Discomfort on the tongue: the young liberals refuse to open a breach in the law 101

  • Photo By Marc-André Gagnon
    “It is a reality that the Charter of the French language restricts access to the English school”, said before the liberal member for D’arcy-McGee, David Birnbaum, during a media scrum.

    Marc-André Gagnon

    Sunday, August 13, 2017 12:09

    Sunday, August 13, 2017 12:14

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    SHERBROOKE | After thirty minutes of heated debate over the language, the young liberals have finally returned to the dustbin a resolution suggesting to open a loophole in bill 101 that allows the francophone children to attend English school.

    Addressed quickly upon the resumption of the work of the 35th Congress-Young of the liberal Party of Quebec, which ends today at Bishop’s University, the proposal was eventually defeated by a majority of delegates, who have also made the choice to shorten the debate.

    “English schools are dying out”, are repeated alternately two activists from the anglophone community of montreal came to the microphone to defend their proposal of a pilot project.

    “This resolution is the future […] of our country,” is carried away, another young liberal, followed by several interventions opposing it.

    From the outset, the president of the young liberals of Montreal and initiator of this resolution, Matthew Quadrini, has made it clear that the objective was to ensure the sustainability of the network of English schools. To slow the “long decline”, it was proposed to allow a limited number of francophone students – one thousand at most – to register in an English school.


    At the entrance to the congress, the liberal mna for D’arcy-McGee and parliamentary assistant to the minister of Education, David Birnbaum, came to give in part because the motives of the young liberals behind this proposal.

    “It is a reality that the Charter of the French language restricts access to English-language schools, he said in front of journalists. It is a reality. Is this that […] it gives challenges for English schools in terms of their sustainability? It must be admitted that, yes. Is it that the Charter of the French language is consensus in Quebec, it must be noted that yes also.”

    His colleague and minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French language, Luc Fortin, sees things differently.

    “Me, I do not think that the Charter is a threat to anything, said the minister Fortin. On the contrary, it is in a balanced position at the present time in Quebec. It was the linguistic peace, we must preserve it. […] There is no question of reopening the bill 101, that I want to be very clear.”

    “There is no question of going back on anything around the law 101”, had also warned the previous day the prime minister and liberal leader Philippe Couillard.

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