Data suggests Anglophone support for Bill 21 lower than CAQ says: QCGN

People hold up signs opposing the Quebec government's newly-tabled Bill 21 during a protest in Montreal, Wednesday, April 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), an organization which represents dozens of English community groups across Quebec, says new data they’ve gathered on support to Bill 21 contradicts the CAQ’s belief that Anglophones support Bill 21.

The QCGN commissioned an “oversample” of English-speaking Quebecers on the most recent Léger Marketing poll on the secularism bill, commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies and published by The Montreal Gazette.

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An oversample is conducted by polling an additional number of people of a certain group to obtain a more accurate portrait of an issue. In this case, the additional group was made up of Anglophones and Allophones.

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The QCGN’s oversample conducted by Léger Marketing found that a “clear majority” of Anglophones believe Bill 21 ban provisions violate the Quebec Charter of Rights, with 60 per cent of respondents “totally agreeing.”

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Responses also showed that two in three Anglophones believe Bill 21 should be submitted to the courts to determine whether it violates the Charter.

“These numbers certainly shatter the government’s claim that many English-speaking Quebecers support the bill,” said Geoffrey Chambers, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network in a statement.

“We are asking the government to reconsider adopting legislation that will create deep divisions in Quebec.”

“I don’t think it’ll make for the good relationships and increased harmony that the CAQ and some thought leaders in Quebec pretend it’s going to provide,” added Jack Jedwab, Executive Vice-President of The Association for Canadian Studies.

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The Quebec government’s controversial secularism bill, titled “An Act Respecting the laicity of the State”, prohibits public-sector employees in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols at work.

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It affects teachers, judges, police officers, prison guards, Crown prosecutors and other public servants in what the government considers to be positions of authority.

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The results were collected via a web panel of 1,212 Quebecers, 18 years of age or older, between May 3 and May 7, 2019.

The QCGN says data from Statistics Canada was used in weighing the results according to gender, age, region, language spoken at home, education and whether or not children are present in the household “to ensure a sample representative of the entire population under review.”

–With files from Global’s Rachel Lau


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