Reference re Manitoba Language Rights  1 S.C.R. 721 was a reference question posed to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding provisions in the Manitoba Act stipulating the provision of French language services in the province of Manitoba. The ruling came down from the Supreme Court in 1984.
Four questions were asked:
- Are sections 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and 23 of the
Manitoba Act, 1870, requiring
laws be in both French and English, mandatory in Manitoba, Quebec,
- If so, are those Manitoban laws not printed in both languages
invalid under section 23 of the Manitoba Act?
- If so, do the laws have any force and effect, and if so to what
- Are any of the provisions of
An Act Respecting the Operation of Section 23 of the Manitoba Act
in Regard to Statutes inconsistent with section 23 of the
Manitoba Act, 1870, and if so are
the provisions invalid and of no legal force and effect?
The Court found that the Constitution Act, 1867
Manitoba Act, 1870
both languages and that those laws that were not in both languages
were of no force and effect; however, they were be deemed
temporarily valid for a time until translations can be re-enacted
in order to avoid a legal vacuum in Manitoba and to ensure the
continuity of the rule of law.
This reference was the first time that the courts in Canada had
used the remedy of a delayed declaration of invalidity. Despite its
exceptional origins, this remedy has grown to become a preferred
one in Canadian public law