Opposition parties have made so many changes to the Liberal government’s official languages bill that Quebec Liberal MP Anthony Housefather is not sure if he can still vote for it. Housefather, who represents the Montreal riding of Mount Royal, said the amendments proposed by Conservatives and Bloc Québécois MPs at the House of Commons committee will reduce English services in Quebec. The bill, which was introduced by the Liberals last March to protect French by recognizing its status as the minority language in Canada, is being reviewed by the House of Commons official languages committee. The amendments passed by the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois refer to Quebec’s Bill 96, which was adopted in May and requires all provincial businesses to operate in French. Housefather expressed his concern that these amendments will reduce the rights of Quebec’s English-speaking communities. The Bloc Québécois have made it clear during the committee that they want the bill to be asymmetrical and benefit French-speaking people more than English-speaking people. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller, who also represents a Montreal riding, said he supports his government’s law when it was put in front of the committee and is confident that all Liberal party members will be able to vote for the bill.
Leave a Reply