In a past issue of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Richard Bourhis (1994) edited a number of articles that dealt with “French-English language issues in Canada.” The issue dealt with language contacts from both a national and a regional basis. The present issue of IJSL focuses on the official language minorities of Canada, that is, English in Quebec (the only province where French is the sole official language) and French outside Quebec, the latter being a minority language in the other nine provinces and three federal territories. French does have official status with English in the small province of New Brunswick, where Francophones constitute one-third of the population. It also has official status with English and some aboriginal languages in the three northern territories. However, language issues in Canada's confederation are diverse and official language minorities experience a wide variety of sociolinguistic contexts. Before we present the structure and content of this special IJSL issue, we give a brief overview of some historical background relevant to this topic of official language minorities in Canada.