A humiliating setback for Anglade

The political acrobatics that Dominique Anglade’s liberals have just performed in linguistic matters is of Olympic caliber.

Any observer of the parliamentary contest will tell you that when a party succeeds in getting an amendment to a bill passed, it is extremely rare – if ever seen – that, shortly afterwards, it implore the other parties to remove it.

Three courses

I’m talking about this idea (an excellent one, by the way!) of requiring students who attend English-speaking CEGEPs to pass at least three courses in French.

It was one of the 27 proposals of the PLQ to strengthen the official language, presented in April 2021, before the tabling of Bill 96 of the CAQ.

The PLQ wanted to “improve the offer of courses” in French in English CEGEPs. This “should not be limited to French as a second language courses, but should be encouraged, by including at least three courses in French offered in each study program”.

Initially, Anglophones from the historical community, the “rights holders”, were not affected by the Liberal proposal.

Pride

But on February 23, during the detailed study of Bill 96, Liberals Hélène David and David Birnbaum insisted that “rights holders” be subject to this rule of three “compulsory” courses.

Once the amendment was adopted, Birnbaum sang the praises of Hélène David: “I allow myself to note our pride in having proposed this amendment and I salute the efforts of my colleague from Marguerite-Bourgeoys. »

Hélène David spoke of “a formidable, historic compromise, on the fact that things can happen in French in English-speaking CEGEPs”. Birnbaum boasted of a measure ensuring the “radiance”, “the protection and security of our French language”.

Outcry

Already Bill 96 was causing cries of outcry in English-speaking communities. Now the party pretending to be their voice added to it. The outcry was such that the idea of ​​an Equality 2.0 party re-emerged in Estrie.

In terms of voting intentions, the PLQ lost on all counts: the French-speaking vote fell to 11%. But novelty: among English-speaking voters of the PLQ, the fall was 13 points! (Light March 11)

Dominique Anglade no longer had a choice, he had to demand the withdrawal of the “tremendous, historic compromise”. It was all for the gallery. She knew very well that neither the government nor the other parties would back down.

Tuesday, she explained laboriously in the two languages ​​of the Dominion, what the PLQ had proposed was ultimately “not applicable”. In English, she added that the measure “endangers the future of some young people”. (French is really risky…) In short, the PLQ “should have worked more upstream with the English-speaking groups”.

The parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, was perhaps the most murderous about the episode. After recalling the so-called recent turns of the PLQ d’Anglade (green, progressive, nationalist), he dealt this blow: “All that […] It’s beautiful slogans, but I have little news for Dominique Anglade, there is no poll in life that replaces convictions. »

Do you have information for our columnist? write to antoine.robitaille@quebecormedia.com

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