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Quebec government could be looking to reinforce language laws
MONTREAL – Quebec Premier François Legault says he isn't ruling out reopening Bill 101 to protect the French language in the province.
The premier made the comment Tuesday at a fundraising campaign dedicated to promoting the French language.
When asked by Parti Québécois (PQ) interim leader Pascal Bérubé about the government’s stance, Legault said his party is looking into all options, including reopening Bill 101.
Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, who is also responsible for the French language, was expected to present a plan this fall on how his government will protect the province's official language.
That announcement could be delayed as the minister has been heavily criticized recently for his botched reform of Quebec’s foreign student program, as well as the implementation of the province’s controversial secularism law and contentious values test for new immigrants.
The premier's comments come after a Léger Marketing poll revealed many Quebecers believe French is deteriorating in the province.
Commissioned by the Fondation pour la langue française, the survey revealed six out of 10 Quebecers are worried by what they see as a lack of French in public spaces.
Of the 1,008 respondents, more than half said the French language has declined in Quebec in the last 10 years. Eleven per cent said it has increased, while about 30 per cent believe it hasn't changed.
Concerns were highest among those aged 55 and older, with 60 per cent saying the language has been slumping steadily over the last decade.
More than half of respondents said they would be willing to demand French services, while 37 per cent said they would consider boycottting a business if it didn't respect the province’s Charter of the French language.