- The CAQ has voted in favour of a motion to amend Bill 101 or Quebec's Charter of the French Language.
- The amendments would move to include smaller businesses under Section 139 of the bill.
- Details about the impact of this change to the law below.
A motion to amend to Bill 101 or Quebec's Charter of the French Language has been passed, thanks to support from majority leaders, the CAQ. The motion was presented by the Parti Québécois member Pascal Bérubé, MNA for Matane-Matapédia. The motion intends to expand the notorious language law to include smaller businesses who were previously not required to acquire a francization certificate. This new motion will work to now also include businesses with 25-49 employees under the same requirements as businesses of 50-99 employees.
According to section 139 of bill 101, a francization certificate is currently issued to all businesses with 50 employees or more who provide the Office québécois de la langue française "with general information on its legal status and its functional structure and on the nature of its activities."
The Office then examines the "linguistic situation" of the business and if it is deemed to have French "generalized at all levels of the enterprise," a certificate is granted.
If not, the business must adopt a francization program, which could also include the establishment of a francization committee of four or six members.
All businesses of 100 employees or more are obligated by Bill 101 to form a francization committee composed of six or more persons.
This new motion, then, works to include businesses of 25 to 49 employees under Section 139, so that the Charter would consider businesses of 25-99 employees under the same umbrella and subject to the same requirements.
The motion also calls for " businesses under federal jurisdiction to be subject to the Charter of the French language."
Businesses with 100 employees or more were not mentioned in the motion tabled on February 20.
The motion makes a point of highlighting why Bérubé considered it important to make these amendments to the bill. First, to "reiterate the status of French as the only common and official language of Québec," and, " reaffirm the fundamental right of all Quebecers to live and work in French in their territory."
It also hopes the National Assembly would "express its deep concern about the erosion of French in Québec, particularly in the metropolitan area" and "ensure the status of French as the language of the workplace."
A vote concerning the motion was passed on Thursday, February 20, 2020, with 87 in favour and 22 against.
We will continue to keep you updated as more news about these changes to Quebec's Charter of the French Language arise.