Nearly 95% of Quebecers know the French language and more than 83% speak it at home. The official language since 1974, French is used in the majority of day-to-day activities: public life, work, administrative services, justice, education, commerce and business.
The Charter of the French Language, which was adopted in 1977, ensures the promotion of French within the province of Québec. The Charter defines the status of the language and sets out language rights. It guarantees, for example, the right to work in French, the right to instruction in French and the right for consumers to be informed and served in French. The Charter also ensures that the protection and promotion of the French language will respect Quebecers who speak English or another language as a first language and Aboriginals.
The Office québécois de la langue française, Québec’s French language supervisory body, works to ensure that French is the regular and customary language of work, communication and commerce. As the primary organization that enforces the Charter of the French Language, the Office is responsible for Québec’s official language policies.
To make it easier for newcomers to integrate, the Québec government offers them the possibility of taking French courses
Québec is considered one of the most active members of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), which includes 70 states and governments. Québec’s activities as part of the Francophonie are based on the OIF’s areas of priority action, which include:
- sustainable development
- education and training
- youth and sporting events
- French language, cultural and linguistic diversity
- peace, democracy and human rights
- digital technologies
In 2008, Quebec City hosted the XIIth Francophonie Summit. Delegations from some 69 states and governments participated in this event, which was one of the largest political meetings in Canadian history. Peace, the environment, the influence of the French language and economic solidarity were discussed throughout the Summit.