Greenfield Park reasserts bilingual status even as Longueuil promotes French
MONTREAL -- With 26 per cent of its population considered anglophones, Greenfield Park is moving forward to renew its bilingual status.
Under Bill 96, tabled by the Legault government last Thursday, municipalities or boroughs with an anglophone population of less than 50 per cent would have their status removed unless council passes a motion to maintain it.
"Whenever I’m talking about something specific in our borough or whatever we’re going to pass, it’s very important that I say it in French and in English," said Greenfield Park Coun. Robert Myles.
At the same time, the city of Longueuil is moving to protect and promote French. A motion presented by Mayor Sylvie Parent is set to be voted on at Tuesday’s council meeting.
It stipulates that Longueuil will apply Quebec’s Charter of the French Language and that city administration communicate in French.
The motion would allow for English communication in emergency situations and the city does recognize Greenfield Park’s bilingual status.
For residents, it’s a tiresome debate.
"This thing here is an old debate from 50 years ago," said Greenfield Park resident Pat Vaccaro. "Why bring this up again? We were quiet here."
Others see it as a potential municipal election issue ahead of next fall’s vote.
"The English issue has always come to the forefront; the identity of our community has always been an issue," said Coun. Wade Wilson. "Provincial government has given us the power to maintain our status, it can easily be taken away."
LISTEN ON CJAD 800 RADIO: ARE THE PROVISIONS IN BILL 96 EVEN LEGAL?