Premiers Conference, Speech Delivered by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Education, Mr. Jacques-Yvan Morin […] (23 February 1978)

Document Information

Date: 1978-02-23
By: Jacques-Yvan Morin (Council of Ministers of Education)
Citation: Premiers’ Conference, Speech Delivered by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Education, Mr. Jacques-Yvan Morin, at the First Ministers Conference, Doc 850-9/006 (Montreal: 23 February 1978).
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).

Conseil des ministres de l’Education (Canada)
Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
252 Bloor West, Suite S 500, Toronto, Canada M5S 1V5
Téléphone 416 964-2551 Cable Address: Educan

DOCUMENT: 850-9/006



As Chairman and Vice-Chairman
of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada,
on behalf of our colleagues, Dr. Parrott and I wish
to thank you for the opportunity to present to you
this report on the state of minority language edu-

Following your meeting in St
Andrews, New Brunswick, on August l8-19 last year,
nine provinces issued a statement which declared
that you would make your best efforts to provide I
instruction in English and French, wherever numbers
warrant, and that therefore you requested the Coun-
cil of Ministers of Education to meet as soon as
possible to review the state of minority language
education in each province. You asked further that
the Council of Ministers of Education report to
each premier Within six months and I am happy to
point out that we have fulfiled our task and even
advance it, since the report was ready on the lst
of February.
… /2


The Council met four weeks
later in Edmonton and gave its attention to this
request. The Council was assisted immeasurably
in its deliberations by Premier Hatfield’s accep-
tance of the Council’s invitation to attend a
closed session to elaborate the terms of your re-
quest as chairman of the Premiers‘ conference.

Following their deliberations,
the members of the Council unanimously adopted the
following resolution:

recognizing that the premiers directed
the Council of Ministers of Education
to review the state of minority langua-
ge education in each province;

recognizing that each province has ex-
clusive jurisdiction in education and
a responsibility to each cultural mi-

recognizing that education is the foun-
dation on which language and culture
rest; and

… /3


recognizing that the 18th annual meeting
of the provincial First Ministers in St.
Andrews expressed concern for the main-
tenance, and, where indicated, develop-
ment of education services in the English
and French languages;


1. Compile a report of the state of minori-
ty language education in each province
for review at its next regular meeting
in January 1978 and subsequent submis-
sion by the Council to the First Minis-
ter of each province by February l, 1978;

2. Undertake to review its current program-
mes and explore ways and means for coo-
perative action in order better to achieve
the stated goal of the premiers to improve
minority language opportunities in each
… /4


3. Suggest that each of the provinces adopt
policies in education designed to provide,
when feasible, education opportunity in
the English and French languages commensu— .
rate with the need identified from time to
time, by each province.

The Council instructed its
Secretariat to implement the means for compiling
this report, which began with an initial request
for current data from the provinces.

Many members of the staff
of the Councils secretariat worked long and hard
to maintain the impetus that had been generated
and their efforts show in the fact that a dreft
of the report was ready for consideration by the
Advisory Committee of Deputy Ministers of Educa-
tion early in December.

In the preparation of the
report, the Secretariat of the Council benefitted

… /5


from the advice and services of experts in the
field, including Mr. Sylvester Whiter, who coordi-
nated the report. Invaluable assistance in the
compilation and analysis of the relevant data was
also provided by senior officials from provincial
Departments of Education.

Statistics Canada was asked
for and generously cooperated in providing the
latest demographic data with a premptness that was
greatly appreciated.

At the December meeting of
the Advisory Committee, provisions were suggested
and a second draft was subsequently prepared by
the Secretariat for distribution to the Education
ministers for consideration at the meeting of the
Council in mid-January.

The members of the Council
devoted a large part of their meeting, both in
pleniary session and in camera, to this draft of
the report, and further refined it to be each

… /6


minister of Education to the First Minister of his
province in the first week of February.

You will note the Council
does not take a position in this report, nor does
it make recommendations to the provincial premiers
on the matter of minority language education. The
decisions which may follow from the report belong
to you.

The Council felt any decision
to make the report public or not was also a matters
for your own discretion.

The members of the Council
earnestly hope this report will contribute signi-
ficantly to the realization of the important goal
you established in St. Andrews.

My colleagues on the Council
of Ministers of Education wish me, also, in cone
veying this report to you on their behalf, to indi-
cate they are ready to accept, with great willing-
ness, any other mandate you may care to give them.


Leave a Reply