A group representing the English-speaking community of Quebec sharply criticizes Bill 96

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) urges Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette to “withdraw” his bill aimed at strengthening the Charter of the French language – or at the very least to subtract from it “the most problematic elements” which are “based”, according to him, on “outdated and sometimes odious approaches”.

Bill 96 creates – just like the Quebec State Secularism Act – two “classes of citizens”, that is to say “privileged” and “foreigners”, denounces the non-profit organization.

Specifically, the QCGN, representing the English-speaking community of Quebec for more than a quarter of a century, apprehends a “reduced access” to health care and social services, to primary and secondary education, to justice and to municipal services. in English in the wake of the adoption of Bill 96. In doing so, it “upsets[ra] “, ” disturbed[ra] “The” social peace which has reigned for two decades on the linguistic level in Quebec “if it is adopted in its current form, supported the spokespersons of the QCGN in parliamentary committee Tuesday afternoon.

The strengthening of Bill 101 proposed by Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette will entail “many serious and deplorable consequences for Quebec in general, making it less attractive for newcomers, investors and, in particular, for the expressive minority. English ”, we can read in particular in the group’s brief. ” [L]Bill 96 means for English-speaking Quebecers and, in fact, for all Quebecers whose mother tongue is not French, that they are not really welcome in the province. “

The Minister responsible for the French language, Simon Jolin-Barrette, stressed Tuesday afternoon that “nothing changes” in the rights of English-speaking Quebecers. “We do not take away any rights from anyone,” he repeated, accusing the QCGN of “stirring up certain unfounded fears” through their outings on Bill 96.

Constitutional issues

In addition, the QCGN urges the Caquist government to drop the provisions for derogating from the Canadian and Quebec Charters of Human Rights included in the draft law on the official and common language of Quebec, French. In addition to “sap[er] human rights ”, Bill 96“ limits[e] the role of the judiciary ”, indignant the group. “There is no proof that the dismantling of the Quebec human rights system would be necessary to protect and preserve the French language,” he adds.

The non-profit organization criticizes the Francois Legault to operate, for “political reasons […] dubious “,” the biggest upheaval in Quebec’s legal order since the Quiet Revolution “, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when” public attention is rightly focused on health and the economy ”.

Also, the QCGN urges Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette to ask the Quebec Court of Appeal to verify the “validity” of the “unprecedented modification” to the Constitution Act of 1867, in addition to circumscribing its “scope. “. “The implications for the Quebec English-speaking minority are not clear,” argued QCGN president Marlene Jennings before the committee on education and culture afternoon.

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