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French students won’t attend English schools: Young Liberals of Quebec

Quebec and Canada flying flags photographed in Montreal. Denis Beaumont / The Canadian Press Images

Quebec premier Philippe Couillard is inviting anglophones who have left the province to come back, following a heated debate at a meeting of the Liberal Party of Quebec’s youth wing last weekend.

“Your presence is necessary, wanted; we need you in order to have a better future for all Quebecers,” he said.

Sunday, some anglophone members of the party’s youth wing proposed a resolution that would have allowed French students to study in the English school system.

The resolution was on the agenda during the youth wing’s policy convention in Sherbrooke.

READ MORE: Bill 101 changes force French descriptors on corporate signage

Member Matthew Quadrini argued that enrollment at English institutions is in decline because of Bill 101.

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He also pointed out that there is gross overcrowding in French schools.

As it stands now, all children are expected to attend school in French, unless they have a parent who attended English school in Canada.

READ MORE: What is Bill 101?

The change would have altered Bill 101, which was put in place to protect the French language in the province.

WATCH BELOW: Language debate in Quebec

Others at the convention insisted the French language needs to continue to be defended, while at the same time, finding ways to better support the English system.

Some also pointed out it could also create more tension between the two languages, and the proposal was rejected.

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READ MORE: Lisée wants to impose more French on English universities and CEGEPs

Luc Fortin, minister responsible for the protection and promotion of the French language, said the result of the vote was in line with the government’s position.

“We’re in a position of equilibrium, we have linguistic peace and we will not reopen Bill 101,” he said.

— with files from The Canadian Press.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

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