PQ study suggests English set to dominate in Montreal
A team of Parti Quebecois researchers crunched numbers from Statistics Canada and claims that English will surpass French on the island of Montreal by 2016.
The report says if present trends continue, the percentage of Francophone on the island of Montreal will fall to 43 percent by 2016.
Further, it points out that the usage of English is increasing, while French is falling.
According to the study, between 2001 and 2006, the use of English at home went up 3.3 percent in Montreal, while the use of French went down 1.7 percent.
The data also appears to indicate the learning of English is more attractive than learning French.
"Your power of attraction of gaining people, of getting them in the Anglophone culture, is five times greater than in the French language and French culture," said the PQ's language and culture critic Pierre Curzi.
Curzi is raising the alarm, saying the study is proof that the French language in the province is under threat.
"What we see is that there is a big movement towards the English culture but its not proportional to the number in Montreal," he said.
Christine St. Pierre, Quebec's culture minister, said the PQ study is nothing but fear-mongering.
"To me, its very alarmist. That's how the Parti Quebecois wants to do on the question of the language, because they know they are losing ground," said St. Pierre.
Part of the PQ's numbers can be explained by an exodus: between 2001 and 2006, 47 650 Francophones moved off the island of Montreal to the suburbs.