The long-awaited bill, which includes comprehensive measures to strengthen and protect the role of the French language in Quebec, is finally being released after several months of debate.
Simon Joel-Barrett, the minister in charge of the French language, filed his proposed bill in the provincial assembly in Quebec on Thursday morning, throwing a wide net.
Bill 96 aims to strengthen French as a “common language” in Quebec, he said. It also seeks to change the Canadian constitution to ensure that French is recognized as the only official language of the province.
“The French language unites us,” Jolin-Barrett said.
The proposed law involves changing parts of the main charter of the French language Bill 101, First adopted by the Rene Lewesk government in 1977. Although it was widely praised and criticized for more than 40 years, it changed the linguistic makeup of the province.
Jolin-Barrett said the broader proposed measures are “different.” The bill contains more than 200 articles that touch the French application in the workplace, tightening and expanding access to English CEGEPsCcess for language classes.
Bill 96 seeks to apply the provisions of the French Language Charter to 25 to 49 small businesses.
The restructuring will include the creation and appointment of a French language commissioner to oversee the state of the province. It seeks Give new powers to the French Language Monitoring Committee and set new language rules for professional orders.
Under the scheme, municipalities with bilingual status will have their status revoked if at least 50 per cent of the population does not have an anglophone account. But the law allows municipalities to maintain their bilingual status if their councils vote so.
The potential loss of that position was already there Provoked concerns from some cities and towns.
The Association of Suburban Municelites (ASMs), which unites 15 mayors of cities within the integration of Montreal, on Thursday welcomed some of the provisions of the bill, which means they can maintain bilingual status.
Of the 15 cities represented by the association, 13 have bilingual status.
However, the panel said the bill should be further read to understand its impact on other issues such as the language of communication with businesses.
“Everyone knows, in legal matters, the devil is in the details,” said Benny Masella, ASM chairman and mayor of Montreal West.
The Committees hope to be allowed to participate in planned consultations “to help achieve the desired balance while respecting the rights of all our citizens”.
The bill comes as 96 Francois Legalt The government has recently cited concerns about the French fall in Quebec, especially in Montreal.
Legalt described the proposed legislation as reasonable and necessary. As someone who grew up on the West Island of Montreal, the Prime Minister says he understands how weak the French position of the Prime Minister is in the province and that there is an urgency to act.
“Preserving the French language is my priority,” he said.
The new bill is part of the Canadian Constitution, albeit an overriding section or section 33 of the Charter of Canadian Rights and Liberations. This section allows federal, provincial or regional governments to ignore or violate certain constitutional rights.
Bill 96 states: “It operates in spite of certain provisions of the Charter and Constitution Act, 1982, on human rights and freedoms.”
The move comes as the Prime Minister has already indicated that the government will use any means to protect the bill from constitutional challenges.
The Quebec Language Minister says the changes in Bill 101 are not an attack on English
Legalt defended the use of this term, which he described as a “fair tool” to balance individual and collective rights.
“We have not only the right, but we have an obligation to use a faction, especially when the foundation for our existence as a French-speaking nation operates.”
The prime minister said he would send a letter to other provincial prime ministers and to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to explain the bill.
Constitutional Advocate Julius Gray said that although he had not examined every aspect of the proposed law, he considered it to be a “completely opposite production bill.”
“This is unconstitutional in many ways,” he said. “You can’t amend the Canadian Constitution in that way.”
Gray also shows a second line of human rights abuses in line with Quebec’s aims.
“It raises the alarm bell,” he said. “This appears to be Quebec’s new policy. If something is very important to Quebec, human rights are not.”
Quebec Bill 21 used this provision to protect its controversial secular law, which prevents certain civil servants, such as teachers and police officers, from wearing religious identities while on duty.
– With files from the Canadian edition
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