The Gazette, Lynn Moore
MONTREAL — Rising levels of bilingualism in Quebec workplaces should be offset by tougher French language requirements for small businesses, an advisory body to the Quebec government says.
As it revamps the Charter of the French Language, the Parti Québécois government must adopt a hardline approach if French is to be the common language, the Conseil supérieur de la langue française said Wednesday.
Also advocating more conciliatory language laws is the Quebec Community Groups Network, a not-for-profit organization with 41 English-language community groups under its umbrella.
“We would rather see more cooperation and less coercion in achieving the goals of the Conseil,” network president Dan Lamoureux said.
Anglophones and new immigrants to Quebec “are all here because we believe in Quebec and we all want to be here, but it would be nice if both the government and the council recognized the fact,” he said.
“Proactive” measures such as free French courses would help as would assistance to small businesses “which don’t have the time or the money to deal with the increased red tape,” he said.