Côte Saint-Luc, October 5, 2021 — The City of Côte Saint-Luc has called on the Government of Quebec to remove Bill 96 from the order paper and meaningfully consult with the English-speaking community of Quebec and associations such as the QCGN that represent the community before putting forward any legislation that would serve to amend the Charter of the French Language.
The resolution adopted unanimously by the Côte Saint-Luc City Council on October 4, 2021, also states that “many of the amendments contained in Bill 96 are in clear contravention of the spirit of fairness and open-mindedness and are not respectful of the English-speaking community of Quebec, as per the preamble and spirit of the existing Charter of the French Language.”
Bill 96—An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec—is currently under review by the Committee on Culture and Education of the National Assembly of Quebec. It is an update to Bill 101, the Charter of the French Language.
To read the resolution adopted by the Côte Saint-Luc City Council, watch video from the City Council meeting, or read the brief presented by the Association of Suburban Municipalities, of which Côte Saint-Luc is a member, visit https://cotesaintluc.org/bill96/.
The City of Côte Saint-Luc is a suburban municipality of 35,000 residents in the heart of the island of Montreal. According to the 2016 Census of Canada, approximately 67 percent of residents listed English as their first official language spoken. Côte Saint-Luc is also a multi-lingual and multi-ethnic city.
“We are deeply concerned about the proposed changes to the Charter of the French Language. Our concern is based on our own analysis of the bill, as well what has been said by the Conseil du Patronat, the Collège des Médecins du Québec, the Barreau du Québec and other members of the legal profession. Premier Legault repeated and reassured the public that the bill is “reasonable”. With all due respect, Mr. Legault, when you inform Quebecers that you are setting aside the protections of the Quebec and Canadian human rights charters, you are signaling that the bill is not reasonable. When efforts are made to protect the French language the government must ensure that the negative effects do not outweigh the benefits. Let’s ensure Quebec remains the choice destination to live for all Quebecers.”
- Mayor Mitchell Brownstein
“Language in Quebec is a very complex issue and in order to amend long-standing legislation like the Charter of the French Language, there needs to be proper and meaningful consultation with the minority-language community. I read through the entire bill and am concerned by new clauses that would seem to make it illegal for two employees in the Quebec civil service to have a conversation in English. As a long-time educator, I am concerned by the effect the proposed changes, which will ensure a perpetual decline in the number of students in English-language schools and CEGEPs.
- Councillor Steven Erdelyi