Friday, October 26, 2012

Quebec to come down hard on those defying language laws

People in Quebec protest the government's plan to toughen the province’s language laws (file photo).

Source: Press TV

Quebec's new government is about to enable more strict enforcement of the language laws in the French-speaking Canadian province.

The Parti Quebecois provincial government plans to update the Charter of the French language, also known as Bill 101, which defines French -- the language spoken by the majority of Quebec’s population -- as the province’s official language.

Bill 101 was originally passed in 1977 to protect the French language in the province. It banned the use of English in public signs and posters. It also prevented immigrants from sending their children to English-speaking schools.

The newly-proposed version of the charter will give more power to the so-called language police to fine and supposedly bring to justice those who defy it.

It will also close down all English-speaking private bridging schools and require all businesses with more than 11 employees to use French in their communications.

The new separatist party, led by Pauline Marois, is fighting against, what it calls, the Anglicization of Quebec.

The Liberal leadership candidate, Justin Trudeau, said it was not necessary to toughen the language laws.

“I think we are revisiting old debates,” Trudeau was quoted as saying. “The majority of people in Papineau in Quebec City and across Quebec are focused on their jobs, the economy, health, and education of their children to participate fully in this era of globalization in which we live.”

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