Become a member

Language Magazine is a monthly print and online publication that provides cutting-edge information for language learners, educators, and professionals around the world.

― Advertisement ―

― Advertisement ―

Mastering Reading

Eastern Tennessee State UniversityProgram title: MEd in Reading Format: OnlineLength: Four semesters Credit hours: 36 credit hoursSpecializations: English as a second language; special education interventionist University...

Iñupiaq in Action

HomeLanguagesEnglishAnglophone Quebecers Object to French Policy

Anglophone Quebecers Object to French Policy

Only about 10% of Quebecers use English as their primary language.

Many of them argue that recent proposals for language policy in the province—Bill 96, for example—are further consigning Anglophone Quebecers to the margins of Québécois society.

According to a recent report in the Montreal Gazette, a group of Anglophone Quebecers has been floating around the idea of forming a provincial political party to advocate for the rights of linguistic minorities in the province, including speakers of English and Indigenous languages throughout Québec. The group has formed an exploratory committee and will determine whether or not it will form a political party before the upcoming general elections in October.

“We are exploring the prospect of a new political party to speak on behalf of people orphaned by the political process: English speakers, allophones, French speakers, and Indigenous peoples,” the group writes on its website.

Since the 1970s, the number of individuals in Québec who speak English as their primary language has declined significantly. At the height of this decline, more than 100,000 Anglophone Quebecers migrated to other Canadian provinces. This coincided with the 1977 adoption of Bill 101, which aimed to increase the status of French in the province. From 1971 to 2001, nearly 300,000 Anglophone Quebecers left the province to move to other parts of the country.

Bill 96, which was proposed last summer, is an extensive amendment to Bill 101, which some English speakers have claimed persecutes individuals who don’t speak French. Meanwhile, Premier François Legault has tried to assure the province’s Anglophone community that the bill is “nothing against Anglophones.”

Still, there’s a clear socioeconomic disparity between Anglophone and Francophone Quebecers. In a 2022 report on employment rates in the province, the Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) found that English-speaking Quebecers have a higher unemployment rate than French speakers. English speakers throughout the province have an average unemployment rate of around 9%; however, this rises up to 25% in the administrative region of Côte-Nord. French speakers across the province have an unemployment rate of just 7%.
“Once considered to be a homogeneous elite, Québec’s English-speaking community has undergone considerable changes over the past four decades,” PERT’s report reads, noting that the current Anglophone community in Québec includes a diverse group of people, about a quarter of whom identify as some other ethnic minority.

“For English-speaking Quebecers, language and linguistic identity can function as a barrier to accessing and retaining employment in a French-language labor market,” the organization continues.

The activists argue that Bill 96 may well exacerbate such inequality, citing a recent amendment to the bill that would require Anglophone students enrolled in a CÉGEP college program to take at least three French-language courses on subjects other than the language itself. For some Anglophone students who don’t speak French, this could lower their overall marks or even prevent them from graduating.

Language Magazine
Send this to a friend