After 1969 when the French language became one of Canada's two official languages its sta tus gradually improved. In particular, the Canadian Charter of Freedom and Human Rights, included in the Constitution Act 1982, and the Mahé case heard by the federal Supreme Court in 1990 as a clarification of the charter promoted improvements to the education system for francophones outside Quebec. In other words, institutional support for francophones has been developed especially in the realm of education. While traditional francophone communities outside Quebec are mostly situated in rural and remote areas, francophone communities have been developed in English-dominant Canadian cities as a result of migration. This study, therefore, attempts to examine language maintenance of francophones and development of their community in the Halifax region, Nova Scotia, as a case of English-dominant Canadian cities, based on the author's field survey carried out in 2003, and which included some interviews.
Concerning the demolinguistic situation in Nova Scotia, an analysis of census data from 1951 to 2001 confirms that the French mother tongue population and the bilingual population in Halifax County increased. In addition, age composition among francophones in Halifax County is much healthier than that of traditional francophone counties.
Most francophones in the Halifax region were born in Quebec or the Maritimes, and moved to the Halifax region to work or enter university, and in some cases, met their future spouses there. Because Halifax is the most important city in Atlantic Canada, many departments and agencies of the federal government have a regional office. Consequently, there are many job opportunities for bilingual people. As a result, it is natural for francophones to work in the Halifax region as bilingual. In 1991, a French school and francophone school board was established in the Halifax region : finally the provincial-wide francophone school board was established in 1996. Of course, education is an important factor for language maintenance. However, the francophones in the Halifax region who want their children to keep the French language not only send their children to a French school in the region, but also make them speak French in conversations with the family members. Much effort is required to keep the French language in English-dominant Canadian cities. However, they succeeded in overcoming these difficulties and developing their community.
Previous studies on language maintenance emphasized institutional support such as education, and its importance is clear in this study. However, institutional support since the 1980s in Nova Scotia seems to be belated in rural and remote areas. On the other hand, the social characteristics of the francophones in the Halifax region make institutional support effective.
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