What is an official language minority community (OLMCs)?
OLMCs are not all identical: in fact, their reality varies greatly based on their geographical situation—in an urban or a rural area, near or far from major centres—and their population—tightly knit or scattered over a large area.
Some communities are concentrated in a sector or a region and live everyday in their language, for all practical purposes, as the majority community. There are many institutions and everyday life is lived in the minority official language. Examples:
- Acadian peninsula;
- Hearst and Prescott-Russell, in Ontario;
- West Island of Montreal, in Quebec.
In some provinces, the minority community makes up a significant proportion of the population and may live part of its daily life in its language. The majority community has much appeal but the presence of historically homogeneous areas, English or French as the case may be, brings together the minority community, often despite the dispersion of the population. These communities generally have well-developed institutions and public and commercial services. Examples:
- Vanier and Sudbury, in Ontario;
- Moncton, in New Brunswick;
- Clare and Evangeline, in Nova Scotia;
- Saint-Boniface, in Manitoba;
- Sherbrooke-Lennoxville, in Quebec.
In other cases, the minority community is more limited in number. Everyday life is lived in the language of the majority and use of the mother tongue is limited to family and school life and the participation in some isolated group activities. Examples:
- Gravelbourg and Zénon Park, in Saskatchewan;
- Quebec City, Chicoutimi and the Gaspésie, in Quebec;
- Bonnyville, in Alberta;
- Welland, in Ontario;
- large urban centres like Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.