With Bill 96, the CAQ government’s overhaul of Quebec’s language laws being studied in the National Assembly, CHIP 101.9 spoke with Pontiac Liberal MNA André Fortin about the issue and what he made of some of the recent amendments to the mammoth 200+ article document.
Fortin said that the CAQ has been introducing amendments that went further than the bill’s original wording, such as freezing enrolment in English CEGEPs. He said that with their majority in the legislature, they can make modifications freely, and there’s only so much the opposition can do to advance their own amendments. He said that one victory was to ensure that “parts of the health care system were not affected by this bill.”
He said that he had just recently received the petition that was launched by the MRC Pontiac council back in September 2021, and said he didn’t have a count on the number of signatures, but noted that they had collected more than 100 pages of them. He added that he would be presenting the petition in the National Assembly in the coming weeks, at a time when Premier Legault, and the rest of the government would be present.
Fortin said that the CAQ will be looking for achievements to tout with an election coming up in the fall, and he expected they would want to pass Bill 96 into law before the current parliamentary session closes in June. He added that when the time comes he will “proudly” vote against the bill.
“I’ll be proud to vote against that bill because limiting Quebecers, anglophone Quebecers, francophone Quebecers or newcomers to the province, limiting their rights is never something we should do lightly,” he said. “It’s never something we should do without careful consideration of what’s being done, and this certainly is what appears to be done in Bill 96. It will have a real impact on people’s lives and not necessarily in a positive way.”
The full interview with Fortin is available here.