The Enumeration of Rights-Holders Under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Toward a Census that Supports the Charter

The House Standing Committee on Official Languages (LANG) this morning presented its fifth report related to the enumeration of rights-holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The QCGN and the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) appeared together as witnesses on February 16, during the report’s study phase. The report makes the following recommendations, which support our community’s interests.

Recommendation 1: That, pursuant to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Government of Canada work with the provincial and territorial governments, official-language minority school boards and other community stakeholders to develop and fund a national awareness and outreach campaign to inform Canadians about their constitutional rights in education and the language options available for their children’s schooling.

Recommendation 2: That the Government of Canada recognize it is responsible for collecting complete data on rights-holders subject to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and commit to obtaining a complete portrait of rights-holders by 2021.

Recommendation 3: That the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development ask Statistics Canada, as part of its preparation for the 2021 Census, to establish an advisory committee specifically mandated to examine the enumeration of rights-holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Recommendation 4: That the Government of Canada require Statistics Canada to include questions in the 2021 Census that would allow for the enumeration of all rights-holders under the broadest interpretation of paragraphs 23 (1) (a) and (b) and subsection 23 (2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Recommendation 5: That, as part of the next official languages action plan, the Government of Canada:

  1. mandate Statistics Canada to conduct a new post-censal survey on the vitality of official language minorities based on data from the 2021 Census; and
  2. provide Statistics Canada with the necessary funding to conduct this survey, analyze the data and distribute products derived from the survey.

Recommendation 6: That, as part of the new survey on the vitality of official language minorities, Statistics Canada establish an advisory committee that would include representatives from anglophone and francophone minority communities.

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What we heard across Canada: Canadian Culture in a Digital World

This report presents the findings of the Canadian Content in a Digital World consultations that took place during Fall 2016. The report is a synthesis of feedback collected by Ipsos via the online portal, in-person events and social media discussion as well as mail and e-mail submissions received by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The department initiated this consultation process to review the current measurs taken to ensure that Canada’s culture remains strong and competitive within the global landscape.

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Towards a New Action Plan for Official Languages and Building New Momentum for Immigation in Francophone Minority Communities

Following the series of consultations made by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Committee’s objective was to identify Canadians’ priorities with regard to official languages and, more specifically, those of official language minority communities (OLMCs), in order to make recommendations for the development of the new action plan.

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Education in English: It’s About You! Know your Rights!

Produced by the Language Rights Support Program, this flyer/insert for community newspapers discusses the right to education in the language of the minority with interviews with Walter Duszara, Secretary of the QCGN Board; Carol Meindl, Executive Director of the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations (QFHSA) and David D’Aoust, President of the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA).

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Internet, New Media and Social Media Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages

Following testimony from more than 50 groups and individuals, the Senate Committee recommended that the Government of Canada make a clear commitment to respect Canadians’ language rights on the Internet and in new media and social media, regardless of their status or where they live. The report sheds light on how much both official languages are used in an environment where new technologies and Web 2.0 are gaining in popularity.

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The Decline of the English School System in Quebec

This Canadian Institute for Research Linguistic Minorities report by Richard Y. Bourhis and Pierre Foucher deals with the declining demographic vitality of the English speaking communities of Quebec and documents the 50 per cent decline of the English school system suffered since Bill 101. The report highlights the debate surrounding Bill 104 and Bill 103 further limiting access to English schools in the province. It states that Francophones are a secure dominant majority in Quebec while minority Anglophones need collective rights to protect their vitality.

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The Socioeconomic Status of Anglophones in Quebec

As part of a wide-ranging project to study the health status of Quebec’s Anglophones, this analysis by the Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec examines the Anglophone population’s socioeconomic situation over time, by geographic area and in comparison with Francophones. The analysis brings to light not only that Anglophones have lost a relative socioeconomic advantage in comparison with Francophones, but also the widening gaps within the English-speaking population.

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Statistical Profile of Artists in OLMCs

This statistical profile of artists in Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) was produced by the Research team of the Official‐Language Support Programs Branch of Canadian Heritage.

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Cooperation Agreement between Canadian Heritage and the English-speaking Community of Quebec

This is the official agreement for collaboration between the between the Official Languages Support Programs (OLSP) at the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH), represented by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the English-speaking Community of Quebec, represented by the Quebec Community Groups Network, the official interlocutor of the community with PCH.

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The Vitality of Quebec’s English-speaking Communities: From Myth To Reality, Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages

This report, replete with useful recommendations, followed a study by the Senate Committee on the realities of English-speaking communities in Quebec, particularly the various aspects affecting their development and vitality (e.g., community development, education, youth, arts and culture, health).

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