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  • Writer's pictureThe Low Down

Bill 96 not in Quebec’s best interest

The Editor,

Dear Quebecers, after reading the tabled Bill 96, I am compelled to express my feelings of concern for all Quebecers. Along with many other overrides of human rights within this bill, allowing language police to examine cellphones, computers, and documents freely with no warrants, warnings, or justification, under the guise of protecting the French language with the threat of fines and punishment, sets a very dangerous precedent for all Quebecers.

This tactic limits freedom and is an invasion of privacy for all Quebec businesses, and prevents them from managing their own companies as they see fit. It not only infringes on the rights of the English, but also on the rights of our Indigenous population and the rights of any other cultures within the province to express themselves in the language of their choice.

We have recently been confronted with the tragic results of the residential school system and the devastating consequences of this misguided idea of denying one culture and language in order to strengthen another. Why would we want to follow that same path, when we can clearly see this system ends in destruction and disaster.

I fully support the idea of developing and strengthening the French language and culture, but this needs to be achieved through positive, inclusive programs through education, communication, and cooperation. The entire country supported the province and the French language and culture by becoming bilingual. What a testimony to the importance of maintaining, appreciating, and celebrating this culture, but not to the exclusion of others.

To attempt to deny and destroy other cultures and languages is not in Quebec’s best interests. We are condemning our own people to becoming insular, and depriving our citizens of work and study opportunities throughout the world. We are better than that, and we can find more creative and interesting ways to connect all peoples within Canada, to build upon our collective strengths, to focus on our commonalities, and to join our hands and work together to provide respect, fairness, prosperity, and peace to our entire country.

I implore all citizens to become informed and express their own opinions at this time. Although we are consumed by the pandemic, we must be alert as to what kinds of laws are being put into place and what kind of effect these new laws will have on our population.

I urge each of you to write to all of your government officials and ask them to represent your concerns with regard to Bill 96. Feel free to copy this letter or any part thereof and send it to both federal and provincial government officials to let them hear your voice.

Sally Swan

Wakefield, QC


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