Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Signs, Schools, and Separation: Quebec Anglophones, Canadian Constitutional Politics, and International Language Rights


William Green

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Contemporary Canadian politics has been defined by Quebec's vision of the province as a linguistically distinct society and by its 1980 and 1995 sovereignty referendums. Quebec's rejection of Canada as a bilingual nation, embodied in the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canada's obsession with keeping Quebec in Canada have, however, left unexamined the impact of the province's language policies on its anglophone minority. In Quebec, the enactment of the Charter of the French Language and the government's promotion of a French culture have intruded upon the Canadian Charter freedom of its anglophones to conduct their business in English and their Canadian Charter right to have their children educated in English. In response, the Quebec anglophones have litigated business and education language issues in provincial, national, and international courts and made the suppression of their language a significant part of the debate over Canadian national unity and Quebec sovereignty.