CAQ to limit access to English services for new Quebecers

Simon Jolin-Barrette

The CAQ government is going to limit the access to English services provided by provincial government agencies.

Simon Jolin-Barrette, Minister responsible for the French language, said newcomers to Quebec will have to receive government communications, like electricity bills, in French. He made the announcement after the Conseil supérieure de la langue française released a report revealing gaps in or nonexistent linguistic policies within some Ministries and agencies.

The same report found 90 per cent of government employees want an official language policy to be enforced, something Jolin-Barrette said the previous Liberal government never bothered to do.

"The quality of the French language is important to state employees," Jolin-Barrette said.

The new measures would be introduced in the coming months.

Jolin-Barrette said Anglophone Quebecers should not be worried about the changes because the new policies would only apply to new arrivals.

"For the historic English minority, there is no issue. They will always be able to receive services in their own language," the Minister said. "They have the right to receive these services in English." 

When asked how new Quebecers who don't speak French will be able to communicate or get information with the government, Jolin-Barrette said French lessons will be made available to them.