ENGLISH OR FRENCH ON THE
DECLINE IN QUEBEC? VIEWS FROM
THE ROC
JACK JEDWAB
ASSOCIATION FOR CANADIAN STUDIES
MAY 2013
INTRODUCTION
• In Quebec there is ongoing debate about the perception of
threat to the French language felt by many francophones and to
the English-speaking community as expressed by many
anglophones. The divergence between Quebec anglophones
and francophones is very difficult to reconclie. Rarely however is
the opinion of anglophones outside of Quebec solicited as
regards this matter. It might be assumed that anglophones
outside of Quebec would be far more likely to think that it is the
English language that is threatened. Indeed an April survey
conducted by the firm Leger Marketing reveals that they are
more likely to think so but not by a large margin. Indeed there is
no province in Canada where a majority agrees that the English
language is threatened in Quebec with many in the ROC saying
that they are unaware. Yet another survey conducted by the
Official Languages Branch of Canadian Heritage suggests that
interest in learning about Official Language Communities within
and outside of Quebec is not especially high.
METHODOLOGY
• The findings were collected from a survey of 2000
Canadians by the firm Leger Marketing for the
Association for Canadian Studies between
February 27 and March 9, 2013. Done via web
panel, the probabilistic margin of error is 2.9 percent
19 times out of 20
• The survey done for the Department of Canadian
Heritage was conducted by the firm TNS Canadian
Facts between May 9 and 29, 2012 by telephone
with 1504 Canadians.
ENGLISH ON THE DECLINE IN QUEBEC: THE REST OF CANADA
MAJORITIES NOT PERSUADED AND MANY SIMPLY DON’T KNOW
The English
language is on
the decline in
Quebec
Total
Atl.
QC
ON
MB/SK
AB
BC
NET AGREE
33%
36%
21%
38%
30%
30%
43%
Strongly agree
11%
9%
9%
12%
11%
13%
12%
Somewhat agree
22%
27%
12%
26%
19%
17%
30%
NET
DISAGREE
41%
37%
73%
30%
34%
29%
29%
Somewhat
disagree
27%
28%
41%
21%
31%
21%
18%
Strongly
disagree
14%
9%
31%
9%
4%
8%
10%
I don't know
25%
26%
5%
30%
36%
40%
28%
I prefer not to
answer
2%
1%
1%
2%
0%
1%
1%
REST OF CANADA: ONE IN FIVE THINK
FRENCH IS ON THE DECLINE IN
QUEBEC
The French
language is
on the
decline in
Quebec
Total
Atl.
QC
ON
MB/SK
AB
BC
NET
AGREE
30%
19%
63%
21%
26%
18%
18%
Strongly
agree
10%
4%
26%
5%
0%
5%
6%
Somewhat
agree
20%
15%
36%
15%
26%
14%
12%
NET
DISAGREE
43%
45%
33%
47%
49%
44%
48%
Somewhat
disagree
24%
21%
21%
25%
31%
25%
22%
Strongly
disagree
19%
24%
11%
21%
19%
19%
26%
I don't know
25%
35%
3%
31%
24%
38%
33%
I prefer not
to answer
1%
1%
1%
1%
0%
0%
0%
REST OF CANADA MORE LIKELY TO
THINK THAT ENGLISH IS ON THE
DECLINE THAN FRENCH ESP IN BC
NET AGREE
Total
Atl.
QC
ON
MB/SK
AB
BC
The English
language is on
the decline in
Quebec
33%
36%
21%
38%
30%
30%
43%
The French
language is on
the decline in
Quebec
30%
19%
63%
21%
26%
18%
18%
INTEREST IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT QUEBEC ANGLOPHONES
OR FRANCOPHONES OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC IS SOFT AMONGST
ENGLISH CANADIANS
Anglophones outside of Quebec
INTEREST IN LEARNING
INTEREST IN LEARNING MORE
MORE ABOUT QUEBEC
ABOUT QUEBEC FRANCOPHONE
ANGLOPHONE
COMMUNITIES
COMMUNITIES
00 - NOT INTERESTED AT ALL
12.8%
15.5%
01
3.8%
4.2%
02
5.1%
4.1%
03
6.0%
6.6%
04
5.9%
4.8%
05
16.4%
15.4%
06
9.1%
9.0%
07
11.4%
12.2%
08
14.2%
14.9%
09
3.9%
3.0%
10.9%
9.8%
0.4%
0.3%
10 - EXTREMELY INTERESTED
DON'T KNOW
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English or French: Which is on the decline in Quebec