English-language organization wants more study on Quebec proposal on nationhood and French as official language
MONTREAL -- The organization working for English-language groups in Quebec is calling for more study on the Quebec CAQ government's proposal to amend the Canadian constitution to affirm Quebec as a nation with French as its official language.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) issued a news release Friday citing a Leger and Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) marketing survey that found a majority of Canadians outside of Quebec and a significant minority in the province, "are concerned about the proposed unilateral amendment to the Canadian Constitution affirming that Quebec is a nation and that its official language is French."
The proposal is part of the CAQ government's Bill 96 (An Act respecing French, the official and common language of Quebec).
According to the survey, just over one-in-four (27 per cent) Canadians believe a province should be able to amend the constitution, while 56 per cent disagree with the statement. When eliminating Quebec's numbers, however, just 17 per cent of those outside the province agreed with the statement.
In Quebec, however, 62 per cent feel a province should be able to do so.
When dividing along language lines, 38 per cent of French-speaking Quebecers said they strongly agree with the ability of province's to amend the constitution and 36 per cent said they "somewhat agreed."
English-speaking Quebecers, however, felt much different: 3.5 per cent strongly agreed and 18.6 somewhat agreed.
“Canadians and Quebecers are clearly divided on this issue and we need to take the time as a country and as a province to truly understand the implications of what the Quebec government is proposing,” said QCGN president Marlene Jennings in a news release.
“This is a complex issue that needs to be studied and debated not only by our politicians in Quebec City and Ottawa, but also discussed with and understood by Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Only through knowledge and dialogue will we able to achieve a mutual understanding of what is really at stake.”
According to the survey, 57 per cent (including 72 per cent in Quebec) of those who responded felt Quebec should sign the constitution if Canada recognized Quebec as a nation and French as its official language.
The online poll via web panel was conducted between May 21 and 23, and 1,623 Canadians responded.