Survey finds most Quebecers are favourable towards official bilingualism in Canada

A taxi with Bonjour on the side drives past the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal on Thursday, November 30, 2017. The National Assembly is formally asking Quebec's merchants to "warmly" greet their clients with the word "Bonjour," and drop the old standard "Bonjour-hi." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remior

A new survey from the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) suggests the majority of Quebecers are favourable towards official bilingualism in Canada.

According to the survey, in Quebec, 76 per cent of French-speaking people said they were "very positive" (32 per cent) or "somewhat positive" (44 per cent) towards official bilingualism. French Quebecers under 34 (82.9 per cent) felt most positively on the issue.

"I put the question very clearly about official bilingualism," said ACS president and CEO Jack Jedwab. "It would sugggest that at the federal level, because that's what we associate it with, Quebecers are actually probably the most favourable towards those types of policies. They don't have ill will or ill feelings towards bilingualism, probably more so than anyone else in the country."

In fact, the survey found more Quebecers were in favour of bilingualism than any other province in Canada.

Sixty-six per cent of Albertans were favourable towards bilingualism, while 65 per cent of Ontarians, 62 per cent of those from the Atlantic provinces, 57 per cent in the Prairie provinces and 58 per cent of British Columbians said they were favourable towards both official languages being used in policy.

The study found that over three-quarters (78 per cent) of young Canadians aged 18-34 are "positive" towards official bilingualism. Overall, 23 per cent of Canadians surveyed are "very positive" about bilingualism, while 34 per cent are negative.

When breaking down political parties, the survey found 23 per cent of Bloc Quebecois supporters were "very positive" towards bilingualism, and 48 per cent were "somewhat positive."

The survey was conducted Sept. 18-20 and asked 1,538 adults.

CAQ Minister for the French Language Simon Jolin-Barrette introduced a motion in the National Assembly this week, reiterating the French as the official language of communication.

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