A Canadian Dilemma: Bilingualism, Multiculturalism or Racism?

  • Anthony H. Richmond


In 1981, with the cooperation of the British Parliament, Canada repatriated the British North America Act of 1867 and, in 1982, the Constitution Act was proclaimed. Attached to this Act was a Charter of Rights and Freedoms which officially ‘commits the Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments to the support of a wide range of rights and freedoms that reflect the traditional values of our society’, according a government brochure. There is little doubt that the precise interpretation of the Charter, and its application in particular cases, will provide constitutional lawyers and the Canadian courts with much legal argument in the future. Social scientists will hesitate to trespass upon such controversial issues. However, sociologists may doubt the claim that the new Constitution ‘reflects the traditional values’ of Canadian society about which it may be difficult to reach a consensus. It is necessary to consider the extent to which implementing the Charter and enforcing the Constitution on sometimes reluctant Provincial authorities, will intensify existing social conflicts and possibly generate new ones.


Affirmative Action Native People Mother Tongue Minority Language Visible Minority 
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Copyright information

© Anthony H. Richmond 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony H. Richmond
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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