Justice in Official Languages - Newsletter
(No03 | November 2011)

A Few Facts about Official Language Minority Communities

According to the 2006 Census data, 23.6 percent of the Canadian population is French-speaking whereas 74.8 percent is English-speaking. Though the majority of Francophones live in Quebec, nearly a million are part of minority communities throughout the rest of the country. These communities are scattered across Canada, with significant numbers in Ontario and New Brunswick.

Quebec Population
Quebec Population; 86,6%: French-speaking minority 13,4%: English-speaking minority community

The English-speaking minority community resides in Quebec[1]. A significant number lives in Montreal and the surrounding area, as well as relatively numerous populations in the Outaouais and Estrie regions. These populations represent 13.4 percent of the Quebec population: 994,725 Anglophones out of a total population of 7,435,905[2]. Proportionally, the English-speaking community in Quebec is the country’s second largest official language minority community after New Brunswick’s Acadian and Francophone communities[3]. But are the issues facing Quebec’s English-speaking community similar to those affecting the Francophone minority communities?

According to the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages’ report entitled The Vitality of Quebec’s English-Speaking Communities: From Myth to Reality [4], the realities and challenges of these communities are both similar and different, and sometimes require implementing means adapted to the specific needs of each community. In fact, the Senate Committee’s conclusion confirms the legitimacy of the work philosophy of the Department of Justice Canada’s JOL Team: to promote a spirit of collaboration and work in accordance with the realities, needs and characteristics of each community. The means used to enhance the vitality of the communities therefore depend on both the needs they express and the initiatives developed by the organizations that serve them.

Proportion of Official Minority Communities with the total population in each province and territory (%) Proportion of Official Minority Communities with the total population in each province and territory (%)
Source: Statistics Canada, Portrait of Official-language Communities in Canada. 2006 Census, Cat. No. 92-592-XVB.