MONTREAL – The new Parti Quebecois minister responsible for language says companies should stop making bilingualism a requirement when hiring new staff.
Diane De Courcy says bilingualism should only be a bonus skill for most jobs – not a condition for employment.
Speaking to a Montreal business audience, De Courcy says a number of immigrants were accepted by Quebec because of their ability to speak French but, upon their arrival, were unable to find jobs because they can’t speak English.
The minister says the government has to act to prevent the so-called erosion of French in Montreal.
She says that erosion will be precipitated if mandatory bilingualism becomes the norm in the workplace.
She says Premier Pauline Marois will outline new language policies when the legislature opens Wednesday.
The Parti Quebecois campaigned in the last election on a promise to tighten Quebec’s Charter of the French Language and expand the use of French at work.
It’s expected to create new restrictions on who can attend English-language junior colleges, and also extend language laws to smaller businesses. It’s unclear which of its language policies would be adopted by the legislature, however, as the PQ has only a minority government.
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