APPELLATE COURT HEARS CHALLENGES TO BILL 21

Over the past two weeks the Quebec Court of Appeal heard a series of arguments in defence and in contestation of Quebec’s secularism legislation: An Act respecting the laicity of the state (Bill 21). The bill, which passed into law in June 2019, was challenged before the Superior Court of Quebec in April 2021.

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MODERNIZING THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT: HOW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GOT IT WRONG WITH C-13

Bill C-13 is new legislation proposed by the Government of Canada to modernize the Official Languages Act (OLA). It also proposes to enact a new law – the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act.

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) opposes C-13 and is concerned about the new direction being proposed by the Government of Canada, in particular the long-term effects resulting from this change on the application of the OLA and on the language rights of English-speaking Quebecers.

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STAY GRANTED IN FIRST COURT CHALLENGE TO BILL 96

August 12, 2022 – Earlier today, Justice Chantal Corriveau of the Superior Court of Quebec handed down her judgment regarding a stay on the legal translation obligations of Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec.

In her decision, Justice Corriveau granted the stay – i.e. a legal ‘pause’ – on the application of sections 9 and 208.6 of the Charter of the French Language (modified by Bill 96), which were to come into effect on September 1. These two provisions require legal persons (such as corporations, non-profit organizations, and small businesses) to file certified French-language translations of all English-language documents submitted during court proceedings, at their own expense. This decision means that until the case is reviewed on its merits (likely later this autumn), sections 9 and 208.6 will not take effect.

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LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY AND USE OF ENGLISH AND FRENCH IN CANADA: 2021 CENSUS OF POPULATION

On Aug. 17, Statistics Canada is scheduled to release linguistic diversity and use of English and French in Canada data produced through the 2021 Census. This category of data release tends to generate intense media interest – especially in Quebec – and these Census results are being released at a particularly sensitive juncture, given that the Government of Canada’s C-13 An Act to amend the Official Languages Act, to enact the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act and to make related amendments to other Acts is making its way through Parliament.

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS BILL 96

Members of the National Assembly yesterday delivered their final speeches and remarks on Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the Official and Common Language of Québec and commentary from the Committee on Culture and Education, which had reviewed the bill on a clause-by-clause basis.

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Bill C-13: QCGN Brief to House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages

Bill C-13 is not the bill that the official language minorities asked for. In Bill C-13, the federal government is poised to abandon half a century of official language policy and turn the OLA into legislation aimed at the protection and promotion of one official language.

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COMMITTEE CONCLUDES EXAMINATION OF BILL 96: CAQ ENSHRINES PRIMACY OF FRENCH LANGUAGE AND “QUEBEC NATION” OVER CANADIAN AND QUEBEC HUMAN RIGHTS CHARTERS

The National Assembly’s Committee on Culture and Education yesterday resumed its clause-by-clause analysis of Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the Official and Common Language of Québec. After a particularly intensive day, the committee last night concluded its examination.

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COMMITTEE ADOPTS SERIES OF SURPRISE CHANGES REGARDING BILINGUALISM IN QUEBEC JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS

The National Assembly’s Committee on Culture and Education yesterday resumed its article-by-article analysis of Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the Official and Common Language of Québec. Members discussed clauses 147 through 164, which include ten new adopted amendments tabled by Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette. These modify Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act and the Courts of Justice Act, among other pieces of legislation.

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COMMITTEE SUBSTANTIVELY CHANGES QUEBEC HUMAN RIGHTS LAWS

The National Assembly’s Committee on Culture and Education yesterday resumed its clause-by-clause analysis of Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the Official and Common Language of Québec. Members discussed clauses 107 and 125 to 146, which make several modifications to Quebec’s Code of Civil Procedure, the provincial Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (Quebec Charter), and the Interpretation Act.

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COMMITTEE ADOPTS PROPOSED CHANGES TO CIVIL CODE OF QUEBEC

The National Assembly’s Committee on Culture and Education yesterday resumed its clause-by-clause analysis of Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the Official and Common Language of Québec. Members discussed clauses 115 through 126, which make several modifications to the Charter of the French Language. These clauses also make many changes to other legislation, including the Civil Code of Quebec – which governs all private legal relationships in the province.

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