New PQ language law a ‘slap in the face,’ would end most bilingual status in townships
Published Monday, February 11, 2013 8:54PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 11, 2013 8:55PM EST
MONTREAL—The two main parties in the National Assembly have made their views clear on reinforcing Bill 101 with new legislation, but when parliamentarians return on Tuesday the Parti Quebecois is determined to pass such a law, regardless of its minority status.
Premier Pauline Marois has a vision of a French country in North America and she says a more muscular French language law is a must. Liberal interim leader Jean-Marc Fournier says there's no need for it.
“French will always be a priority when it is presented the right way,” said Fournier. “When we seek to share French it will grow, now when we use a hammer to impose it.”
Colin Standish's family has been in the Eastern Townships for 225 years. He worries Bill 14 is a slap in the face.
“Bill 14 seems to be done in a small and nasty way, eliminating status for bilingual municipalities that can serve Francophones in the language of their choice,” said Standish, a member of the Townshippers’ Association Board.
According to Standish, 15 out of 18 township towns could lose their bilingual status.
The Coalition Avenir Quebec has 19 assembly seats, the party is still thinking about its position on the proposed Bill 14, but it has taken a stand on cities with bilingual status.
“We think that we should leave to the city the choice or not to stay bilingual,” said Daniel Ratthe, the CAQ MNA for Blainville.
The bill's plan to force military families to use French schools is also a deal-breaker for the CAQ.
“It wouldn’t make sense for their children to learn only French when they will be in Quebec for two or three years. When the year before, the year after they will return in English,” said Ratthe.
For the next month, people can comment about Bill 14 on a bilingual government website.
Quebec Immigration and Cultural Communities Minister Diane De Courcy responds to reporters’ questions on the situation of the French language in Montreal at the legislature in Quebec City on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. (Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS)