Decline of French: François Legault finds the situation “worrying”, but not Anglade

French decline: François Legault finds the situation “worried aunt», but not Anglade

and Gabriel Côté MISE À DAY

Concerned by the decline of French in the country, the Legault government considers its reform of Bill 101 sufficient to reverse the trend in Quebec. Liberal leader Dominique Anglade refuses to be worried about this decline. 

“What I see is worrying, and it confirms that we were right to act”, launched the Prime Minister on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers.   < /p>

The weight of French is declining in the country, according to Statistics Canada's 2021 census. The proportion of people for whom it is the first language spoken continued to decline between 2016 and 2021, dropping from 22.2% to 21.4%.    

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In Quebec, the proportion of people who have French as their mother tongue fell from 77.1% to 74.8%. The study also reveals that bilingualism is up 1.9% in the Belle Province.   

“We have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that French is in decline. in Canada, in Quebec, in the metropolitan region of Montreal, we must act and we have the tools in Bill 96,” said the Minister of the French Language, Simon Jolin-Barrette. 

Adopted in June, the CAQ legislation aims to strengthen the Charter of the French language, in particular by imposing French courses in English-speaking CEGEPs and new requirements for immigrants.   

However, the CAQ has no intention of going further and imposing Bill 101 on the Cégep if it is returned to power. 

The file is settled”, assured Simon Jolin-Barrette.  

“We find ourselves at a crossroads and I hope that the opposition (parties) realize the danger of French for the coming years”, he added.   

Anglade not worried 

But the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade, refused on Wednesday to say that the decline of French is worrying, even if she maintains that it wants to “protect and promote the French language”.   

“What is important to us is really to ensure that French is the common language in Quebec,” she said, adding that her party has 27 proposals to do so.  

At the step to act

For the PQ, we are no longer at the stage of worrying, but of acting. And the CAQ solution is not enough. “Only the Parti Québécois has a plan that will reverse the decline of French, and that means moving forward with CEGEPs in French,” said Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon. .   

The structural solution to secure French is to make Quebec independent, supported the solidarity deputy Sol Zanetti.   

At Québec solidaire, certain provisions of Bill 96 are irritating. If it is brought to power, the party intends to extend the current six-month period during which the Quebec state has the right to communicate with immigrants in a language other than French.  

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