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Session 5B: Education Rights and the Law

Language laws - QuebecCanadian Charter of Rights and FreedomsCEGEPs
1:50 PM, Thursday 4 Nov 2021 (50 minutes)
  Virtual session
This session is in the past.
The virtual space is closed.

Moderator: Sylvia Martin-Laforge, Director General, Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN)


Richard Bourhis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, UQAM

"On the Planned Decline of English Education in Quebec and Some Ideological Clarifications"

Bill 101 ruled that Francophone and immigrant pupils had no right to attend English schools, while stipulating that Anglophone pupils could attend English schools only if one parent had spent most of its primary schooling in English. Bill 101 was successful in reducing the size of the English school system from 256,000 pupils in 1971 to only 96,235 pupils by 2018. Bill 101 allowed Anglophone, Francophone and Allophone students access to Quebec’s 5 English CEGEPS. However, by 2021, the CAQ government tabled Bill 96, which restricted Francophone and Allophone students from attending English CEGEPS. In June 2021, a decree limited access to English CEGEPS to historical anglophone students and froze places available in English CEGEPS to 26,945 students until 2029, thus reducing the size of such CEGEPS from 17.1% in 2019 to 13.4% in 2029. Conversely, the CAC plan increased the size of the French CEGEPS from 130,972 places in 2019 to 173,665 in 2029. These education language laws are discussed using the ideological clarification framework to analyse the planned attrition of the institutional vitality of the English-speaking communities of Quebec.


Marion Sandilands, Lawyer, Conway Baxter Wilson LLP 

"Section 23 of the Charter and English-Language Education in Quebec"  

Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms continues to be of primordial importance to sustaining English-language education in Quebec. This session will review some developments in cases involving section 23 of the Charter from Quebec and across Canada, and speculate on the future of section 23 and how this might affect the vitality of the English-language education system in Quebec.


Speakers' bios:

Marion Sandilands was born in Montreal and is a graduate of MacDonald Cartier High School in Saint-Hubert (now Heritage High School). She completed her undergraduate and law degrees at McGill University. She now practices at Conway Litigation in Ottawa, practicing civil litigation, constitutional and administrative law. Marion has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on matters of constitutional law and teaches Canadian Federalism Law at the University of Ottawa.

Richard Bourhis obtained a BSc at McGill University and a PhD in Psychology at the University of Bristol, England. He taught at McMaster University and is Emeritus Professor in Psychology at UQAM. He published in English and French on topics such as discrimination, intergroup relations, immigration, communication and language planning. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and received the Gold Medal Award of the Canadian Psychological Association for his lifetime contributions to Canadian Psychology.


The Education and Vitality Forum is now on Twitter! Use the handle @QuescrenForum21 to tweet your highlights from the presentations and best practices learned, to comment on a tweet or to share a question from each session or panel you attend throughout the Forum. Those who tweet – and especially tweet multiple times each day – will be entered into our Twitter Giveaway for a chance to win a FREE COPY of QUESCREN’s new book The Charter: Bill 101 and English-Speaking Quebec! Let’s share our knowledge together and engage and learn from one another throughout the Forum. 

Master of ceremonies
Director General
Conway Litigation
Département de psychologie
Emeritus Professor, Département de psychologie, UQAM
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