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Press release
11 February 2020

CAQ Misses Great Opportunity to Promote French Language

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Motion on the Study of Bill 590

The Liberal Critic for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, Mr. Gregory Kelley, and the Critic for the Protection of the French Language, Ms. Christine St-Pierre, denounce the government’s refusal of a motion presented by the Official Opposition in the National Assembly today, which aimed to establish free French learning services for all people residing within Quebec.

The Official Opposition believes that if the CAQ government is serious about making sure that more and more people are learning French, it should extend French-language instruction services to all people residing in the province. The Official Opposition maintains that with French as the official language, the government must be proactive about sharing the language and ensuring that all Quebecers are able to work in French. It also regrets the fact that the openness that the government seemed to want to convey before the holidays has up and disappeared.

The government has missed out on a wonderful opportunity by refusing to call Bill 590 for study. The bill was presented on December 4th by the MNA representing Jacques-Cartier and sought to include the right for all Quebecers to have access to French classes in the Charter of the French Language.

Everyone has the right to contribute to our ‘vivre-ensemble’, the idea of living well together, and to be able to express themselves in French. Mastery of the language is essential to being well integrated and being able to get a job. It was in that spirit of facilitating integration for all that we proposed free French classes for all Quebecers. Our language is a source of pride for us, it unites us and is a central element of our Quebecois culture.

–Mr. Gregory Kelley, Liberal Critic responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers

There is still work to be done to increase the proportion of Quebecers who are able to have a conversation in French. We need to provide them with the tools they need for us to meet that objective. The idea of offering free French classes to all Quebecers is a means of supporting those who want to improve their mastery of the language. It is a simple proposal and it would demonstrate a real willingness from the government to take action when it comes to language in Quebec.

–Ms. Christine St-Pierre, Liberal Critic for the Protection of the French Language