian society. At the international level, Canada has taken on an important role within the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).

    The minority status of the French language in Canada and around the world presents considerable challenges, not only for the use of the language, but also for its being recognized as a modern and inclusive language, one that is just as essential to the economic, social and cultural development of nations as is the case with majority languages. In Canada, French language communities have been losing ground for some time.

    Open Caucus will focus on the International Day of La Francophonie together with the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act and the recent challenges faced by official language minority communities. This day will also provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the continued development and vitality of the French language and French communities within the Canada of 2019.

    The panelists were:

    Dr. Stéphanie Chouinard: Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Royal Military College of Canada
    Dr. Michael MacMillan: Professor, Faculty of Political Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University
    Dr. Benoît Pelletier: Professor, Faculty of Law – Civil Law Section, University of Ottawa

    The meeting took place:

    Wednesday, March 20, 2019
    8:00am – 10:00am
    Room W110, 1 Wellington Street


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    Liberal Senate Forum