$24 million for bill 14 not so bad
The language minister says small companies will be able to spread out the cost of bill 14 over a number of years.
Her government released a report yesterday that calculates the estimates cost for small businesses and some quasi-government groups.
It says bill 14 will cost businesses, hospitals, and public daycares $24 million to initially comply, and $4 million every year afterwards.
Those numbers include a $4 million dollar initial cost for all of Quebec's 12 thousand businesses to evaluate their language requirements.
Changing the necessary software systems would initially cost $1.5 million.
And, bilingual health care establishments would have to spend an extra 750,000 every year translating documents.
According to bill 14, if a medical record is requested that is in a language other than French, the establishment would have provide a French summary free of cost.
"This will create a demand for extra services that will carry a cost, whether in terms of overtime or the hiring of new workers devoted to the task," says the report.
As well, the study estimates that just under ten thousand workers do not have sufficient French. It would cost $16 million dollars to bring them up to the appropriate level.
Language minister Diane De Courcy says businesses will be able to spread-out the initial cost over a three or five years as the companies gradually put the measures in place.
She also points out that more than half the initial cost would be in French lessons. "It's perfectly normal in terms of linguistic training," she says.