ARCHIVED - Rights, Schools and Communities in Minority Contexts: 1986-2002 - March 2001

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This study was made possible by financial support from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Fonds de recherche institutionnel de la Télé-université and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Angéline Martel is a professor of sociolinguistics and language teaching at the Télé-université, 4750, Henri-Julien Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2T 3E4. E-mail: She is also editor in chief of the electronic review DiversCité Langues site

March 2001

Table of contents

Foreword by Dyane Adam



Part One: Context

1.1 Section 23: a constitutional provision

1.1.1 Constitutional context of section 23
1.1.2 Effects: structural change
1.1.3 Jurisprudence relating to the issue Target student population The concept of community Types of school program

1.2 Demolinguistic development of Canada’s Francophone and Acadian communities: an overview

Part Two: Section 23 Target Student Population

2.1 Methodology
2.2 Trends in target student population, 1986-2002
2.3 Target student population trends by province and territory, 1986-2002

Part Three: Student Population and Schools

3.1 Trends in student population and French schools for all programs Canada, 1986-1987 to 1997-1998
3.2 Retaining student populations in Canada
3.3 Changes in French-language schools and their student populations, by province and territory, 1986-1987 to 1997-1998

Part Four: Assessment and Avenues for Action

4.1 Hypotheses for language planning: the remedial vision

4.1.1 Assessment of a remedial measure
4.1.2 Remedial hypotheses for the next decade

4.2 Issues in everyday life

4.2.1 Relations with the majority
4.2.2 Role of French-language schools in rebuilding the community
4.2.3 The language outside the school
4.2.4 Integrating non-French-speaking target students
4.2.5 Exogamous family units
4.2.6 Future concerns of young people

4.3 Who are the key players?

4.3.1. The political class
4.3.2 Education professionals
4.3.3 Family units

4.4 Avenues for concerted action

4.4.1. Relations with the majority
4.4.2. Role of the community
4.4.3 Accommodation of target students who do not speak French
4.4.4 Schools
4.4.5. Family units



Appendix A: Tables 1 to 10 
Appendix B: Tables 11 to 22 - Summary of Statistical Indicators by Province and Territory
Appendix C: Tables 23 to 25 - Target Student Population, by French Spoken at Home and Knowledge of French, by Province and Territory
Appendix D: Proposals
Appendix E: Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

List of tables

Table 1: Population with French as mother tongue (FMT) and population speaking French in the home (FLH), Canada excluding Quebec, 1951-96

Table 2: Population and proportion of persons with minority official language as mother tongue, compared with provincial and territorial populations of Canada, 1986-96

Table 3: Target student population of French-language schools and total school population, Canada excluding Quebec, students aged 6 to 17, 1986-96

Table 4: Target student population of French-language schools, by province and territory, students aged 6 to 17, 1986-2002

Table 5: Schools and actual student populations, all programs and French-language schools, 1986-1987 to 1997-98

Table 6: Retention rate (% of Grade 1 students) in Grade 8 and Grade 12 in French-language schools in majority areas, 1994

Table 7: Student population in all programs, by level of schooling, Canada excluding Quebec, 1991-92 and 1996-97

Table 8: French-language schools and student population in Francophone communities in Canada, by province and territory, 1986-87 to 1997-98

Table 9: Percentages of actual student population, all programs and French-language schools, compared with target student population, 6 to 17 years of age, 1986, 1991 and 1996

Table 10: Language planning hypotheses: recovery action plan, 2000-2010

Table 11: Summary of statistical indicators, Canada excluding Quebec

Table 12: Summary of statistical indicators, British Columbia

Table 13: Summary of statistical indicators, Alberta

Table 14: Summary of statistical indicators, Saskatchewan

Table 15: Summary of statistical indicators, Manitoba

Table 16: Summary of statistical indicators, Ontario

Table 17: Summary of statistical indicators, New Brunswick

Table 18: Summary of statistical indicators, Nova Scotia

Table 19: Summary of statistical indicators, Prince Edward Island

Table 20: Summary of statistical indicators, Newfoundland and Labrador

Table 21: Summary of statistical indicators, Yukon

Table 22: Summary of statistical indicators, Northwest Territories

Table 23: Target student population with knowledge of French or who speak French at home, by type of family, 0 to 4 years and 5 to 17 years, Canada excluding Quebec, 1996

Table 24: Percentage of target student population, 0 to 4 years, by type of family, language spoken at home and knowledge of French, by province and territory, excluding Quebec, 1996

Table 25: Percentage of target student population between 5 and 17 years, by type of family, language spoken at home and knowledge of French, by province and territory, excluding Quebec, 1996