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Anglade vows to restore funding to Dawson College expansion cancelled by CAQ government

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The leader of the Quebec Liberal Party toured Dawson College Thursday promising, if elected, she would restore funding for the school’s expansion plan.

Dominique Anglade is accusing the Legault government of trying to impose Bill 101 on CEGEPs.

The government's proposed language law would limit the number of places available in English cegeps, which was cancelled by the CAQ.

She also spoke of a new threat to English CEGEPs — stricter language laws.

“They know it’s not popular to say that they want to apply Bill 101 to CEGEPs so they are finding different ways to go ahead and do that and that’s really hypocritical,” Anglade said Thursday.

The government wants to require students in English CEGEPs to take three core classes in French.

It also plans to freeze spaces available in English CEGEPs while increasing spaces available for French CEGEPs, essentially making it harder for francophone students to get into the English schools.

“We believe in freedom. We believe in liberty and what basically the CAQ government is doing is telling adults what they should be doing and we’re really fed up with that,” she said.

In Quebec City, the language minister said the move is about protecting the French language and accused the Liberal leader of being too soft.

For its part, the Parti Quebecois (PQ) said the government isn’t going far enough.

“They’re trying to say they’re doing stuff but it won’t change the decline in the French language, in Montreal in particular, and that’s what’s appalling,” said Joel Arseneau, the PQ’s parliamentary leader.

Nathan Gervais is a francophone who chose to study at Dawson College.

“I feel like studying English gives Quebec the opportunity to open itself to the world and I couldn’t understand why the government wouldn’t want that,” Gervais said.

“They’re fearing anglicization of francophones. You can go to school for two or three years in CEGEP [and] you’re not going to lose your mother tongue,” said Michael Goldwax, chair of Dawson’s board of governors.

Meanwhile, Dawson has launched a petition to get back government funding for the expansion project while the Legault government maintains its priority is helping french CEGEPs. 

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