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December 12, 2013
For immediate release

French Language Services Act proclaimed on December 14

Premier's Office

The new French Language Services Act and its regulations have been proclaimed in their entirety, says Premier Robert Ghiz, Minister responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs.

The French Language Services Act, the first major legislative overhaul of French language services in over a decade, was passed during the Spring Sitting of the Legislative Assembly.

“This legislation is the result of significant collaboration with both our external and internal partners over an extended period of time,” said the Premier. “We believe we now have a solid base on which to build for the future as we continue to designate bilingual services on an incremental basis.”

The Act and General Regulations clearly outline government’s obligations in matters related to planning and reporting on French language services, correspondence received in French, public consultations and the first series of services to be officially designated as bilingual. These designated services include the 511 traveller information service, highway traffic signs and the French public libraries located in Abram-Village, Summerside and Charlottetown.

The proclamation of the Act also confirms the appointment of Mr. Jean-Paul Arsenault of Charlottetown as the first Complaints Officer. He is a much respected community leader who brings an enviable depth of professional experience to the role having worked extensively in both the public and private sectors. Mr. Arsenault will be responsible for reviewing complaints as needed.

“We are very pleased that Mr. Arsenault has accepted to take on this role,” said Premier Ghiz. “His intimate knowledge of the Acadian and Francophone community and of the public sector is an undeniable asset as he begins his term.”

For more information on the French Language Services Act and government programs and services offered in French, please consult the Acadian and Francophone Affairs Secretariat website at www.ipeservicesfrancais.ca.

BIOGRAPHY

JEAN-PAUL ARSENAULT

Throughout his career, Jean-Paul Arsenault held various positions within the public and private sectors. He has approximately 30 years experience in the provincial and federal public service and was an associate for eight years with a human resource consulting firm in Charlottetown. Until recently, he was a member of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board.

Mr. Arsenault has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Business Administration degree from Université Laval. He is now retired and has a keen interest in Acadian history and genealogy. He has written several articles on these topics and was published in various history magazines. Mr. Arsenault and his wife Elva live in Charlottetown. They have three adult children and three grandchildren.

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Media Contact: Dominique Chouinard
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