PQ: Francophone minority in Montreal is "unacceptable"
The Parti Québécois considers it to be "unacceptable" that, in the next 20 years, the island of Montreal could be populated by a majority of non-Francophone residents.
Speaking for the PQ during a language announcement today was Rosemont candidate Jean-François Lisée. He said that "our ability to integrate immigrants into French is a function of the number of people who live in French, who go in parks in French, who flirt in French, who go to school in French..."
"We think that it is foolish for a minority in North America to let its Francophone population shrink in the very city where all cultures meet," he said, adding that current Montrealers would be unaffected by the PQ's new policies. "We want to respect the present but mould the future."
The proposals would see immigrants selected based not only on their knowledge of French, but on whether or not they already live in French.
"We will add a question about the language in which you live," Lisée added. "When there's equal merit, we'll give a premium to those who already live in French."
They will also try to keep families in the city from moving to the suburbs with a number of housing and transport initiatives. A special committee would also be formed with the mandate of creating an action plan to keep Montreal as a city that is mostly Francophone.
But, Lisée said, the PQ would draw the line at what languages are spoken in the privacy of one's home.