Canadian Senator Mobina Zaffer has introduced a bill in the Senate to recognise International Mother language Day on February 21 as a holiday in Canada.
She said the bill was introduced as a private member's bill to raise awareness among Canadians about the recognition and importance of immigrants' mother tongues in the multicultural society of Canada.
She hopes the bill will go to the standing committee for scrutiny after being discussed in the Senate next week.
Joining ‘Shaugat Ali Sagor Live’, a regular social media streaming hosted by Shaugat Ali Sagor, Chief Editor of Canadian Bengali newspaper ‘notundesh’ on Monday noon, Senator Mobina Jaffer discussed various aspects of the bill and sought the cooperation of Bangladeshi Community in Canada to build public opinion in favour of the bill.
Describing the next procedures the bill needs to go through, Senator Mobina Jaffer said, the senators will give their opinion on it. Later it will go to the standing committee for examination. After getting sanction from there, it will return to the Senate for a third reading. If approved in the third reading, it will go to the House of Commons as a bill.
Senator Mobina Zaffer appealed to the Bangladeshi community to write letter to the Canadian Prime Minister and the Public representatives in their respective constituencies urging them to support the bill.
"Tell them that it is important to recognise the International Mother Language Day in the Federal government level’- she said.
Speaking on the background of the bill, Senator Mobina Zafer said, "We literally lost our mother tongue as soon as we immigrated to Canada. If a person loses his mother tongue, he loses his identity, he loses his heritage."
“It is important for everyone to maintain their identity. That's why I have introduced the bill”.
Mobina Zaffer, who grew up in Uganda, shared her high views on the history and rich culture of the language movement.
Asked about obstacles to the bill's passage into law, the Liberal Party nominee said that many people consider the recognition of International Mother Language Day a risk for bilingualism. But I don't think so. I think recognition of the international mother language day will strengthen Canada's bilingualism.
She said, having an unconditional love for one's mother tongue makes one more enthusiastic about learning other languages.
Shaugat Ali Sagar, Editor-in-Chief of Natundesh, thanked Zafar for introducing a bill in the Senate to declare International Mother Language Day a holiday in Canada.
He said the International Mother Language Day has been declared in view of the glorious struggle of the Bengali language movement.
He called for the inclusion of the events of the language movement in Bangladesh as a reference in Mobina Zafar's bill introduced in the Senate.