Canadians Love Bilingualism

thinkstockphotos-513253420According to a national survey, the vast majority of Canadians support bilingualism and the objectives of the nation’s Official Languages Act (OLA). Nearly 90% of Canadians support the law, which affords English and French equal status as the official languages of Canada. The act also supports the development of English and French linguistic-minority communities.
“Canada’s gradual acceptance of linguistic duality has made us more open, more inclusive, and readier to welcome others in our society,” Canada’s commissioner of official languages, Graham Fraser, said in a news release.
Support for the act’s objectives was high across the country, ranging from 92% in the province of Québec to 83% in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The office’s director of communications, Robin Cantin, noted that support for bilingualism is higher now than it was ten years ago, the last time a survey of this kind was conducted. The survey was conducted in February and March among 1,000 Canadians over 18 years of age. The results have a margin of error at the national level of +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

More Funds for French
In a historic decision, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge has ordered the Ministry of Education to create a separate funding envelope for francophone schools in the province. Mark Power, the lawyer representing the French School Board and the Federation of Francophone Parents of BC, says it is a constitutional obligation for the government to provide access to French education.
“This is the first time that a judge anywhere in Canada has ordered a Ministry of Education to set up a separate and distinct capital funding envelope that can only be accessed by the minority-language school board. This is unique, that’s trend setting, and that is a really major legal development.”
The plaintiffs were demanding at least 22 new French schools be built, but the judge ruled that only four communities do not have access to “appropriate minority language educational facilities,” and awarded the French School Board CAN$6 million for school bus service, saying the transportation system was “chronically underfunded.”
The judge also ruled there is no requirement in British Columbia to provide early-childhood education in French under the Canadian Charter, noting that French language instruction is not French immersion instruction—it does not teach English speakers French as a second language but teaches francophone students using French as a language of instruction.thinkstockphotos-513253420

3 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately, the results are very inconsistent in practice. While French language learning is encouraged, many Anglophones are unable to speak the language well (often with many creative explanations). On the other hand, French Immersion remains popular & there are more people learning it.

  2. As a francophone from Ontario who now resides in Quebec, the québécois’ grasp of French is also coloured with many creative explanations. Never had I heard ‘Je vais checker ça’ among other things , until I moved here. Those who chose to properly learn a language, be it their first or second, can properly do so.

  3. It is refreshing that our neighbors to the North accept multilingualism as a valued norm for their land. The U.S. still has so far to go, to leave its de facto mono-lingual English position in its regards to education, and the overall way that it does business. It’s time for the U.S. to sit down, and build a new educational system, where dual language education is the first true educational reform model. Where we educate our children in two or more languages, using those who speaks languages other than English as our peer models, and inspiration. And leading the way, should be our Native “American” Languages that must be revitalize in order to ensure that the many cultures, traditions and way of lives, can continue for our Indigenous Peoples.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here