Canada is an officially bilingual country. But how do the voluntary
associations that make up civil society manage linguistic diversity? In
the 1960s, a study by Vincent Lemieux and John Meisel for the Royal
Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism Commission revealed that
Canadian associations were often paralyzed by internal conflicts over
language. Language Matters examines whether this remains the
The contributors present case studies or life histories of diverse
associations, ranging from business organizations and municipal
associations to groups concerned with equality and social justice.
Several replicate Lemieux and Meisel's pioneering enquiry; others
look at newer groups. Each contribution examines key turning points in
the given association's history and explores how its mandate,
leadership, relationship to the federal and provincial governments, and
shifting options in the political arena - independence,
sovereignty association, or symmetrical and asymmetrical federalism
- shaped its response to linguistic diversity.
Voluntary associations have found diverse ways to accommodate
linguistic differences in a manner acceptable to Canada's two
great linguistic communities. Language Matters provides a
deeper understanding of the language dynamic in Canada and offers
solutions to groups and governments trying to manage difference.
David R. Cameron is the chair of and professor in political science at the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Richard Simeon is a professor of political science and law at the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Preface 1 Language and the Institutions of Civil Society / David Cameron and Richard Simeon 2 French-English Relations in Comprehensive Business Associations / William Coleman and Tim Mau 3 Canada's English and French Farm Communities / Grace Skogstad 4 Municipal Associations / Don Stevenson and Richard Gilbert 5 Associations in the Voluntary Health Sector: The Heart and Stroke Foundations of Canada and the Huntington Societies of Canada and Quebec / Richard Simeon 6 From Biculturalism to Bilingualism: Patterns of Linguistic Association in the Canadian Council on Social Development / Jane Jenson and Rachel Laforest 7 Managing Linguistic Practices in International Development NGOs: The World University Service of Canada / Cathy Blacklock 8 Two Voices for Human Rights: Amnesty International / Michel Duquette and Sylvie Dugas 9 Accommodation at the Pinnacle: The Special Role of Civil Society's Leaders / Richard Simeon and David Cameron Notes Bibliography Index