Two official language minorities in Canada, not just one

Canada’s Official Languages Act was established upon the principle that this country has two official languages, English and French, and that official language minority communities in Quebec (English-speaking Canadians) and elsewhere in Canada (French-speaking Canadians) must be treated equally – at least in terms of federal language policy and delivery of services and support.

The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN), which represents about 100 heritage and cultural organizations across the province, is aware of certain recent policy statements from the current government of Quebec, namely that French should be recognized as the only official minority language in Canada, and that the provisions of Bill 101 (the province’s Charter of the French Language) should be applied to everything related to language in Quebec, even in areas of federal jurisdiction.

QAHN categorically rejects Quebec’s demand that Ottawa surrender its constitutional responsibility to its English-speaking citizens in the province, and calls upon the Liberal government to uphold the status of Quebec’s English-speaking population as one of two official language minority communities in this country.

“The government of Canada has long been a champion of official language minority communities in every province and territory, including Quebec,” said Grant Myers, president of QAHN. “That should never change. Canada's commitment to both English and French is something that sets this country apart and is a cornerstone of our identity. If Canada’s Liberal government, in the context of a ‘modernized’ Official Languages Act, acquiesces to Quebec’s demands, they will fail this nation, and history will not judge them well.”