30 June 2022
Fifty years ago, the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism published its final report. The result of innovative research and public consultations across the country, this report, replete with data and concepts, sets the stage for a comprehensive policy on official bilingualism, which would profoundly and indelibly change the face of Canada. The resolve to affirm the officially bilingual character of the country was met with the equally fervent determination to make French the common language of Quebecers. This book provides a critical view of the content and the consequences of the report. It is the outcome of a series of conferences held across the country in 2013, which explored the impact of these two aspects. It combines analyses of the Commission's activities, its main players, and the specific content of certain volumes of the report. The book is divided into three parts: the first outlines the progress accomplished since the publication of the report and contributors' views of the challenges which continue to create controversy; the second part provides analyses and studies of topics covered by the Commission, effectively demonstrating how far things have evolved; and the third features testimonials, including a fascinating conversation between the first Commissioner for Official Languages, Keith Spicer, and the Commissioner in office at the time of publication, Graham Fraser.