Infographic: What Canadians think about bilingualism and the Official Languages Act (2021)

What Canadians think about bilingualism and the Official Languages Act (2021). Details in text following the infographic.

Text version: What Canadians think about bilingualism and the Official Languages Act (2021)

Support for the Official Languages Act remains strong across Canada – 87% support (2016: 88%)

Region Results (regional changes were within the margins of error)
Canada overall 87% (88% in 2016)
British Columbia and the territories 87% (84% in 2016)
Alberta 80% (90% in 2016)
Saskatchewan and Manitoba 78% (83% in 2016)
Ontario 87% (87% in 2016)
Quebec 95% (92% in 2016)
Atlantic 86% (91% in 2016)
  • 90% of 18- to 34-year-olds support the Official Languages Act
  • 89% of 35- to 54-year-olds support the Official Languages Act
  • 84% of those 55 and older support the Official Languages Act
Support according to language of respondents Strongly support Somewhat support
Bilingual 65% 27%
Unilingual 48% 35%
French 67% 28%
English 53% 33%

Most commonly cited reason for support, in all regions:

The Act recognizes Canada’s history, status and culture as a bilingual country.

Canadians agree

  • 94% - Federal services should be in English and French
  • 84% - Personally in favour of bilingualism for all of Canada
  • 82% - The prime minister of Canada should be bilingual
  • 79% - Because English and French are part of our history, it makes sense that they have equal status
  • 78% - Having two official languages is one of the things that really defines Canada
  • 77% - Supreme Court judges should be bilingual
  • 77% - In times of crisis, political leaders should speak to Canadians in their preferred official language
  • 75% - Major events in Canada like the World Cup should take place in both official languages

Advantages of bilingualism: Percentage of respondents who agree

  • Job opportunities: 93% of respondents
  • Provide better service: 93% of respondents
  • Meet Canadians who speak the other official language: 89% of respondents
  • Travel abroad: 88% of respondents
  • Become familiar with another culture: 87% of respondents

Survey conducted by Environics for the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in September and October 2021. The telephone survey results (sample: 1,507 respondents) have a margin of error at the national level of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

 

Date modified:
2022-02-24