‘Making monsters of each other’: Businesses fear impact of Quebec language law

As Quebec’s contentious language law heads closer to adoption, the province’s business community is growing increasingly anxious about what it could mean for their bottom line, with some companies considering leaving entirely.

As it stands, incidents of non-compliance are worked out between companies and the Office québécois de la langue française, with negotiable compliance timelines. Bill 96 would change that process.

“It upsets the environment of trust,” added Sylvia Martin-Laforge, director general of the Quebec Community Groups Network.

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Access to health and social services in English must be exempted from Bill 96, writes health care advocate Eric Maldoff: “Bill 96 will create serious obstacles to the delivery of safe and effective care for all Quebecers.”

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QCGN plans anti-Bill 96 demonstration on May 14

As the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) was announcing plans for a protest of Bill 96 last week, a move was afoot to mitigate one of the more troubling irritants to English-speakers contained in the proposed new language law.

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Le torchon brûle

The amendment to Bill 96 which softens the requirement for students at English-language CEGEPs to pass three courses is French was a “sensible decision” by the Quebec government, which “starkly shows that many Anglophones, at the end of their secondary education, have not acquired a sufficient knowledge of French,” writes columnist Robert Dutrisac. He goes on to accuse the QCGN of “fuelling the fears” around Bill 96.

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Quebec’s Bill 96 could negatively impact patient care, say advocates

Health care is one of the many areas which will be negatively impacted by Bill 96, the Quebec government’s reform of the French language law. “Health and social services in the province are governed by section 15 of the act respecting health and social services that states individuals can receive services in English where resources, personnel and financial capabilities are available,” says Dr. Sandra K. De La Ronde, a QCGN board member. This section, however, is not included in Bill 96.

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QCGN says May 14 mobilization will include anglo and franco Quebecers

English-speaking groups say opposition to Bill 96 extends beyond the minority community and includes groups representing businesses, patients’ rights advocates and others.

In an online news conference held Tuesday, the Quebec Community Groups Network said it expects broad support from French community groups as well, because the proposed law would also penalize French speakers in various ways.

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English groups slam Bill 96, plan to protest in May

Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) president Marlene Jennings did not hold back as she slammed the province’s new language law, arguing that if Bill 96 is adopted, all Quebecers will be at the mercy of the French language minister.

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Quebec English groups plan protest against language bill

English groups in Montreal say they plan to protest against Quebec’s Bill 96, which aims to strengthen the province’s French language law.

Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) President Marlene Jennings argues the new language law amendments will be an assault on human rights in the province.

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Quebec community groups rallying against Bill 96

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) is planning to host a rally in mid-May so that those who are opposed to Bill 96 can make themselves heard.

“The government has made it very clear that it is not listening,” said Marlene Jennings, QCGN’s President, explaining that the hope is for the public action to help highlight how significantly the government’s overhaul of its language laws stand to impact people living in the province, regardless of their cultural background.

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Rights groups plan to protest Bill 96 next month

Minority rights groups in Montreal will protest Bill 96 in Quebec following concern amongst advocates from different sectors such as health and education. The demonstration will begin at 10.30 a.m. on May 14 in front of Dawson College and will end at Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s office on McGill College Ave. downtown.

“As with Bill 21, Bill 96 calls for the most sweeping new series of human rights overrides in the history of Quebec and Canada,” said Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) President Marlene Jennings. “The fundamental human rights and freedoms of all actors are being cast aside by this government, which will have unprecedented and unchecked power to implement the Charter of the French Language.”

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