Tag Archive for: Official Language Minority Community

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.


Canada is a federation, with the federal and provincial governments operating within defined areas of responsibility. Canada has two official languages, English and French. Some provinces, like Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and the Nunavut territory, also have their own official languages strategies.

Two ways of thinking about official languages are particularly useful: using a national perspective; and then using viewpoint of a province or territory.

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