Language Education Rights FOCUS QUESTIONS How does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms meet the needs of Francophones in minority settings? Should government support and promote the rights of official language minorities? How does the Charter meet the needs of Francophone's in Quebec?
“Minority-language education guarantee has two purposes: first, education in ones language provides an important way to preserve and promote the minority group’s language and culture…there is also a strong remedial component-designed to protect the French and English minorities from assimilation and to give recognition and encouragement to the two official language groups in Canada” Chief Justice Dickson
Collective Rights • Rights justified by the interests of a minority group. • Confirm language rights, aboriginal rights and the multicultural character of Canada. • It is a Collective Right for parents in a French speaking community to enroll their children in a French-Language Program (so long as the numbers warrant).
Why protect minority rights? • It is Canada’s volatile history that has created a necessary step to protect minority rights in Canada. • This has allowed Canada to retain its identity as a fair and tolerant democracy.
History • Minority Rights have had a long and difficult history in Canada. • 1890 Manitoba Schools Act – eliminated funding for French-language schools (which were guaranteed in 1870 when Manitoba entered confederation) • 1896 – PM Laurier reached a compromise with Premier Greenway in Manitoba. • 1912 Regulation 17 – In Ontario French as a language of instruction beyond Grade 1 was prohibited and the teaching of French after Grade 4 was banned. • Bills 66, 22 & 101 – more recently have limited the use of English within Quebec (action taken by separatist government).
Official Language Minorities Who Are They? • The official minority language groups in Canada include French, English and Inuktitut speaking Canadians.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms • Language rights in the Charter are included into 2 main sections (16-23) of the Charter: 1. Official Languages of Canada 2. Minority Language Education Rights
Sections 16 & 17 Section 16 - English and French are the official language of Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada. Section 17 – Everyone has the right to use English or French in any debates and other proceeding of Parliament.
Sections 18 & 19 Section 18 – The statues, records and journals of Parliament shall be printed in published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative. Section 19 – Either English or French may be used by any person in, or in any pleading in or process issuing from, any court established by Parliament.
Section 20 • Any member of the public in Canada has the right to communicate with , and to receive available services from, any head or central office of an institution of the Parliament or government of Canada in English or French and has the same right with respect to any other office of any such institution where: a) there is a significant demand for communication with and services from that office in such language; or b) due to the nature of the office, it is reasonable that communications with and services from that office be available in both English and French.
Section 23 • Ensures minority educational rights to French-speaking Canadians residing outside of Quebec and English-speaking citizens within Quebec. • “The number of Children must be sufficient to warrant” public funding to support minority education.
Situation in Quebec • 1974 - the province adopted Bill 22 making French the only official language of the Province. • 1981 – Parti Quebecois adopted Bill 101 which offers less recognition to English than bill 22. • 1982 – Section 23 Rights, has placed limits on the Parti Quebecois and recognizes the rights of the English-Speaking Minorities in Quebec.
Were you listening? • On a blank sheet of lined paper please answer the following questions. True or False: • Every Canadian citizen has the right to have their child educated in the language of their choice. • English is Canada’s official language and is the only language used in institutions of the Parliament and Government of Canada.
Were you listening? True and False Continued: 3. The Manitoba Schools Act of 1890 eliminated funding for English-language schools within the province of Manitoba. 4. Collective Rights include minority groups across the country. Short Answer: 5. What 2 sections of the Charter are Minority Language Rights within?