Speaking Up

A History of Language and Politics in Canada and Quebec

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1 From religion to language: 1539-1848 Chapter 2 The first language tremors: The school crises in Canada, 1848–1927 Chapter 3 All quiet on the front: From the repeal of Regulation 17 to the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission, 1927-63 Chapter 4 Action-reaction: Commissions of inquiry and agitation, 1963–69 Chapter 5 Action: Language laws, 1969–82 Chapter 6 Law and language since 1982 Conclusion Acknowledgements Abbreviations Notes Bibliography Index


Language issues have always been subject to debate in Canada. From the Conquest to the Quiet Revolution to the crisis of Regulation 17 to the various judgments of the Supreme Court, these often virulent debates have mobilized citizens?deeply concerned about recognition of their language and their rights?in the street, the media, or the courts. The state has responded with commissions of inquiry, legislation and legal action, and even police surveillance of citizens.

Speaking Up captures the complex and fascinating history of the relationship between language and politics in Canada and Quebec from 1539 to the present. Nuanced and unbiased yet empathetic, the book reveals that the language issue has been at the heart of this country's political life for centuries.

Translated from the multiple-award-winning Langue et politique au Canada et au Québec (Boréal, 2010).