The concept of the vitality of official language minority communities is enshrined in both the Official Languages Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Part VII of the 1988 Act sets out the federal government’s commitment to “enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development.”Footnote 1 As highlighted by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the concept of vitality has many definitions: “Vitality can be understood as a state; that is, a set of situations that can be analyzed at a given moment in time….Vitality is also a process of development made up of actions occurring over time that contribute to its variable strength.”Footnote 2 In June 2008, the Canadian government published the second Five-Year Action Plan on Official Languages, titled Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013. The Roadmap lays out policies and programs to enhance official language use and growth across Canada by targeting a number of areas for government action, including the promotion of linguistic duality among all Canadians and the promotion of access to services for official language minority communities. It calls for investment in five key sectors: health, justice, arts and culture, economic development, and immigration, each of which contributes to community vitalityFootnote 3. Linguistic duality is a fundamental characteristic of Canadian identity and culture, and is at the heart of the values that have forged Canada, making it a strong and united country that is open to the world.
This study examines the intersection between immigrants and ethnocultural minorities on the one hand and official language minority communities on the other, with a particular focus on English-speaking immigrants living in the province of Quebec. The Statistics Canada report, Statistical Portrait of the French-Speaking Immigrant Population Outside Quebec (1991 to 2006) by René Houle and Jean-Pierre CorbeilFootnote 4 presented information on the Francophone minority outside Quebec. Similarly, the purpose of this research is to present a portrait of the English-speaking, or Anglophone, immigrants in Quebec by applying the First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) variable. Using 2006 Census data, this project focuses on demographically unpacking and comparing the socio-economic outcomes of immigrants in the three FOLS categories (French only, English only and English and French) within the province of Quebec and in Quebec’s ERs. All results provided in the text, Figures, and maps are supported by data tables for reference purposes, which can be found in the appendixFootnote 5.
Immigration is an important source of human capital, which continues to expand the Quebec economy and strengthen its communities. It also has a direct impact on the vitality of official language minority communities. The concepts of linguistic duality and cultural diversity go hand in hand. Therefore, to understand the composition of Anglophone immigrant communities in Quebec, it is also important to understand the demographic and ethnocultural composition and socio-economic well-being of the immigrants who are an important part of the broader language communities.
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