Supreme Court eases English-language education rules in Quebec
Last Updated Thu, 31 Mar 2005 19:45:32 EST
OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has opened the door to increased English-language education in Quebec.
RELATED: Supreme Court eases English-language education rules in Quebec
Francophone Quebecers protested when Bill 101 was first enacted. (file photo)
INDEPTH: Bill 101: Language Laws in Quebec
In a unanimous judgment, the court stopped short of striking down provincial legislation that restricts access to English schools. But it laid down new legal criteria that will make it easier for immigrants and native-born Canadians to gain access to English schools.
RELATED: CBC Archives Bill 101
In a separate decision, the court rejected claims from a group of francophones that they should be able to choose English schooling for their children.
The judges said members of the linguistic majority have no constitutional right to education in the minority language.
The group had been fighting for the right to have their children educated in English, which is currently prohibited by Bill 101.
But the court ruling means the Quebec government must revamp its rules for English schooling to comply with the federal Charter of Rights.
Bill 101 only allows instruction in English to children whose parents received the bulk of their education in English, in Canada.
Mance Bourassa, one of those parents who led the fight, lives in Quebec's French-speaking heartland, the town of Charette, near Shawinagan.
Before the ruling, she said, "If English-speaking parents can choose to educate their children in English," she should have "the same right."
The language of instruction clause is considered the cornerstone of Bill 101, which has also been the source of some of the most bitter debates in Quebec politics for decades.
Many had expected Quebec Premier Jean Charest to invoke the notwithstanding clause to maintain the status quo. But because the court ruling did not strike down the legislation, he won't have that option.
Quebec's Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Benoît Pelletier will respond to the court decision on Thursday afternoon.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14526 posts, RR: 62
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2231 times:
Why doesn´t ALL of Canada educate the kids bilingual (or maybe even trilingual concerning e.g. the Inuit and other native peoples)? After all both English and French are national languages and being able to speak in two languages would give the kids a headstart in today´s global economy.
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13463 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2228 times:
Many immigrants (except maybe some French speak Africans, Hatians) to Quebec Prov. Canada want to learn English, knowing it is the language of the world. French, particulary Canadian French is a dying language/dialect. Maybe some Quebeckers' (?) whom are french speaking are also realizing that French doesn't do much outside of Quebec, and limiting trade, commerence, job opportunities in the international marketplace and ability to move to places within the rest of (English speaking) Canada for jobs.
Kieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2220 times:
Like so many things, this is a difficult political problem.
I have been in Quebec for 6 months now, and although I have often met Quebecois people that don't speak English, I find that most of them do to some extent (probably to the same ability as I speak French).
On the other hand, the majority of young Quebecois do speak English very well. The problem lies in that people I have met in Quebec don't choose to speak English, even though they can.
This is fair enough, if there's one thing about the Quebecois, they hold very strong opinions and feelings about retaining their French roots and language- just look at the '51% for' and '49% against' remaining a part of Canada in the latest referendum.
Many die-hard Quebecois want nothing to do with English speakers, and consider it an insult that they should be part of Canada. Many recognise the serious problems that leaving Canada would produce (social and econimic issues).
At the end of the day, like so many problems (in the UK for example), it comes down to social identity. I wouldn't say that Canadian French is a dying language, its obviously different to french (as I have found out to my pain!) however as we all know English is apparently the language of the future in the western world.
I have asked nearly every Quebecois person I have met whether they consider themselves Canadian, or Quebecois, or both. It seems, the jury is still out!
Kieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2181 times:
Quoting A332 (Reply 7): Those folk are free to jump on the next ship back to France... the French in this country seem to forget they LOST the war... :roll:
Now I didn't want to get into this issue, but I will agree with this statement. I find it very difficult to understand why, during WW 2, many Quebecois refused to join the war effort because they thought it was complying with British Canada. Guess what, they chose to be separate French Canadians... And may I ask which country (France) was needing liberation!?