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The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution edited by Oliver, Peter; Macklem, Patrick; Des Rosiers, Nathalie (19th October 2017)

Part IV Federalism, B Federalism in Context, Ch.26 Minority Languages, Education, and the Constitution

Linda Cardinal, Pierre Foucher

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution

Edited By: Peter Oliver, Patrick Macklem, Nathalie Des Rosiers

The chapter discusses minority education language rights in Canada. It argues that there are institutional constraints to the development of those rights, foremost amongst them constitutionalism and federalism. Minority education language rights concern the English-speaking minority in Quebec and the French-speaking minorities in the rest of the country. First, the chapter reviews minority education and language debates in Canada since 1867. Second, it explains how in the 1960s, English and French became the official languages of the Canadian government and how provinces started to address the schooling needs of their official language minority. Third, the chapter discusses the recognition of minority education language rights in the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. It takes a positive lens in discussing minority language education rights but concludes that constitutionalism and federalism remain important factors in understanding the development and future of minority education language rights in the Canadian context.

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