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The Politics of Language Roadmaps in Canada: Understanding the Conservative Government's Approach to Official Languages

  • Linda Cardinal (a1), Helaina Gaspard (a1) and Rémi Léger (a2)

This article critically examines the Conservative government's approach to official languages, through a policy instrument framework. Special attention is paid to the third federal roadmap for official languages—the first having been unveiled by the Liberal government in 2003 and the second by the Conservative minority government in 2008—and how this roadmap conveys a new representation of official languages in relation to Canadian identity and citizenship. The focus on the linguistic integration of new immigrants in the 2013 language roadmap generates interest. The policy instrument framework also shows how language roadmaps represent the fourth generation of official language policies in Canada; the first three generations found their respective bases in the 1969 Official Languages Act, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the 1988 Official Languages Act. The article concludes that an analysis of language roadmaps elucidates transformations initiated by the Conservative governments in the area of official languages in Canada. It also promotes further exploration and analysis of language policies through the policy instrument framework.

Dans cet article, les auteurs procèdent à une analyse critique de la politique du gouvernement conservateur du Canada dans le domaine des langues officielles en prenant appui sur l'approche des instruments. Ils étudient, de façon particulière, la publication de la troisième feuille de route sur les langues officielles–la première ayant été publiée par le gouvernement libéral en 2003 et la deuxième, par le gouvernement conservateur minoritaire en 2008–et montrent comment la feuille de route du gouvernement conservateur représente le véhicule d'une nouvelle représentation sur les langues officielles au Canada. Entre autres, l'accent sur l'intégration linguistique des immigrants dans la feuille de route de 2013 suscite l'intérêt. Grâce à l'approche des instruments, les auteurs montrent ainsi que les feuilles de route constituent une quatrième génération de politiques dans le domaine des langues officielles au Canada–les trois premières générations étant représentées par la Loi sur les langues officielles de 1969, la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés ainsi que la Loi sur les langues officielles de 1988. L'article conclut que l'analyse de la feuille de route sur les langues officielles du gouvernement conservateur permet de mieux comprendre les mutations initiées par le gouvernement conservateur dans le domaine des langues officielles au Canada depuis 2013. Les auteurs invitent aussi à approfondir l'approche des instruments comme des traceurs de changements pour l’étude des langues officielles au Canada.

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