The Official Languages Act of 1969

Topics: Quebec, Canada, French Canadian Pages: 1 (331 words) Published: April 28, 2014
The Official Languages Act of 1969
If the Official Languages Act did not pass, French people would have to learn English to do most jobs. French speaking citizens of Quebec would still feel excluded from the rest of Canada. When the act passed, citizens would be able to choose which language they want to communicate in, and the government must offer services in English and French. Though it was opposed by some, the Official Languages Act brought French and English Canadians unity and equality.

In 1963, the Prime Minister, Lester Pearson formed the Royal Commission on bilingualism and biculturalism. When Pearson resigned from office in 1968, Trudeau became acting Prime Minister. In 1969, the Commission filed a bill for bilingual government service and the expansion of French education across Canada. They claimed there was an emergency with the French people; they felt separated from Canada, in terms of languages. One year after Trudeau was elected, The Official Languages Act was passed.

However, the Liberal government passed Bill 22, which stated that all government and official documents must be printed in French, that businesses can only communicate in French, all public signs must be in French, and other languages are only to be taught to children that already fully know French. Emigration from Québec increased immensely, and it only divided the English and French more. However, in 1999, a Québec court ruled that the province could not completely eliminate a language, and in 2000, the Quebec Superior Court passed the decision

Lots of Canadians opposed the Act, claiming they felt that the government was trying to “shove the French language down their throats”. Also, some misunderstood and thought it would cost more to provide French services, and thinking they had to learn the French language. Even though the Act was opposed by many, today it has become a way of life that the English do not notice, and the French are grateful for. For one bill, it...
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