BILL 96: CANADIANS ARE SLEEPWALKING INTO A CRISIS!
PREAMBLE: The Task Force on Linguistic Policy (TFLP), a Canadian federally-chartered not-for-profit corporation, is a fully independent Quebec-based, non-partisan advocacy group made up of individuals of diverse backgrounds.
- Public Services in Canada should be provided in both official languages in all provinces and territories;
- Divisive policies to protect or promote any one language should never override constitutionally-guaranteed rights and freedoms;
- The French Language is an integral component of Canada’s identity deserving of promotion to encourage its use and adoption;
- The inherent rights of our First Nations must always be acknowledged and ensured; and
- With an increasingly mobile and globally competitive economic environment, punitive language legislation impedes prosperity for all Quebecers.
The TLFP envisions a linguistically tolerant and inclusive Quebec where constitutional rights and freedoms regarding political representation, education, health, social, judicial and other government services are guaranteed in both official languages by law to everyone regardless of background.
The TFLP will represent individuals, partner with organizations and help coordinate under-represented groups to advocate for a bilingual society; taking action to expose and oppose legislative and other measures that:
- Ignore, defy or disregard linguistic rights and freedoms as inscribed in the Canadian Constitution and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, OR
- Reduce or hinder the vitality of, and services for, communities because of linguistic restrictions.
Tools and Tactics
TFLP will deliver its mission through:
- information dissemination, legislative and policy briefs and analysis
- press releases, traditional and social media engagement
- roundtables, speaking engagements and network building
- outreach to elected officials, community and opinion leaders
- events, petitions, campaigns and demonstrations
- court challenges
Accomplishments over the past year
- Participated in dozens of interviews in French and English media and released regular news releases to raise alarm bells about Bill-now-law 96.
- Presented briefs to the QCGN hearings into Bll 96 when we were excluded from the National Assembly hearings.
- Produced an advertisement to counter the propaganda being disseminated by L’Imperatif Francais ridiculing Quebec Anglophones as being resistant or opposed to learning and speaking French.
- Assisted with the mobilization and organization of participants for two anti-Bill 96 rallies in Montreal in May 2022.
Current and Future TFLP Projects & Priorities
- Preparing a brief that President Andrew Caddell will present on the proposed federal law C-13, “Act to amend the Official Languages Act, to enact the Use of French in Federally Regulated businesses”
- Lobbying Canadian Senators on the perils of C-13 and its brand of asymmetric bilingualism.
- Reaching out to parter with businesses that have 25 to 50 employees who will be affected by Bill 96.
- Creating a network of municipal councillors and bilingual municipalities to raise awareness, provide support and opposition to the new law.
- Reaching out to partner with those Quebeckers concerned with health and social services delivery and with educators, such as CEGEP teachers at Dawson, Vanier Marianapolis, and and Champlain College, whose very livelihood and existence are threatened by the law.
- Reaching out to partner with new immigrants who have been informed that they have six months to learn French.
- Reaching out to lawyers in order to mount a strong legal battle to fight the injustices being caused and perpetrated by Bill-now-law 96.
- Initiating a “Tell us your story” campaign to expose the most horrific abuses as this law is being implemented.
- Submitting an op-ed about the Task Force by President Andrew Caddell, to be published in several Quebec newspapers.
Tell us Your Story Awareness campaign: The CAQ government defending Bill- now-law 96, has pronounced that “nothing will change” for over 14% of the province’s population who have indicated that English is their first official language spoken.
Since its passing on May 24, 2022, Bill 96 is already creating havoc within the civil service, the medical sector, within the small business environment, and in the courts. We must keep up with the pressure.
We will therefore launch a “Tell us Your Story” campaign in order to demonstrate that the letter and spirit of this new law is already hurting Anglophones, allophones, First Nations, and, indeed ALL QUEBECERS.
We will contact you in the very near future with details about “Tell us Your Story” initiative, but you will see below an example of a linguistically challenging medical incident in the province’s most bilingual city: i.e. Montreal
We will disseminate stories like this to Quebec citizens as well as the national and international community in order to sensitize them to the abuses of this new, discriminatory and punitive law, and to reveal that lives and businesses are already being affected – in a very negative way. Is this the Quebec that we want to study, live and work in?
“I was rushed to a local Montreal hospital in an ambulance for severe and incapacitating abdominal pain. The treating ER physician did not have the courtesy, nor the humanity, nor the empathy to speak to me – a 22-year old in a desperate state — in my mother tongue: English. Not only did he force me to muddle along, struggling with my Alberta French, he refused to use any English whatsoever in speaking with me. When he approached me, armed with a syringe, filled with some cocktail, I asked TWICE for an explanation of what he was going to inject me with. I did not understand what he explained the first time and asked for clarification. He explained, in French, a second time, only speaking faster and in an impatient and exasperated tone. When I told him a second time “je ne comprends pas”, he proceeded to stab me with the needle, injecting the fluid into my arm – without my consent!”
Our Rights Are Under Attack
Bill 96 will allow Quebec officials:
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Language Equality is Under Threat in Canada
The use of provincial and national notwithstanding clauses will suppress basic human rights for all Quebecers in extreme and illegitimate ways at home, at school, the workplace and in their commercial transactions.
To make matters even worse, the federal government has confirmed that Quebec can, on its own without using Constitution’s pre-established amending formula, amend Canada’s Constitution to declare itself a nation, that Quebecers are a nation, and that French is its only “official” and common language.
The proposed unilateral Constitutional amendment is, in itself, unconstitutional and ill-advised public policy that will affect other aspects of the Canadian Constitution.
Quebecers, Francophones, Anglophones, Allophones, and all Canadians can stand united for equal and official bilingualism.
Logic, fact, morality and the law are on our side.