Côte Saint-Luc, February 13, 2013 — The city councils of more than 50 municipalities and boroughs with bilingual status have adopted resolutions stating their desire to keep their bilingual status irrespective of whether their mother tongue English-speaking population falls below 50 percent.

Each resolution declares the city or borough’s opposition to the provisions set out in the Parti Québécois’ proposed Bill 14 which would allow for the status to be removed against the will of the local elected council.

“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,” said Mayor Anthony Housefather, who has played a leading role in this movement together with his fellow mayors at the Association of Suburban Municipalities, or ASM. “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.”

Bill 14, or An Act to amend the Charter of the French language, the Charter of human rights and freedoms and other legislative provisions, was tabled by the Parti Québécois minority government in December. The National Assembly Committee on Culture and Education will be holding hearings starting in March. Mayor Housefather and Town of Mount Royal Mayor Philippe Roy will speak on behalf of the ASM, but will also be representing 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.

“We encourage 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,” Mayor Housefather said. “These e-mail and Twitter addresses are listed at BilingualStatus.com and StatutBilingue.com.”

There are 83 municipalities and three boroughs with bilingual status in Quebec, which is just 6 percent of all municipalities in Quebec.

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