Research Paper Number
Language Rights; Collective Rights; Citizenship; Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Charter of the French Language (Quebec); Canada-Quebec Relations
This article is interested in evaluating whether Quebec has lost relevance in the constitutional politics of language. It proposes a doctrinal analysis of the Supreme Court’s Charter jurisprudence, with an emphasis on the most recent body of case law, and an assessment of its political consequences in the area of language policy in Quebec. The article will argue that constitutional review has increasingly protected individual rights over Quebec’s collective right to maintain its language and culture. This can be explained by the move towards an implacable parallel constitutionalism and a redefinition of official minority linguistic rights in the jurisprudence, as well as by the exhaustion of Quebec's legislative counterattacks to court rulings. The article will conclude that Quebec is no longer driving concepts of Canadian citizenship. Undifferentiated, rather than multinational, citizenship appears to be the direction in which Charter language jurisprudence is taking Canada.
Richez, Emmanuelle, "Losing Relevance: Quebec and the Constitutional Politics of Language" (2014). Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper Series. 13.