Bill 96 has sharply divided Quebecers along linguistic lines, opinion polls suggest

Although the Francophone respondents generally supported the proposed law, they were least enthusiastic about restricting their access to English-language education.

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Bill 96, the Legault government’s legislative effort to reform Quebec’s language laws, has sharply divided residents of the province along linguistic lines, suggests an online poll by Angus-Reid.

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Asked if they support Bill 96 based on what they know about it, 62 percent of the survey’s 1,080 Quebec respondents said they somewhat or strongly support it compared to 38 percent who did something or strongly did not.

When these responses were divided along linguistic lines, 95 percent of English-speaking respondents said they were somewhat (29 percent) or strongly (66 percent) against the proposed legislation compared to 77 percent of Francophones who somewhat (45 percent) or support strongly (32 percent) it.

Asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement “Quebec is a nation and its official language is French”, 64 percent of Quebec respondents agreed. However, a division into linguistic lines showed that while 76 per cent of Francophones agreed with the statement, 82 per cent of Anglophones disagreed and 53 per cent of respondents whose language is neither English nor French disagreed.

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Many other measures proposed by Bill 96 divided Quebecers along linguistic lines. Although there was consensus between francophones (98 percent) and non-francophones (94 percent) on support for free French classes, the divisions manifested themselves in measures such as That employers were forced to prove the need for language skills other than French (88 per cent francophone support against 49 per cent non-francophone).

There was also a clear division regarding the creation of a ministry for the French language (84 percent francophone, 24 percent non-francophone), stricter French requirements for companies with more than 25 employees (85 percent francophone, 19 percent non-francophone) ) and shifting government communication with immigrants to French after six months (73 percent francophone, 16 percent non-francophone).

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Voters note that although Francophone respondents largely supported Bill 96, they are “least convinced of those (measures) that affect their ability to access educational opportunities in English.”

That lack of enthusiasm is most pronounced by the age group. “When it comes to limiting the number of places available for francophone students in English-speaking CEGEPs … half (50-52 percent) of francophones aged 18 to 54 are against it, while seven out of 10 (71 percent ) Francophones over the age of 55 support it. ”

The study notes that there is even less support among Francophones for the proposal to reduce access to English-language programs in French CEGEPs, where almost two-thirds (64 percent) of Francophones aged 18 to 34 are against it and more than half (55 percent) of those between the ages of 35 and 54 who oppose it. Meanwhile, 62 percent of Francophones older than 55 years support it.

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Respondents in Quebec seem to appreciate the controversy created by Bill 96. The survey showed that 62 percent of respondents believe that if Bill 96 were to become law, it would have a negative impact on the province’s reputation for the rest of the year. Canada.

The survey found that 52 per cent of Quebec respondents are concerned that the law “will adversely affect the willingness of commercial ventures to establish activities in the province”, while 44 per cent believe that the law will have a “negative impact on industries based in Quebec. ”

The study’s study of Bill 96 was conducted 25-29. July and was part of a larger poll on language attitudes across Canada.

Although a margin of error cannot be assigned to the online survey, a probabilitet sample of this size would carry a margin of error of 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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