18th Annual Premiers Conference, News Release (18-19 August 1977)
By: Allan Blakeney
Citation: 18th Annual Premiers Conference, News Release, Doc 850-8/022 (St. Andrews: 18-19 August 1977).
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).
Thursday, August l8, 1977
Premier Allan Blakeney says he is disturbed and dismayed at the specific proposal presented by Quebec Premier Levesque to provincial Premiers concerning language rights for Canadians.
The Saskatchewan Premier said the Quebec proposition that children going to Quebec from other provinces whose parents were not educated in English would not be allowed to attend English schools in Quebec, even if they wished to do so, is abhorent to Canadians, particularly those of Western Canada.
Mr. Blakeney said Saskatchewan believes all Canadians have equal language rights no matter where they live, what language their parents speak or where their parents came from.
“The Quebec government proposes that the children of English-speaking Canadians moving from Saskatchewan to Quebec should have rights different from the children of non-English-speaking Canadians moving from Saskatchewan to Quebec.
Mr. Blakeney said “This is incompatible with the idea of Canadianism shared by the great majority of the people of Saskatchewan.”
“I favour discussions between provinces and the federal government to work out ways in which basic language rights can be strengthened in all provinces,” the Premier said.
“Much progress was achieved in this field last fall by provincial premiers.”
“In the meantime, Saskatchewan is doing what it can to provide language opportunities in Saskatchewan, as the population needs require and consistent with our province’s multicultural background,” he said.
“We are prepared to examine any new propositions in the interests of promoting Canadian unity.”
“But Quebec’s idea that a Canadian has different educational rights depending on whether his parents spoke Ukrainian, German, English or French is unacceptable.”