The Question of Quebec: Language and Sovereignty. By: Ginny Goldstein and Aynsley Hamilton. Table of Contents. 1) The Official Languages Act 2) The rise of Rene Levesque and the Parti Quebecois 3) The FLQ Crisis 4) Bill 22 and Bill 101: Quebec’s Language Legislation.
The Question of Quebec:
Language and Sovereignty
By: Ginny Goldstein and Aynsley Hamilton
1) The Official Languages Act
2) The rise of Rene Levesque and the
3) The FLQ Crisis
4) Bill 22 and Bill 101: Quebec’s
Important clip #1:
The Official Languages Act acknowledged English and
French as the two languages in Canada.
In 1988, it implemented 3 basic goals which included:
1) To uphold value for English and French and guarantee
equality and equal rights/privileges for their use in
2) To set out the influence, function, and purpose of
3) To encourage maturity of English and French
minority communities and equality of the two languages in
- This legal framework integrates the rights set out
earlier in the Constitution of 1867 and the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- It gives a lawmaking foundation to the policies
implemented in federal establishments, concerning
the use of official languages used in federal
- Quebecers were frustrated as English dominated
in the world of business/finance
- Leaders tried to bring equality but changes were too slow
- With the Quiet Revolution, hopes were raised for students
at university and college
- Even with qualifications, Quebecers did not get the jobs
because of their only French speaking status
- Separation from Canada was seen as the best way to
make the French-speaking majority the “masters of our
- The purpose of the Official Languages Act of
1969 was to reduce tensions caused over French-
English language rights.
- Prime Minister Trudeau’s goal was to make
Quebec a better, richer society by giving each
language equal ranking, allowing French
Canadians to live among English Canadians and
vice versa without losing culture or heritage.
The four main components of the act
- The Act quickly had mixed reaction among the public
- Some shared the vision while others questioned the price of educating civil servants to become bilingual
- Trudeau was also displeased, as it did not meet the ultimate goal of bringing language and individual rights.
- To do this, the Constitution or BNA Act would be needed from Britain to gain full governing authority of Canada
- This would take 13 years to achieve
- Independence was a new solution proposed by a new leader- Rene Levesque in 1969, threatening Canadian unity
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- For James Richard Cross’s release, they offered a list of demands which included:
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Bill 22 stated the following:
1)The right for people to have all government branches, corporations, employee associations, and enterprises in Quebec communicate in French.
2)The right of people to speak French in planned assemblies.
3)The right of workers to perform activities in French.
4)The right of consumers to be educated and served in French.
5)The right of people requiring instruction to be taught in French.
-Even though all children were forced to be taught in French, exceptions were made for the English speaking minority only permitted if strict limitations were met such as:
-If the parent was educated in English in another province, territory, or country, the child must attend a French school
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