Bilingual Districts Advisory Board, [textual record, cartographic material]

  • Record Information – Brief
    Hierarchical level:
    Type of material:
    Textual material, Maps and cartographic material
    Found in:
    Archives / Collections and Fonds
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    Context of this record:
    • Bilingual Districts Advisory Board,
      Bilingual Districts Advisory Board, Fonds du Conseil consultatif des districts bilingues,
  • Fonds includes:
    23 lower level description(s)
    View lower level description(s)
    Bilingual equivalent:
    Click here
    Place of creation:
    7.6 m of textual records.
    1 v. (32 leaves) typescript, 14 hand col. maps (some folded) 45 cm.
    7 atlases 386 col. maps, chiefly folded 32 x 46 cm-41 x 46 cm.
    23 maps.
    Language of material:
    Added language of material:
    Scope and content:
    Fonds consists of briefs, submissions, documentation and correspondence on the appointments of the members of the Board are included in these records. Various documents and correspondence on the cooperation established with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources and Statistics Canada are also contained in these records. Other documents such as minutes of the meetings of the Board, reports and recommendations, notes, briefs from associations and individuals and correspondence are part of the records of this series. Also included in the records of the Second Bilingual Districts Advisory Board are files of correspondence with various federal government departments, statistical data and background information on the areas visited by the Board. Cartographic material: RG112M 756/20017 consists of maps showing the location of federal bilingual districts or suggested bilingual districts in each of the provinces. RG112M 79003/4 consists of: (a) six atlases used as part of briefs presented to the Second Bilingual District Advisory Board, and published by Surveys and Mapping Branch, Dept of Mines and Technical Surveys: Book of key maps : pursurant to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act for the 1961 decennial census -- Federal electoral district maps : British Columbia-Alberta-Northwest Territories-Yukon -- Federal electoral district maps : Manitoba-Saskatchewan -- Federal electoral district maps Ontario -- Federal electoral district maps : Québec -- Federal electoral district maps : Nova Scotia-New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island-Newfoundland; (b) one report - Possible bilingual districts : an examination of the demographic aspects of bilingual districts by Donald C. MacNaught, 20 June 1967; (c) an atlas of Montreal showing school districts and indicating number of Catholic and Protestant school boards in each district.
    Additional name(s):
    Biography/Administrative history:
    Canada. Bilingual Districts Advisory Board (1972): The legislative basis for the Bilingual Districts Advisory Boards is the Official Languages Act, 1969 (S C 1968-69, c 54, s 12-18). As conceived under this legislation, a Board would be constituted once every ten years and operate as an ad hoc Board of Inquiry under the Inquiries Act in order to make recommendations about the designation of the Bilingual districts on which basis federal offices would be expected to provide bilingual services. Each board was to operate as an independent Board of Inquiry under Part 1 of the Inquiries Act and the Board would disband upon presenting its report to the Governor in Council. Thus while the only two boards ever constituted succeeded immediately one after the other, 1970-1971 and 1972-1975, while the terms of reference for both were defined by a single legislative Act and while the two Advisory Boards were tied together by a single continuing secretariat which served them both; by virtue of their separate appointment under the provisions of the Inquiries Act, they constituted two separate entities. The original proposal for bilingual districts arose from the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (1963-1970) which had adapted the idea from Finnish practice. As orginally conceived, bilingual districts would provide the framework in which the federal government would develop its program to provide bilingual services to linguistic minorities throughout Canada but as well they would delineate areas where provincial and municipal governments would also extend the principle organically in each such district beyond strict federal jurisdiction. The federal legislation could only mandate the districts for purposes of federal jurisdiction. The function of the Bilingual Districts Advisory Board was limited to recommending the actual boundaries of the proposed districts based on the decennial census and the provisions in the Act which specified that, to qualify as a bilingual district, at least ten per cent of the population must be composed of an official language minority or federal offices in the area must have provided bilingual service customarily in the past. An Advisory Board of not less than 5 persons nor more than 10 persons was to be organized as soon as possible after each decennial census. It was to make recomendations based on census statistics for the proclamation and delineation of bilingual districts. With the support of the Chief Statistician and the Director of Surveys and Mapping Branch of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources and after holding whatever public meeting and consultations with provincial governments that it thought necessary, the Advisory Board then submitted its report and recommendations to the Governor in Council and disbanded. The Second Board was established by Order in Council on 25 May 1972 (PC 1972-1125) less than a year after the first Board submitted its report. Paul Fox, a Toronto academic, served as the Chairperson. The report of this Board was published in 1975. Once again the set of recommendations put forward by the Board were not adopted. By this time, it had become generally evident that the organic bilingualism conceived on the district model by the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was not a preferable or even a viable method of administering the principles of the Official Languages Act. Beginning with a Parliamentary Declaration in 1973 reaffirming the principles of bilingualism throughout the Government of Canada and all its agencies, the emphasis in implementing the principles of the Official Languages Act shifted from the notion of guarantees of service to minorities on a territorial basis to much more complex institutions of language of work, service to the public, and equitable representation applied through complex conventions on the principle of "significant demand" (Section 9(2) of the Official Languages Act) and other provisions of the Act. After a detailed review, the government formally decided not to proceed with the establishment of federal bilingual districts in large part because the territorial approach to the provision of bilingual services proved too cumbersome to cope with the widely divergent geo-demographic patterns characteristic of official language populations in Canada and because such an approach would have essentially left the provision of minority language services in major urban areas outside Quebec and Ottawa without adequate support while not extending the guaranttee of service to any area where bilingual service was not already available. The basis for a Bilingual Districts Advisory Board was effectively terminated under Treasury Board decision Treasury Board Circular No. 1977-46 (page 12), although the sections of the Official Languages Act providing for the Boards remained in the consolidated Statutes of Canada until assent was given to the revised Official Languages Act on 28 July 1988. No third board was ever appointed. The administration of Official Languages Policy in the federal public sector does continue to operate on the basis of a sliding scale of service in relation to demand which in turn creates a de facto territorial basis for the administration of the Act but this territorial dimension does not constitute official bilingual districts and is entirely flexible in relation to future demand.
    Finding aid:
    (Paper) The finding aid is a file list of the correspondence, briefs, and minutes of both the first and second meetings of the board. 112-1

    Cartographic material; textual record (Paper) Finding aids consist of item listings. RG112M 756/20017; RG112M 79003/4 Finding aids available in main reference room. (90 90: Open)

    Cartographic material (Electronic) Please consult lower level descriptions. RG112M 756/20017 (90 90: Open)

    Additional information:
    General Note:
    RG 112 was divided into two fonds, the first and second Bilingual Districts Advisory Board fonds.
    Source of title:
    The title is based on the Official Languages Act that provided for the creation of these advisory Boards and the order-in council that created the second board. Official Languages Act, 1969, SC 1968-1969, c 54 and order-in-council PC 1972-1125, 25 May 1972 pursuant to the Official Languages Act and, Part I of the Inquiries Act.
    Statement of responsibility note:
    RG112M 756/20017: Some maps are over printed on base map prepared by Surveys and Mapping Branch, Dept. of Energy, Mines and Resources.
    Physical condition note:
    RG112M 79003/4: Leaves of item #7 (volume of possible bilingual districts) are held together by tape, which is now brittle and has left residue; item #8 (atlas of Montreal school districts) is housed in a protective sleeve.
    Custodial history:
    RG112M 756/20017 transferred from the Public Records Division to the National Map Collection on 24 Nov. 1975. RG112M 79003/4 transferred from RG112, the records of the Second Bilingual District Advisory Board, Public Records Division in 1978, P.R.D. transfer 78-9/81.
    Cartographic math data:
    Cartographic material: Scales differ.
    Original extent note:
    RG112M 756/20017: Originally received 144 maps; 121 of these were disposed as duplicates on 7 Oct. 2003.
    No further accruals are expected.
    Related material:
    Related material can be found in record number 364, the first Bilingual Districts Advisory Board fonds.
    Other system control no.:
    Related control no.:
    1978-0168 MISA
    756/20017 CA
    79003/4 CA
    RG112M 756/20017
    RG112M 79003/4
    Former archival reference no.:
    RG112M 79003/4
    RG112M 756/20017
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