Reform of Law 101: too many positions require bilingualism, deplore unions

Organizations under the Quebec government and some municipalities require fluency in English for almost all of their positions, unions have lamented as part of the reform of Bill 101.

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For example, the National Sports Institute of Quebec “asks practically 100% of its staff to be bilingual,” lamented the Federation of Workers of Quebec (FTQ) in parliamentary committee, Wednesday.

Likewise, the Cinémathèque québécoise requires fluency in English for about 80% of the positions, according to the union federation. “For the Cinémathèque québécoise, figures like that jump up. We really have to tighten the screw on that side, ”declared its secretary general, Denis Bolduc.

Guest commented, the National Sports Institute argued that it works “with unilingual English-speaking Canadian athletes” and regularly collaborates with organizations across Canada and internationally, where English is required. .

Harder for a francophone

In its brief presented, the FTQ also states that “at present, a unilingual French-speaking person has more difficulty finding a job in Montreal than a unilingual English-speaking person”.

“Thus, during the OQLF board meeting in February 2021, the members present ratified the granting of several francization certificates to companies where the bilingualism requirements were of the order of 100%” , writes the federation in its memoir.

To illustrate the situation, PQ MP Pascal Bérubé posted on Twitter on Wednesday a job offer that requires fluency in English for a position of “Division Manager – Sports and Programs” at the City of Rosemère. Of note, Rosemère is officially a bilingual city, although only about 12% of its population is English speaking.

The FTQ therefore supported the amendment provided for in Bill 96, which states that an employer must henceforth take “all reasonable means” to avoid requiring bilingualism in a job offer.

Municipalities too

The union federation’s remarks echoed those of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) the day before, which had come to deplore a similar situation in some municipalities.

“In the City of Gatineau, for example, we require that all white-collar civil servants have a good command of English,” denounced CUPE research advisor Nathalie Blais.

Likewise, more than half of Montreal’s boroughs “make bilingualism or knowledge of English a condition of employment,” she also underlined.

What they said

  • “It’s too easy to say because I have a client outside of Quebec who is English speaking, my staff must speak English.”
  • “The word is perhaps a little strong, but to campaign for bilingualism in Montreal or in Quebec, it is to campaign for the death of French.” – Denis Bolduc, general secretary of the FTQ
  • “Municipalities with less than 20% of the population [anglophone] and who want to require knowledge of English when hiring, this is an obstacle. This is unacceptable in Quebec. ” – Pascal Bérubé, member of the Parti Québécois

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