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Education: French Language Education

Since Canada's confederation in 1867, article 91 of the constitution guaranteed provinces the exclusive right to educational matters. Article 33 protects the right to confessional schools (Roman Catholic schools).

Since 1896, before the creation of the province of Alberta, the Northwest Territories allowed teaching in French for the first two years of schooling. Ordinance 22 (1892) of the Northwest Territories was modified in 1901 to permit teaching of one French course as well as other languages. The guarantees of Article 93 of the Constitution regarding denominational schools were included in the constitution of the province when Alberta was established in 1905.

The law proclaiming the creation of the province was published in the two languages, but no mention was made of linguistic rights. French-speaking children had the right to receive the first two years of their schooling in French and only an hour a day in the subsequent years.

In 1964, the situation was pretty much the same. Changes stipulated that Francophone children must have two hours of English language courses a day, and by the fourth year, and those following, only one hour of French instruction per day.


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