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English CEGEPs voice concerns over Quebec’s Bill 96

Click to play video: 'English CEGEPS speak on Bill 96' English CEGEPS speak on Bill 96
WATCH: A group representing six English CEGEPs testified before a committee studying Bill 96 saying they are very concerned about enrollment caps and French exit exams. And students at Dawson College say new restrictions are not necessary. Global’s Elizabeth Zogalis reports. – Oct 5, 2021

A group representing six English colleges of general and vocation education (CEGEPs) testified before a committee studying Bill 96, the bill proposing changes to the French language charter.

Controlling access to English language in CEGEPs is one of the main issues several groups have voiced concern over. On Tuesday afternoon the English College Steering Committee had the chance to air its concerns.

In their 14-page brief, the committee listed three important recommendations that address the enrolment caps imposed on English-language college institutions, the introduction of an additional French exit exam for some students and the prioritization of students with the right to attend English-language colleges.

Read more: Quebec’s overhaul of its strict French language law under microscope at Bill 96 hearings

The brief also provided evidence to refute the allegation that English-language colleges are causing the anglicization of Quebec.

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The president of the Fédération Etudiante Collégiale du Québec, Samuel Vaillancourt agreed there is no proper data to support the allegation.

“Why don’t we simply analyze data and address it in the way it needs to be addressed to make sure we preserve that right to choose and have the vitality of French in higher education,” he said.

Vaillancourt added there are aspects of Bill 96 he agrees with but the government is taking the wrong approach by restricting choice.

Read more: Quebec hears from minority language groups on French language reform

While the English College Steering Committee presented its recommendations on Tuesday, the Federation of CEGEPS which includes 48 schools, is recommending more consultations with the ministry of higher education.

This is the last week in what was a lengthy consultation for Bill 96.

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