PQ MNA Joël Arseneau put pressure on the government to present a legitimate action plan to protect and promote the French language.
Parti Québécois / Parti Québécois
The Parti Québécois and Quebec solidaire are calling on the Legault government to tighten the ropes on Bill 101, with the goal of strengthening the status of the French language in Quebec.In a press briefing Tuesday, PQ MNA Joël Arseneau put pressure on the government to present a legitimate action plan to protect and promote the French language, including stronger legislative measures than those already in place in Bill 101.The PQ reaffirmed that it wants businesses with 25 to 49 employees to carry out their operations in French. The party also wants to reopen the debate on mandatory attendance to French-language CEGEPs.The idea of creating a complaints commissioner, or French-language watchdog, was part of the Coalition Avenir Québec’s electoral commitments. A motion to that effect was also tabled in the National Assembly in April. The commissioner would report to the National Assembly and not the government to ensure greater independence.Arseneau said the government can’t settle for just a complaints commissioner when the French language is dwindling and “bilingualism is rampant.” Creating such a position can’t be the “panacea” to the decline of the language, Arseneau said.“There are other measures we will propose.”Quebec solidaire also believes the commissioner won’t be enough, and that “if François Legault is serious about taking action, he has to go further by better protecting the French language in the workplace,” said Quebec solidaire MNA Sol Zanetti in a press release.But Quebec solidaire wants even more from the government than the PQ does.“If we’re going to open the Charter, we have to take advantage by strengthening Bill 101 by extending its reach to businesses that employ 10 or more people. That’s the Achilles heel of French in Quebec, but previous governments refused to intervene for fear of offending bosses,” Zanetti said.Quebec solidaire is also calling on the government to bring Section 1 of Bill 104 into force, which stipulates that Quebec must communicate exclusively in French with businesses.The Quebec Liberals also said the government can’t limit itself to just a commissioner position, but doesn’t go as far as the other parties.“We expected more from the government,” a government “that reduced the budget of l’Office québécois de la langue française,” said Liberal MNA André Fortin, without specifying the party’s expectations on the matter.More on Bill 101