Parti Quebecois to bolster language laws if elected
Published Sunday, August 12, 2012 12:55PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 12, 2012 10:20PM EDT
Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois on Sunday said she would implement stricter enforcement of the province’s language laws if her party wins next month’s election.
Citing a decline in the use of French in Montreal businesses, Marois said that within her first 100 days in office she would update the Charter of the French language, or Bill 101, so that companies can no longer operate in English.
She said she would also deploy more language inspectors to make sure French appears on commercial signs.
Although Marois said it was understandable for workers in Quebec to conduct business in English when interacting with people outside the province, she said French should take precedence within the province.
"Once (the employee) hangs up the phone, I think business in Quebec needs to happen in French," she said during a campaign stop in Montreal.
Marois added that her party would reevaluate laws that make it possible for companies like Bomardier to deny employees the right to work in French.
Stricter language laws would also extend to education, making it compulsory for immigrants and francophones to attend a French-language junior college, or Cegep.
Currently, post-secondary students can elect to attend either a French or an English Cegep.
McGill University professor of political science Antonia Maioni said the push for stricter language laws in Quebec is a smart move for the PQ.
“Bill 101 is in fact quite a popular law in Quebec so I think Mme Marois is not only reaching out to her core PQ supporters, but also to francophones across the province,” Maioni told CTV News Channel on Sunday.
She added that Marois has had a strong first week of campaigning and the PQ is being seen as a credible alternative to the governing Liberal party.
On Aug. 1 Quebec Premier Jean Charest confirmed that voters in his province will be heading to the polls on Sept. 4.
The PQ is ahead of Charest’s Liberals and the new Coalition for Quebec's Future in polls.
With files from The Canadian Press