Parti Quebecois vote overwhelmingly in favour of imposing French-language law at college level

People take part in a demonstration outside McGill University in Montreal, Saturday, November 28, 2020, where they protested against government funding for infrastructure projects at two English-language educational institutions and also calling on the city of Montreal to set up a body to protect the French language.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Parti Quebecois members overwhelmingly adopted their youth wing's controversial proposal to impose Bill 101 on the college system on Sunday.

Members voted 94 per cent in favour of the proposal at a national council meeting held virtually in the morning.

Seven of the eight MNAs supported it.

Veronique Hivon, who had not yet made her position known, rallied to the cause, but the Bonaventure MNA Sylvain Roy made his opposition known to Le Devoir.

Formerly opposed to this measure, PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon himself has come out in favour, since he believes the context has changed.

À tous les jours, nous le constatons: notre langue nationale perd du terrain.
En ce sens, nous sommes heureux d'annoncer que la proposition du @CNJPQ d’appliquer la loi 101 au réseau d'enseignement collégial a été adoptée à 94%! #PQ #Polqc pic.twitter.com/gd61FZNHsg

— Parti Québécois (@partiquebecois) April 18, 2021

The debate on the extension of Bill 101 to the CEGEP system is almost as old as the law itself. One of the most often cited reservations is that it would impose the choice of CEGEP in French on young people who have reached the age of majority or who are in the process of doing so.

The debate has long divided the PQ.

In the 2000s, MNA Pierre Curzi was the ardent promoter of this proposal and it was on the agenda of the Pauline Marois government elected in 2012.

It was subsequently dropped from the platform during the years of leader Jean-François Lisée.

-- this report by the Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2021. 

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