Official Language Act (1890)


Affected Legal Entities




Legal Status


Ruled unconstitutional in 1979 by the Supreme Court of Canada




As Manitoba francophones became more and more of a minority, provincial leaders believed they had reason to abolish language and religious rights. On March 31, 1890, the Legislative Assembly enacted the Official Language Act, which made English the sole language of records, minutes, and Manitoba government laws.


Linguistic Significance


It was the first time the Manitoba Legislature had ever suppressed the language rights of the francophone minority, despite the guarantees in section 23 of the 1870 Manitoba Act.


Linguistic Provisions


Two sections (see below).


Complete Text


Act to provide that the English Language shall be the Official Language of the Province of Manitoba

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as fellows:

Article 1

English language be official language

(1) Any statute or law to the contrary notwithstanding, the English language only shall be used in the records and journals of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, and in any pleadings or process in or issuing from any court in the province of Manitoba.


(2) The Acts of the Legislature of Manitoba need be printend and publishing only in the English Language.

Article 2

Act to apply only within jurisdiction of Legislature

This Act applies only so far as the Legislature has jurisdiction to enact.

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