All Posts Tagged With: "bill 101"
If this province doesn’t grow up, I might leave
As a Montrealer of Greek origin who is fluent in Greek, French and English, I look at Quebec and all the incidents that have occurred in the past few months and I ask myself this one, simple, question: what the hell is going on?
But there’s another question Anglophones and Francophones should be asking themselves: why can’t we embrace bilingualism in this province? Why can’t we accept that Quebec is a province of two official languages and both will be equally represented from now on? Why do we insist on pointing fingers at each other and accusing the other side of undermining the other’s language?
Since the election of the PQ government, things have seriously worsened. The Office quebecois de la langue française found new life after receiving unnecessary funding from the provincial government and put it to absolutely no use by attacking restaurants like Buonanotte, ultimately making fools of themselves and of the PQ in the process. These are old-school techniques that the younger, more open-minded generation of Quebecers simply doesn’t appreciate.
It may become more difficult to attend English CEGEPs
English-rights activists in Quebec are raising concerns about a proposed new language law they say infringes on their rights.
The new law is intended to build on Quebec’s landmark language legislation, Bill 101, to strengthen French language in the province.
But protesters, who gathered outside Premier Pauline Marois’ office on Sunday, say they feel under attack by the Parti Quebecois government. The group is worried about new rules designed to encourage French in small businesses, municipalities and post-secondary education.
Many waved Canadian flags and wore toques featuring the Maple Leaf as they stood on a frigid downtown street corner. As the demonstration wound down, the protesters broke into a rendition of O Canada.
“We still belong to the country of Canada and we still have our rights,” said Christopher Rose, a 27-year-old Montrealer.
“There shouldn’t be any quarrels here in Quebec… There’s nothing wrong with being bilingual, there’s nothing wrong with English, and there’s nothing wrong with French either.”
Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec can’t find consensus on issue of restricting access to English-language colleges
Quebec’s largest CEGEP student lobby group won’t be taking a stance on calls by the Parti Québécois for the province to extend language restrictions to the colleges.
The 23 student associations of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec debated the issue at the organization’s general assembly, last weekend. But after a “heated debate,” the group was unable to reach a consensus.
FÉCQ president Léo Bureau-Blouin, who was reelected to a second term at the assembly, told the Montreal Gazette that debate over the PQ proposal split the group down the middle, and that, “we haven’t closed the door on the idea … But for now, we’d like to proceed with measures [to promote French] that are more consensual.”
According to a FÉCQ press release, the group would like to see improvements to second-language instruction in CEGEPs, along with programs to help non-francophones in Montreal get jobs in French. The group says that these proposals would help preserve the French language without creating “deep divisions,” like the PQ proposal.
Quebec currently restricts access to English-language primary and secondary schools, forcing francophones and new immigrants, along with their descendants, into the French-language system. The PQ has called for these restrictions to be extended to CEGEPs. Students in Quebec, who graduate high school after grade 11, must attend CEGEP before they can attend university; the colleges also provide vocational programs.
Conseil supérieur de la langue française recommends maintaining the status quo
Quebec shouldn’t restrict the ability of CEGEP students to choose whether they study in English or French, according to a new report by the government agency which advises the minister responsible for the province’s language laws.
The opposition Parti Québécois has called for Bill 101, which restricts access to English-language elementary and secondary schools, to be extended to CEGEPs.
Quebec high school students graduate in grade 11 and must attend a two-year CEGEP program before attending university in the province. CEGEPs also provide vocational training.
The PQ claims that allowing large numbers of francophones and allophones, those whose first language is neither English nor French, to attend English-language CEGEPs is contributing to the “anglicisation” of the Montreal area.
According to the Conseil supérieur de la langue française, restricting access to English-language CEGEPs could upset the linguistic balance in the province.
In their recommendations, the Conseil points out that the majority of allophone and 95 per cent of francophone CEGEP students attend French-language schools. The report also says that the percentage of allophone students choosing to attend French-language schools has increased by around 20 percentage points in the past 10 years.
Quebec’s culture minister, Christine St-Pierre welcomed the recommendations, once again describing the PQ calls to extend the language laws as “radical.”
PQ language critic, Pierre Curzi was less impressed, accusing the Conseil of not being rigorous enough in their report.
While Curzi said it was understandable why francophones and allophones in the Montreal area would choose to attend English-language CEGEPs, he said, in French, that there need to be clearer “signs the French language is the official language, it’s the communal language, it’s that language that we live in, period. Work, study, everything.”
The Conseil is also recommending that French-language CEGEPs make themselves more attractive to anglophone and allophone students and that English-language CEGEPs should improve French language instruction.
The full report is available here, it is in French.