1999

The Beaulac case marks a turning point in the interpretation of language rights

In this case, the Supreme Court of Canada recognizes that institutional bilingualism means “equal access to services of equal quality.

The Court explained that language rights must in all cases be interpreted purposively and in a manner consistent with the preservation and development of official language communities. They must also be understood as remedial in nature and were introduced to correct previous injustices. In short, the idea that language rights should be interpreted restrictively because they are based on political compromise (a view upheld, for example, in the MacDonald, Société des acadiens du Nouveau-Brunswick and Bilodeau cases) was rejected.