Federal language commissioner to keep close eye on new Bill 101
Canada's commissioner of official languages says he will be keeping a close eye on the new government of Quebec as it moves toward toughening the province's language laws.
Premier-elect Pauline Marois says she will attempt to introduce a language law — a new Bill 101 — to stop a perceived decline in French around the Montreal and Gatineau areas, which she calls a major concern.
Graham Fraser says he intends to make sure the changes aren't in conflict with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
He also is concerned about any measures that may damage the institutions of the English minority such as the junior college system.
Fraser says he has sent a letter to Marois asking for a meeting and was encouraged that she addressed anglophone rights in her victory speech.
He rejects suggestions that the French language is in decline in Quebec pointing out you can't welcome 45,000 newcomers into your society every year and not expect to see a drop in the percentage of individuals who claim French as their first language.
Photo: Canadian Press