La question linguistique dans la pensée de Claude Ryan au Devoir (1962-1978) : la difficile conciliation de principes nationalistes et libéraux

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
La question linguistique dans la pensée de Claude Ryan au Devoir (1962-1978) : la difficile conciliation de principes nationalistes et libéraux
Abstract
Claude Ryan (1925-2004) was editor of Montreal's Le Devoir newspaper from 1964 to 1978, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party from 1978 to 1982, and member of the National Assembly from 1979 to 1994. The author argues that from the time of the federal Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (1963-1969) to Quebec's 1977 Charter of the French Language (Bill 101), Ryan's attitude on linguistic issues showed that it was possible, up to a point, for him to reconcile liberal and nationalist principles. Nonetheless, when Ryan's nationalism came into conflict with his liberalism, the author claims that the latter predominated. While Ryan believed that the French-speaking majority had the legitimate right to impose the respect of its language, it also had the obligation to respect both individual and minority rights. Though Ryan was able to acknowledge that certain individual rights should be subordinated to collective rights, this could only occur in exceptional and isolated cases. In Quebec's case, the author maintains, the fact that most allophone immigrants traditionally opted for English-language education constituted what Ryan believed to be an exceptional situation because it threatened the cultural and linguistic survival of the province's French-speaking majority. However, when Bill 101 began to restrict both individual rights and the English-speaking minority's historic rights, Ryan could no longer support Parti québécois government efforts to achieve a new linguistic equilibrium. He felt that the Parti québécois' linguistic legislation (Bill 101)had ruptured the fragile legal and moral equilibrium he had hoped to see established between the respect of individual and collective rights.
Publication
Mens. Revue d’histoire intellectuelle de l’Amérique française
Volume
Vol. 2
Issue
no. 2
Pages
193-231
Date
Printemps 2002
Language
fr
URL
Citation
Marcil, Olivier. “La question linguistique dans la pensée de Claude Ryan au Devoir (1962-1978) : la difficile conciliation de principes nationalistes et libéraux.” Mens. Revue d’histoire intellectuelle de l’Amérique française Vol. 2, no. 2 (Printemps 2002): 193–231. https://www.erudit.org/revue/mensaf/2002/v2/n2/1024609ar.pdf.
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