Whether we are born in Canada or move here later in life, we learn that this is a bilingual country. We also learn that minority official language speakers (the French language minority outside of Québec, and the English language minority inside Québec) have “rights” and that these rights are sometimes protected by Canada’s constitutional framework (including the Charter). But what exactly are these rights and when exactly can we use them? Are these rights always constitutionally protected, and, if not, what are the differences between the various kinds of rights? Are there times when an official language minority issue is not a question of “rights”?
The following are frequently asked questions on constitutional language rights in Canada for French-speaking minorities.