MONTREAL -- The Mouvement Quebec francais (MQF) is calling for the Federation des CEGEPs to be split into two independent networks, one for French-language CEGEPs and the other for English-language CEGEPs.

The MQF criticized the head of the Federation, Bernard Tremblay, for being opposed to the idea of extending Bill 101 to the college level.

The MQF points out that for several years, the overall increase in the number of college students in Montreal has benefited mainly the English-language CEGEPs.

It has also observed that the French-language college sector is increasingly anglicizing its course offerings in the hope of attracting more students to replenish its coffers.

The organization fears that by the start of the school year next fall, the majority of pre-university students in Montreal will be attending an English-language CEGEP, something it has never seen before.

In a memo published this week, Bernard Tremblay called the proposal to extend the provisions of the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101) to the college level a false good idea. He wrote that it was necessary to act instead to ensure that the French language in Quebec has the undisputed status of a common language and to ensure its prestige in the face of English, to make it the factor of social cohesion.

In his opinion, it is necessary to intervene on a multitude of fronts, especially on the language of work and culture.

The Mouvement Quebec francais believes that Tremblay's comments demonstrate an irresponsible blindness to the decline of French and the inability of the federation to adequately represent the objective and superior interests of French-language CEGEPs.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2021.