Legault had a response.
A new Quebec political party says it aims to provide voters with a pro-Canada, pro-bilingualism option. The Canadian Party of Quebec (CaPQ) launched on April 25 with what it calls a "progressive, rights-centred, federalist" approach.
It outlined six founding principles:
- "Rights are Rights are Rights,
- "Respecting the Integrity of the Canadian Constitution,
- "Educational Choice,
- "Prosperity for all Quebecers,
- "Rapprochement and Reconciliation."
"The Canadian Party of Quebec/Parti canadien du Québec will be an unapologetically federalist party that tirelessly works for minority rights, socioeconomic justice, and linguistic harmony," party spokesperson Colin Standish said in a press release.
The CaPQ is looking to take advantage of dissatisfaction with the governing Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and Quebec Liberal Party.
But Standish promised the Canadian Party will also be "a party of substance, distinct values and genuine ideas."
"The time has come to offer a voice to the voiceless, especially Quebecers who feel betrayed and abandoned by the CAQ and the Quebec Liberal Party."
The CaPQ said it's in the process of building a social media presence and is seeking official authorization. It suggested it has plans to put forth candidates for the upcoming provincial election.
Asked Tuesday what he thinks of the new party, Premier François Legault said official bilingualism could see the province go the way of Louisiana, where French once dominated but currently only 7.8% of residents speak a language other than English at home.
He also defended Bill 101 — the Charter of the French Language — and his government's proposed reform of the landmark legislation, Bill 96.
"I think that what these people want is to have a bilingual Quebec, and I think that if we want French to still be in place in 50 and a 100 years from now, we have to have the Bill 96, the Bill 101, we need the immigrants to go to French schools," he said.
"And I think that what they have to understand is if Quebec is bilingual, unfortunately, the attraction in North America to English will be so strong that it would be a matter of time before we don't speak French in Quebec and we become Louisiana."