Language in CEGEPs on the agenda as PQ holds caucus in Montreal
Published Friday, September 8, 2017 10:14AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 8, 2017 7:22PM EDT
Parti Quebecois leader is facing off against his own party this weekend as the PQ holds a confidence vote on his leadership.
There are nearly 500 motions up for debate including the hot topic of language in CEGEPs as the Parti Quebecois opened its pre-session caucus in Montreal Friday.
Lisée is at odds with former leader Bernard Landry, as Lisée maintained his position that Bill 101 should not be extended to post-secondary schools.
Last week Landry publicly criticized Lisée for not taking a stronger stance on the controversial matter, although Lisée said he would be willing to cut funding to English-language CEGEPs.
Lisée, instead, believes French CEGEPs should offer better English instruction so that francophone and allophone students will not opt for attending an English CEGEP.
“We’re in an anglophone continent, living in French in Quebec, working on French in Quebec. Knowing it is almost a given, something that almost everyone wants to do. So for those students who want to make sure they will have a good grasp of English and they feel that only English CEGEPs can provide that, we will say, ‘No, French CEGEPs can provide that as well. I think it’s long overdue,” he said.
The question now is whether other PQ members agree with Lisée’s position.
While most Quebecers - and a majority of francophones - oppose limiting post-secondary education access along linguistic lines, the measure is popular with PQ supporters and MNAs.
MNA Francois Gendron said he does not want to see French-language CEGEPs offering more courses in English.
"Our common language is French, and I have a problem with more English in CEGEPs," said Gendron.
Another unpopular measure of Lisée's is his refusal to commit to a referendum on separation in the event the PQ wins a majority in 2018. Lisée has said he would only hold a referendum in the event the PQ wins two terms of office - in other words, at some point after 2022.
Lisée, who was elected as party leader last year with about 51 percent of members' support on the second ballot will face the confidence vote on Saturday afternoon.
In 2005, Landry stepped down as PQ leader when he received the support of 76 percent of PQ members at the convention. In 2011, Pauline Marois received 93 percent support.
Results in Saturday's ballots are expected at 3:30 p.m.