Language legislation in Canada

Date: Mon, 02 Feb 98 13:21:35 -0500
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Subject: Language legislation in Canada

From:  MINELRES moderator       <>

Original sender: Judy Young       <>

Language legislation in Canada

The following may be a little removed from the issues recently discussed
about language legislation and citizenship rights, but just in case it's of
interest to any minelres subscibers looking at international comparisons. I
am referring to a recent article in a journal that you would not regularly
see as it normally deals with Canadian issues only.

The article is by Professor Angeline Martel of the Tele-université,
University of Quebec, Montreal, in Canadian Ethnic Studies, Vol XXIX, No 1,
1997, pp.58-80. Entitled "Droit éducatif et aménagement des langues.
L'article 23 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés (1982), est-il r
éparateur?", the article, written in French, deals with (as per the English
language abstract):

"In our contemporary Western societies, the legal system is gaining an
increasing importance in the preservation and development of linguistic
minorities. It is thus important to document this process of minority
language planning through the law. This involves a description of the
linguistic situation to be remedied by legal dispositions, a description of
the language planning process through the legal system, in particular
through education, and an evaluation of the results of this planning. This
article presents the case of the Francophone communities in Canada (living
outside Québec) and documents the implementation process and results of a
constitutional disposition bearing on instruction in the language of the
minority. First, it focusses on the general role that law plays for
linguistic minorities. Secondly, it describes section 23 of the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) and shows the "remedial" intention of
the constituants. Thirdly, it provides demolinguistic data on Francophone
minorities. Fourthly, it documents the transformations that have occurred in
the educational systems and minority communities. It concludes on some
reflections bearing on language planning through the law. The main focus of
the article bears on the theme of "remediation". It thus shows that section
23 has fulfilled this role through an adaptation of the provincial education
systems, by an increase in the number of, and the enrolments in, French
language schools and an inclusion of the number of children potentially
admissible to French language education."
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