An English rights group says Quebec Premier François Legault’s interpretation of how Bill 101 applies to hospitals is wrong and is calling for an immediate meeting with the premier.
On Thursday, Legault defended a regional health authority’s removal of English words from signs at the hospital in Lachute, approximately 60 kilometres northwest of Montreal.
The hospital began covering up English words in December after the Office québécois de la langue française said the hospital was not following Quebec’s language laws. The hospital offers services in English and French.
“I think that we have to follow the law, and they weren’t respecting the law. Bill 101 has to be respected. That’s what we’ll do,” Legault said. “As you know, anglophones will keep on having the right to have services in education and health care, so I don’t see the importance of having bilingual signs.”
But the Quebec Community Group’s Network, which represents 53 English-language community organizations, disagrees.
“It’s senseless to argue that you have access to health and social services in English if you do not know where the services are located,” Geoffrey Chambers, the president of the QCGN said in a release. “Not to have clear signage is an obstacle to services. If you cannot find the service, it is not available to you.”