The Parti Quebecois’ attacks on the English language are a sign of intolerance and desperation, say critics.
Education Minister Marie Malavoy suggested cutting back on English classes for first-grade French students. She also floated the idea of scaling back intensive English courses taught to Grade 6 students in French schools.
But it was the words Malavoy used to describe the English language itself that caused the most outrage among critics.
English groups are also concerned that the PQ might have them in the crosshairs.
Sylvia Martin-Laforge, whose umbrella group represents 41 English associations in Quebec, says Malavoy’s rhetoric risks dividing English and French youth.
“What chance is there for bridge-building?” asked Martin-Laforge, director-general of the Quebec Community Groups Network.
“They’re just exacerbating the problem of two solitudes.”