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Political Science Intergovernmental Organizations

The Fate of Canada

F. R. Scott's Journal of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, 1963-1971

edited by Graham Fraser

Publisher
McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
Category
Intergovernmental Organizations, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780228008255
    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price
    $37.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780228008248
    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price
    $140.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780228009429
    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price
    $37.95

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Description

From 1963 until 1971, a group of distinguished Canadians wrestled with the language conflict that ran the risk of tearing the country apart. Among their ranks, F.R. Scott – a poet, intellectual, constitutional expert, human rights activist, and law professor – kept diaries that recounted the meetings of one of Canada’s most significant royal commissions.

The Fate of Canada introduces readers to Scott’s biography, puts his diary entries into the political context of the time, and identifies the people he met and the places he visited during the hearings of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. Scott’s journal entries recording the earliest meetings convey optimism for a bilingual Canada. As the years pass, however, he becomes increasingly concerned that bilingualism is in danger, and Quebec’s English community threatened. His remarks convey a sense of humour and mutual respect amongst the commissioners despite the tensions over language within the group – and across the country.

Scott was a champion of English-language rights in Quebec. Never before published, these diaries provide remarkable insight into the inner life of one of twentieth-century Canada’s most significant intellectuals, and a royal commission that shaped the nation’s language policy for decades to come.

About the author

Graham Fraser is an author and journalist who served as commissioner of official languages from 2006 to 2016. He lives in Ottawa.

Graham Fraser's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Scott's prose is humorous and biting, philosophical, and introspective. This is some of the best kind of history reading: accessible, entertaining, revealing, and a primary source to boot from the historical actor himself.” The Canadian Historical Review

“This book could not have come at a better time. It is an incredibly valuable contribution both to the corpus on Canada’s intellectual and political history and to contemporary debates around language and the Canadian constitution.” American Review of Canadian Studies

"The Fate of Canada is a wonderful diary. I read it with growing interest and appreciation, and it will be an indispensable source for Canadians wanting to understand the decisive 1960s. A unique and enduring record of a critical moment in Canada's history." John English, Trinity College, University of Toronto, and author of The Worldly Years: The Life of Lester B. Pearson, 1949–1972

“Graham Fraser has beautifully edited and contextualised Scott’s diary.” Canada's History

"Graham Fraser should be thanked for having the brilliant idea of editing this journal. The Fate of Canada gives us a better understanding of Scott, his views on bilingualism, and the work of the commission, as well as his reactions to Quebec's language policy." Marcel Martel, York University and co-editor of Entre solitudes et réjouissances : Les francophones et les fêtes nationales (1834-1982)

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