What is Quebec’s new law to safeguard the French language?
Officially titled “An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Quebec” the new law intends to reform multiple fragments of Quebec legislation. These include the Charter of the French Language. These reforms touch on concepts like education, the rights of immigrants, health, and more.
What do the ministers have to say?
Simon Jolin-Barrette, the minister in charge of the French language expresses that since Quebec is a French province, it ought to make use of its official language with the public.
"One thing is for sure: if we want to improve the level of French here in Quebec, we need to act first in the state," he stated. "If we want citizens to use more French, the one who is supposed to give that example is the state of Quebec," he added further.
Yet, the bill has been frowned upon on multiple fronts. This includes the use of the notwithstanding clause, which permits provinces to override the fundamental freedoms conferred by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Instead of simply applying the clause to some specific parts of Bill 96, the government has applied the clause to the complete bill. This made every aspect of the law immune to almost all legal challenges based on the charter.