EXCLUSIVE: Most of PQ language bill will not pass

Posted By: Angelica Montgomery · 3/6/2013 5:00:00 AM

A leaked internal letter for the CAQ shows that the party will block the most controversial elements in the Parti Quebecois' language bill.

The CAQ wields the power to decide whether or not the bill will pass into law. The Liberals have already said they will vote against bill 14 in its entirety.

A letter that the CAQ is providing to its riding associations says large amounts if the legislation will have to go on the chopping block.

The form letter is meant to explain the party's position to those who write to their CAQ MNAs to inquire on the subject.

The party will officially unveil details at a press conference within a week -  before the bill goes to public hearings on Tuesday.

Municipal status, small business

The CAQ document says the party will oppose the move to revoke the bilingual status of municipalities if their Anglophone population drops below 50%.

"The revocation of bilingual status could be done upon the request of the municipal council," the letter says.

The party will also block the move to impose bill 101 on small businesses (those with less than 50 employees) . "For businesses with 26 employees or more, we are not in favour of coercive measures," says the document.

The letter also refers to the requirement that would force English CEGEPs to give preferential access to Anglophones: "We are against the restrictions imposed on Francophone students that would like to register at Anglophone CEGEPs."

What will CAQ support

The CAQ says it's willing to uphold measures to improve immigration and integrate newcomers, including heightening the level of French needed for those applying to immigrate to the province.

The CAQ will also support adding 'the right to live and work in French' to Quebec's charter of human rights and freedoms.

What's left?

The document says the CAQ will have a chance to further study the bill at committee hearings that start next week.

The party does not mention its position on the section that would grant certain limited powers of a public inquiry to the language minister, or anyone who she designates.

It does not refer to the new requirement for English high school and CEGEP students to show a mastery of the French language in order to graduate.

And, it does not touch on the bill's move to change the word "ethnic minorities" to "cultural communities."

Pastagate

Above all, the CAQ says, Quebecers want to be able to be served in French everywhere.

It says while the party wants to re-enforce the role and powers of the OQLF, the office should apply those rules "in an intelligent manner, with judgement, and with the flexibility required by the circumstances."

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