The Suburban, February 20th, 2013
Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather, who launched the campaign against the proposed PQ language law Bill 14, said last week he is pleased that more than 50 municipalities and boroughs across Quebec have passed resolutions asking to retain their bilingual status.
Eighty-three municipalities and three boroughs have bilingual status in Quebec, according to a City of Côte St. Luc statement.
The municipalities aspect of the proposed law calls for a review every time a new census comes out to determine if a municipality has 50 percent or more English mother tongue residents and the government could take away that status if it falls under that percentage. The current rule is that bilingual status could only be removed if a city council votes to do so. A vote on the law is expected in the spring in the National Assembly.
“The speed at which municipalities have adopted and continue to adopt these pro-bilingual status resolution illustrates how important this issue is to the cities, towns, and boroughs concerned,” Housefather said. “We’re optimistic that these resolutions along with calls to Members of the National Assembly from mayors, councillors, and the general public, is having an impact. We intend to present them at the public hearings.”
The hearings in question take place beginning in March, and Housefather and Town of Mount Royal mayor Philippe Roy will speak on behalf of the Association of Suburban Mayors, as well as “represent the position of other municipalities and boroughs with bilingual status, including parts of the south shore of Montreal, the north shore of Laval, the Eastern Townships, the Gaspé, the Magdalen Islands, the Laurentians and the Outaouais.”
Housefather encouraged members of the public to “e-mail or tweet their Member of the National Assembly and, in particular, the leaders of the Liberal Party of Quebec and Coalition Avenir Québec. These e-mail and Twitter addresses are listed at BilingualStatus.com and StatutBilingue.com.”