Opinion: Canada’s official language minorities should have same rights
English-speaking Quebecers, and indeed all Canadians, should be wary of the consequences of the measures that are being considered.
In September’s speech from the throne, the federal government declared that “the defence of the rights of francophones outside Quebec, and the defence of the rights of the English minority within Quebec, is a priority for the government.”
The government’s recent policy paper, English and French: Towards a Substantive Equality of Official Languages in Canada, contradicts that commitment and represents a substantial shift in the treatment of official languages. Despite reassurances from Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly, the government has put forward specific proposals that would provide rights to work and receive services in French — but not provide the equivalent in English.