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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Greenway

Why won’t CAQ clarify Bill 96?

If the CAQ government wants to quell fears from the English-speaking community regarding Bill 96, radio silence isn’t the answer.

Ever since Quebec adopted its controversial language reform bill on May 24, English speakers and other minorities have been trying to understand precisely how the changes will affect them.

In the lead-up to the bill’s adoption, minorities in Quebec had been screaming for clarity on its many provisions – from healthcare and justice – to communication rules in restaurants and businesses. Politicians had spouted off party rhetoric, stating that no English rights will be affected. Our MNA, Robert Bussière, told the Low Down that “nobody right now in the English-speaking community in Quebec will be affected by this.”

But this is as far as they have gone. Nobody in the party has explained the bill entirely, its amendments, or how things could change for minorities in Quebec. The Low Down has attempted to interview Bussière on Bill 96 for several months, but he has avoided our queries. We were only able to pin him down on Bill 96 at another announcement he was making on high-speed internet in late May.

As soon as the bill was passed, the Low Down reached out to MNA Bussière’s office to schedule an interview to provide this clarity. Bussière’s office declined the interview and instead directed us to another party spokesperson, Elizabeth Gosselin, to “help you in the subject of the Bill 96.” She never responded.

Bussière’s office wouldn’t even send an updated copy of the adopted bill.

To get clarity, the Low Down had to reach out to Université de Sherbrooke constitutional law professor Guillaume Rousseau, who advised the CAQ government on Bill 21 (See story page 3).

Why is it so difficult to get a comment from our elected representatives on a historic bill that could change the lives of Quebecers throughout the province?

Wouldn’t it make sense for the party to get in front of the bill to calm these “unfounded” fears that they claim are coming from minorities? If so much “disinformation” is being spread, as Premiere François Legault has suggested, wouldn’t it make sense to clarify this deliberately-falsified information?

The Ministry of Education told administrators at Heritage College to “be creative” when trying to implement the newly-required French courses for English CEGEP students. Thanks for the support.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the CAQ government doesn’t care about English or minority rights in Quebec. Why would they?

With a solid francophone base and a near shoo-in for the next election, CAQ knows it doesn’t need the English vote. So, they’ll just continue to erode English services in Quebec - especially the education system – until they finally form the Quebec they want.

It’s already happening.

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