Last March 10, 2010 the Citizenship and Immigration Canada, published a news release titled, "Improvements to proof of language rules will increase fairness, reduce delays, says Immigration Minister".
In a nutshell, what is says is that you still have a choice to use either proof of English Proficiency:
1. take a language test (IELTS) or
2. provide other written proof of your language proficiency
For as long as you know that the second option (written submission) is intended for people whose first language is either English or French.
If you are an applicant who lives in a country who only uses English as a second language, and you submitted the second option, the Visa office assessing your application will immediately give you your corresponding points on the documents that you have submitted.
You will no longer be given a chance to get higher scores by giving you the chance to get the IELTS, like in the past.
If you check the points system of Canada, you will find out that proving your English proficiency using the second medium is not wise, because you can only really get a maximum points of 8 points for this option.
And that to have the chance to get the full points of 16 points for English, you need take the IELTS.
To read more about this, please click on the link:
[source] - cic.gc.ca