13 April 2016

William Johnson: The myth of disestablished English - The Métropolitain

The myth of disestablished English - The Métropolitain

Even as English is again under attack at the National Assembly during the hearings on Bill 14, it is perhaps true that most Quebecers have been misled into believing that English is not also an official language of Quebec. But that’s entirely unfounded in fact or in law. English has been an official language of Quebec ever since 1763. Every law passed since then has been passed in English. Every law to be passed by the current Parti Québécois government will be passed in English as well as French, and the English text will be official, just as will be the French. 
English is part of Quebec’s very identity. That part is largely what makes the difference between Quebec and other former colonies of France, such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, Louisiana, Haiti, Vietnam or Algeria. 
So how has the myth been propagated that French is the “sole official language?”  It began with the trickery of Robert Bourassa’s Bill 22 of 1974, the so-called “Official Language Act, which proclaimed – in English as well as French: “French is the official language of the province of Québec.” ...

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