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Amendments to Bill 96 could change CEGEP requirements

A provincial bill that would put federally regulated industries like Via Rail under Bill 101 is continuing to roll through the National Assembly, much to the dismay of English-language advocacy groups.

Amendments to Bill 96 could extend the Charter of the French Language to federally-chartered companies in Quebec.

“The bill will be an embarrassment to Quebecers if it passes. It has so many sections in it that are exclusionary, and are really aimed at eviscerating the English community,” said Andrew Cadell, vice president of the Task Force on Linguistic Policy.

Cadell adds that banks and airlines would fall under the bill’s reaches, which he says will cause a major headache.

“It will limit your ability to discuss with people in your own profession […] in English,” he said.


Another recent amendment to Bill 96 is giving English-language CEGEPs something to think about: the introduction of the requirement to take three core curriculum courses in French.

“This measure is the most egregious because of the impact it will have on success,” said Diane Gauvin, director general of Dawson College.

Dawson officials estimate more than a third of English CEGEP students could be in danger of not graduating if the amendment is approved.

It was added to the bill after being floated by the opposition in the National Assembly.

On Thursday, Quebec Liberal leader Dominique Anglade defended the proposal. Anglade said she was under the impression the government had discussed the subject with CEGEPs.

“First of all, when we suggested this, it was not part of a bill. And my understanding was there were consultations with the CEGEPs and that people were aware of it,” she said.

CEGEPs like Dawson say the bill could wreak havoc with their staffing as well. While many instructors have a working knowledge of French, actually teaching in French could be a challenge.

“We will need to hire a number of teachers who teach in French. We will see how this goes, but the impact will be significant on faculty,” said Gauvin. Top Stories

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