Ghislaine Saikaley
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Ghislaine Saikaley
Ghislaine Saikaley
Interim Commissioner of Official Languages

December 19, 2016 - January 29, 2018
Graham Fraser
Raymond Théberge
Personal details
Born1962 (age 58–59)
Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada
Alma materUniversité de Montréal
ProfessionPublic Servant

Ghislaine Saikaley (born 1962 in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) was the interim Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada from 2016 to 2018. During her tenure as commissioner, she called for a modernization of the Official Languages Act in order to adapt it for the digital age.[1]

Early life and education

Saikaley grew up in Rouyn-Noranda. He father was a chief of police in the area, and her mother was also working in the police service. She studied at the University of Montreal, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Criminology.[2]


Saikaley entered the Canadian public service in 1986, when she started working at the Rouyn-Norenda correctional center. Within 6 months of working there, she became manager of the facility. She later moved to Granby for family reasons, and then to Hull in order to become manager of the parole office in the region. During this time, the Hells Angels were very active in the area, and Saikaley received numerous death threats related to her work. Her house was therefore put under police surveillance while she held this position.[2]

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Saikaley joined the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in 2008 as Assistant Commissioner, responsible the Offices' investigations into breach of compliances of the Official Languages Act.[1]

Upon Graham Fraser's retirement as Commissioner of Official Languages, Saikaley was appointed as interim commissioner in December 2016 for a 6 months period. Five months later, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated Madeleine Meilleur to replace her replacement for commissioner. The opposition parties labelled this nomination as partisan, because Meilleur was a former Ontario Liberal Party Minister.[3] Meilleur eventually withdrew her bid to become commissioner in June 2017.[4] Saikaley's 6 months term as interim commissioner ended up expiring without a remplacement commissioner appointed, leaving the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in a "legal limbo" where it was devoid of all authority without a commissioner.[5] Saikaley's mandate was extended for another 6 months shortly thereafter.[6]

During her time as commissioner, Sakailey suggested, among other things, that the Official Languages Act be modernized and minimum standards of English-French bilingualism required to become a manager in the Canadian civil service be elevated.[7] On the former, Saikaley stated that the Treasury Board Secretariat's low English-French proficiency requirement resulted in a lack of uniform application of part V of the Official Languages Act.[8]


  1. ^ a b "The Commissioner of Official Languages - Biographical Notes". Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b Saikaley, Ghislaine (2 March 2018). "Les Saisons". (Conference).
  3. ^ "Ex-Ottawa MPP Madeleine Meilleur nominated as official languages commissioner | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Madeleine Meilleur no longer wants languages commissioner's job". CBC News. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Trudeau government leaves official languages office in legal limbo | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "Government extends interim official languages commissioner". CBC News. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Saikaley: Public Service still has work to do on bilingualism". Ottawa Citizen. 2017-10-05. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Treasury Board policy has slowed growth of bilingualism in PS: languages commissioner - iPolitics". iPolitics. 2017-08-01. Retrieved .
Government offices
Preceded by
Graham Fraser
Commissioner of Official Languages
Succeeded by
Raymond Théberge

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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