Charest tones down plan to extend Bill 101 to federal civil service
Quebec Liberal Leader Jean Charest Monday, August 27, 2012 in Quebec City. Quebecers are going to the polls on Sept. 4. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Published Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:13PM EDT
MONTREAL - Premier Jean Charest appeared to be tiptoeing more nimbly around his proposal to ask Prime Minister Harper to extend Bill 101 to the federal civil service in Quebec.
At a press conference in the Bellechasse riding Tuesday, Charest said that he had no desire to reopen Bill 101, saying that he seeks a language law that inspires a consensus rather a division.
His comments appeared tamer than those he made a day earlier.
On Monday Charest said he was ready to go to Ottawa to discuss the application of the Charter of the French language in Quebec workplaces that fall under federal jurisdiction, such as banks and interprovincial transportation.
“I think we can sit down with the federal government to see in which way they can participate in this Quebec consensus concerning the way we deal with language issues,” he said.
Charest said Monday that now that the federal government had voted to recognize Quebec as a nation they should possibly some meaning into their words.
Those comments triggered an avalanche of criticism among his anglophone base in various internet discussion forums.
That response might have led the premier to answer questions on the issue in a more nuanced way Tuesday.
Charest is facing some competition for the anglophone vote from the Francois Legault-led CAQ.
-With a file from the Canadian Press