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Quebec Premier Pauline Marois responds to second opposition questions as its leader Francois Legault, left, looks down, at the legislature in Quebec City, Thursday, June 6, 2013. (Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Quebec's first female premier is raising the alarm about what she sees as worrying signs pointing to the decline of the use of French in Quebec.

Pauline Marois, who led the Parti Quebecois government from 2012 to 2014, says she's worried that the province's language watchdog has reported some backsliding when it comes to the use of French.

While there have been no dramatic changes, French-language advocates cite the prevalence of bilingual greetings in stores and job postings that require candidates know English.

There's also been a one per cent decline in the number of Quebecers who list French as their only native language.

Marois says people can become complacent when the rate of change seems small, but that even a one or two per cent decline in French use every few years is significant over time.

The former PQ leader says she met with Premier Francois Legault in August to discuss her concerns and will continue to advocate for the French language however she can.

In the short term, she advocates extending Quebec's French-language charter, Bill 101, to apply to small and medium businesses with between 10 and 50 workers.