‘Culture war’ against English: Canadian provice introduces strict French language law

Quebec, Canada’s largest province, is due to enact a new severe French language law prohibiting the use of English in public services, in what some have dubbed a “culture war” against English-speakers. 

The province of Quebec is one of Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories.

It is the province with the most land area and the second-largest population.

Much of the population lives in urban regions along the St. Lawrence River, between the most populated city, Montreal, and the provincial capital, Quebec City.

Given the dominance of English in worldwide popular culture, the province’s ruling nationalist party, the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), argues severe measures are “essential” for the survival of the French language. 

However, residents of the province who speak English claim that Bill 96, which is set to take effect next year, discriminates against bilinguals and denies them essential liberties.

Using a procedure meant to safeguard it from constitutional challenges, the bill proposes to unilaterally modify the Canadian Constitution to establish Quebec as a nation and French as its official language.

The extreme measure proposes more than 200 amendments to the historic French language charter of 1977, including stricter language requirements for businesses and a cap on the number of Francophones who can attend Anglophone colleges. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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