Categories: Quebec News

CAQ: Deport immigrants who can’t speak French

Identity politics and policies of social engineering around the language question are unsurprisingly at play in the Quebec provincial election campaign.

The perennial and divisive question of french language rights was brought back into electioneering discourse last week starting with the CAQ’s proposal to expel new immigrants to the province if they have failed to achieve an adequate level of French after three years. François Legault, whose party is leading in the latest polls cited the fact that more than half of the 50,000 immigrants arriving in the province annually do not speak French, and warned that the french language is at risk of gradually disappearing in the province.

The choice by Legault and the CAQ to more intimately tie together the issues of immigration and french language policy is likely a move to appease nationalist elements not only within his own base, but also that of the Parti Quebecois (PQ). Legault appealed directly to PQ supporters last week, asking for their support in strategic ridings in order to ensure the defeat of the Liberals led by Philippe Couillard. To this constituency Legault said, “You have a choice between voting for a party that is at its knees before the federal (government), or a nationalist party that is going to defend Quebec. That’s the CAQ.”

The PQ has responded, jumping into the immigration debate. After previously refusing to propose a precise number of immigrants that they would welcome to the province each year, the nationalist party has now set a target of 28,000-40,000 annually. Party leader Jean-François Lisée blasted Legault’s immigration plan, saying, “Allowing the entry of 40,000 immigrants each year without requiring even the most basic level of French will provoke an acceleration of the decline of our language. It’s dangerous.”

In an attempt to one-up the CAQ on the language question, the PQ is also proposing new requirements for anglophones already living in the province. Their proposal would force anglophone post-secondary students to complete at least one academic session at a francophone institution, or be refused their college-level certificate at anglophone Cégeps. The proposal, being sold as Law 202, is a throwback to the flagship language policies, Law 101, introduced in the 70s by PQ royalty, René Lévesque.

For his part, Liberal leader Philippe Couillard is defending the maintenance of the status quo on immigration. His government has gone the other way on immigration and language policy, introducing a new program before the election, relaxing french language requirements for a select group of immigrant entrepreneurs. The liberal stance on immigration focuses on the economic needs of the province. Couillard argued that about half the jobs in the province in recent years have been filled by immigrants. In response to PQ and CAQ fears of language loss tied to the immigration issue, he said, “Immigrants are learning French, and you know where they learn it best? At work.”

The next government of Quebec will be chosen by voters on October 1.

[zombify_post]

Dean Tea

Dean Tea is a curiosity-driven writer and editor based in Gatineau, Quebec. He has stood as a candidate both provincially and federally and currently sits on the board of the Libertarian Party of Canada. A bilingual student of linguistics, he will receive his Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University in December 2018.

Share
Published by
Dean Tea

Recent Posts

  • Canadian News
  • Ontario News
  • Politics

Tanya Granic Allen says Doug Ford has an “authoritarian bent” in his decision to “end” gender identity theory resolution

“I doubt that this is really from Doug Ford, but from his Chief of Staff, Dean French." said Tanya Granic…

43 mins ago
  • Analysis
  • Canadian News
  • Opinion
  • Politics

Concern over excessive immigration and its impact isn’t just right-wing paranoia

It is time we discussed excessive immigration.

23 hours ago
  • Analysis
  • Canadian News
  • Opinion
  • Politics

Should a national army employ foreign soldiers?

Some in the UK believe the country should employ foreign soldiers.

24 hours ago
  • International News

Violent protests erupt in the capital of Haiti, opposition groups call for the President’s resignation

Protests took a violent turn in the Haitian capital, Port-Au-Prince as armed gangs exchanged gun fire with the national police.

1 day ago
  • Analysis
  • Canadian News
  • Opinion
  • Politics

The PCPO’s gender identity resolution was a gargantuan mistake

Some ideas are outright disastrous to a governing coalition. This may be one of them.

1 day ago
  • Breaking News
  • Business
  • Canadian News
  • Opinion
  • Politics

Warning bells are sounding; more Canadian bankruptcies are expected

Brace yourself Canada. It appears more bankruptcies are on the way.

2 days ago