MONTREAL -- The majority of Quebecers are concerned about the situation surrounding the French language in Quebec and want stronger legislation to protect it, according to the results of a poll published on Monday. 

The survey -- conducted by the Leger firm from Sept. 4 to 6 -- shows that 59 per cent of respondents believe the situation surrounding the French language has deteriorated over the past 10 years and that 62 per cent of Quebecers are pessimistic about its future.

Among Francophones, the data indicates that 71 per cent of respondents are concerned. This concern is reported by 46 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 34, 61 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 and by 74 per cent of people aged 55 and over.

The survey shows that 67 per cent of people -- including 77 per cent of Francophones -- agree with strengthening laws to improve the situation surrounding the French language in Quebec. The idea is also supported by 32 per cent of non-French speakers.

The two most popular francization measures among respondents are: to ensure the funding necessary for the francization of all non-Francophone newcomers (51 per cent), and to ensure the right to work in French in companies under federal jurisdiction located in Quebec (50 per cent). 

The least popular measure, at 21 per cent, is that of reserving English-speaking CEGEPs for students who went to English high schools. 

The survey was commissioned by the Lionel-Groulx Foundation in collaboration with the Mouvement national des Québécois and received responses from 1,011 Quebecers aged 18 or over, able to speak French or English. The results were weighted by the Leger firm, in particular according to sex, age, mother tongue, region and level of education.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9, 2020.