Bill 96: City of Montreal bans Quebecers from seeing website in English with few exceptions

Some exceptions include immigrants for the first six months after they arrive in Québec, people who live outside of Québec and indigenous people.

Bill 96: City of Montreal bans Quebecers from seeing website in English with few exceptions
The Canadian Press / Graham Hughes
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Premier René Lévesque introduced Bill 101 in 1977, commonly known as the Charter of the French Language. It's always been important to many Quebecers to protect their language as part of their cultural pride.

Mister François Legault, the Premier of Quebec and leader of Coalition Avenir Quebec went further with the Charter of the French Language with a reform of this law, Bill 96. His argument was that Quebec was facing a decline in French speakers. The bill has been adopted on May 17, 2022.

The reform has been and continues to be very controversial because this legislation has limited access to certain services for non-francophone people. 

For English-speaking Quebecers and immigrants, this reform was very badly received as they saw their rights being violated. The government has even announced that government services will be limited to French.

An example is the city of Montreal. On their website, the city published an article about Bill 96 entitled: Bill 96: Who can visit the Web site in English?   

It was mentioned that only persons with the following exemptions could see the English content of the page. 

  1. People who only corresponded with the municipal administration in English prior to May 13, 2021
  2. People who have been declared eligible for English language schools   
  3. Indigenous peoples (Inuit and members of the First Nations)
  4. Immigrants (for the first six months after they arrive in Québec)
  5. Physical persons who live outside Québec

It was also mentioned that “Montreal is committed to preserving and promoting the French language. It will undertake to progressively comply with all the directives provided for in Bill 96 in all its services and communications with the public. “   

Clearly, Quebec and Montreal are now saying that you can’t even look at their website if you don’t get special permission— and using Bill 96 as an excuse.    

This is a violation of the rights of minorities in Quebec. For non-francophone newcomers, Quebec offers them a time limit of six months in order to have access to English content, which is almost unattainable. 

Following several posts by Internet users on social media about this announcement from the city of Montreal, the page has been removed from the city's website.

"If you continue to browse this website in English, you have to acknowledge that you belong to one of the following groups that are designated as exceptions under the new legislation" mentioned a Twitter user.

Some users have had time to save a copy of the page on WayBack Machine.

What will Quebec minorities reach their boiling point? Are these language control tactics going to get even more extreme?

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