Protection of the French | Quebec imposes French language courses instead of law 101 on English-speaking CEGEPs

(Quebec) Instead of applying Bill 101 to CEGEPs as requested by many French language advocacy groups and the Parti Québécois, the Legault government is modifying its reform of the French Language Charter to impose on all English-speaking CEGEP students taught three courses. in French to obtain his diploma.

Posted on February 23rd

Hugo Pilon Larose

Hugo Pilon Larose
The press

The issue had been debated since the introduction of Bill 96: Bill 101 should be applied to cegeps, which would have the effect of prohibiting francophones and allophones from attending a public cegep of do you speak english As the debate splits into a parliamentary committee, Quebec decides: it is not.

However, the French language minister, Simon Jolin-Barrette, surprised on Wednesday evening by approving an amendment inspired by the liberal plan for the French language. Students attending an English-speaking CEGEP, whether French-speaking, allophone or English-speaking, will now have to pass a minimum of three French courses to obtain their university degree.

According to the explanations provided by the Ministry, these courses must be “specific to the curriculum” and may not be courses in the language of instruction, second language or physical education.

The debate is over

With the passage of this amendment, Quebec hopes to end the debate on the imposition of Bill 101 on the university network, an issue that has even divided the government caucus. The question also returned to the public square on Wednesday, when the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and the Mouvement Québec français published an open letter saying there was a “national emergency”.

“Given the value given to English in the job market in a context of globalization, more and more young people are being convinced by the advantages of studying English at university. If nothing is done to frustrate these student ambitions, the entire network of French-speaking CEGEPs in the province is likely to suffer irrevocably, “wrote Marie-Anne Alepin, general president of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, and Maxime Laporte. , president of the Mouvement Quebec Français.

Quebec wants to be “very clear”

The Minister responsible for the French language, Simon Jolin-Barrette, closed the door categorically. “Our position was very clear from the beginning. We come to put a roof over it, we give it priority [Québécois anglophones] in English language schools and especially us [impose] the uniform French test for allophone and francophone students who decide to go to an English-speaking CEGEP. So do they [auront] adequate command of the French language, ”he replied.

“Everyone [au caucus de la Coalition avenir Québec] agrees with the position presented by the Quebec government with this bill. I think this is a good position, “he said.

According to Pascal Bérubé, a spokesman for the Parti Québécois for the protection of the French, Quebec is missing a “historic opportunity to really advance the French”, adding that “the CAQ’s federalist strip has won”.

Earlier this winter, however, Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon claimed that the issue of imposing Law 101 on CEGEPs, an idea described as “extremist” by Prime Minister François Legault, was be debated in the caucus.

“It simply came to our notice then. She’s not done yet. There are discussions taking place in the caucus. There are different opinions on this, “he said.

In his bill, the detailed study of which continues in the parliamentary committee, Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette limits the proportion of students enrolled in English-speaking CEGEP to a maximum of 17.5% of the total number of places available. the university network.

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