Bloc wants “sufficient” French to be a condition for citizenship in Quebec

MONTREAL – The Bloc Québécois is back with the desire to make knowledge of French a condition for obtaining Canadian citizenship from Quebec.
He had already tabled a bill to this effect during the last term. He was accused of racism, Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet said Tuesday at a news conference in Montreal.

The idea would be to require sufficient knowledge of French to obtain citizenship from Quebec. At present, knowledge of English or French is required. But the Bloc believes that since French is the official language of Quebec, it would be normal to require knowledge of French.

The measure would affect applicants for immigration, not refugees.

“It’s not something naughty, it’s not something outrageous, it’s not something racist, it’s something responsible. How and in what capacity can we claim to receive tens of thousands of people each year in Quebec without giving them the first tool, the fundamental tool for their successful integration into Quebec society? This tool is a minimal mastery of the French language, “he summarized.

And if the candidate for immigration does not succeed the first time, it could be a second or even a third time. Mr. Blanchet said he was not in favor of returning candidates.

“There are several possible scenarios when it happens: more time, a kind and special insistence to complete the process. And I think we have to start with that first. We do not want to start sending people home, “he said.

“I think very sincerely that once the law is going to be passed, hoping it will be, people will understand. One of the major problems of integration of immigrants in Quebec is the confusion of the linguistic message, because newcomers believe that when they arrive in Dorval, they arrive in an English-speaking or bilingual territory, says Mr. Blanchet.

The Bloc leader is now betting that, as the Coalition avenir Quà © bec government is also proposing a test of French to newcomers, the context would be more conducive to the passage of the bill. He sees there a convergence of positions.

Mr. Blanchet also appealed to the leaders of the other parties, asking them to commit to such a bill tabled by the Bloc. Speaking specifically about the NDP and Conservative Party leaders, Jagmeet Singh and Andrew Scheer, who said they were close to Quebeckers, he said, “I expect Conservatives and the NDP to pledge to vote with us; I do not expect so much from the Liberals, because I think they would implode before getting there. ”

Brief passage in Ontario

Mr. Blanchet, who multiplies the scrums daily, then went to the imposing Franco-Ontarian flag that sits above the municipality of Casselman, less than an hour away from Ottawa, to make commitments that would also benefit francophone minorities outside Quebec.

It proposes to make bilingualism mandatory for Supreme Court justices, to give more powers to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages ​​of Canada, and to improve the Official Languages ​​Act, to make the difference between the situation of French-speaking minorities in Canada and that of Anglophones in Quebec.

In the case of a sovereign Quebec, the Bloc leader also wants to enter into a form of agreement so that francophone minorities in Canada are treated as well as Anglo-Quebecers. In his opinion, this clause would be a “strong guarantee of the continued existence of Francophone and Acadian communities outside Quebec”.

Mr. Blanchet said he did not believe that the brief incursion of his Quebec formation in Ontario was going to be badly perceived.

With the collaboration of Catherine Lévesque

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