Canada Quebec's new language bill creates 'charter-free zone,' anglo rights group warns
Minorities risk being excluded by Quebec's proposed language law, Anglo-rights group says
Wording by the Quebec government in its proposed amendment of the Canadian constitution could exclude many from the very definition of being a Quebecer, according to an analysis of Quebec's proposed new language law by the Quebec Community Groups Network. The QCGN is an umbrella group made up of English-speaking community organizations. It says the proposed new language law would effectively make the province a "charter-free zone" because of its sweeping use of the notwithstanding clause. Bill 96 was tabled by the Coalition Avenir Québec government May 13.
MONTREAL — An organization representing Quebec's English community says it has serious concerns about the potential impact of the province's new language bill.
The Quebec Community Groups Network says Bill 96 is wide-ranging, complex and represents a significant overhaul of Quebec's legal order.
QCGN head Marlene Jennings told reporters today the bill seeks to modify 24 provincial statutes as well as the Constitution Act of 1867.
Jennings says the government's pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause to shield the bill from certain constitutional challenges creates a "charter-free zone" involving a wide array of interactions between citizens and the province.
She says her group has urged federal Justice Minister David Lametti to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to study the constitutionality of Bill 96.
The legislation, tabled in May, is a major reform to the province's signature language law, known as Bill 101. The government has said the goal of Bill 96 is to affirm that French is the province's only official language and the common language of the Quebec nation.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2021.
The Canadian Press
What happened in London should be a pivot point for Canada — and its politicians .
If, after the horror in London, Canadians are being called on to ask questions of themselves and their country, their political leaders should face some awkward questions about their own words and actions.Six years later, the killing of four members of a Muslim family in London, Ontario is a moment of reckoning for Canadians — but also for this country's political leaders.