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Quebecers want more French language protection: poll

Click to play video 'Quebec’s language watchdog hiring new inspectors' Quebec’s language watchdog hiring new inspectors
English businesses in Quebec will need to be extra vigilant when it comes to applying the province's language laws. On Monday, Simon Jolin-Barrette, the minister responsible for the French Language, announced that the Office quebecois de la langue francaise is hiring new inspectors to ensure that Bill 101 is being enforced. Global's Tim Sargeant has the details – Sep 21, 2020

A majority of Quebecers are concerned about the situation of the French language in Quebec and wish to strengthen legislation intended to protect it, according to a recent survey.

The poll, conducted by the firm Léger on Sept. 4-6, finds that 59 per cent of respondents believe that French in Quebec has deteriorated over the past 10 years. The survey found that 62 per cent of Quebecers are pessimistic about the language’s future.

READ MORE: Quebec introduces new resources to enforce French language laws

Among Francophones, the data indicates that 71 per cent of respondents are concerned. The survey indicates that younger respondents, aged 18 to 34, are less concerned at 46 per cent, compared with 61 per cent of those aged 35 to 54, and 74 per cent of people aged 55 and over.

A total of 67 per cent of those surveyed, including 77 per cent of Francophones, agree with strengthening laws to improve the situation of French in Quebec. Only 32 per cent of non-French speakers share this view.

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Click to play video 'Quebec says protecting French language a priority' Quebec says protecting French language a priority
Quebec says protecting French language a priority – Sep 23, 2020

The two most popular measures to strengthen French in the province, according to the survey, are funding French-language studies for non-Francophone newcomers (51 per cent support) and broadening the scope of the measures to ensure the right to work in French in companies under federal jurisdiction in the province (50 per cent support).

The least popular measure, at 21 per cent, is to reserve English-speaking CEGEPs for students who have completed their secondary school in English.

The survey was commissioned by the Lionel-Groulx Foundation in collaboration with the Mouvement National des Québécois and was conducted among 1,011 bilingual Quebecers aged 18 or over.