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'It's detrimental to the people:' Bill 96 convoy rolls through southwest Montreal


Another convoy rally against Quebec's controversial language law rolled through southwest Montreal Saturday afternoon, with demonstrators calling on the province to hit the brakes on Bill 96.

A group of about 50 drove through boroughs like LaSalle, Verdun, and Lachine to express their frustration with Bill 96, which seeks to promote the use of the French language in Quebec and affirm that French is the common language of the province. 

"It's detrimental to the people, and that's not what a government is supposed to do. It's supposed to protect everybody in Quebec," said Marc Perez with the Task Force on Linguistic Policy.

The Task Force, along with the group Bridging Ethnic Communities, organized the demonstrations.

Some at the protest said they've had difficulty receiving services in English, arguing the law has created a hostile attitude towards anglophones.

"I've been told off by people in stores and The Canadian Tire because I was speaking to the clerk in English," said protestor Claudia Ottaviano-Maheux.

"This is absolutely atrocious because, at the end of the day, what [Legault is doing is] killing the English language in the province of Quebec," said Cynthia Costigan.

The rally comes one day after the government announced that tuition at universities would double for out-of-province students. The measure would hit English universities the hardest since they receive much higher numbers of out-of-province students than francophone universities.

The premier said the goal of this move is to reverse the decline of French in Quebec, but people at the convoy said it sends a message that anglophones aren't welcome.

"People are very concerned that in the future we will not have any more universities in English, we will not have doctors that can speak English, because everything is getting phased out," said Perez.

Bill 96 is currently being challenged in court by multiple groups.

The Task Force Against Linguistic Policy is also building a case against the government.

"We need people to tell us their stories because we want to get an injunction that will stop the bill in its tracks as it is right now," Perez added.

Until then, the non-profit plans to hold more demonstrations against Bill 96. Top Stories

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