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Indian-Canadians in dizzy as Quebec state impose "French" as a first language, Recession might hit

News by NRI herald Australia, 02 July 2022

Picture Source: CBC ; National Assembly Bill which imposes French as First Language

Quebec politicians have approved Bill 96, the government's controversial proposed law to protect the French language in the province.


The new law, officially titled An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Quebec, reforms several pieces of Quebec legislation, including the Charter of the French Language, touching everything from education and health to the rights of immigrants to be served in other languages.


Simon Jolin-Barrette, the minister responsible for the French language, says that since Quebec is a French province, it should use its official language with the public.

"One thing is for sure: if we want to improve the level of French here in Quebec, we need to act first on the stat. If we want citizens to use more French, the one who is supposed to give that example is the state of Que'bec."- as reported by CBC

However, the bill has since been criticized on several fronts, including its use of the notwithstanding clause, which allows a province to override fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


Newcomers to Quebec

The new law significantly affects the lives of newcomers from outside Canada in Quebec. Under the new rules, refugees and immigrants moving to Quebec will be allowed to get services in English or another language for six months after their arrival.


After that, all government services will be exclusively in French, unless it falls under one of the exceptions of "health, public safety or the principles of natural justice."


Those offering services to the new arrivals will have to do so in French.

So, for example, if a government worker was helping an immigrant whose first language is Italian, even if the worker also spoke Italian, the worker would still be obligated to only use French.


Non-French Speaking Indian-Canadians in Dizzy and leaving Que'bec

While talking to NRI Herald one of the Indian-Canadian "Aksar Rathore"(name changed as requested due to privacy reasons) from the Indian state of UP settled in Quebec for the last 15 years said:

"I am a Masters in Computer Science and working in major Canadian companyMy children are born in Canada and they can communicate in French a bit. They already have a load of English & we also communicate in Hindi at our home. It is outrageous of the Canadian government to impose first language as French on us"- Said Mr Rathore
It will only make our and childer's life harder. It is even becoming harder for us to cope with our children's homework as it's communicated in French. - Added Mr Rathore
We are left with no other option but to move out of Que'bec where I own a house but now looking for a rented appartment outside Que'bec.- Mr Rathore Further Added

This decision might lead Quebec to a Recession and the worst choice for Indian Canadians to settle.

As gas prices and food costs continue to escalate and another interest rate hike is expected next month, many Canadians are wondering if a recession is coming and how to prepare for a possible economic downturn.


68% percent of Canadians believe the country is heading towards a recession, while 17 percent believe it has already arrived, according to a new survey from Yahoo Canada/Maru Public Opinion released earlier this week.


The imposition of the French Language in a state like Quebec on High Skilled Indians (Data Analysts, Data Scientists, Computer Engineers, etc) will also discourage them to move to Canada if this continues which will further lead to a dearth of skilled workforce availability.


Education

As per the report from cbc. The law caps how many students can enter English-language colleges, known as CEGEPs.


The number of students in English-language CEGEPs, as a proportion of overall students, can't be higher than it was the school year before and cannot surpass 17.5 percent of the overall student population in Quebec.


Once you're in an English CEGEP, there are also new requirements during your studies. All students will have to take at least three 45-hour courses in French.


Health care

The new law does say that government entities must "in an exemplary manner, use the French language, promote its quality, ensure its development in Quebec and protect it."


But it also holds an exception, saying that a language other than French can be used by government agencies "where health, public safety or the principles of natural justice so require."


However, another section specifies that a government agency also cannot "make systematic use of that other language."


That's the part that concerned some people.

Jolin-Barrette was firm, saying that when it came to accessing health care, nothing would change for English speakers in the province- As per CBC news

Court and justice

Like the health-care system, Bill 96 included an exemption for "natural justice," and Quebecers have a right to seek justice in the courts in either English or French. That aspect of the law won't change.


However, how easy it will be to get a judge who speaks English is a whole different matter.

The law outlines that judges will no longer need to have "a specific level of knowledge of a language other than the official language."


Privacy and the workplace

The new law also touches on French in the workplace and gives sweeping new powers to Quebec's language office to investigate businesses suspected of not operating in the province's official language.


Before Bill 96, only businesses with 50 employees or more had to have a plan to ensure French was the common language of the workplace. That included having a French committee and a certificate from the government validating that the business's common language is French.


That will now apply to businesses with as few as 25 employees.

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