QUEBEC CITY – “The budgets are going up instead of down and it’s a very important question for the Liberal party.”
Protecting the French language is high on the Liberals‘ priority list, said Hélène David, the Culture Minister on Monday.
“We will stress the importance of the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) to accompany the very small enterprises with the stratégie commune de Montréal,” David told parliamentarians during the analysis of her department’s spending estimates.
Accompany, not force.
Last year, the PQ tried to increase the power of Quebec’s so-called language police but Bill 14 died on the order paper.
The minister’s softer approach now may please some, but the Parti Québécois believes it sends a bad signal.
“We are worried,” said PQ language critic Maka Kotto.
“The Liberals even read the budget in two languages, that is something to worry about. “Is it a new signal?”
David responded: of the 10 300 words read by the Finance Minister on June 4th 2014, only 293 were in English.
“That’s less than 3%,” she said.
Nevertheless, David insisted her government will be vigilant, especially when it comes to signage.
It’s already fighting a Superior Court ruling to have retailers in the province translate their trademarks.
Meanwhile, the Liberals are also bringing back intensive English at school, making the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) wonder about the overall direction of this government.
“What are the objectives, what is the plan and where is the money going to?” asked CAQ language critic Claire Samson.
The Culture Minister said she’ll have a better idea this fall when she sits down with partners to hammer out a strategy to protect the French language – especially in Montreal – but which won’t alienate the Liberals’ base.
Timeline Quebec politics
Rania El-Alloul has filed a challenge after being denied access to courts when she tried to get her car out of an impound lot. But can she win? Read
Lawyers are seeking clarification about the rights of Quebecers who want access to justice while wearing religious attire after Rania El-Alloul was was refused her day in court by a judge because she was wearing a hijab. Read
The lawyer for Quebec prison escapee Francis Boucher is appealing to his client to surrender as quickly as possible. Read
The Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire has finally agreed to restore transportation for a disabled patient who needs lifesaving treatment three times a week. Read
After an outpouring of support, a crowdfunding site has been set up to help a single father in Ile-Perrot get access lifesaving treatment. Read
A crowdfunding campaign in support of a Quebec woman who was refused her day in court because she was wearing a hijab has raised just over $40,000 in 24 hours. Read
The Court of Quebec is standing by the decision of one of its judges who refused to hear a woman’s case unless she removed her Islamic headscarf. Read