Ever since the first explorers came to Canada, their goal was to expand culture and gain wealth for their mother country. When the British won/took the french colonies, they tried to build on what France had already done. The outcome to this, that still exists is a flourishing French population where the French colonies had originally established themselves.
Bilingualism in Canada originates from the “change in management” that occurred when it was still developing. The majority of the people that had originally settled in Canada were French; it was only natural for them to rebel against assimilation that came with British ownership.
They refused to stop speaking French, which led to “the British North America Act (now the Constitution Act) that permits the use of either English or French in the debates of Parliament as well as in the proceedings before the federal courts.” The constant progress in keeping the French language and culture alive is why Canada has two official languages.
Bilingualism in Canada is important because it shows how Canadians are passionate and motivated to work to keep and fix things that they find important, it is why all over Canada French is spoken, it is why Canada is still bilingual. 58.8% of Canadians speak English as their first language, 21.6% speak French and 19.6% speak other languages (2006 Canadian census). Canadian passion and motivation have made minority language schools a mandatory expense that falls to the provincial government‘s taxes.
French communities are very tightly knit and proud, just like religious communities. In Winnipeg, the majority of first built buildings are either churches, schools, or hospitals; almost all of which were run by Christians when first built.
The main religious group that affected Canada’s bilingualism growth and development over the years were Christians. Throughout history they’ve seen it as their duty to open people’s eyes to the grandiose of God. Marie de l’Incarnation was sent from France to convert Aboriginal Peoples along with teaching them the European way of life, which included reading and writing.
In Winnipeg the whole east side of the Forks, on the other side of the Red River is founded by French Christians, the Saint-Boniface Hospital was built and run by the Soeurs Grises (Grey sisters), the University of Saint-Boniface used to be a boarding school for boys run by priests and an old nunnery that now serves as a house for the priests of the Cathedral. Later on, residential school management was passed along to the Christians.
Canada was built up from religion, but as society has modernized, Canada’s priorities followed. Religion is still widely practiced, but the push for religion to be the country’s main focus has died. “Before 1971, less than 1 percent of Canadians ticked the “no religion” box on national surveys. Two generations later, nearly a quarter of the population, or 23 percent, say they aren’t religious.” (Globe and Mail) Canada is now founded on tolerance of differences.
Brenhouse, Hilary. “World Quebecs War on English Language Politics Intensify in Canadian Province.” Times World. The Times, 8 Apr. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
“Common Menu Bar Links.” Religion: Guide to the Latest Information. Government of Canada, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
“Language.” Canadian Atlas Online. Canadian Geographics, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
Michael Valpy and Joe Friesen. “Canada Marching from Religion to Secularization Add to …” The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail, 10 Dec. 2012. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
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