Tag Archive for: National Assembly Hearings on Bill 96

What Quebec’s English-speaking community are saying about Bill 96

“Undemocratic,” “odious,” and “deeply problematic” – these are just a handful of the words some community groups used to describe Bill 96 during the hearings that wrapped up at the National Assembly recently.

Unsurprisingly, the harshest criticisms came from the Quebec Community Groups Network, the group that represents a broad coalition of English-speaking groups in the province. The QCGN organized a parallel public consultation process with minority groups who were not invited to the National Assembly hearings.

“Bill 96 proposes the most extensive overhaul of Quebec’s legal order since the Quiet Revolution,” declared QCGN president Marlene Jennings. It proposes to upend 40 years of human rights protection. It would have a significant impact on the relationship between Quebec and Canada, the lives of all Quebecers, and the type of society we wish to build together.”

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Opinion: Go back to the drawing board with Bill 96

Heading into a new legislative session, after Tuesday’s “reboot,” Premier François Legault and his Coalition Avenir Québec government should rethink the profoundly flawed approach they have charted with Bill 96.

A common theme emerged during a well-attended parallel consultation organized by the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) and subsequent National Assembly committee hearings: There is a striking absence of evidence that Bill 96 would or could do anything to improve the protection and promotion of French. The inconvenient fact: Bill 96 would largely fail, by any measure, to bring us significantly closer to its stated goal.

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Bill 96 is profoundly flawed and must be withdrawn

As the Quebec Government prepares for the start of a new session tomorrow, we urge it once again to take a step back and bring Quebecers together to identify challenges, to separate myths from realities and, most importantly, to build a consensus on the best path forward to promote French in Quebec.

If, on the other hand, the government remains determined to move forward with Bill 96, we urge it to address the concerns we raised in our brief and which we are pleased to note have been echoed and underscored by many others.

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Bill 96: a law 101 that is both “tough” and moderate

Public hearings on the reform of Bill 101 ended on Thursday, after some 50 groups were heard over a three-week period. The testimony provided a portrait of fundamental legislative changes, in addition to raising some important fears, but Bill 96 did not raise the debates of yesteryear.

“Like Bill 21, it reshapes Quebec law and society to unequivocally create a group of“ privileged ”and a group of“ foreigners ”,” writes the QCGN in its brief.

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Quebec City public hearings concerning Bill 96 wrap up amid controversy

Public hearings in Quebec City on Bill 96 have wrapped up.

Thirty-nine presentations were made over a nine-day period starting Sept. 23.

Many people support the proposed legislation that will upgrade Quebec’s language law, Bill 101, but some Anglophone groups have major concerns fearing the bill will weaken English services in health care, the judiciary system and that it will erode access to English-speaking CEGEPS for many Francophones.

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Townshippers’ Association challenges the provincial government at Bill 96 hearings

With an opportunity to speak at the Bill 96 hearings on Wednesday, the Townshippers’ Association reiterated its support for strengthening and protecting the French language, but not through the Quebec government’s proposed new language law.

Gerald Cutting, president of the association, told the legislative committee in attendance that the bill is challenging the basic rights of the English population in a number of areas. He proposed going back to the drawing board with a more thorough review.

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Bill 96 hearings: ‘Our backs are against the wall,’ Townshippers say

Gerald Cutting’s words were blunt and, as he said, reflect the thoughts of many English-speaking Quebecers staring down the prospect of a tough new language law.

“Can we work together to find solutions that give us the impression this bill doesn’t target us,” the soft-spoken 73-year-old president of the Townshippers’ Association told the legislative committee studying Bill 96 overhauling the Charter of the French Language Wednesday.

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Bill 96 should be scrapped ‘in its entirety,’ says Quebec Community Groups Network

In a memorandum presented last week to the National Assembly committee working on the provincial government’s Bill 96 to strengthen Quebec’s language rules, the Quebec Community Groups Network said that even though the French language in Quebec “can and should be protected,” Bill 96 is not the way to go about it.

“Bill 96 is deeply problematic,” said QCGN president Marlene Jennings, reading from the conclusion of the English-language community lobby group’s statement.

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Robert Libman: Bill 96 hearings as political theatre

Quebec’s political theatre continues its three week-run at the National Assembly on Grande-Allée, which aptly can be translated as “Broadway.” The public hearings into the government’s language legislation, Bill 96, heard from the Quebec Community Groups Network on Tuesday, one of just a handful of organizations representing the English-speaking community.

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Editorial: Bill 96 is draconian and harmful

The National Assembly committee hearings on the bill, now two-thirds of the way through, have been anything but reassuring.

The QCGN is also right to ask that, concerning health care, it should be made explicit in the bill that its English eligibility restrictions will not apply.

It has become an article of faith that French is in decline in Quebec and that Bill 96 is needed in response. But much depends on what markers are used to measure decline. It was disconcerting to see Jolin-Barrette pointedly ask both QCGN president Marlene Jennings and Russell Copeman of the Quebec English School Boards Association, who appeared separately, for acknowledgements that French is in decline. As experienced politicians, Jennings and Copeman both spotted the landmine, and deftly sidestepped. What was Jolin-Barrette trying to achieve?

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